Algorithm design workflow with Midi VirtRacks

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    • #105520

      Following Italo's advice, I spent some time in the Midi Virtracks section of my H7600, in particular the individual components patches from 6640 and on. My goal is to create a preset with a compressor followed by a flanger, followed by a tremolo (ideally, I'm looking for a stereo rotational type component, but couldn't find one – Is there?). I will also add delay and reverb in parallel, with a wet/dry control.

      So far, I have combined the compressor and flanger units as follows:
      1. Get the compressor (from H7600 into Vsigfile)
      2. Create a compressor supermodule
      3. Get the flanger (chorus_flanger)
      4. Create a flanger supermodule
      5. Create a new Vsig file that combines these 2 supermodules
      6. Wire the input/output as per the respective modules

      At this point, I have a Vsigfile that displays two big supermodule "blobs" on the screen.
      I then:
      7. Send this file to the H7600 which "compiles" it.
      8. Get the new algorithm back into Vsigfile.

      At this point, the algorithm actually displays nicely in Vsigfile, with all the components nicely laid out instead of the two supermodule blobs. My next step will be to figure out which parameters to display in the menu, and how to allocate wet/dry levels. This is next week's project.

      My question now: Is this the "right" way to proceed? A little cumbersome, but not so bad actually.
      I would appreciate any feedback on my approach, in case there is a simpler angle.


    • #117275

       Hi PH

      It's good to hear there are people out there trying the power Vsig unwraps! Good stuff!

      You can work in different ways, really. There's no best way to go. I find myself doing very little or no use at all of Supermodules but they can make a lot of sense for many.

      You could get 2 separate sigfiles from the H8000, one for the compressor and the other for the flanger, then copy&paste the second into the first, after its very last module.

      But creating supermodules could also be good for future works!

      U.I.  This is another open area! It basically depends on what you really need to see. If you consider all the asterisk_ed parameters are remoted by the Tweak knob, I feel those should be included in the UI or you'd loose the full meaning of programming your tweaks.

      The next cool thing is to "play" with internal FX routings in the sigfile. There you could use mixers/I and O switches to create serial/parallel and hybrid routings….even SENDs/RETURNs or Pre/Post wirings. This thing is so open that it will show you things while you work at it. It'll turn ideas on while thinking about solutions. It's a great learning experience.

      I'm thinking about a next generation of MVRacks…something *probably* using some kind of hidden rebuilding of FX so that you could actually choose WHICH fx you will use in a slot.

      Say the Rack has 4 slots. Each one may have a 3 or 4 FX allowance. You must choose which one you'll use in that slot#, and so on for the others.

      Would that be cool/make sense? I find it gets more creative and experimental with FX routings, doesn't it?

      This concept may eat a lot of resources…so I'm not sure if FX will need to be smaller in size or probably the algorithm will only work in monolithic mode or both…we'll see.

      I'm looking for new ways……..


    • #117277

      Your approach does make sense. If you think about it, my current state of affairs is not totally trivial. I mean that if none of the existing VRacks (I don't mean the components, but the full racks) have the FX components in the order that I want, then I have to do what I'm learning to do now. Clearly a semi-steep learning curve, but I can get away without learning (just yet) the full detailed functioning of every component of each algorithm. it would be really great to have a way to pick components and create a chain of FX. I assume that's what the Eclipse does is a limited fashion, and it is clearly what my SwitchBlade does with the 15 or so analog and vintage pedals and rack units that I own. I wanted to get away from pedals because they are noisy, and unlike Dave G., I can't hire Pete Cornish to mod all the analog pedals to make them silent, thence the idea of using the H7600 to do all that. Besides, I'm a programmer, love programming the SwitchBlade, but it's really basic. The idea of having unlimited power to code actual pedals and effects was too appealing to ignore.
      Anyways, if I understood you correctly, I think your concept makes sense. I guess it might be a little tricky to synchronize the I/O's, as some FX sums the signal, and others dont, and it might be tricky to specify the U.I. for wet/dry/feedback and so on. That's where the SwitchBlade shines through its WinBlade software BTW, as you physically see all that. But in a sense, if Vsigfile could be made similar to WinBlade, using mini-components such as the MVracks, then it could be easy and great. Check out WinBlade software, I think you can run it without an actual SwitchBlade, and Ken is a great guy too.
      I'm happy to provide feedback to early design prototypes you think of.


    • #128390

       Winblade is a much simpler nice software that does a much simpler function: laying out connections in an I/O matrix. Vsig is an algorithm building software that works at a much higher programming level, requiring the user to know what and how to build things.  It has 3 different types of connections, Audio/Modulation (green), Control (blue), UI (pink). BTW you can create Winblade within a sigfile! I remeber some years ago (DSP4000) creating a pre/post FX, inspired by one of Ken's technotes…..

      You can use Vsig UI functions to simplify your synoptical view of an algorithm.

      Here's the trick:

      once you have ordered (re_ordered) the modules in the way you like, click on the VIEW menu and uncheck Show Control/Misc/Unconnects. Vsig will only show you the audio path of the sigfile.

      That should help!


    • #128393


      A note on existing MIDI Virtual Rack presets and the sound you are after (and the example with frequency shifters posted):

      6648 MIDI Ring Mod

      uses freq. Shifters. With low rates you can get the same effect. There is no feedback though.

      6661  MIDI VirtRack 2

      this has the Ring Mod…but misses other fx you may want for the Gilmour thing

      6663 MIDI VirtRack 4

      has the Ring Mod and probably better fx options

      6644 MIDI VirtRack 5

       same as in #2

      If I would put together a MIDI VirtRack for the Gilmour sound, I'd probably go for this FX assortment:

      MIDI Compressor

      MIDI FM Tremolo

      MIDI XF4v Modulation

      MIDI St Dynamic Dly

      MIDI Ring Mod (with added feedback paths)

      MIDI Reverb 12

      6 fx may be too much in a sigfile…maybe it will run in monolithic mode.

      If it doesn't, then you need to make some economy. In such case I'd cut the compressor off (you already have your compressor on the floor), and/or choose MIDI Reverb 8 which uses less resources than the 12 version. 

      Or you could even split the whole FX chain across 2 presets, run in both dsps routed  in series…

      I'm sure you have enough options….


    • #128416


      As I was combining the Vsigfile you sent me into my bigger algorithm, and in the context of this discussion, somehting occured to me that might help beginners.
      What about having simple blocks like say a reverb, but instead of having all the UI buttons and stuff, simply hard-wire good default values directly in the module. So you could publish a simple library of a basic reverb, delay, chorus, phaser, etc… but without any UI or menu stuff.
      This way, basic users like myself could still create simple algorithms and get some sounds at quickly, then go back and add all the UI and menus later. It could really simplify the process of getting started.
      I guess I could go directly to the modules and insert them one by one, but having preset default values "inside" the module could save some time for a semi-beginner.
      Just thoughts, and clearly not as advanced as what you were proposing, and both would be great to have.

    • #128417

      We don't believe there is really "good default values" for any effect as:

      -all fx are not created by a single module. A reverb is a combination of diffusors/early reflections/reverb/eq. A Flanger uses feedback/lfo/delay…..

      -any FX may sound good to somebody and not so good to the next person…. 

      -UI is what translates parameters to users. It's not secondary.

      -the units offer such a vast variety of examples that the user should listen and choose which are his/her favorite sounds and settings.

      -the learning value of how an FX is built is something we can't have a sub for. Editing/building algorithms is not a must as there are many available. When a specific need arises…there are involved knowledge aspects we can't really take care of, pretty much like a guitar building company can't teach how to play different music style on a guitar

      -we do offer a forum area where discussions – Qs/As – sugesstions and interactive activity among users should help.

      If you'd ask me which is a good default reverb, I could easily come up with a couple of dozen totally different structures and parameters sets….a room, hall, plate, chamber, with pre or post EQ, with delays in or around the verb, w/different types of filters, with modulation or without…… 

      Building algorithms is an art and a labour of love. The H8000FW is a true lab and a repository of the finest examples available to you.

      all the best

    • #128431

      Fair enough.
      I think what could be great is if the area where users can share algorithms were up and running at this point. Although I have no idea how many users out there are fluent in VSig. I have a programming background, so it's not that hard for me, but I assume it's a limited pool, and yet a smaller pool of people willing to share algorithms.
      In general, the biggest problem that I have encountered so far in my learning is that whenever I download an algorithm, I also get all the UI (and now know how to "hide" it), which, however important, makes the tasks of isolating and understanding the building blocks of somehting like a phaser or a flanger more difficult.
      Unfortunately, I can't devote more than a few hours a week for this, but I'll get there.

      BTW, I totally nailed the Gilmour tone now, thanks to your little algo from last week, and interestingly enough, spent much more time playign guitar than progrmaming presets and algorithms this week-end.
      This is a trend I like!


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