Semi modular Re?

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scratchnsnifff
Posts: 919
Joined: 21 Sep 2016

20 Jun 2018

Was just thinking about the idea of a Thor like semi modular synth for the Re platform

I assume since grain was made with the Re sdk that it’s possible for developers to make a Thor(ish) synth with multiple types of oscillators,filters,effects, and internal routing options

I think it would be cool if someone made a synth that literally had all types of synthesis like wave table, VA, additive, resynthisis, samples.
Not sure how adding modifiers would work, I feel like some of the oscillator types would be able to have bend +/- and pwm but the sample based oscillators couldn’t

I mean it appears to be currently possible
Since the past few sdk improvements it’d be cool to see someone do their take on a Thor 2. But I also assume having small oscillators of all sorts would be a pain to develop. If a synth like this were to happen I think the best option is to have FM via the mod matrix. So you could get the best of all the types of synthesis but have the ability to use FM on types of synthesis that you wouldn’t normally use
Such as having a sine wave routed to frequency modulate a granular sample or vice versa

Just thinking out loud here :)
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RobC
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20 Jun 2018

Reading the title is enough to say, that I want!

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antic604
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20 Jun 2018

I'd rather this with Props developing the required SDK features and 3rd parties providing their modules:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=7505892&hilit=eurorack
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scratchnsnifff
Posts: 919
Joined: 21 Sep 2016

20 Jun 2018

antic604 wrote:
20 Jun 2018
I'd rather this with Props developing the required SDK features and 3rd parties providing their modules:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=7505892&hilit=eurorack

reason.jpg

That’s a very popular idea as well! I feel like people would eat it up. Because people could have the same synth, but customize it to their liking. Blamsoft has joined the VCV rack world and I feel like they would add to the set of modules if the props made a sort of housing for the components.

I love this idea because I wish I could use vps avenger but it hates my MacBook.

This would essentially let me build my own vps avenger
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jimmyklane
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Joined: 16 Apr 2018

20 Jun 2018

As an aside, you can absolutely get true PWM out of any sampler or sample based synth. You need a ramp wave and a saw wave. The amount of detuning controls the “lfo speed”.
DAW: Reason 10,

SAMPLERS: Akai MPC 2000, E-mu SP1200, E-Mu e5000Ultra, Ensoniq EPS 16+, Akai S950, Maschine

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Loque
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20 Jun 2018

I wish this since years. And the VCV in the Reason rack looks and fits good. Just imagine you could exchange oscillators, filters, modifiers, add shapers and fx between synths and have them all per voice...
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akeia
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Joined: 20 May 2018

21 Jun 2018

Softube Modular works within Reason (and is currently on sale). You can modulate parameters via VST parameters. There is a stereo audio in to process Reason audio. And you can use 8 audio outs for CV out if you put an audio-to-cv RE after it. This is of course not a perfect solution but better then to wait another few years until PH comes up with something.

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Koshdukai
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06 Jul 2018

problem with Softube Modular (I own it... and I'm actually trying to get rid of it btw) is its excruciatingly bad GUI's UX.
When doing (polyphonic) Modular, I end up using KarmaFX (also a VST).

For those wanting/needing monophonic modular-style fx/instrument building, that's been possible in Reason since Reason 1.0, especially since the Combinator was introduced a couple of versions after.

Anyway, I think we'll be seeing Thor-style semi-modulars soon'ish. We're already seeing FX "rack-style" boxes in the rack, with switchable modules, made possible since the latest SDK RE version, with switchable panels.

scratchnsnifff
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06 Jul 2018

Koshdukai wrote:
06 Jul 2018
problem with Softube Modular (I own it... and I'm actually trying to get rid of it btw) is its excruciatingly bad GUI's UX.
When doing (polyphonic) Modular, I end up using KarmaFX (also a VST).

For those wanting/needing monophonic modular-style fx/instrument building, that's been possible in Reason since Reason 1.0, especially since the Combinator was introduced a couple of versions after.

Anyway, I think we'll be seeing Thor-style semi-modulars soon'ish. We're already seeing FX "rack-style" boxes in the rack, with switchable modules, made possible since the latest SDK RE version, with switchable panels.
Yes the combinator really helps with these types of builds. But I’m just surprised there’s only a few developers that have tried making a modular Re.

But my main point is that the Re platform now allows for developers to make their own version of Thor. It would be amazing to see what blamsoft or rob papen could come up with.

Thor in itself should be updated with a bunch of modern concepts (oscillators, filters, unison, etc)

This topic also makes me wonder. Can developers make a mini effect module like in Europa and grain. But have an option for a second set of effects? Like you could choose the current basic setup of effects but also have a tab for more in depth effects? Like a mini mclass EQ, where you would just drag points to make your EQ curves? Or a phaser with all the standard controls instead of just a rate, amount, and spread?
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tallrobphilp
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Joined: 30 May 2018

06 Jul 2018

I apologise if I'm being dim but doesn't stuff like the Blamsoft Polymodular system fit the bill quite well?

It seems to me that this modular building-block ability is already possible within Reason but that it would be improved if more developers got involved with different types of oscillators, envelopes, filters etc.

One thought I've had many times is that there are great REs that have amazing components that would be great on their own. If I could have a module that was just one of the oscillators or one of the envelopes from Lectric Panda Nostromo that would be great. Or just the multi-point envelope from Europa/Grain so I could apply it to some other parameter with CV without needed to load the whole synth. Or the individual drum synth modules from Kong. Or the FX unit from expanse. The list goes on.

I like the idea of lots of slim, single-purpose modules that don't take up much space in the rack but make it much more eurorack-like in it's usage.

I feel like it would be a great value proposition if these synths came bundled with the individual modules split out, or if they sold the separated modules as a pack or individually for a budget price. I think a mix-and-match approach of different modules is very much in the spirit of Reason.

jimmyklane
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Joined: 16 Apr 2018

06 Jul 2018

akeia wrote:
21 Jun 2018
And you can use 8 audio outs for CV out if you put an audio-to-cv RE after it.
Can you explain how to go about this? I know it can be done using Thor, but I’ve never been happy with it. What process are you using to use audio as CV?
DAW: Reason 10,

SAMPLERS: Akai MPC 2000, E-mu SP1200, E-Mu e5000Ultra, Ensoniq EPS 16+, Akai S950, Maschine

SYNTHS: Mostly classic Polysynths and more modern Monosynths. All are mostly food for my samplers!

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akeia
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Joined: 20 May 2018

07 Jul 2018

jimmyklane wrote:
06 Jul 2018
akeia wrote:
21 Jun 2018
And you can use 8 audio outs for CV out if you put an audio-to-cv RE after it.
Can you explain how to go about this? I know it can be done using Thor, but I’ve never been happy with it. What process are you using to use audio as CV?
I use Thor also. All I know about audio to cv is from one article (first google result "Audio to CV in Reason") and it works fine for me. I bought also the Uberwave "Audio to CV" RE but that one is broken and creates wild artefacts.

CV has 1/10 (I think) the resolution of audio in Reason. Extreme audio modulations may be lost in translation because they are too fast for the Reason CV system.

When I compare the audio and cv (after Thor) the waveforms look exactly the same. So I see no problem there. What are you unhappy with?

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Ahornberg
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07 Jul 2018

Try Parsec! It got a vast amount of different waveforms and wavetables and 4 slots where you can load different filters/modifiers.
On the VST side there are Diva, Zebra, Bazille, ACE and also Reaktor Blocks, Absynth ... and don't overlook Falcon (15 types of oscillators, samples and 80 different FX).

jimmyklane
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07 Jul 2018

akeia wrote:
07 Jul 2018
jimmyklane wrote:
06 Jul 2018


Can you explain how to go about this? I know it can be done using Thor, but I’ve never been happy with it. What process are you using to use audio as CV?
I use Thor also. All I know about audio to cv is from one article (first google result "Audio to CV in Reason") and it works fine for me. I bought also the Uberwave "Audio to CV" RE but that one is broken and creates wild artefacts.

CV has 1/10 (I think) the resolution of audio in Reason. Extreme audio modulations may be lost in translation because they are too fast for the Reason CV system.

When I compare the audio and cv (after Thor) the waveforms look exactly the same. So I see no problem there. What are you unhappy with?
CV is actually 1/64th the rate of the system sample rate. So, @ 44.1kHz you can have just under 345Hz before you start to have problems. Thing is, I like to do things like key sync the rate of my (audio-rate) lfo in order to preserve a carefully crafted sound (like audio rate FM, AM, and PWM) to work across the keyboard instead of on one key or just a few.

This is nothing new, the Nord Modular ran at 96kHz internally and ran its CV at 24kHz, so 1/4.....its the 1/64th crutch that hurts us, and FORCES me to work at 88.2 or even 176.4 in order to modulate up past middle c!!!
DAW: Reason 10,

SAMPLERS: Akai MPC 2000, E-mu SP1200, E-Mu e5000Ultra, Ensoniq EPS 16+, Akai S950, Maschine

SYNTHS: Mostly classic Polysynths and more modern Monosynths. All are mostly food for my samplers!

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eXode
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07 Jul 2018

That is why we use both audio and CV for I/O in VK-2, so you can choose to have full audio rate for modulation.

If you set VK2 to "modular" mode it will sound continuously, for an example if you route the oscillators directly out of VK-2.
VK-2 was designed with modularity in mind, so that you can put several of them in a Combinator and build a big modular patch (monophonic though).

scratchnsnifff
Posts: 919
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07 Jul 2018

eXode wrote:
07 Jul 2018
That is why we use both audio and CV for I/O in VK-2, so you can choose to have full audio rate for modulation.

If you set VK2 to "modular" mode it will sound continuously, for an example if you route the oscillators directly out of VK-2.
VK-2 was designed with modularity in mind, so that you can put several of them in a Combinator and build a big modular patch (monophonic though).
So does this mean you can use the LFO or any other audio rate source to a CV out into another synth? So the modulator would be something from Viking and the carrier would be something like Thor malström or subtractor?
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eXode
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07 Jul 2018

scratchnsnifff wrote:
07 Jul 2018
eXode wrote:
07 Jul 2018
That is why we use both audio and CV for I/O in VK-2, so you can choose to have full audio rate for modulation.

If you set VK2 to "modular" mode it will sound continuously, for an example if you route the oscillators directly out of VK-2.
VK-2 was designed with modularity in mind, so that you can put several of them in a Combinator and build a big modular patch (monophonic though).
So does this mean you can use the LFO or any other audio rate source to a CV out into another synth? So the modulator would be something from Viking and the carrier would be something like Thor malström or subtractor?
Yes, but the CV is still down sampled, that's a limitation with CV. But if the other synthesizer has an audio input for modulation you could use audio. Pulveriser for instance has audio inputs for AM and Filter FM so you could route VK-2's oscillators there. In your Viking/Malström example, it would work better if you used an oscillator output from Malström to modulate the oscillators or filter in VK-2.

It only works for monophonic patches when going outside VK-2 though, or use something like Distributor for polyphony.

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Ahornberg
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07 Jul 2018

Take a look at the Polymodular System https://shop.propellerheads.se/product_ ... -system-i/

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ejanuska
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Location: USA

11 Jul 2018

Surprised nobody has mentioned the Ochen K. modular RE https://shop.propellerheads.se/browse/? ... Ochen%20K.

$18 total for both System 1 and 2.
How can you not buy it?

Also, Reason for me has always been very modular like. I just don't get the desire to break it down further. Next thing people will be asking for carbon vs fixed film resistor emulators in the virtual oscillator circuits.

ExianNYC
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12 Jul 2018

ejanuska wrote:
11 Jul 2018
I just don't get the desire to break it down further. Next thing people will be asking for carbon vs fixed film resistor emulators in the virtual oscillator circuits.
I do understand this desire. And I share it. I wish Props would break up their synths into building blocks that we can plug together more easily. I'd be willing to pay more for that - say $20 per Reason synth, to also have the building blocks.

I have Reaktor and VCV, and it's a lot of fun to build something with just the pieces you want. In Reaktor Blocks, Native Instruments "broke out" the osc, filter, and other elements of their Monark synth, making them available as individual Blocks. Many people were very happy to be able to use those elements in their own creations. I wish Props would do something similar.

Thor is a pretty great mostly-modular framework. It's fairly easy to just look at Thor and understand it. If you look at a patch made up of 20 eurorack modules, you have to squint and follow the wires all around just to understand what it's all doing. That completely bums me out. I yearned for a eurorack of my own for years and years. But now, the more I think about it, the more eurorack, or virtual eurorack, seems like the dumbest, most inefficient, most expensive and most un-musical way to try to make music that I've ever heard of. No seriously. I mean it.

One option would be to make Thor-style modules for elements of the other synths and effects. Thor could be the framework that other elements fit into. But, maybe Props think that the Grain or Europa interfaces, with their lovely graphics, can't be supported in that small format. Suggestion: Extend the "unfolding" concept. Have a concise view of an oscillator or filter module to fit into the Thor frame, with an "unfold" button that can show a larger, more detailed view of the module (with larger waveform display, or LFO display, or envelope display) and larger or more detailed controls, unfolded out of the bottom of Thor. Explore it, tweak it, then fold it in again.

Yes, this would sacrifice Thor's beautiful "one screen, what you see is what you get" unity and elegance. But, it would open up the framework to a lot more possibilities. I'm sure many people are trying to figure out many ways of approaching this. I can't wait to see what they come up with.

Christian

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Ahornberg
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13 Jul 2018

The thing that bothers me when using the Reason Rack as a modular synth is that the cables are on the back side.

My suggestion for modular RE developers is to mirror the knobs on the back side of the module.

ExianNYC
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13 Jul 2018

Ahornberg wrote:
13 Jul 2018
The thing that bothers me when using the Reason Rack as a modular synth is that the cables are on the back side.

My suggestion for modular RE developers is to mirror the knobs on the back side of the module.
Somehow the cables on the back in Reason bother me less than in they do in Reaktor or Tassman. I think it's because the modules in Reason do more things, so you don't need to make as many connections on the back (or in the builder or editor view), so you don't need to remember as much.

I like your suggestion to mirror the knobs on the back. In effect you could produce a view that's almost like the front... if people want to see knobs and cables at the same time. Yes!

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buddard
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13 Jul 2018

ExianNYC wrote:
13 Jul 2018
Ahornberg wrote:
13 Jul 2018
The thing that bothers me when using the Reason Rack as a modular synth is that the cables are on the back side.

My suggestion for modular RE developers is to mirror the knobs on the back side of the module.
Somehow the cables on the back in Reason bother me less than in they do in Reaktor or Tassman. I think it's because the modules in Reason do more things, so you don't need to make as many connections on the back (or in the builder or editor view), so you don't need to remember as much.

I like your suggestion to mirror the knobs on the back. In effect you could produce a view that's almost like the front... if people want to see knobs and cables at the same time. Yes!
I experimented with a similar idea when I made Elementary Logic Gates, although there I replace the controls with CV jacks and attenuators -- Flip back and forth between the screenshots and you'll see what I mean. I can definitely see this concept translate well to a semi modular synth.

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selig
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13 Jul 2018

Ahornberg wrote:The thing that bothers me when using the Reason Rack as a modular synth is that the cables are on the back side.

My suggestion for modular RE developers is to mirror the knobs on the back side of the module.
I’ve heard this suggestion since REs were introduced, and still no one has done this. I have a few ideas why this is the case, but it’s pure speculation on my part since I’ve not discussed this with other RE devs to date.

For fun I’ve done some mockups in the past to see what this concept would look like. One issue I ran into was that the front panels will be somewhat restricted in size to accommodate the space for the jacks on the back (to keep a 1:1 relationship between the panels). This is because you need to leave additional space on the front for where the jacks will appear on the back. Options are to put an LED on the front where the jack would be, and use that LED to indicate the presence (and CV level) of cables on the back panel.

Another issue was the front pane includes the rack ears and the back does not. This wouldn’t affect those who totally ignore the ears, but many REs use this space for anything from graphics to labels (including the tape strip) which cannot be duplicated on the back.

Finally, there are other restrictions I can not go into here that further limit the space on the back panel compared to the front, even further restricting the ability to create a 1:1 relationship between the front and back panels.

Between these issues you loose a good bit of useable space on a panel that is already restricted in size due to the “rack paradigm” imposed on all REs, if you want to keep the panels in “sync” with regards to scale and placement.

Otherwise, at least on the early versions of the SDK there is no restriction on duplicating a front panel control on the back (I do this with Selig ReMark, for example).

I’m not 100% sure because I’ve not specifically looked into this (and am away from my computer today), but there may or may not be restrictions on the newer features of the SDK as per duplicating them on the back panel, speculating about custom displays and switchable panels here.

For for a simple analog style module with knobs, sliders, switches, and buttons, this is entirely possible within the limitations I’ve mentioned above (and maybe others I’ve overlooked). Maybe another dev with more experience can chime in and clarify, correct, or add to this.
:)


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selig
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13 Jul 2018

buddard wrote:
ExianNYC wrote:
13 Jul 2018
Somehow the cables on the back in Reason bother me less than in they do in Reaktor or Tassman. I think it's because the modules in Reason do more things, so you don't need to make as many connections on the back (or in the builder or editor view), so you don't need to remember as much.

I like your suggestion to mirror the knobs on the back. In effect you could produce a view that's almost like the front... if people want to see knobs and cables at the same time. Yes!
I experimented with a similar idea when I made Elementary Logic Gates, although there I replace the controls with CV jacks and attenuators -- Flip back and forth between the screenshots and you'll see what I mean. I can definitely see this concept translate well to a semi modular synth.
So cool, never noticed that before, and it definitely helps to understand the device. :)

Interesting that though it breaks with physical logic, we still interpret flipping the rack as not flipping the front/back relationship. If this done with a real modular, the order of the modules would be flipped when viewing the back (or think of a 500 series rack as another example). But in Reason it makes total visual sense to do this - consider the how the view aligns when flipping multiple side-by-side rack views, as another example.
;)


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