4ms SMR?

(John Hoar / Amalgamated Harmonics) #1

Has anybody had a look at porting the Spectral Multiband Resonator into VCV?

https://github.com/4ms/SMR (MIT licensed)

I had a look at this some months back and realised that I didn’t stand much chance of making headway with this.

(Notwithstanding any agreements or other issues with 4ms themselves; just from a purely practical standpoint)


I’m curious what the general policy is with Eurorack modules that have open source firmware? Surely, as long as you’re not either violating trademarks or profiting from it, it would be okay?

(John Hoar / Amalgamated Harmonics) #3

Out of courtesy it would be sensible to contact the manufacturers. It’s in the interest of the VCV ecosystem as a whole to play nice with the hardware side of the business.

They have chosen the license and the restriction on the use of their trademarks, which covers the strictly legal side. Maybe VCV and 4ms have a plan to bring a version (free or otherwise) to Rack?

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(Andrew Belt) #4

Unfortunately 4ms is rumored to be under exclusive contract with someone else…

You can use the firmware source for your own module though, since it’s open-source.

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(Jonathan Moore1) #5

I can only speak for myself but if it hadn’t been for @Vortico creating the Befaco Rampage I wouldn’t now own a hardware Rampage. Before playing with it in Rack I simply thought of it as a Maths alternative, and didn’t appreciate it’s unique characteristics.

And seeing as Andrew alluded to Softube Modular, by strange coincidence I’m also a proud owner of a 4ms PEG which also happens at a casual glance to appear to be a Maths alternative but after first purchasing the Softube version it really clicked with me (as I am a dance producer after all) and it’s amazing for all manner of syncopated rhythm shenanigans that Maths could never do (with ease or a single unit).

There’s a lot to be said for creating official software clones of hardware, as artist’s like myself use hardware and software in tandem, and I far rather learn a module over time in software form, rather than spending a noisy afternoon at London Modular (or similar).

The 4ms SMR is a great case in point. If I’m totally honest I regretted getting the Softube version for a fair while as I thought of it as something of a one trick pony that was too easily recognisable in a mix. But in truth it was simply a case that I hadn’t learned how to make the most of it. I haven’t gone so far as to purchase a hardware unit yet, as it’s one of those modules that makes more sense to me as an ITB tool, but you never know.

(Jonathan Moore1) #6

@Vortico I’m currently in the middle of demoing the Softube version of the Buchla 296e and have found that I can achieve much the same goals with multiple iterations of the SMR (interestingly, multiple iterations of the SMR still offers greater CPU efficiency). And this got me thinking that maybe Spectra could be enhanced to have to a version of the rotating scale features in SMR, and maybe even the resonance aspect. One of my initial negative impressions of the SMR came from watching too many video clips with the resonance cranked.When used with subtlety, it can be wonderfully responsive and musical, and not just on cliched coloured noise input sources.

The scale feature can also be used as a source of multiple evolving CV’s from the envelope followers (a very different flavour to that in the 296e).

Just a thought, seeing as the firmware is open-source.

(Gerhard Brandt76) #7

i’ve looked at it and then thought it would be more flexible if split in two or more modules. separating the filter bank and chords components became the inspiration for Rakes and Riemann. tbh. i think 4ms were trying to do too much in one module here.

(John Hoar / Amalgamated Harmonics) #8

I have been poking at the code again, in the same way that you would poke a dead animal with a stick.

The first conclusion is that the code is not nearly as neatly organised as the Mutable Instrument code, with which it shares a lot of similarity since the STM32 chip is common to both SMR and MI modules.

The second conclusion is that porting seems quite doable particularly taking the shim code in the VCV ports as a starting point. I have a bit of doubt about some details since it looks like the ADCs are slightly differently set up between, say, Rings and SMR. But it might be that the sampling code in the VCV side takes care of this completely.

I will see how far I get.

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(Jonathan Moore1) #9

@gerhard.brandt76 I was of the same opinion at first ref SMR attempting too much in a single module (I think there was a faze with Eurorack when many modules were overly multi-functional, including Mutable ones) but over time I’ve come to appreciate the design strategy.

@johnhoar Wishing you good fortune. An SMR like module in Rack would be a welcome addition.