DanT :: NuMetal - Beta Testing new plugin [v2.0.4]

Hi everyone!

Over the past two years I have been working on my plugin DanTModules, and I feel like I have reached a point where I want to explore new ideas without the baggage that plugin implies.

Whilst the modules in that plugin are robust (only found & fixed two bugs so far) and provide things not found in other plugins (I hope, its difficult to tell how popular the modules are), its development has taught me a lot, and I want to leverage that knowledge into higher quality output. This will be easier to achieve when not constrained by decisions I made previously (mostly technical implementations that seemed beneficial at the time by reducing the amount of code I had to write).

With that in mind I decided to start prototyping modules in a new plugin. My goal with these new modules is to work on ideas I have and polish them up to a high standard, potentially leading to a paid plugin release in the future (still deciding on this part, obviously getting paid for my work is nice, but I don’t know if I have the spare time to dedicate to supporting a commercial plugin, I am posting this during my lunch break for example).

So I’d like to get some feedback on these prototypes as I work on them, I will post releases here in this thread, please give them a try and report any bugs for me :beetle:

I am also interested in functionality and usability feedback, such as;

  • is the module obvious / is the layout intuitive
  • does it provide something useful
  • does it fit your workflow
  • does it have additional creative uses
  • how would you improve it

I am not really looking for design or visual feedback, these will be prototypes with minimal panel designs and documentation, fancy panels and good documentation would hopefully be a benefit of a paid plugin.

I would also love to hear from anyone that has used my current modules and has ideas for how they might be improved (yes I know better antialiasing is always going to be a thing), or features that might be missing or complimentary.

I will post the first beta release shortly…

Edit: find all the beta downloads here: Releases · Miff-Real/DanTModules-Manual · GitHub

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The first beta build is posted here Release DanT :: NuMetal - v2.0.2 Beta · Miff-Real/DanTModules-Manual · GitHub

In this build there is one prototype module called PolySplice

This is a new polyphonic version of my previous module 5Splice, that is a switch with slew of up to 5 seconds.

The module from top left to bottom right consists of:

  • Signals input, polyphonic up to 16 channels
  • Input attenuvertor
  • Trigger input, each trigger cause the switch to select a new channel, it uses a SchmittTrigger to detect anything > 0 volts
  • Trigger indicator light
  • Slew CV input
  • Slew CV attenvertor
  • Slew parameter, 0 to 5,000 milliseconds
  • Advance Mode CV input
  • Advance Mode attenuvertor
  • Advance Mode parameter: the modes are:
    • Forward Mode
    • Forwards by 2 Mode
    • Backwards Mode
    • Backwards by 2 Mode
    • Ping-Pong Mode
    • Random Mode
  • Advance Mode indicator lights
  • Selected Channel indicator lights, the number of input channels will be light in a faint yellow, the currently selected channel will be lit green, channels with no input will be unlit
  • Polyphonic Output Mode switch, the modes are:
    • Off, just one channel is output
    • Inputs Incremental, the number of outputs will match the number of inputs, output channel 0 will be the selected input channel, each following output channel will be one channel higher
    • All Normalled, the selected input channel will be duplicated to all 16 output channels
  • Selection Value output, this will output a voltage based on the selected channel where channel 0 outputs 0.5 volts, channel 1 outputs 1.0 volts, channel 2 outputs 1.5 volts etc up to channel 16 that outputs 8.0 volts
  • Output attenuvertor
  • Main Output

Here is a little example patch you might use to kick things off: v202DanTNuMetalBeta-PolySplice-Example.vcv (2.3 KB) (Be careful when switching the polyphonic mode in this patch, 16 channels of audio from Plaits can get loud!)

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Some observations from using DanTNuMetal-2.0.2-042e494-mac.vcvplugin in VCV Rack Pro 2.1.2 on a macOS Monterey (12.4).

  1. The plugin installed fine, showed up in the module browser without a problem.
  2. Don’t know if this is deliberate as it’s still a beta, but there’s no description of the module in the plugin.json file, so no description shows in the tooltip for the module in the module browser.
  3. The panel feels very “mystery meat”. You have included tooltips describing all the controls, ports and lights, but there’s no labels / descriptions on the panel? Maybe having at least some labels on the panel might make it easier to grok what’s going on? Or making the panel wider so labels will fit? Ignore this if you’re still working on the panel UI.
  4. I would prefer a button to move between the different Advance Modes.
  5. Maybe make the “fade” time of the Advance Mode indicator lights faster? And make the lights bigger? They’re teeny weeny! :slight_smile:
  6. Maybe replace the Advance Mode indicator lights with a text display to make it clearer which mode you’re in? Instead of “hover over light 2 to see the tooltip to show which mode you’re in”, it’s just in a text box to read?
  7. Advance Mode CV input and attenuation works, though do you need the attenuation to be +/- 2? Would just +/-1 be OK for that? Note that the tooltip for the Advance Mode CV attenuator knob hovers over the right side mode indicator lights, hiding them from view when moving that knob.
  8. I couldn’t get Slew CV Input to affect the slew time at all.

I did find what I think is a bug. It seems a slew to the next signal in the chain can be triggered without a trigger being sent to the Trigger input port.

How to replicate this using this set up:

  • In Signals Attenuvertor: 1
  • Polyphonic Output Mode: Off
  • Slew CV Attenuverter: 1
  • Slew: 0 milliseconds
  • Advance Mode CV Attenuverter: 2
  • Advance Mode: 0
  • Output Attenuverter: 1
  • I had a 4 polyphonic signal connected to the input.
  1. Send a trigger. You’ll be “slewed” to the next signal as expected.
  2. Manually change the Slew knob to a longer time. The module will “slew” to the next signal. Not what I expected as I didn’t send a trigger?

Here’s the test patch I used: polysplice.vcv (1.6 KB)

Thanks!

Hi, thanks for the feedback!

tl;dr New beta version with some bug fixes Release DanT :: NuMetal - v2.0.3 Beta · Miff-Real/DanTModules-Manual · GitHub

Yes, as I mentioned in the initial post, these are prototype modules, so it is minimum viable product development to enable testing. Once the module design is stable, then I might start adding the additional features. Having said that, I have added more information to the plugin.json file.

Indeed, for prototypes I am drawing the panel programmatically so that I do not need to spend time working on SVGs whilst the module is still in design flux. The layout is subject to change during this design phase, so changing the SVG every time would just slow me down, especially if the width of the module changes.

Any specific reason? A knob allows the user to right-click and input the desired advance mode directly, a button would need a custom implementation and would require multiple clicks to get to a specific mode.

Also, a button would naturally imply a trigger CV input rather than a continuous signal, similarly meaning that you have to switch through all the modes to get to the target mode, rather than simply jumping directly to the target mode.

Why do you suggest this? I see that if you modulate the advance mode at high/audio rates then it is hard to understand which mode is currently active, however to me there doesn’t seem to be a reason that you would want to modulate this mode at high rates?

These are just the stock VCV lights, they look the same as lights on all the VCV modules don’t they? Obviously once I start adding the panels I will consider custom graphics for all the module controls, but for prototyping I’ll stick with these.

Typically I set my CV inputs so that 10 volts is equal to the maximum parameter value. This means that if you use a unipolar LFO you can modulate the parameter through its full range. This also means that if you were to use a bipolar LFO from -5 volts to +5 volts on a bipolar parameter, using the attenuvertor you can also scale this up to match the full parameter range as well.

Whoops, this is a bug, I actually forgot to scale the CV inputs to match the parameter ranges, should be fixed in the new build.

This wasn’t intended either, the bug was that I wasn’t explicitly turning off the slew once it reached the target value, so manually changing the slew to a longer value caused the slew to resume from where it was left. This should also be fixed in the new build.

2 Likes

To be clear, I don’t mean replace the knob to select the Advance Mode, but including a button as well would be faster sometimes, I think? Maybe working how synthesis mode select buttons on the Audible Instruments Macro Oscillator 2 (aka Plaits) work?

Another idea is to keep the knob but have a button under each light to quickly select that mode directly? Something like in the mock up image below?

Please ignore this one. After playing with the module for a while, this is fine as it is. :slight_smile:

Thinking about this, I can just zoom in to the display. Please ignore this one as well. Apols.

Yes, the slew CV and the trigger bug are fixed for me in v2.0.3. Thanks!

Edit: Forgot to say. This is a great idea for a module. I can see this being useful for all sorts of things, like:

  • Slowing moving between different sources of note sequences.
  • Complex modulation envelopes for physical modelling.
  • A kind of super advanced Bernoulli Gate.

Using a drop down menu, while not very “modular like” is extremely effective for this. And of course no need for knobs, buttons, lights.

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Small update to v2.0.4 adds a reset input to PolySplice

Reseters.vcv (8.1 KB)