Dave Venom Music - Latest: My belated first foray into Orca's Heart

Cool - I just now read those comments as well. Before I had just watched the replay, ignoring the comments, and Kristen had pushed your first comment into the live stream.

I was very disappointed I was unable to play that bad boy flute the way I wanted. I was playing through two Surge XT Treemonsters - one down 1 octave, the other 2 octaves. Natively the flute’s fundamental is B2. So with Surge it was playing B0 and B1 - a totally killer sound. Solo it was sounding great before the broadcast, but in that basement and with the other instruments it just became mud. Plus I think I was getting destructive interference in my corner of the basement, making it even harder for me to hear. So I quickly gave up and switched to the djembe.

Someday I may make a video showing how the flute is constructed. The design borrows some ideas from others, and then I throw my own tweaks to get more power from the flute.

I used the following for design inspiration:

But that design has much too small a sound hole for my taste - it chokes off the sound. For my sound hole I wanted 1" wide and 1/2" tall, which required a significant design change. I cannot simply shave off just the inner tube for the flue and get that width.

My flute head has a 1.5" coupler and a 3" coupler acting as outer sleeves, with a ~2.25" long inner section mating them together. The sound hole is cut through both the lower coupler and the inner tube, giving me much more thickness to work with. For the flue I not only shaved off the top of the inner tube, but also took away material from the inside of the coupler. And the fipple is angled on both the outer and inner surfaces - shallow on the outside, steep on the inside. It ends up looking more like a pipe organ.

The bocal construction is basically as Blue Bear shows, and I also used a test cap to divide the slow air chamber from the body of the flute as he shows.

Of course my finger holes are totally different - lots of educated guesswork and undercutting. The holes are so far spread apart I must use both thumbs, plus my index and ring fingers, with huge offsets to match the curve of my hand.

I don’t know how I would have made the flute without my Dremmel.

Somehow I managed to make it all work my first try (though I did fill in some finger holes and re-drill a few times until I got the tuning right). I haven’t made another one since.

I had dreams of a more massive flute one octave lower, using 3" PVC. The flute head turned out fantastic - it provided a gorgeous powerful tone with a 4 foot pipe body. But when I add pipe to the desired length it just becomes too much air to move. By the time the sound stabilizes, I am out of breath. So I gave up on that design.


That sounds pretty much identical to my methodology, including the inspiration video. I came close, but in trying to fine-tune it to actually sound like a scale, I was spending more and more time on it and not getting the desired outcome. I thought yours sounded pretty cool, but I can understand it being a difficult space to play in, especially if you’re not hearing it sound good so you start second-guessing yourself.

I have a considerable backlog of performances I’d like to clean up and post. Here is a start - Halloween Waltz from the October 31, 2022 VOM. I love the melody, and I think the patch is really cool. It features a number of VCV Fundamental Constructs using Rack 2 modules. Of particular note is a hybrid polyphonic Attack Decay Envelope Generator, Voltage Controlled Amplifier, and Wave Shaper - all constructed from a WT LFO (Wave Table Low Frequency Oscillator) using a morphing saw to triangle to ramp wave table from Jens Peter Nielson

The patch does not have any traditional envelope generator, or VCA, or delay, or reverb - yet I think it sounds really lush and dynamic.

The patch below randomly alternates the number of note repeats between 2, 3, or 4. But for the performance I forced the patch to always play triplets - I thought that worked better with my flute improvisation.

I also created a long tutorial video showing how I constructed the hybrid AD EG / VCA / Wave Shaper.

And I created standalone selections using the WT LFO that can easily be included in your own patch.

I don’t know of any single module that can create the same effect. The Audible Instruments Tidal Modulator can do something similar, but the Slope modulation input uses a slow sample rate, so the resulting sound is much coarser. Perhaps the Shape Master Pro might be able to also do something similar.

I have begun creating my own plugin, and hope to create a dedicated module to implement this technique. But that will not be available for the initial release.

I also hope to soon start a new Fundamental Constructs post that features new constructs that use the new Rack 2 Fundamental Modules. This performance includes three new constructs. Just too damn much to do, and not enough time…


Here are two songs I performed using my updated emulation of the Xaos Devices Sofia oscillator

Sofia on a Sunny Day

Sofia After Dark


Well here is something different than everything else I have posted. I’ve been performing with Kate “Pen Bleeds” Buckholdt - a spoken word artist that raps to various beats. I accompany her with my flutes and or djembe, and on a few songs we have used one of my VCV Rack patches.

This last Sunday we appeared on Jon Patton’s “Midway Fair Sunday Matinee” stream. We didn’t use any of my patches this time, though I did do one solo synth and flute piece. So I’m pushing the boundary of VCV relevance a bit :shushing_face:

The video is timestamped for each song, in case you want to skip the copious amount of talking. We alternate performers, starting with Jon, then Kate and me, back to Jon, etc.

So if you are curious about some of the other music I do - here you go.


Here is a little composition using a prototype patch demonstrating ideas for a new Venom module - REFORMATION. The docB Formula One is a great help for testing out ideas.

The module will be functionally very similar to the Klavis FlexShaper, but with a very different layout, using sliders instead of knobs, plus two CV inputs with attenuators for each way point. It will also include saturating clipping with drive control independent from the output level control.


I’m a little late to the party - here I finally create an ambient piece featuring the wonderful Dark Energy complex oscillator with FM and ring modulation. This is also the first patch where I try out the Dawsome Love ambient FX plugin. Put it all together and you get some Dark Love Energy.


Ah man - why did you delete your post!?

I was just getting ready to reply - I love what you have done, combining a “light” Meander patch with the “dark energy”. I actually downloaded and further modified, and plan on doing a performance with flute soon.

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Hi Dave, I was afraid that I was off topic with my post. Here it is again. I’m glad you like it. I thought of you playing flute with it!

I hope you do not mind, but since I liked the dark energy of your patch so well, I decided to do a version that incorporates some light energy provided by Meander with everything using a pentatonic natural minor scale and quantizers. I used my ambient shimmer and reverb provided in the mixer Aux sends, rather than Dawsome Love FX plugin.

Dark-Energy-and-Light -with Meander-1.vcv (32.6 KB)

Is Dawsome Love just doing reverb here or anything else? I wasn’t at all impressed with the video on their website, but this sounds great!

I started a patch with Dark Energy and never finished/recorded it. I found it can make quite warm sounds but goes into harsh noise too easily, and only about 10-15% of the range on the controls was usable to my ears. I had to stick loads of extra attenuvertors (Bogaudio Offsets) on all the modulation, which was kind of annoying.

I’m liking the the scope patterns too, lovely work!

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Take a look at the PatchStorage post - You can see a snapshot of the Love settings, as well as a description: Delay + Clouds (Reverb) + a touch of Shimmer. I hardly spent any time tweaking Love - it immediately fell into a sound that I was very happy with, and I stopped my exploration. I suspect the sound could be taken many different directions with FX adjustments. I also briefly tried with Valhalla SuperMassive, and of course got good results with that as well.

I like the Bogaudio LFO and Walk as both have built in offset and scaling, obviating the need for additional attenuators.

Both audio rate FM and RM can easily generate harsh sounds on their own - it is the nature of the beast. Then combine them and it can get crazy fast!

One way to help reign in the chaos is to carefully control the frequency ratios used. That is why I chose to lead off with pentatonic minor for the autogenerated dynamic sequence used for the two oscillators - every note in the scale is harmonious with every other note. When I introduce audio rate frequency and ring modulation in Act III it still sounds pleasant to my ears. When I switch to harmonic minor for Act IV there are more dissonant pairings, which leads to harsher/darker FM/RM sounds.

For Acts I, II, V, and VI I always have one of the oscillators at LFO rate, so the FM/RM never gets harsh.

EDIT - Oh, I forgot one other important detail. Both FM and RM really benefit from band limited oversampling, and unfortunately Dark Energy does not implement oversampling. If you have a decent computer you can get a sense of the impact by creating a minimal patch with Dark Energy and a low pass filter and compare the results when running Rack at 48 kHz vs 192 kHz or higher. Something that sounds quite harsh at 48 kHz can sound quite beautiful at much higher sample rates. At 48 kHz it is very easy to generate harmonics above the Nyquist frequency that get reflected back into audio range below your filter cutoff. The aliased harmonics are typically inharmonic, which leads to harsher sounds. At 192 kHz and above you have much more frequency head room, so the aliasing is more likely to still be above your low pass filter cutoff, and you don’t hear it.

I’ve put in a request for oversampling at the Geodesics GitHub. But Marc is currently taking a break from module development, and may not ever get to implementing that feature.

I’ve got two flute performances stemming from my “Dark Love Energy” patch (since renamed to Dark Energy with Love). Both were performed during the 7/10 installment of the weekly Virtual Open Mic that I frequently attend.

This first one is simply the original patch plus flute. Unlike the 30 minute pure synth recording, I keep the oscillators within pentatonic minor throughout - I have limited time in the open mic format. Of course when ring modulation is thrown in, the scale becomes unrecognizable:

Ken derived a lovely patch from mine, adding a light serene voice driven by Meander to go along with my dark patch. Thanks @k-chaffin!

I then created yet another variation starting with his version, and used it as accompaniment for another flute improv. I simplified and shrank his patch significantly, but I believe I preserved the end result for his Meander voice. For the Dark Energy I modified the timing a bit, and restored the Dawsome Love FX.


I recently discovered the new All Electric SmartGrid plugin with the LameJuis module that takes 6 gate inputs combined with logic operations to choose intervals to stack and create interesting melodies (up to 3 related voices).

I had some fun with it, and then realized that my Venom Rhythm Explorer would work great if it could generate gates instead of triggers. So I enhanced Rhthym Explorer with options for 50% division gate width and 100% width.

I love the result of the updated Rhythm Explorer with LameJuis. Both RE and LJ are very “playable” and many interesting melodic lines can be discovered very quickly.

Here is a Virtual Open Mic performance pairing a Native American flute with a Rhythm Explorer/LameJuis patch.

As a bonus (having nothing to do with VCV), here is the 2nd piece from my set showcasing a beautiful drone flute


Here are two more long form ambient recordings (with patches) where I drive the new LameJuis with my updated RhythmExplorer.

The two patches are virtually identical, except the rhythmic one is clocked faster, and uses free delay and reverb. The more relaxed washed out form uses the premium HOST-FX module running Valhalla Supermassive. I used the SFX->Nebulae->Horsehead preset with the mix reduced to 90%.

Both patches use uncorrelated LFOs from OCHD to slowly modulate the RhythmExplorer division probabilities, so the rhythms and melodies constantly shift while still remaining coherent.

Rhythmic Ambience

LaMeJulS Rhythm Explorer Free Ambience.vcv (11.2 KB)

Slow Ambience

LaMeJulS Rhythm Explorer Slow Valhalla Ambience.vcv (11.8 KB)

This last patch was invaluable to me the past 10 days. I had a nasty viral infection that made it difficult to breath normally (not covid), and I was exhausted, but could not sleep soundly. This patch played virtually non-stop, dulling the sense of frustration.


This is gorgeous. Inspires me to load up your Rythym Explorer and try to wrap head around LaMeJuIs…


Go for it - there is lots of fun to be had!

LameJuis is a bit confusing until you get the hang of it, at which point it becomes fairly intuitive.

I am working with Joseph to design a more logical faceplate layout. But the mouse hover labels can help you get your bearings in the mean time.

The operation is fairly straight forward until you get to the Co-Mutes. Each voice performs 6 logic operations, each of which is associated with an interval (V/Oct). Without co-mutes, the logic is performed based on the 6 inputs and the 6 resultant intervals are summed into a final pitch - simple. But if there are co-mutes, then the muted input values are ignored and replaced by a permutation of all possible value combinations. For example, if there is one co-mute, then there are two permutations. Two co-mutes yields 4 permutations. Three co-mutes yields 8 permutations, etc. Each permutation is combined with the un-muted inputs across all 6 logic operations, and a final V/Oct pitch computed and stored in an array. This is repeated for each permutation. Once all permuted pitches are computed, the array is sorted, and then the “pitch percentile” knob selects one value from the array for that voice.

You don’t really have to understand how it works, but understanding may help you better choose how to arrange your logic, intervals, and co-mutes to get a musical result.

The only other thing I struggled with at first is how the output triggers are generated - it is buried in the documentation, and only mentioned once. Each time the output pitch changes, an output trigger is generated for that voice.

One other point - because it outputs triggers, you will likely need an AD envelope. If you want to use an ADSR you will need either an extremely short attack, or else you will need to convert the triggers into gates yourself.


Sounds great! And thats a good explanation of LJ. The co-mutes are weird, theyre hard enough to predict that you can just kind of think of em as a little oracle which produces (imo surprisingly decent) interlocked melodies by ignoring the values of certain inputs without ignoring the contribution of those inputs to the matrix. Or, if you sequence the percentile input, they say the amount of freedom that sequence gets.

I like how in this patch RE->LJ kind of gives a nice fresh take on the old marbles → quantizer “generatove ambient” sound. Imo its more “coherent”, as if it has an internal logic, but far from predictable. Very cool.

And yes, I admit this sounds better temperered lol. Dave convinced me to add a 12EDO mode.


Welcome to the VCV Community forum!



I have a couple new pieces

After collaborating with @joyofresh to create a new faceplate for LameJuis, I created this fun patch pairing Rhythm Explorer with LameJuis. The patch and a bit more info about it is available at LaMeJuIS gets a facelift, new features - #2 by DaveVenom

Then I was looking at the new VCV RSCL module and expressed how it would be cool if it included an oversampling option for use as a wave folder. Pyer had some doubts as to how worthwhile that would be. Well my Venom plugin can provide the same wave folding functionality by combining Recurse, WinComp, and Mix4. Importantly, WinComp includes the necessary oversampling option to exclude unwanted aliased frequencies introduced by wave folding. I prepared a demo showing the impact of oversampling at VCV Rescale, Random Values, Push, and S&H ASR - #12 by DaveVenom

I did some more experiments with the “Venom wave folder” construct, and came up with this cool EDM patch. The patch uses a beta version of my Venom plugin to get Pan, Mute, and Aux Send/Return expanders for my mixers. The core of the patch will still work with the current Venom 2.4.1 version in the library. But to reproduce the full sound you can get the beta version at https://github.com/DaveBenham/VenomModules/actions/runs/6440083780. I believe you will need a github account to access the download.

Wasp Venom Folding Beats.vcv (7.4 KB)