Is there a module that even comes close to what Pam’s has got to offer? I’ve seen that Impromptu’s Clocked is usually referred to as an alternative, but it is missing lots of features. What do you guys use?
I realise that this would probably take a couple of different modules on VCV, but I am curious to see if we can get Pam’s features in the fewest amount of modules possible. What would you reccommend?
the Pamela I know use to teach math, perhaps a link or mention of the features you want to emulate?
I suspect all that functionality and more is already present in the many clocking type modules, with the benefit of having an interface that consists of more than a single encoder and one single button to dive your way through the extensive settings need to set Pam up. Obviously Pan’s interface is great for a hardware module of its size, however diving is needed.
something like this gives many of the features of Pam with room for expansion.
I’ve always seen Pamala’s Workout in people’s physical racks when I was struggling to afford modules, but by the time I could afford nice modules I was also already using VCV as my central clock source, and so I never dug into it. I’d be curious to hear what your favorite features are that you would like to see and be able to use in VCV.
I feel like VCV sits in an interesting space for UI. Like, there are the old unix maxims, that are modular and minimalist, which kind of state that a program should do one thing well, and then you can patch a number of those simple things together on the command-line. I found that really compelling as a design philosophy.
But then there’s the physical rack space, where actual real-world space is at a premium, so there’s a strong desire for a single module to do a lot of different things well and to be able to function smoothly in a large number of roles.
I feel like Pamela’s really hit that sweet spot for people, and that must be why it has been so widely adopted. But I’m very curious as to what those different roles were for different users.
Anyway, no worries if it’s difficult to describe, and I’ve always thought I could find the manual and, perhaps maybe deduce the magical combination that people love for myself. But I wondered if my modular journey has been too altered and strange to understand it properly.
Features of Pro workout as listed on the ALM site…
- BPM based clock with tempo rates 10-303BPM.
- Realtime intuitive EASY quick theme-able user interface with full color high resolution display.
- 8 Clocked voltage outputs each with independent adjustable;
- Clock divisors and multipliers from /16384 to x192 including various non integer factors.
- Numerous waveform types from staples to envelopes to ratchets to random.
- Waveform level, offset, phase, slew control.
- Extensive Euclidean,probability and beat based looping for pattern creation
- Cross output modulation.
- Off grid ’Flex’ microtiming for swing, human and bouncing ball type timing effects.
- All output parameters assignable up to x4 built in CV inputs with individual offset, attenuation and monitoring.
- Support for the ‘Axon-1’ expander to add an additional 4 CV inputs.
- New supported output expanders coming soon
- Per output and group instant saving and loading to 7 banks (56 slots).
- All settings remain between power cycles.
- Voltage and direct control of clock stop/start, reset and rate.
All of which functionality can be provided by combining a bunch of other VCV Rack modules, but not currently tied together in one module. I would like to see it in VCV Rack just to be able to build patches that are closer to my physical hardware so I can testbed ideas virtually.
I’d argue ShapeMaster Pro is probably the closest single module to Pam’s in Rack in terms of functionality. It can do most if not all of the things on main.tenant’s list above plus quite a lot more.
Feed it a 48ppqn external clock and you can multiply and divide from 1/128 to 128 bars. But you don’t need an external clock, you can use one channel as the master clock for all the others… external clock is better if you want a BPM display though.
Put Clocked and SM Pro together and you have Pam’s on steroids.
Clocked with uGraph and a couple of Surge XT Quad LFOs would get you quite a long way too though.
Maybe this will be of interest to you and others on the thread? I tried to recreate the functionality of PNW with all free modules - aside from a few features, I think this comes pretty close? The patch is available here: Pamela's New Workout Recreation | Patchstorage
Pam’s is now in the library!
The ALM bundle pricing seems very odd. It suggests the price is $55 but because I own all the other ALM products other than Pam’s Pro and Axon-2 I can get a whole five bucks off at $50. When the two modules I don’t have are listed at $20.
The discount is for everyone — it means “buying all of these modules individually would cost $55 but if you buy the bundle you only pay $50”
Oh ok, wasn’t clear. Thanks.
Has anyone figured out how to sync VCV PPW to an external primary clock (e.g. Impromptu Clocked)? I’ve tried a bunch of different things, but I can’t get PPW to consistently sync. Thanks.
I didn’t get much joy linking it to CLOCKED, it was consistently jittery and out of sync at a slightly lower BPM than CLOCKED was pushing, but I am using the VST via a DAW so I did get better sync when I linked the CLK out on MIDI->CV to the Clk input on Pam’s Pro
Edit: I just tried again with CLOCKED. If you take one of the lower outputs e.g. CLK3 and set it to Ratio x48 you can then take that out to the Clk input on Pam’s Pro and if you right click and select show output = BPM and Screen Select = Params then you can drag the encoder to set Ext Clock PPQN to x48 and it’s as stable as it gets via the MIDI->CV method I mentioned above. I can still see it fluctuate a little but for a 120 BPM input it now only fluctuates visually between 119 and 121 and not, say 119 and 126.
FWIW I have my setup like below. I don’t know if there’s a better recommended way of handling Run/Stop syncing with the DAW but the binary gate method seemed to work for me.
Actually better way to sync with CLOCKED as it doesn’t use up an output. Right click on CLOCKED and make sure that “BPM out is CV when ext sync” is unticked then use BPM out into Pam’s Pro and set the input for the clock to Ext clock PPQN x24.
This works fine and I just realised it is really stable provided I don’t try and externally sync CLOCKED with the DAW via MIDI->CV as it is that introducing the visual jitter I was seeing.
This is stable for me…
…this is using CLOCKED as the main source so toggling RUN on the CLOCKED toggles Start/Stop on Pam’s Pro.
Edit: I don’t know if there’s a bug in Pam’s or not, but the behaviour of Pam’s Pro picking up the tempo via BPM out from CLOCKED seems inconsistent. It was working fine for me one minute then not the next. Dedicating one of CLOCKED’s outputs to send, say x24, does work all the time even if there’s some minor fluctuations.
I suppose what this highlighted for me is a need for a more stable clock if I try and sync to my DAW.
I may need to try some different techniques out to find something better than the MIDI->CV method I was using.
Thanks for looking into this! Yeah, the gate on the Run input needs to stay high, so the binary gate works well.
The last example you show – does it stay synced if you change the BPM on Clocked to something other than 120? If I replicate your setup and I change the Clocked BPM, PPW stays at 120.
I can get PPW to change tempo to match Clocked if I send the 24x CLK1 from Clocked into CLK on PPW. But the clock outputs are not syncing consistently. Have you tested the sync with two different drum hits or on a scope?
Not yet, but yes I suspect the clock is drifting in and out of sync. Because I personally don’t tend to want to make pieces of music with more than one time signature (on purpose), ideally I would look for a more robust way to ensure everything matches up and that may mean utilising an external hardware clock to sync up with is a better bet.
Need to do more testing, but the easiest way i’ve found to sync to PPW to Clocked is by following settings on PPW.
–Set the Input Clock to Clock
–Set the Input Run to Reset
–Set Clock rate to x1 not x24
–Connect Clock out from Clocked to PPW Clock Input
–Don’t connect anything to PPW Run Inputs
When I did this, start/stop from Clocked to PPW is working fine as is running Clocked outputs at different rates.
Sorry ALM your module ui for the VCV port is garbage.
Why not improve the UI for this? so many improvements could be made. instead it feels like a lower class version of the real module.
There isn’t a proper way to control it via external midi either. All of it could be done with a bit of creativity. instead you basically ported it over and then rely on the right click menu to do anything meaningful.
This will be going into the bin of paid unused modules along with MFX simply because of the UI.