VCV Poly: ideas for a new standard polyphonic utilities plugin

(Adam) #22

Selector: CV-controlled selection of 1 signal from a polyphonic input.

Inputs: 1 polyphonic signal input, 1 CV controlling which signal is output
Outputs: 1 monophonic signal output
Knobs: 1 manual signal selector. Attenuverter & offset knobs for the CV input would be useful.
Displays: numerical display showing which signal is currently selected
More complicated options:

  • a “fade” adjustment knob like VCV Router’s. When this parameter is low, only 1 signal is output. When the parameter is high, the output is some sort of a mix of the selected signal and its adjacent signals
  • Number-of-channels-maximum: What I’m thinking here is also identical to Router’s “steps” control (If I’m remembering correctly)

(Andrew Belt) #23

If you explain your idea in detail, I can entertain it for VCV Poly, but currently my understanding is that it doesn’t follow the guidelines for the plugin in this thread’s original post.

(Andrew Belt) #24

Thanks for being on topic. :slight_smile: I can’t think of a reasonable purpose of the modules you mentioned though. Since N is usually set by the user in one location (e.g. in the context menu of MIDI-CV, a sequencer, a mixer), a channel counter would usually give just a fixed voltage. Also, integer-valued signals aren’t too useful in modular synths.

I can’t really imagine a purpose of Splitter for voice polyphony, since voices are usually mapped arbitrarily, and their order is meaningless.

(Andrew Belt) #25

Hmm, perhaps. What’s a use case for this?

(Jonathan Moore1) #26

To be clear, I’ve purposely been thinking of performance related utilities. These may seem off topic in terms of the specification you’ve laid out in your ‘How polyphonic cables will work in Rack v1]’ post.

One of the reasons I always admired Buchla modular designs so much (from afar, I could never come to terms with the financial outlay) was that performance was always a key consideration. The points I’ve been raising are more things to consider. Whilst Midi 1.0 was very much 0-127 ranges. MPE has already changed that, so when considering things like e.g splits & response curves, I’m very much thinking their CV parallel. The manner in which those splits and control curves are initiated could be based off MPE performance input or CV thresholds at arbitrary points within the patch.

I took the thread title of “VCV Poly: ideas for a new standard polyphonic utilities plugin” at face value - idea generation from the community. Not an engineering-led distillation of what might be possible within the Polyphonic Cables specification.

My bad.

(Adam) #27

(polyphonic cable with multiple trigger patterns) —> Selector —> Bass drum
Selector could be used to provide random access to each of the patterns.

It could be similarly used for selecting between multiple CV sequences, or audio sources. In general I see this as being very similar to a sequential switch but providing random-access rather than sequential access.


so is a ploy cable in the first place IMO, but I get your point :wink:

(Andrew Belt) #29

Poly cables are fully modular. A few Eurorack concepts exist, but since it’s so expensive, the concept never really took off. Actually, the point of VCV Poly is to improve the modularity of poly cables by allowing full control over the pipelining of the multiple cores of the cable.


idea: A Poly analoger module:

  • 1 Poly in
  • 1 Poly out
  • 1 knob “amp spread” that will offset each signal amp (usefull to detune v/oct or filters)
  • 1 knob 50/60 Hz Noise that will add background noise into the signal - different noise for each channel
  • 1 switch 50/60Hz to determine the source of noise
  • 1 switch mono to unison
  • 1 knob “number of voices”

If the input is plugged in, this module process the poly signal

If the input is not pluged in, the module will generate Nch 0V signal and process it (number of voices to be defined by the knob). This way it can be just loaded and plugged on any poly mod input of any parameter to add some analog mess.

If a mono (or poly) signal is sent and the unsion switch is on: the module will only listen the first voice and duplicate it on N others chanels (number of voices to be defined by the knob) , and then process each signal, to create fat unison lead.

It might be a good way to make everyone happy on the question “should the poly modules process all voices the same way of introduce slight variations, if yes, how much?”… If you want some analog style processing, just pass your poly cv into the poly analoger

(Andrew Belt) #31

This could be realized as a monophonic module, so it wouldn’t belong in VCV Poly.


If a 1 knob multi voices spreader or a mono to poly unison effect can be made in monoI guess I really don’t understand VCV poly after all :slight_smile:

(Andrew Belt) #33

Channels are processed independently in your idea, so it is the straightforward generalization of a module that applies a random (but slowly moving) offset to a single signal.

I’m looking for modules that people will need later that have dependence/crosstalk between different channels. @Eurikon gets the idea, since he suggested a “rotator”, which performs output[n] = input[(n+k)\%N]. Note the channel-dependence. Channel-independence would look like output[n] = f(input[n]). Note the lack of dependence on channel n with any other channels.

(David Rodriguez) #34

polyphonic ADSR and VCA?
to build a kind of additive synth , multiples mono inputs and one polyphonic output


Thanks for your answer, I think I get it better. There wont be any crosstalk between channels indeed (even though we could imagine FM in between channels) more like a dependance is the spread voices function were the amoung of amp to the signal would depend on the number of the channel (signal on chanel1 would have no offest, signal on chanel 16 would have maximum offset, all the other channel would have in between values).

(Andrew Belt) #36

Same thing as above. I’ll just extend Fundamental ADSR and the VCAs to support polyphony, and other developers of similar modules should do that same.

(Andrew Belt) #37

You could actually do that using a hypothetical “indexer” module that generates a fixed output output[n] = nV with the signal chain


(Jonathan Moore1) #38

Hi Andrew, I’m just trying to get my head around your future plans for polyphonic from a performance perspective. Both Softube Modular and Cherry Voltage modular have existing ‘core’ modules that help facilitate a ‘paraphonic’ style approach to chord voicings (the Quadraphonic Midi to CV and Quad offset modules in the case of Softube, Cherry Voltage have their equivalents) and both have Roli Seaboard interfaces (a core module with Softube and a $10 addon for Cherry Voltage). I know from my conversations with Softube that they very much see these modules as starting points for true polyphony and rich MPE modulation.

With a brief bit of Googling, I’ve found what appears to be an abandoned attempt to support MPE via Roli but there appears to be little else along these avenues.

From my position here on the sidelines as an artist/user, it appears that Softube Modular and Cherry Audio appear to have the edge in terms of polyphonic performance. From our interaction yesterday I was left with the impression that your plans are skewed towards generative polyphonic patching over performance biased patching. I include programming of performance under the polyphonic performance subject area (I’m a shoddy keyboard player at best!).

My intention with this post isn’t to be proactively challenging. I’m just looking for clarity with regards to the future plans with regard to modular polyphonic performance with VCV.

The plans from a jack point/cable perspective appear similar to the Cherry Voltage Modular implementation, but I’ve not read anything relating to polyphonic performance.

From my own subjective viewpoint, Cherry Voltage Modular may currently lead with regard to polyphonic patching capabilities but the sounds it produces aren’t up to scratch when compared with VCV and Softube Modular.

Links relating to this discussion point:

(Andrew Belt) #39

I believe I’ve defined the goal of the VCV Poly plugin well enough in the edit in the OP and in VCV Poly: ideas for a new standard polyphonic utilities plugin, but ask if you have any further specific questions.

(Jonathan Moore1) #40

I’ve read both the OP and all the topics (inclusive of links) and I’m still left with the impression that ‘polyphonic performance’ isn’t a core consideration. What’s being discussed is the mechanics of the implementation and possible utilities relating to this implementation.

My POV is that you need to consider various ‘performance’ scenarios whilst specifying the polyphonic implementation and its ancillary utilities. And as I’ve mentioned in previous post I don’t just mean traditional keyboard performance and MPE is far wider than Roli.

Don’t worry I won’t press any further, but I did consider it important enough to raise the subject again, if for no other reason than to clarify my intentions.

(Andrew Belt) #41

Is it, don’t worry about it.