Venom Release Announcements: latest version 2.8.0

Index of release announcements

Venom 2.8.0 Release

I am very proud and excited to announce the release of Venom version 2.8, with 6 new modules, as well as some nice enhancements to existing modules.

VCO Lab documentation link

I think I am most excited about this module. It is a beast of a module for sound design that has surpassed my expectations. It is also great for creating emulations of complex oscillators or prototyping oscillator ideas.

Here is a brief summary of features from the manual. But you can’t appreciate the possibilities until you start combining modulations in ways you haven’t been able to do with other oscillators.

  • Modes for audio, low frequency, and 0 Hz carrier linear FM
  • The audio and low frequency modes can also be setup for triggered, retriggered, or gated one shot mode
  • The triggered one shot mode can generate the undertone/subharmonic series
  • Oversampling options to control aliasing
  • Simultaneous outputs for Sine, Triangle, Square, and Saw waveforms, plus a highly configurable Mix
  • Each waveform has controls/inputs for shape, phase, offset, and level
  • The mix also has controls/inputs for shape (saturation or folding), global phase, offset, and level
  • All inputs can be driven at audio rates, and nearly all can be oversampled
  • All inputs support polyphony
  • Bipolar level controls can be used as traditional VCAs, or for amplitude or ring modulation.
  • Independent controls/inputs for exponential FM and true linear through 0 FM
  • Linear FM input defaults to AC coupled, with an option for DC coupled
  • Audio rate modulation of phase provides functionality often incorrectly referred to as through 0 linear FM.
  • Independent inputs for hard sync (reset phase to 0), and soft sync (reverse waveform)
  • Octave control
  • Square pulse width range can be 0-100% or 3-97%
  • Optional DC offset removal for the outputs

Be on the lookout for an Omri video featuring this oscillator on July 8. I will post a link once it is available. Update: Here it is

In the mean time, here are a couple demo patches I have created.

Sound Cathedral

I love the constantly shifting overtones and timbres. All the sound is coming from the polyphonic Mix output of one VCO Lab, with no filtering or any other effect other than Galactic reverb courtesy of AirWindows. The most unusual aspect of this patch is the simultaneous use of both hard and soft sync, the latter driven at half the rate of the other. The soft sync provides the delicious bass tones. The other modulations are:

  • Fold amount via Mix Shape
  • Phase relationship of the VCO core vs Sync via Mix (Global) Phase
  • Phase relationship of Sine and Square relative to the other waveforms via Sin and Sqr Phase
  • Level of Square via Sqr Level

Venom VCO Lab - Sound Cathedral.vcv (5.1 KB)

Unison Undertone Melody

This features a really unique capability of VCO Lab - the Triggered One Shot mode that generates a single complex waveform cycle for each audio rate trigger received at the Sync input. In this mode it cannot retrigger until the previous cycle is complete. When the VCO Lab frequency is lower than the trigger frequency, it forces the VCO to produce an effective wave length at an integral multiple of the triggering wave length - in other words, the undertone or sub-harmonic series! The high pitched detuned unison sine from the upper left VCO is the trigger. The base frequency of the upper right VCO is modulated to give a constantly changing undertone melody without the need of any quantizer. The modulation of the Mix (Global) Phase produces a nice PWM like effect. The lower VCO provides three LFO frequencies, one to clock the sequencer, and the other two for all the modulation.

Venom VCO Lab - Unison Undertone Melody.vcv (7.7 KB)

Patch Bay Modules - Bay Input, Bay Output, and Bay Norm documentation link

I am almost as excited about these modules as the VCO - I have been dreaming of them for years. They are very similar to the Little Utils Teleport modules, except for two very important features:

  • User defined labels for each of the ports
  • The Bay Norm provides a normal input for when the user has not patched the input on the paired Bay Input.

One other nice feature is the ability to copy and paste (or import) a selection set with paired Bay modules, and the correct pairing is preserved. No need for an extra module like Stoermelder’s Strip++.

Combining the Venom Bay modules with MindMeld PatchMaster allows the creation of hardware emulations with really slick user interfaces that can be totally isolated from the messy guts of the emulator. Note that PatchMaster still requires Strip++ to preserve its mappings when pasting or inserting.

Below are a couple examples where I update some older emulations of mine to use the Bay Modules.

This last patch uses stacked inputs on the V/Oct Returns in the patch bay, so it requires Rack 2.5.2. It is also large and CPU intensive, so some machines may struggle to run it.

Bypass documentation link and Blocker documentation link

The Bypass module can bypass (disable) one or more modules by button press or CV, very similar to the Stoermelder Strip module. The key differences are

  • Bypass can can remotely disable one or more sets of modules
  • Target modules are selected simply by patching a cable to them. There is an option to bypass only the module at the other end, or include modules to the left, or right, or both

Both Venom Bypass and Stoermelder Strip use the VCV expander mechanism to identify adjacent modules to be bypassed.

The new Venom Blocker module can be used to block expansion, so that you no longer need to leave gaps between modules to specify how many to bypass when using Venom Bypass or Stoermelder Strip. It is also works well as a 1hp blank.

Enhancements

Be sure to check out these enhancements (details in the documentation)

  • Benjolin Oscillator
    • Minor reduction in CPU usage
  • Knob 5
    • New quantize options: Off, Integers, Semitones
    • New display unit options: Volts, Cents
    • Reduced CPU usage
  • Linear Beats
    • Save toggle CV context menu option with patch
  • Mix Aux Send Expander
    • Add a chain option for use when VCA mixers are chained
  • Poly Offset
    • New quantize options: Off, Integers, Semitones
    • New display unit options: Volts, Cents
    • BREAKING CHANGE: mono input now cloned to match selected channel count
  • Poly Scale
    • New output channel count option
    • Mono input cloned to match selected channel count
  • Shaped VCA
    • Allow exponential shape output to be bipolar in bipolar VCA mode
    • Added additional VCA modes to better work with +/- 5V inputs with shaping
    • Changed Bias knob to bipolar +/- 5V instead of unipolar 0-5V
    • Modified context menu options for backward compatibility

I especially encourage you to look at the documentation for the (stereo) Shaped VCA. It includes instructions for a number of use cases that are not available to most VCAs

30 Likes

thank you very much for this great update,
I will try to explore the VCO LAB asap

1 Like

This oscillator looks like a beast, I only had a few minutes to play with it and already I am in love. I like how it has a lot of different takes on waveshaping, and so many simultaneous outputs. I don’t know why but it has a Tides V2 meets Pigeon Plink vibe for me, which is awesome in my book.

Also 0Hz carrier mode is SUPER welcome !!

My new FM operator crush !!

3 Likes

Music to my ears - Thanks!

That’s quite the release Dave, thanks!

VCO Lab looks very interesting…

Oh my! That’s one interesting and spooky patch. Sounds like a buried ghost chant in the background. Very unusual and interesting.

More interesting timbres, good stuff.

1 Like

hello, thank you for these great modules. Wonderful! But loading the [quote=“DaveVenom, post:1, topic:22411”] Venom VCO Lab - Unison Undertone Melody.vcv [/quote] crashes my Rack. Is it possible, that your update and patches only run with Rack 2.5.1 or 2.5.2? I am using 2.4.1 Karl

What’s the reason you don’t update to 2.5.2? It’s performance is near identical to 2.4.1 and the crash sounds like a new feature in 2.5.2, namely stacked input cables.

2.4.1 here, no crash on windows

I still can’t update, have an exam/show in 10 days and I can’t afford my patches not to work in the DAW :crossed_fingers:

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Oh no - I don’t like the sound of that!

Generally my sentiment as well. However, I can’t find any stacked inputs in that patch, so that can’t be the cause. I’m not aware of any other Rack 2.5 dependencies, so the crash concerns me.

@karlderletzte - What platform and sample rate are you running? Can you post a log file after the crash? Does it reliably crash? What about the Sound Cathedral patch - does that crash as well?

the patch Sound Cathedral works. here is the log file after try to load Unison… log.txt (129.7 KB)

i am running on Linux Ubuntu 23.10 samplerate 48khz buffersize 1024 or 256. hope it helps

the other patches are working.

uups i restart and delete cache. now Unison loads correrctly, but Solar 42 v2.1 Gentle Ambient is crashing. here is the logfile. log.txt (42.5 KB) hope it helps and sorry for the trouble.

OK, I think I mostly understand what is happening. VCV is crashing when you have loaded a patch using a Venom expander, and then try to load another patch.

Prior to Rack 2.5, VCV had a bug in the expander implementation that could cause VCV to crash when a Venom expander module is deleted. That is what happens when you load a new patch - the old patch must first be removed, which includes deleting the Venom expanders.

In Venom 2.7 I introduced a hack to work around the bug, and at least in my testing, it prevented crashes. Then in Rack 2.5.x VCV fixed the bug, so in my Venom 2.8 I kept the hack in place, but disable it if Rack is 2.5 or above.

I don’t know if I have a bug in my hack disable code, or if my original hack was not as good as I thought it was. Either way, I am pretty sure the crashes you are seeing will disappear once you update Rack to 2.5.2.

In the mean time, as long as you continue to use Rack 2.4.1, you can expect to see crashes when deleting Venom Expanders (either directly or via loading another patch). But after the crash, when you relaunch and VCV asks if you want to clear your patch and start over, say yes. I think then you will be able to load your next patch.

2 Likes

hello, thank you for the explanation. I update Rack to 2.5.2 and now it works. There was a missing modules from ShaBang. After install it, the patch works. Wonderful! Now i will try a third attempt to understand Solar42. Until now i do not get any sound out of it from a naked patch. I think, i have to patch the patchbay to let it sound :slight_smile:

1 Like

No - you only have to enable an oscillator in at least one of the voices, and also set the mix for that voice to non-zero. If you are interested in creating your own patch with the emulator, then definitely read the ELTA documentation and/or watch some videos about the hardware. That, plus the documentation built into the emulator should be enough to get you going.

Yay - It is here, and I am so grateful…

You can now watch Omri’s video about the VCO Lab. I even learned some things!

Thank you so much Omri!

15 Likes

I just started toying with VCO Lab and it just is wonderful and unique to have in one module. Superb design!!

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Thank you! That is wonderful to hear.

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VCO Lab is seriously impressive Dave - great job!

2 Likes

Great job, Dave! My mind boggles at the work that went into making VCO Lab, and the creative insight to provide so many different ways to apply modulation and feedback into the waveform. I was recently thinking about how to include a simple VCO as a component inside a module I want to create. VCO Lab gives me a wonderful playground to prototype ideas.

1 Like