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Modular VSTs
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Software Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next [all]
Author Modular VSTs
cygnus
Are there any free or cheap modular synth VSTs? I'm trying to decide if I should build a modular or buy an MS-20 Mini.
fac
Not sure what's your limit for a softsynth to be considered cheap, but if I were to buy a modular softie, I'd get VAZ Modular. It costs less than $200 (which is not that expensive), and it only works under Windows, but it sounds great IMO.

More or less around the same price is Audiomulch. Not exactly a modular synth, but it's a modular enviroment with lots of interesting modules (or contraptions, as they are called). It's more oriented towards audio work than typical MIDI sequencing, but that's what makes it interesting. You can also load your own VST's as contraptions inside Audiomulch.

And, if you have plenty of time and patience, and don't want to spend a cent, check out PureData (Max/MSP clone). It has a steep learning curve, but it can be very powerful and will teach you a lot about DSP.

Last but not least, there is the free demo of the Nord Modular G2. It doesn't have all the modules of a real G2, and it's monophonic. But it will give you a pretty good taste of modular synthesis and you can always sample the sounds and use them, for example, in VAZ, Audiomulch, or PureData.


EDIT.- I see now you were asking for modular VST's. Of all my suggestions, only VAZ Modular comes in VST form. The others are standalone enviroments.
cygnus
fac wrote:
Last but not least, there is the free demo of the Nord Modular G2. It doesn't have all the modules of a real G2, and it's monophonic. But it will give you a pretty good taste of modular synthesis and you can always sample the sounds and use them, for example, in VAZ, Audiomulch, or PureData.


EDIT.- I see now you were asking for modular VST's. Of all my suggestions, only VAZ Modular comes in VST form. The others are standalone enviroments.

I just tried the Nord, it sounds very good (except the filter). Much better than the Arturia Modular V.
stk
Karma FX modular is Cheap and awesome, check it out.

http://karmafx.net/?id=1
talfred
For a nord modular inspired modular softsynth, try sonigen:

http://sonigen.com/
talfred
And plogue bidule, that one's really good:

http://www.plogue.com/products/bidule/


It's $95. Not bad for what you get..
stk
Lately I've been using Console (basically a Modular vst plugin chainer) to build softsynth patches to integrate with my hardware modular. Controlling Drumatic & Kontakt via CV and pumping the results back into the modular == SlayerBadger!
chinard
Aalto!!!!
steampoweredsequencer
I've had pretty vast weird sound out of the arp2600v except some patchings break the plugin and preset
neilbaldwin
Aalto! It's incredible. I was going to add 'for the money' but that makes it sound a bit cheap. Which it is, in terms of cost. But it isn't in terms of sound!

hihi
chamomileshark
I would check out what people mean by "modular" in the soft synth world - to some it means things like Reaktor which is not like a hardware modular.

I'd see if you can find a cheap s/h copy of Arturia's Modular Moog - that will help you understand basic East Coast modulars.
Drumdrumdrumdrum
Take a pic of your modular and send it to U-he and they will give you $50 off Zebra, making it only $150. That's dam cheap for the best sounding VI I have ever heard. (And it is modular)
Etan
Sadly, but the only "real" software modular was Nord Modular g2 for me. Such an amazing synth. I wish there was something even just close to it.

There is also SCOPE modular, tha but its damn expensive since it runs only with Sonic Core hardware.

Sonigen could be nice but it really lacks modulation inputs for parameters.

The only thing that comes close to the real modular in software realm is probably collection or macros for Reaktor called Ampere modular.
It includes audio rate modulation for certain parameters and quite a diverse selection of modules. But the work flow is not anywhere near Nord Modular.

Also check out Beap modular https://github.com/stretta/BEAP/wiki
Its a collection of max patches which mimics the Eurorack +/-5 volt signal standard.
I still have to try it out but it looks very promising if you are max/msp user. You dont have to buy max for using it since it works with runtime version of max/msp but you cant edit the patches.

But Im still hoping something like NMG2 will pop out eventually...
digidennis
U-he Bazille download is here
stk
Etan wrote:
The only thing that comes close to the real modular in software realm


I'm curious, what are your requirements for a "real" software modular?

Some of the software mentioned above is at least as modular as my modular..
stk
double
Etan
stk wrote:
Etan wrote:
The only thing that comes close to the real modular in software realm


I'm curious, what are your requirements for a "real" software modular?

Some of the software mentioned above is at least as modular as my modular..


For me it comes down to be able to control each parameter with control signal, visible patch cord which you can simply drag, audio rate modulations...
Also the choice of modules is quite limited with these modern software modular synths. I miss multiplexers, VC envelopes, switches, crossfaders, sequencers modules with clock inputs, clock dividers and so on.

The software modulars Ive tried (apart from ampere to a certain degree) just dont offer that.
Sure you can patch some more simple stuff but to be able to do it like it is possible with nord modular, where you simply drag visible patch cords and thus really easily and intuitively create complex signal flow very much like what you can do with a hardware modular synth.

This is a quite personal judgement I guess but working with nord modular really felt like your working with the real thing (and the sound was awesome).
I just cant get into this feeling with all this multiple views in reaktor and simple modules in Sonigen. KarmaFX which you have mentioned comes close to that, but still doesnt offer all the freedom you have with Nord Modular or with the real thing.

Sorry if this was a bit one sided view, of course you have many excellent software modular environments, that can do some really complex and nice sounding stuff but Im just not able to enjoy them like I did NMG2 (which Ive sold very frustrating ) or my eurorack.

I really miss noodling and those big self generative patches I was doing with NMG2, crossmodulations, FM of various parameters, complex sequencing and things like that.
That is just not possible with any of the mentioned software modulars except in a max or reaktor to a certain degree but in a much less fun and playful and much more time consuming way since they both work more like a programming languages instead of modular synths.
stk
Of course - I was/am genuinely interested in your view, wasn't taking a shot at all.

I too really like the Nord (G1, in my case) - I love the sound of some of its modules (the complex oscillator and wavefolder in particular totally take me to Buchlaville).

Purely software-wise, I think Reaktor is great, although I agree with the interface problems, and also some under the hood ones (separation of "events" and audio/cv muddies the waters). If they implemented front-panel patching, well that would rule.

Going back to the OP, the original question was about getting a taste of modular synthesis on a budget, rather than a "what's the best plugin modular?" endgame.

With this in mind, I would recommend grabbing the G2 demo because it's free. And possibly Synthedit, also, for its "everything is a voltage" approach, which most closely approximates the real world of modular.
Unfortunately SE restarts the audio engine every time a patch change is made, but it's still good for learning.
archerofloaf
Drumdrumdrumdrum wrote:
Take a pic of your modular and send it to U-he and they will give you $50 off Zebra, making it only $150. That's dam cheap for the best sounding VI I have ever heard. (And it is modular)


Love love love Zebra 2. Such an amazing soft synth, and by far the best money I've ever spent on a software instrument. Deep, easy to program and sounds wonderful. Although I haven't touched a soft synth in almost 2 months, when I get back to recording my own material again I'll be using the hell out of it for moving pads & whatnot.
fac
@Etan: Have you used VAZ Modular? It has a very good module selection (with lots of parameter modulation, including all of those you mention), sounds pretty good (IMO), is very straightforward, and the only thing missing is virtual patch cables (patch connections are made by selecting an output from a menu for each input), but instead of patch cables you get an uncluttered view where the signal flow is very easy to follow or backtrack.
Etan
stk wrote:

Purely software-wise, I think Reaktor is great, although I agree with the interface problems, and also some under the hood ones (separation of "events" and audio/cv muddies the waters). If they implemented front-panel patching, well that would rule.


oh yeah, I would be all over Reaktor then. Handling events and timing in reaktor is really tedious job.

stk wrote:
Going back to the OP, the original question was about getting a taste of modular synthesis on a budget, rather than a "what's the best plugin modular?" endgame.

With this in mind, I would recommend grabbing the G2 demo because it's free.


+1 for G2 demo and also Bazzile modular which was mentioned above.

There is also quite nice patch in reaktor library which emulates dotcom modular: http://www.native-instruments.com/index.php?id=userlibrary&L=1&type=0& ulbr=1&plview=detail&patchid=8446
Etan
fac wrote:
@Etan: Have you used VAZ Modular? It has a very good module selection (with lots of parameter modulation, including all of those you mention), sounds pretty good (IMO), is very straightforward, and the only thing missing is virtual patch cables (patch connections are made by selecting an output from a menu for each input), but instead of patch cables you get an uncluttered view where the signal flow is very easy to follow.


no, havent tried it yet. It felt kinnda suspicious due to its look. But many thanks for the suggestion, I will try it out tomorrow for sure. I think I could live without patch cables if it offers extensive parameter modulation options and wide selection of modules and apparently it does judging by the quick look on youtube. Thanks!
stk
Many years ago I spend some time with VAZ and found it very capable.
It looks like it's straight out of he 90s because, well, it is!
megaohm
stk wrote:
Many years ago I spend some time with VAZ and found it very capable.
It looks like it's straight out of he 90s because, well, it is!


I have the cheaper VAZ+ synth. Probably the first music software I bought.
I still have the floppy disc I saved it on...
hihi
fac
megaohm wrote:

I have the cheaper VAZ+ synth. Probably the first music software I bought.
I still have the floppy disc I saved it on...
hihi


I also have VAZ+. Always wanted to buy VAZ Modular but I got into the Nord Modulars and then into real modulars, and couldn't justify another platform, but I'm always considering it.

Anyway, I rarely use softsynths these days, but when I do, VAZ+ is my go to synth.
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