[LAD] Plugin 1/oct frequency controls (AMS/MCP/VCO)

David Robillard d at drobilla.net
Thu Aug 23 17:07:31 UTC 2012

On Thu, 2012-08-23 at 16:35 +0000, Fons Adriaensen wrote:
> On Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 12:06:06PM -0400, David Robillard wrote:
> > Well, it's not the end of the world, but it's certainly not very user
> > friendly.  In practice, most users are just going to connect one
> > "frequency" port to the other "frequency" port and expect the right
> > thing to happen (and likely not even understand that -0.75 is the magic
> > tuning number to make things in tune).
> You will probably disagree (so let's agree to disagree :-), but the
> user of a CV based synth, the real analog thing or an emulation,
> can be expected to know this. And if not, it's rather obvious what
> he's supposed to do, once he knows the function of the 'Tune' slider.

Well, my original intention was to simply define the unit as it
currently is and be on my merry way.  It is your arguments that have
convinced me this is a problem that needs solving :)

That said, yes, I am unashamedly aiming for ease of use (up until the
point where it hurts power) and certainly have no interest in emulating
so, uh, "faithfully" that you have to manually tune the thing!

Honestly, I have basically zero interest in blind emulation whatsoever.
Mine is a vision of a plugin-based modular, and the only goal is to make
it as good as possible.  More pleasant to use => more users => more
instruments and effects for everyone.

> > 1) The sink has port with designation 'frequency' port and unit Hz
> > 2) Does the source have a port with designation 'frequency'?
> > 2A) If yes, and the units match, great, connect them directly
> > 2B) If yes but the units don't match, connect them via a converter, if
> > one is available
> > 2C) Otherwise, and we don't have any specific knowledge about what to do
> > with 'frequency', just leave it at its current value
> That sort of thing can be very useful, but it's not what a user of
> a CV based synth would expect. It's rather what he wouldn't expect.

This was merely an example to illustrate why things are port based than
a suggestion of something a modular synth would force you to do.  It is
certainly useful (nearly mandatory) in non-modular hosts, but also
useful in a modular as an explicit operation the user can do (e.g.
wiring stereo by hand for every signal path is really cumbersome).  That
said, indeed, I do not currently implement this and it is all 'manual'

Really, all I am saying is: the program knowing what the heck ports mean
can be useful.  What programs may or may not do with sensibly documented
plugins is not really important - it certainly can't hurt to have a
simple and precise description of how a port works.

> On the real thing, you can connect any source to any destination,
> TRS sockets are as dumb as they come, and the *only* thing the
> manufacturer would take care of if that no connection would ever
> damage the electronics. This is just part of the fun.

Sure.  You can have all the tedious fun you like.  Smart connection
logic = optionally making your life easier.  It does not limit you in
any way whatsoever.

Since a monophonic synth is so severely limiting anyway, I make no claim
about being a faithful emulation of wires and capacitors and such.  If
analog was sufficient, I wouldn't be spending such a ridiculous amount
of time writing software :)


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