More VST ideas and RackAFX

Looking into more instrument ideas, with the new Steinberg SDK and RackAFX. This looks good so far with a graphical design interface and a bit of a curve on Getting Visual Studio up to the compiling. A design the UI and then some fill in the blanks with audio render functions. Looks like it will cut development time significantly. Not a C beginner tool, but close.

It’s likely going to be an all in one 32 bit .dll file with midi triggering the built-in oscillation and a use as a filter mode too. Hopefully some different connected processing on the left and right. I want the maximum flexibility without going beyond stereo audio, as I am daw limited. The midi control may even be quite limited, or even not supported in some daw packages. This is not too bad as the tool is FX oriented, and midi is more VSTi.

Na, scratch that, I think I’ll use an envelope follower and PLL to extract note data. So analog and simplifies the plugin. Everything without an easy default excepting the DSP will not be used. There is no reason to make anymore VSTi, and so just VST FX will be done.

Looks like everytime you use visual studio it updates a few gig, and does nothing better. But it does work. There is a need for a fast disk, and quite a few GB of main memory. There is also a need to develop structure in the design process.

The GUI is now done, and next up is the top down class layout. I’ve included enough flexibility for what I want from this FX, and have simplified the original design to reduce the number of controllers. There is now some source to read through, and perhaps some examples. So far so good. The most complex thing so far (assuming you know your way around a C compiler, is the choice of scale on the custom GUI. You can easily get distracted in the RackAFX GUI, and find the custom GUI has a different size or knob scale. It’s quite a large UI I’m working on, but with big dials and a lot of space. Forty dials to be exact and two switches.

I decided on differing processing on each stereo channel, and an interesting panning arrangement. I felt inspired by the eclipse, and so have called it Moon. An excellent WebKnobMan is good at producing dial graphics for custom knobs. The few backgrounds in RackAFX are good enough, and I have not needed gimp or photoshop. I haven’t needed any fully custom control views, and only one enum label changing on twist.

Verdict is, cheap at the price, is not idiot proof, and does need other tools if the built in knobs are not enough. I do wonder if unused resources are stripped from the .dll size. There are quite a few images in there. I did have problems using other fonts, which were selectable but did not display or make an error. Bitmaps would likely be better.

The coding is underway, with the class .h files almost in the bag, and some of the .cpp files for some process basics. A nice 4 pole filter and a waveshaper. Likely I will not bother with sample rate resetting without a reload. It’s possible, but if your changing rate often, you’re likely weird. Still debating the use of midi and vector joy controller. There is likely a user case. Then maybe After this I’ll try a main synth using PDE oscillators. It is quite addictive VST programming.

I wonder what other nice GUI features there are? There is also the fade bypass I need to do, and this maybe joined with the vector joy. And also pitch and mod wheel perhaps. Keeping this as unified control does look a good idea. Project Moon is looking good.

The Cloud Project

So far I’m up to 5 classes left to fill in

  • SignedPublicKey
  • Server
  • Keys
  • AuditInputStream
  • ScriptOutputStream

They are closely coupled in the package. The main reason for defining a new SignedPublicKey class is that the current CA system doesn’t have sufficient flexibility for the project. The situation with tunnel proxies has yet to be decided. At present the reverse proxy tunnel over a firewall ia based on overiding DNS at the firewall, to route inwards and not having the self as the IP for the host address. Proxy rights will of course be certificate based, and client to client link layer specific.

UPDATE: Server has been completed, and now the focus is on SignedPublicKey for the load/save file access restrictions. The sign8ng process also has to be worked out to allow easy use. There is also some consideration for a second layer of encryption over proxy connection links, and some decisions to be made on the server script style.

The next idea would be a client specific protocol. So instead of server addresses, there would be a client based protocol addressing string. kring.co.uk/file is a server domain based address. This perhaps needs extending.

Musical Research

I’ve looked into free musical software of late, after helping out setting up a PC for musical use. There’s the usual Audacity, and feature limited, but good LMMS. Then I found SuperCollider, and I am now hooked on building some new synthesis tools. I started with a basic FM synth idea, and moved on to some LFO and sequencing features. It’s very nice. There is some minor annoyance with the SC language, but it works very well, and has access to the nice Qt toolkit for making GUIs. So far I’ve implemented the controls as a MIDI continuous controller bus proxy, so that MIDI in is easy. There will be no MIDI out, as it’s not that kind of be all thing. I’ve settled on a 32 controls per MIDI channel, and one window focus per MIDI channel.

I’ve enjoyed programming it so far. It’s the most musical I’ve been in a long while. I will continue this as a further development focus.

The situation so far https://github.com/jackokring/supercollider-demos

The last three, are just an idea I had to keep the keyboard as a controller, and make all the GUI connection via continuous controllers only. I’ll keep this up to date as it develops.