How do I get VM to sound more "Lush"

For discussion of the Voltage Modular synthesis ecosystem.
silden
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:06 pm

How do I get VM to sound more "Lush"

Post by silden » Tue Sep 15, 2020 12:31 am

Hi guys,

Don't get me wrong I do love the "in your face" ness of a lot of sounds I am getting from VM but I can't seem to get a nice airy and lush sound to the overall presentation. I heard stuff from some other modular software and it did sound lush but also not as distinct as VM which I do like. I also just listened to lots of vintage stuff from arturia and again really nice and lush but without the "umph" of VM. How do I get that sort of airy lush feel good sound from VM? Maybe its down to FX processing??? if that is the case what effects does VM have that will make that happen?

Sorry if this is a daft question but I'm really new to modular or anything monophonic. I thought it was maybe about adding chorus phaser delay or reverb etc but everything I've tried so far has still produced great defined sound but very much on brasher side and quite 2 dimensional.

cheers

silden
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:06 pm

Re: How do I get VM to sound more "Lush"

Post by silden » Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:30 am

I just saw a venus theory video where he mentioned "Voltage module effects". Also the rack he was using had that written on the top. He also called it a plugin. However I don't see that on my installation. Also if I filter on core I don't see any effects at all. I do have psp effects etc but they are not giving me what I'm looking for.

Anyone know What is this effects plugin and where do I get it?

I guess another way would be to save modules as a cabinet but tbh I haven't played around with them yet.

What I have just done though is add a freebie valhalla reverb to the host module and that seems to be getting closer to what I want. Maybe though the art would be to add different effects at different stages so that some sounds have one effect and some another. I guess the possibilities are endless and that is the point of Modular(doh!).

I did buy insomniac music's probability router so I guess this will help on that front too but I've not tried it yet.

Can't you just see that I'm from a preset only background lol. Before VM my main interest was to play the sounds in the soundbank of whatever I bought and tweak a little. Building patches from scratch is very exciting but also butts heads with the impatient side of me that just wants to make some structured music with new sounds like yesterday!!

I think I'm answering my own questions regarding making it sound better with effects but it would be useful to know how others approach the whole production of sonic soundscape with modular and also what exactly this VM effects plugin actually is. (and why I dont see it lol).

sid

schoekah
Posts: 131
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2019 3:24 am

Re: How do I get VM to sound more "Lush"

Post by schoekah » Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:35 am

Hi,

you can run vm as standalone, or as a plugin in a DAW (like ableton, studio one prime is free and I think allows plugins now)
venus theory was running vm as a plugin in a DAW

for Windows PCs at least, VM installs the standalone program and also asks you what plugins you want to install (vst2, vst3, and maybe aux or something). I don't like vst3 - it doesn't seem like it's fully baked (by steinberg and every developer), and vst2 works great every time.

maybe you didn't check the box in the install for any plugins
maybe you installed vst3, but your DAW isn't scanning for vst3 - enable that in your DAW, rescan
maybe your DAW isn't looking in the right place for your vst2 - tell your DAW what folder your vst2 .dll plugins are in

don't remember the default directory that vm install wants to put vm vst2 .dll files in, but scan your computer for this:
Voltage Modular.dll
Voltage Modular FX.dll
move those to the folder that your DAW is using for vst2

if you can't find them, reinstall vm and make sure you select standalone and vst2 installations, and change the folder that vst2 are installed into to the one scanned by your DAW. If you don't have other plugins, I'd recommend installing all vst2 plugins to this directory, even if you're not using any steinberg programs:
C:\Program Files\Steinberg\VSTPlugins\

so there's two plugins for using vm in a DAW: one's VM as an instrument on a track (creates sound) and the other VM as an effect (sound from somewhere else is passed through VM and back out again, if you connect the wires right).

IN A DAW (not vm as standalone)
so on a track, you could put vm as an instrument (Voltage Modular.dll), and add one or more effects to that same track (like valhalla super massive)
or you could put a different instrument on there, like spitfire labs soft piano, and add vm as an effect (Voltage Modular FX.dll)
or you could add vm as an instrument, and add it again as an effect, but that would be silly

re getting a "lush" sound, can't be sure what you mean by that. . . but that's where your modular chops come in. . .
detune 2nd or more oscillators?
mono or stereo?
stereo separation?
delay on one channel of stereo audio
multiple oscillators?
sub-oscillators?
filters to subtract/scult harmonics?
compression?
pwm?
different wave forms?
layering?
FM?
supersaw?

if you haven't played with detuning multiple oscillators yet, please be aware that in most states of the USA it's not legal to run around outside without any clothes while yelling at the top of your lungs about what you just found. . . except Arizona, I think. Update your post from your cell when you figure it out!

silden
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:06 pm

Re: How do I get VM to sound more "Lush"

Post by silden » Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:53 pm

schoekah wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:35 am
Hi,

you can run vm as standalone, or as a plugin in a DAW (like ableton, studio one prime is free and I think allows plugins now)
venus theory was running vm as a plugin in a DAW
Haha Doh! is that all he meant? I misunderstood! Yes I did the vst install and actually have had it running in Reaper.

In the video Cameron says "One of the cool things about Voltage modular is that it also includes another plugin called voltage modular effects" . So I thought this was a special rack or something specifically for effects. Dunno why he said that then???

"Modular chops" - I like that. It reminds me that sound design is a skill set all of its own and needs practice. I appreciate the bullet points of areas to look too -thanks.

Certainly detuned oscillators is something I will try soon. From what you say then maybe I should try it in an empty house first with all the curtains closed!

I do think now that the "lush-ness" to is going to be created with things like reverbs and stereo chorus and such but not necessarily at the end of the chain like I have tried so far.

Also I just really used the effects from the psp bundle and actually having used some other free vsts I found like the Valhalla range I'm not so struck with the psp versions. - I'm a bit disappointing in that bundle really when I see what is available elsewhere. However I've not given ANY of this kit enough time and effort to fully evaluate like that yet.

Cheers
Last edited by silden on Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

xones2358
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:17 pm
Contact:

Re: How do I get VM to sound more "Lush"

Post by xones2358 » Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:24 pm

schoekah wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:35 am
't played with detuning multiple oscillators yet, please be aware that in most states of the USA it's not legal to run around outside without any clothes while yelling at the top of your lungs about what you just found. . . except Arizona, I think. Update your post from your cell when you figure it out!
:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

schoekah
Posts: 131
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2019 3:24 am

Re: How do I get VM to sound more "Lush"

Post by schoekah » Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:02 pm

really, instead of that list, what I should have said was, go through all the presets in VM and see if any of those have the lush sound that you're looking for. that will tell you if VM can give you the sound that you want. then take that preset and start deleting modules (and re-cabling the rest of the modules back together) until that "lush" sound goes away. when it goes away, that module(s) that you just deleted is/are the ones giving you the sound that you want.

wouldn't hurt to start with Sound on sound synth secrets, and/or loopop on the youtubes
Cheers!

silden
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:06 pm

Re: How do I get VM to sound more "Lush"

Post by silden » Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:48 pm

schoekah wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:02 pm
really, instead of that list, what I should have said was, go through all the presets in VM and see if any of those have the lush sound that you're looking for. that will tell you if VM can give you the sound that you want. then take that preset and start deleting modules (and re-cabling the rest of the modules back together) until that "lush" sound goes away. when it goes away, that module(s) that you just deleted is/are the ones giving you the sound that you want.

wouldn't hurt to start with Sound on sound synth secrets, and/or loopop on the youtubes
Cheers!
Great idea. Will learn so much that way too. :D

schoekah
Posts: 131
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2019 3:24 am

Re: How do I get VM to sound more "Lush"

Post by schoekah » Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:31 pm

actually, sweetwater on youtube just pushed out #18 in their video series on synthesis. that's a great place to start. you won't be an expert after watching those, but you'll have a good map of things to learn more about.
if you want to be an expert, https://youtu.be/0JXF0784LQE
Thanks for the kind words!

Sas2506
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun May 17, 2020 7:40 pm

Re: How do I get VM to sound more "Lush"

Post by Sas2506 » Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:29 pm

I do think I understand your observation... what I played around with is running an 8 step sequence through 8 different oscillators, using a sequential step....so I could pick out the differences. What I found was the standard osc was quite a harsh sound.. but that the Super osc, vintage osc and vc 20 sounded nice. The purest to my ears though was the PSP efemerizer, which reminded me of the VCV rack Bogaudio FM osc.. and gave a great sound. I haven't got all of the various osc, but would suggest that playing with all of the various versions, together with the different filters (and a bit of reverb!) will help you find your sound..

Rockky
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:50 pm

Re: How do I get VM to sound more "Lush"

Post by Rockky » Mon Sep 28, 2020 6:23 pm

silden wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:53 pm
In the video Cameron says "One of the cool things about Voltage modular is that it also includes another plugin called voltage modular effects" . So I thought this was a special rack or something specifically for effects.
All that means is that you can load a VM patch as an effects plugin in your DAW to process audio.

Mostly used to allow VM FX to process audio from your DAW, but if you have the plug-in host/mini plug-in host then you can actually load Voltage Modular FX as a plugin effect within a VM instance and then load a patch inside the FX instance to process the audio (it needs to be one that handles an output from Audio Sources) - if you have the PSP modules and presets then try doing that by using the preset Feedback Space to process the sound from a patch - it adds some 'lush'. It sounds good to me if you have it handle the output from the Swirling Strings 1 patch in the Polymode Presets, take the mix output from Polymode into the plug-in host then take the left and right output from the host into the digital reverb.

There aren’t too many effects modules within the standard VM modules that will provide particularly lush sound (by which I assume you mean reverby with long trails and a motion feel) on their own, but you can construct some using a combination of other modules.

I use a hell of a lot of third party effects plugins and can highly recommend pretty much anything from Eventide, Soundtoys or Arturia and the new Reason Studios Reason Rack is pretty awesome. None of that lot is free unfortunately, unless you were lucky enough to stumble across a reseller deal or get an intro freebie like Arturia Rev-Plate 140 or Native Instruments Raum when they were being given away.
You yourself mentioned Valhalla and SuperMassive is an excellent free effect for what you want - check out the SixtyPercentOfInfinity preset!

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