Some recent struggles with Toggle Button skins crystallized a question that I'd been toying with for a few weeks now: Is it time for a Voltage Modular Developers Conference? Free (in the Open Source tradition), virtual (in the Voltage Modular tradition), and spread over a couple/few days (to reach as many participants as possible)?
Since it's introduction, Voltage Modular has attracted both end-users and independent module developers in a fashion very similar to the Euro-Rack hardware it emulates – rapidly and widely. The community includes both newcomers and much more experienced veterans of both types. While there are many resources available to assist those new to modular synthesis and/or Voltage Modular, the same can't currently be said for those joining the ranks of module developers or existing developers looking to improve the quality of their modules.
Cherry Audio's documentation for Voltage Modular Designer provides a good “Hello World” introduction to module development, but moving beyond that stage requires a great deal of information that is only available via the “trial and error” learning method. Having some sort of Developers Conference could provide a mechanism for sharing this sort of information in a more effective fashion. The intention isn't to provide Java/DSP training, or for veteran developers to give away their “Secret Sauce”, just to make some of the more common development hurdles less significant and, at the same time, possibly improve the overall quality of our modules.
Subjects for “Sessions” might include things like:
- Writing good “ProcessSample” code.
- Working with Triggers and Gates (Inputs and Outputs).
- Implementing an Oscillator (using OscillatorBaseClass, assuming it's possible).
- Profiling for Performance.
- Style/Coding Guidelines/Suggestions.
- Working with External tools (Eclipse, git, etc.)
- UI Design/Coding – Knobs, LEDs and friends.
- Creating Skins and working with the Skin Editor.
- Product Management using Nebula.
- Module Bundling - Do's and Don'ts.
Does a this sound like an interesting idea to you? One that you'd be willing to participate in, either as an attendee or as someone with know-how to share? Are there subjects you'd like to see added to the list?
It's quite possible that I'm overthinking things (wouldn't be the first time), but on the other hand, if you find module development a total breeze, then you've likely got something special going on (at least I think you do!), so why not share some?
(Black Cloud Industries)