Polyphonic Pressure Generator

For discussion of the Voltage Modular synthesis ecosystem.
EricP1954
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2022 5:58 am

Polyphonic Pressure Generator

Post by EricP1954 »

I'm interested in a simple setup in my DAW (presently using Bandlab Cakewalk) that enables PPG to use my Akai MPK Mini keyboard and direct its midi output to the GX-80 plugin. It's easy to select the MPK from the midi-In options. The midi-out offers the following options:
None
Gervill
Real Time Sequencer
Microsoft Midi Mapper
Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth
MOTU Pro Audio Midi Out
MPK Mini2
Axe IO

I was hoping the PPG would "see" the GX-80 in my DAW. The MOTO Pro Audio Midi Out and Axe IO are my hardware interfaces and MPK Mini2 is my keyboard. Is there a way to configure the midi out from the PPG as the midi in on the GX-80? Any help would be appreciated. As is, the two plugins don't talk to each other and the GX-80 is listening to the MPK Mini as it's input.
Steve W
Posts: 589
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2020 5:55 pm

Re: Polyphonic Pressure Generator

Post by Steve W »

EricP1954 wrote: Thu Jan 19, 2023 5:25 am I was hoping the PPG would "see" the GX-80 in my DAW. The MOTO Pro Audio Midi Out and Axe IO are my hardware interfaces and MPK Mini2 is my keyboard. Is there a way to configure the midi out from the PPG as the midi in on the GX-80? Any help would be appreciated. As is, the two plugins don't talk to each other and the GX-80 is listening to the MPK Mini as it's input.
I don't have the PPG module, but I have been sending midi between my DAW and VM (both ways), including using an instance of VM in my DAW to send Control Voltages to plug-ins hosted in my DAW. I looked at the midi panel in the PPG documentation (User Guide) and it looks similar to some of the stock VM modules I use. If it is similar and works the same way, one of my methods might work for you.* If someone else already has the how-to-do-it steps for you, that's great. In the meantime, I can pull up one of the methods I use to write up a set steps to connect the DAW and VM.
Voltage Modular itself is completely free to download. You need to register in order to access modules for purchase inside Voltage Modular’s online store. My PPG module does not need any others to run, just purchase it, load it from the Voltage Modular library, and you are ready to go.
*IMPORTANT: I see that the PPG module can be used with the free version of Voltage Modular. If that's what you are using, my usual methods to interconnect a DAW with Voltage Modular won't work for you. I use stock modules that come with the paid version (Core). You might need a different method as spelled out in the PPG Module's User Guide.
EricP1954
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2022 5:58 am

Re: Polyphonic Pressure Generator

Post by EricP1954 »

Steve W wrote: Thu Jan 19, 2023 2:07 pm
EricP1954 wrote: Thu Jan 19, 2023 5:25 am I was hoping the PPG would "see" the GX-80 in my DAW. The MOTO Pro Audio Midi Out and Axe IO are my hardware interfaces and MPK Mini2 is my keyboard. Is there a way to configure the midi out from the PPG as the midi in on the GX-80? Any help would be appreciated. As is, the two plugins don't talk to each other and the GX-80 is listening to the MPK Mini as it's input.
I don't have the PPG module, but I have been sending midi between my DAW and VM (both ways), including using an instance of VM in my DAW to send Control Voltages to plug-ins hosted in my DAW. I looked at the midi panel in the PPG documentation (User Guide) and it looks similar to some of the stock VM modules I use. If it is similar and works the same way, one of my methods might work for you.* If someone else already has the how-to-do-it steps for you, that's great. In the meantime, I can pull up one of the methods I use to write up a set steps to connect the DAW and VM.
Voltage Modular itself is completely free to download. You need to register in order to access modules for purchase inside Voltage Modular’s online store. My PPG module does not need any others to run, just purchase it, load it from the Voltage Modular library, and you are ready to go.
*IMPORTANT: I see that the PPG module can be used with the free version of Voltage Modular. If that's what you are using, my usual methods to interconnect a DAW with Voltage Modular won't work for you. I use stock modules that come with the paid version (Core). You might need a different method as spelled out in the PPG Module's User Guide.
Steve, thanks! I really appreciate your reply.

Looks like I'm running PPG inside the free version of VM. I thought that was the only way to run PPG. Off to the manual!

In the meantime, if Tim Shoebridge is around or there are any bravehearts who have done this dance before, please chime in.
EricP1954
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2022 5:58 am

Re: Polyphonic Pressure Generator

Post by EricP1954 »

Looks like when all else fails...read the manual! I found the answer to my issue in the documentation:

"Use the In and Out DIN socket connections for connecting PPG to other modules running inside Voltage Modular or to Voltage Modular itself. If you are running Voltage Modular as a VST inside your DAW then it will be necessary to connect Voltage Modular’s “From Host” MIDI DIN output to PPG’s MIDI DIN input. For more information please check out Voltage Modular’s help facilities.

Click on the “To Host” button to route MIDI out from PPG back to your DAW, you would to this to allow PPG to send MIDI messages to a soft synth running as a VST instrument in your DAW project.
Steve W
Posts: 589
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2020 5:55 pm

Re: Polyphonic Pressure Generator

Post by Steve W »

It sounds like you got it working based on the PPG Module's Manual. If so, glad to hear it!!!!

I have been wanting to revisit the test patches I was designing a few months ago to interconnect VM (Core) and my DAW. Using LFOs and Envelope Generators in VM to control soft synths hosted in my DAW (combined with using knobs and sliders to change parameters in real time) was fun from a problem-solution perspective plus it fits my workflow better than using graphic-oriented automation.

I enjoyed looking into your issue and revisiting those VM patches. Glad you raised the issue!!!

Steve
EricP1954
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2022 5:58 am

Re: Polyphonic Pressure Generator

Post by EricP1954 »

I may have spoken a little too soon.

Using Voltage Modular as a VST inside my DAW and loading PPG into Voltage Modular, I followed the PPG help documentation and connected a virtual cable from the basic midi out inside VM to the Midi in on PPG, then pressed the TO HOST button on PPG.

Playing notes from my Akai MPK Mini, I could see VM midi light go on each time I hit a note, but absolutely no sound came out of the arrangement. I checked connections inside the DAW in Console View to see that the MPK was the input of Voltage Modular and Voltage Modular was the input of my CA GX-80 soft synth and that the output of the GX-80 was set to the same Master Output as any of my other soft synth's.

So far, still no sound...
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SpaceDog
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2020 11:29 am

Re: Polyphonic Pressure Generator

Post by SpaceDog »

Usually, I would suggest using the developer's board, but I see that Tim Shoebridge doesn't have one. However, he has the following email address noted for support on the module page: soundmangling@gmail.com

Maybe an email in parallel to this forum would prove useful. Apologies if you've done this already. People here may be able to help, but Tim should be able to give more targeted advice.

Here's how I route MIDI through VM and apologies again if this is redundant information, just ignore it if it is :)

I haven't used these PPG modules; however, I have used VM as a MIDI processor and, for me, the "trick" was all in my DAW (Reaper). First route MIDI from the keyboard into the channel containing VM - this bit was easy, as this is a basic operation. Next route the MIDI within VM to the processing that I wanted (mine needed a conversion to CV and then back again) and then out from VM using the MIDI Out module - ensuring that "To DAW" was selected. This is easily checked by putting a MIDI monitor plugin (many free ones) in the channel just after VM. Next the MIDI from the channel needs to be routed to the instrument, again this is quite DAW-dependent and you may have to check how many MIDI sources are being routed to that channel, I haven't used PPG so I don't know the mechanics. You can check what's arriving by use of another MIDI monitor plugin just before the instrument.
Last edited by SpaceDog on Wed Jan 25, 2023 9:15 am, edited 4 times in total.
Steve W
Posts: 589
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2020 5:55 pm

Re: Polyphonic Pressure Generator

Post by Steve W »

1. First route MIDI from the keyboard into the channel containing VM.
2. Next route the MIDI within VM to the processing that I wanted
(mine needed a conversion to CV and then back again)
3. and then out from VM using the MIDI Out module ensuring that "To DAW" was selected.
4. Next the MIDI from the channel needs to be routed to the instrument (DAW-dependent).
I was going to get a demo of the PPG module to see if this can be done without the VM Out module, but I don't see "Demo" in the Library's Store.
Tim's site has a Q&A that says it should work without any other modules.
Steven says:
March 2, 2022 at 1:35 am
Is it possible to purchase just this one plugin

admin says:
March 2, 2022 at 6:35 pm
Yes absolutely. Voltage Modular itself is completely free to download. You need to register in order to access modules for purchase inside Voltage Modular’s online store. My PPG module does not need any others to run, just purchase it, load it from the Voltage Modular library, and you are ready to go. Cherry Audio have an excellent refund policy if for any reason you feel the software doesn’t work out for you.

PS The PPG module is not yet available for purchase, hopefully it will in the next 24-48 hours.
EricP1954: If Tim cannot provide instructions on how to set it up in Cakewalk, feel free to ask him if he would give me a limited-time demo.

PS: I took the liberty of forwarding this thread to him. That way if he wants me to give it a try, he has my e-mail.
Steve W
Posts: 589
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2020 5:55 pm

Re: Polyphonic Pressure Generator

Post by Steve W »

NOTE: The following is the start of a write up in case I can get access to a demo of the PPG Module.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Since I don't have access to the PPG module, this write is completely blind as concerns the PPG module, but I use this method with some of my patches and I know it works with other VM modules that you don't have. As incomplete and untested as it is, it might help sort out the routing issue for you. I have pruned one of my working projects to get this.

First, set up the GX-80 in Cakewalk so it works.

1. For bookkeeping purposes, insert VM in a folder. (I call mine VM Control).
2. Split the track so the instrument track and midi track are separated.
Optional: Mute the VM Instrument Track.
3. Point the VM Midi Track to the GX-80 (output track control)
4. I have the input track control set to All Inputs. Not sure what's best for the PPG module.
5. I have track echo on. Again, not sure what's best for the PPG module.
6. You might have to deselect your main controller in Cakewalk.

Sorry about the loose ends, but it is impossible to guess how the PPG Module would best work.
(Other steps/connections and variations also work for me, as well.)


Using modules not included in the free version of Voltage Modular, I have created a Midi In to Midi Out pass through to simulate the basic part of what I assume the PPG Module does in terms of Midi I/O:

MIn to MOut.png
MIn to MOut.png (116.77 KiB) Viewed 396 times

To test the steps above, I did a quick LFO to CC7 to control the GX-80's volume knob.

The LFO to CC7 to Midi Out section is a simple stand in for whatever it is that the PPG module might be doing inside. With a larger set of VM modules (Core) all sorts of VM stuff can be sent to plug-ins residing in your DAW.

The attachment MIn to MOut.png is no longer available
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MIn to MOut + LFO.png
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EricP1954
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2022 5:58 am

Re: Polyphonic Pressure Generator

Post by EricP1954 »

Thanks Steve & SpaceDog. Steve, I want to follow, but some of what you have there is a little over my head.

This is what I got so far. I tested various presets in VM to determine that it works in my DAW and it does. I specified my controller as input in Cakewalk and I see the midi light up in VM whenever I hit a key, so far so good. I followed the instruction in the PPG help documentation to run a connection between VM FROM host to PPG in and clicked the "To Host" button in PPG.

My first inkling something is wrong is that the Midi In/Out on PPG does not offer any useable options and my DAW does not include the GX-80 as an output option so the midi is coming in to VM, but wherever it goes once it gets in is still a mystery, I am obviously not routing the midi correctly.

The GX-80 does however allow me to specify VM as an input option in my DAW.

There's still no sound from the GX-80.


[Image
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PPG Setup.JPG
PPG Setup.JPG (405.09 KiB) Viewed 361 times
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