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IDCategoryLast Update
0007455features2019-04-18 04:23
Reporternaught101Assigned To 
Status newResolutionopen 
Product Version5.X git (version in description) 
Fixed in Version 
Summary0007455: Modulators
DescriptionSometimes it is nice to be able to arbitrarily modulate midi controls of a plugin. For instance, if a plugin doesn't have an LFO, and it would be nice to have one for some parameter. In this case, it would be great if there was some way to create a "modulator" plugin (built-in?), that simply outputs a modulation signal that is mapped to the relevant input of the other plugin.

Bitwig uses a system like this, for example:

I don't know whether this would make more sense as a built-in plugin, or if it could be an external plugin. But either way, the key important thing would be an easy way to map outputs (modulation signals) to inputs (named plugin parameters). Bitwig does this particularly well, but I doubt Ardour's current interface would allow something like that easily. Perhaps some kind of paired drop-down selector might work? It would be a fair bit clunkier than Bitwig's interface though.

Key useful modulators:
- LFO modulator (wave shape selection, rate (free/tempo synced), phase, depth/amplitude)
- Envelope generator (ASDR etc. from midi, max amplitude)
- Mathematical transform (this would take input from another modulator, and transform it, e.g. log/exp/power/trig functions, etc. Ideally could take more than one input, and add/multiply/divide/etc. Perhaps any Lua maths functions?)

See also for some other options (many of which are not that necessary, as they can already be done in other ways).
TagsNo tags attached.



2017-08-29 08:45

reporter   ~0019994

I can't give a big enough thumbs up for this, it's the one thing that keeps me from moving away from Renoise. This would be a huge improvement to Ardour and really modernize it.


2017-08-30 11:22

reporter   ~0020001

Last edited: 2017-08-30 11:54

View 3 revisions

Another type of a modulator like this would be a universal envelope follower (for audio) - this way you could do sidechain processing with plugins that don't allow this by design.


2017-08-30 13:20

reporter   ~0020002

There is a plugin called The Infamous Envelope Tracker that generates a MIDI CC signal based on audio - but how to rout this to a control in another plugin? I have no idea.

I guess this all could be done with maybe even Lua plugins.

I think Ardour would need a convenient way to use such functionality to route something like this to a plugin control port. Maybe an extension on the Pin Connections? Maybe a "Control Port" tab in there to do stuff like that?


2017-08-31 01:59

reporter   ~0020003

Also, I don't know if this should be a separate issue or not, but containers would also be useful:

- A "chain" container, that groups a set of sequential plugins (or layers).
- A "layers" container, that groups a set of parallel plugins (or chains).

Both of these should be able to be saved as templates for re-use.

The reason I say I'm not sure if this should be a separate issue, is that a modulator could be designed as a special case of a chain - a grouping element, that also generates its own control signals. This is roughly how bitwig 1.X did it, and it worked reasonably well. Bitwig 2.x instead adds "modulation slots" to each plugin/chain/layer, and modulators can be put in to each slot and then mapped to parameters. I don't think I have a strong opinion about which version is better...


2019-04-18 04:23

reporter   ~0020632

A sub-type of layer container that would be really nice would be a drum machine container, that contains a separate instrument on each midi note - both Ableton and Bitwig have something like this, and it's awesome for layering up drums (in bitwig, the layers are also sub-busses, that have their own effects chain and mixer strip).

Issue History

Date Modified Username Field Change
2017-08-25 08:05 naught101 New Issue
2017-08-29 08:45 beefheart Note Added: 0019994
2017-08-30 11:22 unfa Note Added: 0020001
2017-08-30 11:53 unfa Note Edited: 0020001 View Revisions
2017-08-30 11:54 unfa Note Edited: 0020001 View Revisions
2017-08-30 13:20 unfa Note Added: 0020002
2017-08-31 01:59 naught101 Note Added: 0020003
2019-04-18 04:23 naught101 Note Added: 0020632