And This Time With Feeling: A Patch Editor Version of VC!!!

  • Okay, I am on my last straw with the Virus. I absolutely adore the Virus sound and really enjoy editing patches in Virus Control. However, Virus Control has some severe problems that prevent me and many other users from being able to use it as intended.


    I have had a TI since 06, since OS 1 was supposed to be the solve all your problems release.I have continually read complaints about the integration part of the TI (which is, I assume, a big part of what we pay for). Just do a google search with the terms "Virus TI crackling," or "Virus TI integration problems," or "Virus TI sync issues" and you will be able to read through scores and perhaps hundreds of users having issues. Similarly, you can look at sonicstate.com on the synth site and compare the TI's ratings and comments to earlier Virus models.


    I am not here flaming. As I said, I have been a user for almost 5 years. However, I have recently had some issues with no workarounds (other than using the Virus in standalone). My most recent issues have to do with audio crackling through VC. Access Music has confirmed this problem (which doesn't occur in stand alone) and basically said there's no solution at this time.


    So, please, please, please make a patch editor version of Virus Control similar to reKon's editor for previous models of the Virus (found here: http://rekonaudio.com/index.ph…mid=29&vmcchk=1&Itemid=29).


    I use this company's editor for the Waldorf Pulse and you know what, it's way more friendly than Virus Control. I'll tell you why, it doesn't try to handle sync and audio. Those things are handled by the synth itself. It runs as a vst using traditional midi to communicate with the synth.


    I presume Access has VC handle sync so as to achieve "sample accurate playback." Well you know what, give me midi jitter!


    Seriously, this has been requested since the inception of the TI series. Give us a patch editor version of VC!

  • I would also love to see a stand alone path edit for those times when I don't feel like firing up logic but want to create sounds and the like.

    Indulgence gets us friends, but truth gets us hatred.

    OB-6, Polivoks, Polivoks Pro, Virus TI x2, Waldorf M, MS-20, MS2000, Radias, Minilogue, Minitaur, Argon8, Erebus, Alpha Juno 2, TR-8S, Xio 49, Ultranova, Microfreak,

  • Thanks for chiming in guys.


    However, what I'm talking about is not a standalone editor. If you follow the link to the reKon site that I provided in my first post, you'll see that these products also run as vsts. I believe Moog just released something similar for the Little Phatty. Another example is midiquest, which can be found here:


    http://www.squest.com/Windows/…stXL/MidiQuest-About.html


    The difference between these interfaces and Virus Control is that they use good old fashioned midi to communicate control changes. As far as I can tell, Virus Control does something different in syncing the Virus that causes more timing issues and audio glitching than it's worth.


    I have confirmed with Jorg from Access Music that glitching is indeed present when using Virus Control in instances where it isn't in stand alone. Right now, my Virus is pretty much unusable through Virus Control due to audio glitches and small zipper like effects.


    Please check out the links I have provided so that you can see what I'm talking about.


    Thanks again!

  • The difference between these interfaces and Virus Control is that they use good old fashioned midi to communicate control changes. As far as I can tell, Virus Control does something different in syncing the Virus that causes more timing issues and audio glitching than it's worth.

    I can see one problem with your approach. How to handle the big parameter count of the Virus? You only have 128 continuous controllers (CC) available when using "good old fashioned midi". Sysex is not an option, as most DAW simply don't transmit it.

  • Ace17,


    So I just had a poke around in the Virus C manual (which actually lists CC assignments) and it seems that you are right, the Virus has a parameter count that far exceeds 128. When I took a second look at reKon's Virus editor, I also noticed that Live isn't a supported host, likely due to its lack of sysex and limit of 128 CCs. I probably overlooked this fact with my Pulse because the Pulse only has 128 parameters.


    Oh well.


    But let me ask you a question then... Are you running Virus Control smoothly; i.e. no clicks, pos, zipper noises, sync issues etc.?

  • Access Music do not publish a MIDI implementation chart for the TI, but Samuel Backer has posted one here:
    http://www.2shared.com/file/10…4f5a613/VirusTI_MIDI.html
    This lists three "pages", labeled A, B and C, each of 128 control change numbers, though some numbers are unused. I don't know how control change numbers on pages B and C may be sent: when I send the TI a CC# it is evidently the one on Page A by default. But it does suggest that it is actually possible to control more than 128 Virus TI parameters via MIDI.


    By the sound of it, I'm not getting nearly the extent of problems with VC that SOS is, though I do get the odd glitch. Possibly because my needs are simple, I don't know. And it did take me a lot of experminatal tweaking to get it working as well as it does now. So a patch editor does sound like a good suggestion.


    I do understand that the patch editor request is different from a stand-alone Virus Control request. A patch editor would still allow integration with a sequencer, while a standalone Virus control would have all the advantages and disadvantages of communicating with the synth the native TI way rather than via MIDI. But the two requests do have one objective in common, to minimise problems of commuinication between the synth and the computer.


    I have actually had much worse results hosting VC in Savihost than in either of the DAWs I have tried, Pro Tools and Ableton Live. So I would be keen to try either a patch editor or a standalone VC, though SOS does make a persuasive argument that a MIDI patch editor might be more effective at eliminating communications glitches.


    djantimatter, if you would like to support the standalone VC proposal in addition to this MID patch editor proposal, you could post to the Standalone Virus Control thread:
    http://virus.info/forum/index.…light=standalone#post3397


    Simon

  • But it does suggest that it is actually possible to control more than 128 Virus TI parameters via MIDI.

    Each page holding 128 parameters, you can map page A to MIDI CC (default configuration), and page B to MIDI key aftertouch (whose format is similar to CC). So this allows access to 256 parameters.


    A look at a patch dump teaches us that there are way more than 256 parameters. For example, the arppegiator pattern, which lies in another page, is not accessible by this method. The only way to completely control the synth is via MIDI SYSEX.

  • It would be a good alternative but that would be like admitting defeat.

    It IS time to throw in the towel on Virus Control! That shit (the operative word) simply DOES NOT WORK. I don't know a single Virus TI owner who doesn't have problems trying to run the Virus Control plug-in. Sure, there are lots of people sort of making it work simply because they are either 1) less discerning (and don't notice the awful, flakey timing/syncing of LFOs and arpeggios) or 2) just accept the limitations/issues and try to work around them (by for instance, "printing" tracks as audio and then adjusting the timing after the fact).


    After 5 (!) years of failing to make this work (I believe that qualifies as an "Epic Fail,") Access should realize that the only solution to this madness is to scrap Virus Control and offer a standalone MIDI editor. Hell, just hire Rekon to do it.


    Regarding the misconception that there are not enough MIDI parameters to support something like the TI, that is not correct because you can always use NRPNs (MIDI Non-Registered Parameters) instead of standard controllers (CCs) to communicate with the device. This NRPN "protocol" is part of the MIDI spec and supports thousands of parameters (up to 16,384) on a device. This is actually how the Dave Smith Instruments communicate with the SoundTower patch editors (for the Prophet '08 and Tetra, for example). Actually, on the DSI stuff, you have the option to use either CCs or NRPNs because there are so few parameters. But you could easily support something like the TI via the use of NRPNs.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NRPN


    Access just needs to admit that they simply can't get the Virus Control to work because of the limitations of USB1 audio. And then move on to something that actually WILL work.


    As they say in recovery circles, "Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery." :-)

    Synths: D-550, EX-8000, Matrix-1000, Microwave, Microwave XT, MKS-50, MKS-80, Nord Rack 2, Nord Rack 3, Pro One, Prophet '08 Rack, Pulse, Pulse 2, Shruthi, TX7, Virus kb, XV-5080, Maschine
    Computer: Core i7-970 3.20 GHz Hexacore, ASUS P6X58-E PRO, ATI FirePro 2460 quad head, RME RayDAT w/4x Alesis AI3, 2x MOTU MIDI Express 128, Cubase 7.5

    Edited once, last by MusicMaven ().

  • Just wanted to mention that NRPNs are NOT the same as "SyxEx." NRPNs are as "lightweight" as controllers and do not clog up the extremely limited bandwidth of the MIDI channel the way that system exclusive messages do.


    So again, you could easily use NRPNs to communicate/automate all the parameters of the TI.

    Synths: D-550, EX-8000, Matrix-1000, Microwave, Microwave XT, MKS-50, MKS-80, Nord Rack 2, Nord Rack 3, Pro One, Prophet '08 Rack, Pulse, Pulse 2, Shruthi, TX7, Virus kb, XV-5080, Maschine
    Computer: Core i7-970 3.20 GHz Hexacore, ASUS P6X58-E PRO, ATI FirePro 2460 quad head, RME RayDAT w/4x Alesis AI3, 2x MOTU MIDI Express 128, Cubase 7.5

  • Thanks for the response and ideas MusicMaven!


    I'm pretty much with you on your attitude about Virus Control. I'm just concerned that they're working on the next version of the Virus with proper usb implementation, so they're like "sorry..."

  • Regarding the misconception that there are not enough MIDI parameters to support something like the TI, that is not correct because you can always use NRPNs (MIDI Non-Registered Parameters) instead of standard controllers (CCs) to communicate with the device. This NRPN "protocol" is part of the MIDI spec and supports thousands of parameters (up to 16,384) on a device. This is actually how the Dave Smith Instruments communicate with the SoundTower patch editors (for the Prophet '08 and Tetra, for example). Actually, on the DSI stuff, you have the option to use either CCs or NRPNs because there are so few parameters. But you could easily support something like the TI via the use of NRPNs.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NRPN

    The link you posted tells the MIDI CC used by NRPN are 98 and 99.
    On the Virus TI MIDI implementation PDF, I can see these are both mapped to unison parameters. I can see no NRPN on other controllers numbers in this doc. Am I missing something? Does the Virus support NRPN at all?

  • But let me ask you a question then... Are you running Virus Control smoothly; i.e. no clicks, pos, zipper noises, sync issues etc.?

    I don't use the Virus Control. It's too slow to load, and the display of the VC window eats up nearly half my CPU!
    I use my own MIDI-only plugin ( see this thread ) to control the TI. :P
    It does no audio, it only saves and restore the synth state when saving and loading a project. Because it needs to communicate with the synth with MIDI sysexes, it completely bypasses the host and directly connects to a MIDI device (it can be "Virus TI Synth" (MIDI over USB), or "M-Audio MIDI device" (play-old MIDI), or anything else).

  • Thanks for the response and ideas MusicMaven!


    I'm pretty much with you on your attitude about Virus Control. I'm just concerned that they're working on the next version of the Virus with proper usb implementation, so they're like "sorry..."

    Exactly. I can just see Access coming out with a Thunderbolt version of the Virus TI at this winter's NAMM show. And then the "solution" to people who have issues with their current USB1 TI will be to "upgrade," i.e., sell their current synth at a huge loss and then buy the new model.


    Actually, I would probably do that if I could be assured that any new model actually works. But I don't have a lot of confidence in Access at this point.

    Synths: D-550, EX-8000, Matrix-1000, Microwave, Microwave XT, MKS-50, MKS-80, Nord Rack 2, Nord Rack 3, Pro One, Prophet '08 Rack, Pulse, Pulse 2, Shruthi, TX7, Virus kb, XV-5080, Maschine
    Computer: Core i7-970 3.20 GHz Hexacore, ASUS P6X58-E PRO, ATI FirePro 2460 quad head, RME RayDAT w/4x Alesis AI3, 2x MOTU MIDI Express 128, Cubase 7.5

  • I think everyone is getting ahead of themselves on this one. Access have been working on VC for 5 YEARS & judging by the amount of problems people are still having with it they might need another 5 years to get that fixed so I would say the chances of getting them to make a patch editor are slim to say the least. Certainly nobody from access has chimed in on the thread, so I would say it is falling on deaf ears.
    Cheers,


    Berni.


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  • I must admit that I agree with the original poster. Although I have only just got my Virus TI2 I have spend the past week trying to get it working in a reasonable way and it just seems like too much hard work which really should be dedicated towards composing music and not setup (which I why I still miss making music on the Amiga - ahhh simple times!!). I have tweaked loads of audio settings but the delay even for simple playing back of a project to hear how it's coming is too much. Combined with the fact that my main audio interface is a MOTU 2408 and not the Virus.


    I absolutely love the concept of Virus Control in terms of patch editing and the bit I really love is that all the multi setup is stored with the DAW project.


    But last night I went old school and removed Virus Control from my project, set up the Multi manually and changed all tracks to MIDI - and it worked beautifully - no delay, no audio crackling etc and I could just get on and write a tune.


    What I would really like is a Partial Integration where by the USB connection is purely used for patch browsing and setting up the multi, storing the multi in the project and allowing real-time patch editing as it does now. But the rest can be done as old-school MIDI which I can then just recording onto audio tracks via analog outputs through my MOTU because then any delay is uniform across the board with my other gear. So thinking about it, I want a "Virus PI" - hmmm that has a nice ring to it.


    Thanks,


    Chris

  • With the unsolvable crackling/pops/clicks issue I am faced with, I have had no choice but abandon VC for any serious work. I am now trying to learn the Virus to be used the oldskool way. It is such a completely different beast when used this way and I do miss VC very much for its simple editing, browsing and storing of patches. Automation of course too was a huge bonus. If I could stick with VC simply for those purposes but be able to use the hardware in SEQ mode WITHOUT VC interfering with audio playback I would be heaven. The best of both worlds.