A Device & VST plugin module for The Grid

A Grid module that would load a Device or a VST plugin inside a patch. The features would be equivalent to the ones available when loading a VST as a device: its parameters could be modulated, and its audio signal could be processed by other modules, including Audio Out.

Some use cases:

  • Use a Device or VST plugin as a sound source that can then be mangled with other things - for example, a 3rd party synth patch that is triggered and controlled by The Grid then go through processing in The Grid again.
  • Use a Bitwig or 3rd party effect towards the end of the chain, like a reverb or a glitch processor.
  • Use a Bitwig or 3rd party effect within a voice or a small part of the chain, for example, a distortion, or some easy multi-band editing of a particular sound before it gets passed on.
  • Have interactions between different Bitwig and/or 3rd party effects that usually don’t interact, i.e. use one to modulate the other in unexpected ways.

This feature would make The Grid an open workspace as opposed to a closed one. Its implementation could be done with one module for all Devices and VSTs or two, one for instruments and one for effects.

What problem(s) would this feature resolve?

Currently there is no direct connection between The Grid and Bitwig native devices and VST plugins. The Grid only has oscillators and the Sampler to create sound. Note data generated inside the Grid cannot be used by Devices and VST plugins with ease and good performance.

How does this feature fit in Bitwig as a product?

Bitwig pushes innovative workflows through open-ended architecture. This feature would make The Grid (a central piece of Bitwig) more open.

Is there already an alternative way to achieve this on Bitwig?

You can modulate device parameters with Grid signals if they are in the FX chain of the Grid instance. However, you lose Grid-specific possibilities like voice layering.

Could it be implemented using Bitwig components or APIs, without Bitwig team’s support?

No.

Could it be provided by a VST or something else reasonably integrated with Bitwig?

No.

Are there other products that offer this feature?

Max/MSP, VCV Rack

Here is an example of a VST plugin loaded in a VCV Rack patch.

Relevant links (optional)

4 Likes

Agreed, I can see how complex this might be with audio compensation, oversampling etc. But it would be pretty amazing if it happened!

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I am all for it, though there are workarounds with multiple Grid devices and instrument/fx layers. I guess the biggest hurdle would be to get it implemented in a consistent way…

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Would be sweeet

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21 posts were split to a new topic: [Draft discussion] A Device & VST plugin module for The Grid

If we get multiple outs from the grid, like I proposed in this thread
https://bitwish.top/t/output-to-new-chain-module-in-the-grid/ , then we would effectively have vst’s in the grid, because signals could be routed to and from vst’s, by putting them in a chain.

There is also currently a workaround that somebody posted a video for on that thread. The way it works is that you can send the signal you want to route out, or process by a vst, to a modultor. Then create a chain with a dc offset module, and modulate the dc offset from the modulator that the audio was routed to. If it is stereo signal, then you need to use a stereo split in the grid, and 2 dc offsets. Then that signal can be routed back into the Grid, from the “audio sidechain” module.
This is obviously a very inconvenient workaround though.

If we do get the “output to new chain” module, or some other implementation of multiple outs from The Grid, then we would definitely be able to use vst’s in our Grid patches, more that just putting them at the end of the patch, like we can now.

It would probably be convenient to also just have a vst module in The Grid, just to simplify things, and not have to route the signal back in from the vst.

3 Likes

I disagree that the output to new chain is functionally the same - you could only really output audio into the audio input of a vst, not use signals to drive the parameters - at least it would be very cumbersome. I think it would be really cool to have vsts in the grid (and all internal devices too ofc)

I disagree that the output to new chain is functionally the same - you could only really output audio into the audio input of a vst, not use signals to drive the parameters - at least it would be very cumbersome. I think it would be really cool to have vsts in the grid (and all internal devices too ofc)

I hear what you’re saying. You would still be able to control any vst parameter from the Grid. But, I suppose having a dedicated VST module in The Grid would be simpler, especially since you wouldn’t need to use an “Audio Sidechain” module to run the vst outputs back into The Grid.
Something like the way it is done in VCV rack could be cool:

1 Like

I’d really like this. VCV uses blocks for its Host module (because plugins don’t work at audio rate), I’m sure the Grid could find a similar solution. It would tremendously improve the capabilities of the Grid!

I do like using Host in VCV Rack and Voltage Modular, but having them hosted in the Grid directly would give me access to them in a properly tempo and transport synced environment, without any of the (albeit minor) shortcomings the others have.

2 Likes

I wonder whether the now implemented Note Grid and Note Out module for The Grid affect this request in any way.

it doesn’t since devices in any Grid’s chains are still not included in polyphony. plus people just really want to have device put as a module in Grid to route it more directly for intended porpuses

2 Likes