MSEG

MSEG - multi-stage envelope generator, used to precisely draw almost custom curve, which then be used to control various parameters: volume, filter cut-off, pitch, etc.

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What problem(s) would this feature resolve?

Trying to fake an MSEG in Bitwig is possible. However, all native or VST alternatives have drawbacks. They are not polyphonic, and they require some preparations. It’s just not as easy and fun as to use native modulators.

How does this feature fit in Bitwig as a product?

Perfectly. Bitwig is big on modulators. MSEG can be a modulator (polyphonic too), allowing to modulate anything. It also can be a Grid module where, with phase input, could allow phase-distorting it or even use it as waveshaper.

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

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?

Are there other products that offer this feature?

Many synths already have MSEG integrated: Serum, Vital, Phase Plant.

Relevant links (optional)

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7 posts were split to a new topic: [Draft discussion] MSEG

I have added this:

Inspired by this:

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i want to add it‘d be very important to me to have a ‚manual‘ input value option (i.e., manually set the x-value/playhead that is then remapped according to the envelope) in addition to it working like an lfo (where the x-value/playhead is moved automatically according to a frequency). specifically, I do a lot of MPE/expressive sound design and being able to remap the CC input according to an arbitrary graph would be really great for layering complex patches (e.g. having one layer fade in and out at an arbitrary zone of the aftertouch value). perhaps there could even be the option for a multi-mseg modulator with several layered (color-coded) MSEGs and several modulator outs, so different components‘ curves could be easily adjusted to each other!

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In case anybody wants to check it out, VCV rack came out with the new vst version recently, which makes it easier to use with Bitwig.
https://vcvrack.com/

It has a great MSEG, called Mindmeld Pro:

Another good mseg, that is available in Reaktor, and has been out for a while is the Toybox “Modulation Lane”

I have a tutorial showing one way to route it into The Grid. This can also be done without The Grid:

I think the Mindmeld Shapemaster pro in VCV rack though, is particularly powerful. It has a tone of features. There is a free vesrion of it too, here:

You can run this in the free version of vcv rack, but it is a bit more complicated. You either need the old bridge plugin, or you can route audio with something like AsioLink.

There are also some other mseg plugins that can be used in Bitwig, but of course, I would also like to see one built in to the modulator section.

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I’d like to add, that since it’s Bitwig we’re talking about, MSEG has also uses as drawable oscillator (because modulators are audio-rate capable). so list of things I’d like to see in MSEG modulator/module:

  • Retrig options (always retrig, single trigger, no retrig), for Grid it would be just trig input and pre-cord button.
  • Phase offset. For Grid we would have phase input just like with LFO, along with phase offsets including stereo difference (also like LFO module)
  • Rate modes, including Synced, hz, kHz, Pitchtrack and Hold. Hold mode would enable to use it as remap tool or OSC with external phase input, relying on phase input only.
  • Playback modes: LFO, Envelope with Sustain point and Sustain loop modes. Similar to how we have loop region in sampler
  • Adjustable grid to snap points to, and of course curve bending
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One of my favorite mseg’s is the LFO on Melda’s Msoundfactory.
To me, it kind of combines the coolest parts of lots different modulators in a unique way.

It has basic waves, an mseg, and It even includes a performer/stepper modulator like I requested here: Stepper/Performer modulator
It lets you combine and morph between these types of modulators, all within the LFO. It also lets you automate morphing between the basic waves, mseg, and performer/stepper.

If we had a modulator like this built into Bitwig, that would be cool.

The features this modulator has would be super useful for audio rate with the mseg as suggested by @x.iso. You can, for example, create custom waveshapers in the mseg, and basically use the mseg amount knob like a waveshaper amount knob.

Msoundfactory had audio rate in mind with this modulator, because they have the same design for the main oscillator in Msoundfactory.

Within Grid you can simply use Merge module to morph or step through different modulation sources, and you can step-progress using Phase counter for Select input, triggering it as soon as each sequence is finished, or however else you like. for modulator, I would suggest using Parseq-8, where you can map different modulators for each step, but it’s difficult to make it progress with different step lengths depending on each source.
Either way, I think given modularity of Bitwig it would be strange to have complex modulator hosting many modulators within it permanently.

I do the same thing with the merge module, for blending or sequencing different modulators . The main thing I like about how they do it in Msoundfactory, is that you get these various features in a quick easy way, and it kind of expands on what normal msegs do. I especially like that there is a stepper/performer, but it isn’t a seperate device, because combining it with an mseg in one device allows for a very quick workflow and lots of happy accidents.

I don’t think we would get module that combines all these features like this, but I was just throwing it out there as an example of what I think is a pretty forward thinking mseg with unique features.

is there a way to send that multistage envelope out to Modulargear…? I have no Expert sleepers but i have the shuttle control! Any advices to do this?

But first we need a absolut charme to work with MSEG! Thank you for this!

is there a way to send that multistage envelope out to Modulargear…? I have no Expert sleepers but i have the shuttle control! Any advices to do this?

You can send any modulator from Bitwig to your modular gear (as long as you have dc-coupled outputs) by just routing the modulations to hardware outputs. There are several Bitwig devices for controlling hardware gear also.
If you are working within the grid, since the output is stereo, it is useful to use the “stereo merge”, so you can have 2 modulations going separately to the stereo output (for example: pitch and gate).

If you want to send one of the msegs from Vcv rack or Reaktor into The Grid, you can run them into The Grid using an audio sidechain module. You can send 2 modulation signals from VCV rack or Reaktor to a stereo output, route that into the audio sidechain in The Grid, then route that to a “stereo split” module, so you can use the 2 modulations independently within the Grid.
If you’re not using the Grid, and just want to use MSEG’s from VCV rack or reaktor with your modular gear, you just need to route the modulators to outputs within those softwares.

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This is just the best explantation Andrej, thank you!
As you didnt go to the Endorphines shuttle control topic, i guess that this is not possible. Do you know if there is a way sending the envelope out of bitwig with Shuttle Control?

Thank you

Ohh yes the MSEG is super nice, but if I could used it as an oscillator too it would be even better.

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I’m not really familiar with the Endorphines Shuttle Control. When I was using Eruorack, I used to have as Expert sleepers es6 and es3, that just allowed me to use the adat ins and outs on my audio interface. With that setup, the routing from software is still the same as any other DC coupled audio interface inputs and outputs.

The way I do it right now is using a utility / auxiliary track and use the MPE editor to draw the curves which is an awful hack and doesn’t deal with polyphony.

I’m super betwixt and between on this.

I guess if there were only one choice, my preference is it would be a modulator, then you can use it on a device or have it control a knob in the grid (if we don’t get to have a grid specific version).

Also I think a modulator is what people would expect it to be.

Maybe they should just let the existing sampler editable (drawable with curves) :man_shrugging: and also let it be a modulator :man_shrugging:. I know it sounds weird but it really is some kind of sampler / oscillator as @leo.nordmann wanted and I want, and @x.iso wants it to be retriggerable and all that good stuff.

decisions decisions :slight_smile:

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I don’t really think we’re dealing with some super complex problem that deals with compromise dilemma, just needs a good UI/UX and optimization. audio-rate polyphonic MSEGs exist in plugins (Vital for instance, even Surge), I’m pretty sure Bitwig devs can pull it off.

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@OdoSendaidokai has published this tutorial: MSEG & Bitwig | (english) - YouTube (also in German, MSEG & Bitwig | (deutsch) - YouTube )

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Related video published just a few hours ago (the link points to the moment when LFOtool is introduced):

Haz:Mat Production - Using LFOtool as a MSEG modulation source in Bitwig

I am going to add LFOtool to the list of VSTs in the description.

Accidentally, while searching for “LFOtool” I have found these presets that I haven’t check (if you do, your feedback in their respective topics is welcome, since they have no comments or ratings).

Another video with an MSEG workaround, also using automation curves: :slight_smile:

n:byte - Bitwig Polyphonic MSEG Modulator

now that we have CLAP support, it should be possible to develop a Note FX device plugin with MSEG that would output it’s modulation as either Timbre or Pressure expressions for incoming notes, thus producing polyphonic MSEG. although probably not audio-rate, so unlikely you’d be able to pass these as oscillators to Grid, but maybe it’s Bitwig’s devices that refuses to generate those expressions at audio-rate.
Either way now it’s question of what comes first, native MSEG or 3rd party solution with reasonable integration (I’d say such notefx would be reasonable, definitely better than anything else we can do right now).

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