Befaco VCMC Source code available!

Ok!! I’ll stay tuned! Thanks a lot!

YESH!

I’m so excited about this one. Been wanting this for soooo long. Got a Teletype ready and waiting. By the way, Teletype has a USB input on the front which now has (beta) firmware for MIDI In ops, so as @thopa pointed out on another thread, there is a possibility that you could plug a USB cable from the VCMC to the Teletype and control it that way.

Haven’t tested that yet.

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I’ve already done that and works fine. The only thing is that while having the TELETYPE connected to the VCMC you can no longer use the keyboard for live programming, and if you switch to the keyboard (I have the TWO>ONE module to do this) you lose all the MIDI OPS and CC control for the faders over I2C. So dedicated I2C messages from the VCMC is going to be great and solve all those issues …

FYI there is anew thread to follow the current implementation of I2C on VCMC.Befaco VCMC / i2c Development

Currently is on Test branch (no offical support yet) and only on I2C leader mode.
Not all devices have support now, but will update ASAP.

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@Sergio_Reta thank you soooo sooo much for your work on the VCMC. All the code changes have been great so far, and I can’t wait to see a follower implementation for the i2c as well. But more on that on the other thread!

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Does anybody have experience with this module? I keep thinking how cool it would be to match my Noise Engineering sequencing modules with something like my Octatrack or VCV rack.

I haven’t been able to find a lot of actual experience with the module online. How is the latency? Have folks had good experiences? Folks found this to be better than alternatives?

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It’s pretty good. Any specific questions I can answer? I have a few, if not all, CV to Midi modules to compare.

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That’s amazing! Well, there are actually a Humber of questions I have, tbh;

  1. what is delay like between different programs? Like, does it work better with VCV Rack or VST’s?

  2. what do you mainly use if for? Note Sequencing, triggers, CV modulation? What is your preferred target?

  3. how does resolution come in to play when effecting something like, say, a VCV Rack oscillator (such as Cs-L)? Have you used it with something like Phase Plant or other VST’s?

  4. out of all CV to MIDI modules, which is your favorite?

  5. any thoughts or ideas about usage and general experience that I haven’t asked here?

I can’t comment 'cause I’ve never used these with software. I did use the a-192-2 with a YT vj program posted on another thread here, but other than that I’ve only used these modules with hardware.

All of the above. Note sequencing, chord progressions, triggers of samples, CC messages (so modulation), Program changes, MIDI clock. Targets? Hm, anything from obsolete standalone synthesizers such as Roland boxes, to VL70m or other physical modeling synths. Anything that can make a sound is a good target honestly.

If you’re in 12TET you will have zero problems. If you want microtonal there are workarounds, from either using external boxes like Midihub to create microtonal scales, to using pitch bend to make sure your notes are off-scale, to using synthesizers that have on-board microtonal capabilities which will repitch the incoming 12TET notes. In terms of CC control, if you know your MIDI you can mess around with LSB and MSB and get higher resolution than your typical 127 values that most people associate with MIDI.

That’s an easy answer, definitely the SDS Digital Melisma, but I collaborated with SDS Digital on that module so it’s kind of my baby and I’m very biased.

Other than that I worked on the M218 by Ladik, and beta tested on the ADDAC222 by ADDAC System, and the CV Thing by Befaco, and I find them all very useful and good candidates if you’re looking for CV-to-MIDI, but I also like the ADDAC221 and the VCMC which are modules I did not work on. I also own the C2M by mxmxmx and a-192-1 and a-192-2 by Doepfer, and there a few others which are worth mentioning (like Iungo from Entrospec) which never gathered much attention. It really depends what your end-goal is. Some are better at drums, some are very hands-on (VMCM, ADDAC222) so better for performance cases, others not so much (Doepfer), others are really nice for CC messages (ADDAC221) but not useful for notes, so it’s relative to what you want to do, the space you have, and the complexity you’re willing to tackle.

If I only had to pick one I’d obviously go with the Melisma because it does stuff no other module can pull off, but I have the VCMC, Melisma, and CV Thing on the same case, so … that says a few things I guess :smiley:

I think your best bet is to figure out what it is you want to do and check the specs of each module to see if it fits your goal. Check number of channels, whether it does CC, chords, notes, etc, and whether the size fits your case. I think each design is pretty unique in a way, so there’s enough differences to make choosing between designs easier.

I’m happy that more CV-to-MIDI modules are out there. There weren’t enough choices a few years ago. General experience has been great, but you have companies like Befaco, SDS Digital, and ADDAC System who really respond to user feedback. I tend to push CV-to-MIDI to extremes so whether you’ll be happy with incorporating MIDI in a modular setup is really personal - I embrace any issues or mistranslations that might come up, others are not so happy. But don’t get scared, you can get very precise results if you know what you’re doing, with not too much effort.

Usage? Sky is the limit, really.

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So, for the most part, I believe a VCMC would fit my needs most, as I would want to interface it with my computer, and not directly in to gear itself. This would allow me to add all the performative MIDI capabilities that the Malisma would offer… but so much of this is very cool and exciting!

I also do enjoy the idea of the sliders, since these could be connected with VCV or DAW controls that are associated with the specific tools I’m interfacing with. I’ll continue to do some reading though and see where I land.

For example, I would want to have the CV input either be trig, CV modulation OR note value data (probably more on the trig side) and the definition of that input be handled by a DAW, this way I could run drums, trigger and sequence a VCV oscillator or just run something like Phase Plant!

I’ll certainly continue to give this more thought… Thanks!!!

Just learned about so-called “high resolution midi cc” the other day because my Intellijel MIDI 1U supports it.

Do the Befaco modules support this? Like could you designate an input as high resolution and have it send out the properly split CCs (32 channels apart iirc).

If so, that’s great. If not, maybe that’s a feature that could be implemented in the firmware. It would really be great for a specific use that I might be interested in using a CV thing for.

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This is the first I’ve heard these acronyms, and it sounds very much like a thing I’m interested in doing. I’ve got a Befaco CV Thing on the way (probably stuck in USPS hell, but that’s neither here nor there), and most of my use cases will involve all 8 channels outputting CC values. Expected destinations: Polyend Tracker, VCV Rack, ASM Hydrasynth, Bitwig. Any additional reading or resources you could point to would be greatly appreciated!

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I didn’t come across those acronyms in my searching, but I assume it refers to the same thing.

This post had a good explanation for the standardized version that is supported in Ableton: little-scale: Ableton Live and High Resolution MIDI Control

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I found a pretty good technical explanation of MSB/LSB here FWIW.

To (maybe) answer my own question, it appears that both the controller sending information and the receiving software/hardware would have to be working with 14-bit CC data.

Befaco VCMC and CV Thing: both can send out 14-bit CC data, and NRPN data as well.

ASM Hydrasynth: compatible with NRPN
Polyend Tracker: seems to be only standard 7-bit CC values
Bitwig: seems to be only standard 7-bit CC values
VCV Rack: standard CC, but 14-bit MIDI CC will be coming in VCV 2.0 (i.e., MSB on CC 0-31, LSB on CC 32-63)

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I am excited to see some chat on this subject, since this does seem like some questions I would have in regards to the use of the module. I am very curious to hear your experience with it. One of the reasons that I began to look at this module is that I don’t have any more Oscillators in my rack, but still have sequencers, effects, function generators and filters, all able to work in tandem with my ES-8. So, it would be rad to keep the ES-8 as mainly audio (and a little sequencing from the computer to the rack) and the rack able to do the rest. Being able to control something like a CS-L from the VCMC would make me very happy. Same with something like Phase Plant…

So, yeah, in general, I’m EXTREMELY eager to hear your expience with this module and getting it to do some of these higher fidelity standards.

Also, gosh darn am I eager to hear more news about VCV 2 and VCV for DAWs

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I just finished building my CV Thing today!

@Befaco sorry if this is a dumb question with an obvious answer, but is there a way to be able to play legato with a 1v/oct and gate pair? Seems like the default behavior is that the note only changes when a new gate is received.

Nope, its not possible… But is a nice feature to add.

Will pass this out to the programmer for implementation. @Sergio_Reta :slight_smile:

That would be great :slight_smile:

Firmware 1.3 is uploaded to our github.

Main update here is chord mode. A super flexible Chord generator offering the option to change scale, chord types , inversions or voicings. Check user manual here.

We also implemented channel pressure messages and made the module compatible with iConenctivity devices.

Any feedback is much appreciated!!

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@Befaco this looks like an amazing update! I’m interested in trying it out for my CV Thing, but I have some questions.

  1. Practically speaking, how does Chord Mode differ when you’re using a CV Thing, as opposed to a VCMC? On CV Thing there’s no dedicated gate inputs, nor faders, but I’m unsure if this limits functionality or if there are perfectly good ways of working around those issues.

  2. I remember reading that for VCMC, factory calibration is mandatory when updating firmware. I don’t quite see that same requirement for CV Thing, but I might just be missing it. Is factory calibration required for CV Thing as well for the 1.3 update?