How to use visualvox vst

Bitwig and VCV Rack - How to use the modular synthesizer with the modular DAW

If someone here is interested in electronic music and does not completely isolate himself from the outside world, then he has certainly heard of Bitwig - I have mentioned it here a number of times. With a wide variety of approaches, Bitwig offers endless creative possibilities for sound generation and manipulation. But if you're reading this, I'm assuming that you know Bitwig. And I also think you know VCV Rack, the great open source modular synthesizer.

With the upcoming version 2 of VCV Rack there will also be a VST version of the rack, but that will probably take a few more months and the whole thing will not be free. However, there is already a plugin with the name VCV bridge, which is automatically stored in the common VST folder with the installation of VCV Rack. At first glance, the plugin looks a bit spartan and at this point I want to explain how it works.

There are different ways how you can use the rack together with Bitwig. On the one hand you can of course use VCV Rack as a virtual modular synth - oh what. Bitwig already has some good sound generators on board - with version 3 even its own modular system (The Grid), but VCV Rack costs nothing and is damn close to a real modular system.

Another possibility would be to simply use the rack as an effects board. There are wonderful effects in VCV Rack and the possibility of modulating and manipulating everything with everything is really nice - even if Bitwig users are probably already familiar with this. 😉

VCV Rack as a synthesizer in Bitwig

So the first option would be to use it as a modular synthesizer. So that I use an instrument track in Bitwig, place different notes and thus play this synthesizer. For this we use that VCV bridge Plugin that is placed in the track like a VST instrument. In this plugin I choose my port - for example Port 1 - and with the various CC controllers we can modulate or automate various parameters of the synth.

If you now open the VCV Rack and assemble a sound generator, it is best to use the module MIDI-CV to receive the notes from Bitwig. Now you could use the outputs (From Device) of the MIDI-CV cabling with sensible inputs in the rack. For example, you could do the Gate and the V / OCT output connect to an oscillator and this then plays these pitches and gates.

Of course, it is important that we MIDI-CV Make the appropriate settings in the module. Up at the Midi driver let's choose the one again bridge, including the Midi device let's choose that port, which we also in Bitwig at Bridge plugin have set (Port 1)

In the picture above, I have that V / OCT- and the Gate output used to play a wavetable osc using an ADSR. I also have a MIDI CC Module and with the CC2 Parameter modulates the ring modulator in the Osc. Of course I have to do this in Bitwig CC2 Parameters in Bridge plugin modulate or automate.

VCV rack as an effect board in Bitwig

Bitwig has a lot of effects in it. Some of them are really good and, of course, thanks to the modulators in Bitwig, you have the option of modulating until the doctor comes. But it's still nice to have more treasures in your arsenal, isn't it? We use this to route the audio signal into the rack and then to receive it again VCV-BridgeFX Plugin in Bitwig. In VCV Rack you can do all sorts of wonderful things with the audio signal.

Yap, it's that simple. You simply drag the BridgeFX plug-in anywhere in your effects chain and then insert effects in the rack as you wish. Here too you have to use the Bridge plugin again the port choose. In VCV Rack you now use that AUDIO-8 Module (also here again bridge and port to route the audio through your effects. At the end of your rack effects chain, you route the audio signal back in AUDIO-8 and thus back to Bitwig Studio.

You can now use the rack's crazy modulation options to give your sound more dynamics, movement or anything else. Don't forget: you can combine everything with everything ... you can't go wrong here. Just remember: don't turn up your headphones or speakers too loud, it can get unexpectedly LOUD.

Of course, you can also use the CCParameters of the BridgeFXPlugins use to modulate or automate things from Bitwig. You can then use the MIDI CC Module in the rack.

I have to admit that Bridge plugin here and there can be a bit unstable. In the last hour it crashed completely and sometimes it behaved a bit strange. But on the whole, everything works very well. The developers of VCV Rack want the support and further development of the Bridge plugins do not continue because the VST version of the rack will be available soon. So at the moment you have to work with what you have here ... mostly it works really well.