Adroit Custom lets you create your own customized user interfaces for Voltage Modular patches – in effect it enables you to design and build your own synthesizers, sequencers, mixers or effects processors without having to resort to any kind of coding or scripting.
Adroit Custom also gives you access to a very powerful technique called Scene Morphing.
The basic process involves constructing a patch as usual using any modules you like, while in parallel you build a customized user interface containing interactive elements such as knobs, sliders. joysticks and buttons that are mapped to remotely control things deep within the patch. In addition things like LEDs, meters and oscilloscopes can be added to your custom interface in order to provide visual feedback.
All of the complexity and mess of the patch can be hidden off-screen leaving you with a user-friendly, aesthetically pleasing interface showing just those elements that are important.
As well as being able to remotely control the knobs, sliders and buttons of any Voltage Modular module, Adroit Custom can output CV, switch or attenuate signals and send MIDI control messages. With suitable interfacing hardware you can also remotely control external kit such as MIDI keyboards and Eurorack.
To tailor the look of your interface you can choose from a range of skins for the controls, use just about any font for text labelling, opt to import your own background graphics or use a built-in gradient shading system.
Adroit Custom uses scenes. A scene consists of the settings of all of the controls in your custom interface. You can not only switch instantly between scenes (rather like using Variations in Voltage Modular) you can also morph smoothly between them. This Scene Morphing can be under manual, time-sequenced or voltage control.
It is possible to morph at high speed, so for instance an envelope generator can be used to sweep through multiple scenes in the span of a single note. To achieve this level of control in a conventional setup you would need to have an independent multi-segment envelope generator for every parameter in your patch.
Note that Scene Morphing is quite different to Vector Synthesis. Vector Synthesis merely changes the mix levels of various sound sources while in contrast Scene Morphing allows every single control in you patch to be in motion.
The Adroit Custom bundle consists of Custom Panel, Custom Look, Custom IO and Custom Control modules. These are supported by comprehensive documentation and a number of ready-made demonstration projects.
The basic building block is a module called Custom Panel. This is a small (6 HP) panel strip that contains a customizable column of elements. You add and configure these elements using a set of pop-up menus, So for instance when you right-click on a newly created Custom Panel module you’ll get the main menu shown below.
Your customized interface is constructed by butting together any number of these Custom Panel modules horizontally and/or vertically. A small setup might consist of just one or two Custom Panel modules while a large setup might use say 24 Custom Panel modules arranged in an 8 by 3 grid.
A small number of intelligent keyboard shortcuts are provided that make certain repetitive tasks eaiser to perform.
The Custom Look module enables you to control the appearance of your interface. The background can be fully customized by loading your own image from a standard graphic file or you can use a flexible built-in gradient shading system instead.
A range of different skins are provided for each interface element and any font installed on your computer can be used for text labelling.
Custom Look settings are organized into three customizable themes – Light, Dark and Other. A special Theme button can be added to your interface that cycles between these when clicked.
Custom IO modules look after any wired connections between Adroit Custom and other modules. Up to four Custom IO modules can be deployed at once. They are identified by a Bank letter A, B, C or D.
Each bank provides 8 inputs that can be used to drive Custom Panel visual elements, 8 CV outputs that correspond to the state of any assigned Custom Panel controls, 8 pairs of VCAs that can be configured to act as switches, attenuators, attenuvertors, crossfaders or panners and finally each bank has a MIDI output that can transmitt CC and other MIDI messages.
Simple setups may not require any Custom IO modules as Custom Panel elements remotely controlling things like knobs and buttons in your patch may be sufficient and no wiring is required to achieve this.
The Custom Control module takes things to another level by providing scene-based automation in the form of morphing and sequencing features.
A scene consists of the settings of all controls in your custom interface. Individual scenes can be intialized, randomized or slightly nudged from their current settings at the press of a button. It’s also easy to copy one scene to another.
There are 16 scenes available and you can switch or morph smoothly between them using manual, time-sequenced or CV control.
Every control in your interface has a Scene Mode setting (Motorized, Shared or specific to one of the 16 scenes). You can configure some controls to perform motion recording/playback, some to be common to all scenes and others to reflect individual sequencer steps.
Motorized controls move in real-time so it’s easy to see what’s going on and to perform intuitive adjustments by simply “grabbing” controls with the mouse.
The ability to asssign separate controls to indivdual scenes means you can build step sequencers directly into the interface without having to use external sequencer modules.
Controls also have a Group setting and various special push buttons can be added to your custom interface that can be tailored to affect only one particular group. So you can for instance add a button that randomizes just a subset of controls.
Custom Look, Custom IO and Custom Control modules connect invisibly to the Custom Panel modules so can be kept hidden off-screen leaving your customized interface completely free-standing and uncluttered.
Finally the end result is stored in a standard Voltage Modular preset file so you can share your work with others by transferring a single file.
Although you may wish to use one of the many TrueType and OpenType fonts that are available for free download (but aren’t shipped with your operating system) to add something special to your interface and these are NOT embedded in the preset file. So to get the exact same look on another computer such fonts need to be installed separately – although this isn’t much of a problem as it’s very easy to download and install a font. If you Google “installing a font” and “free fonts” you’ll find plenty of helpful resources.