Home Page: http://www.bcmodular.co.uk


Overview

BC Modular is a collection of 500 modules for the Creamware/SonicCore Modular II, III & IV devices. Envelopes, Filters, Oscillators, Switches, Mixers etc. provide all the basic building blocks you need for the most complex of modular patches while compatibility with existing modular modules means that BC Modular can be easily integrated into your patches.

Almost every module parameter has an input socket for extended control and modulation. Each module features a pop-up panel, where the appearance of the module can be edited for easy recognition. In addition, many of the modules feature slider controls for the various module parameters.

The BC package includes its own Modular Shells with extra IOs for connectivity with other Scope devices and native control applications such as Expert Sleepers Silent Way. What's more, a suite of software and hardware IO modules are provided which can be loaded directly into your modular patch as an alternative to connecting via the routing window.

Highlights

  • Circuit Level Modules which allow modular patches to be split across multiple layers each of which can then be saved as modular modules
  • 14-bit MIDI control support using MSB & LSB CC pairs for 0-16383 control resolution
  • Game Controller Support. Up to 8 Windows game controllers can be given direct access to module parameters
  • STS OSCs provide support for multi-layered STS and Akai sample programs
  • Control Ranger modules for unprecedented refinement of parameter ranges and curves
  • BC Pipe connections for 8 channel bi-directional control via a single modular cable

Latest Download

BC Modular v0.98b

General Topics

Connections
BCM Modules - BCM Presets, Control Edit

Tutorials

Idiot's Guide to using BC Modular with a Behringer B-Control Device: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3

Reference

Module Types
Modular Shells

Background

In November 2007, Sharc announced the new BCM Modules for Scope Modular. A set of control surfaces and modules for the Scope Modular synthesizer. The project was based around improving the control of Modular devices, being mainly restricted by the limitations of the MIDI resolution. When it's released there will be an announcement from Sharc on PlanetZ most likely this month, and the package itself will be moving to it's own site www.bcmodular.co.uk So keep an eye out at the 'Z' and the new site for further release details. There are two main limitations that BCM aims to improve:
  • Modular devices ignore the MIDI channel of incoming MIDI Control Change (CC) messages, limiting the system to only 128 points of control (128 knobs).
  • MIDI CC messages are restricted to 8 bit resolution, and the extended 14 bit NRPN messages that the MIDI protocol supports is not read by standard Scope Modular devices.
Mercury.jpg

I first stumbled across the BCM modules in the context of using my Behringer BCR2000 MIDI controller for something usefull like controlling a large Modular synth, and naturally associated the acronym 'BCM' with 'Behringer Control'. But as Sharc explained, this was not the case, as BC stands for 'Better Control'.

I asked Sharc to elaborate:

Sharc: The whole thing did initially kind of stem from an idea surrounding Behringer controller integration, purely because that was the more suitable of the two controllers I had at hand. It could just as easily have been a Kenton Control Freak, but I opted for the Behringer because of the parameter feedback. It was initially about simply getting more MIDI control.

Dante: So BCM was like an expansion of the MRC concept?

Sharc: I always found the MRC (MIDI Remote Controller introduced in Modular V3) incredibly limited on that front and when you went beyond the MRC by assigning CC's to individual parameters it quickly became a confused mess of controller assignments. So that's why I chose to reflect the layout of the physical controller (such as the Behringer) on screen.

Dante: So obviously after the initial version you found further improvements beyond just expanding the controller surface?

Sharc: The first module was an early version of the BCM. At that point I realized the the lack of control inputs for so many of the parameters on modular was going to be an issue. So I set about building a series of modules which fitted with the paradigm. A lot of it was initially pretty much a rehash of what was already there in modular with the control inputs added. Then came the support for the higher resolution MIDI control with the modules for NRPN, Key Pressure and 14-bit CC's. Now we've got the USB joystick support.

Dante: So although the control surfaces resemble a BCR2000, it could be used with any MIDI controller just a mouse?

Sharc: The BCM modules that look like the BCR surface are just 5 out of over 150. In some ways I wish I'd made them more generic as a number of users seem to think they need a Behringer Controller to use BC Modular. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact the upcoming release will have USB joystick control as an option. As it's grown a lot of new ideas have crept in. The circuit level module was one of my favorites - Bigger Circuits. I'm going to add lots of those in the coming release.

Dante: So it's all about 'Better Control'.

Sharc: Yes. Giving more options for the user to fine tune the controls of their modular patches and expanding the possibilities with regards to external control. Options like Expert Sleepers Silent Way are also well catered for. With a maximum 8 ins and 8 outs the regular modular shell is slightly limited with regards to the amount of external audio rate modulation which can be set up. BC Modular includes a suite of I/O modules covering both hardware and software I/O options. As well as this BC Modulars own shells have up to 32 audio and 16 sync I/O ports. Potentially over 100 modulation routings can be made into BC Modular and back out again.

Sharc and Dante January 2013
Source » Hitfoundry » Scope BC Modular

BC Modular Update [v0.97 About]

Dante: Checking on progress since our last article I noticed two major updates (v0.97b and v.0971b). Something took my eye in v0.97b which was all the XITE-1 I/O modules. I take it that now we can start building devices inside modular that communicate directly with the hardware I/O, so modular is becoming a complete environment in itself having less reliance on the project container itself?

Sharc: I don't think the project window is becoming less relevant in any way. I do think Modular is becoming more flexible and less reliant upon the I/O count of the Modular shell you build your patch in. If you use a 2x2 shell and then discover you need another input or output then it can be added without having to build from scratch in a bigger shell. Likewise, with a modular device loaded as an insert effect you can add MIDI and audio I/O modules to suit your needs.

BC0971b_Screen.png

Dante: So theoretically we can build processors or mixers and drag them into a project without needing any I/O hookups in the project itself. What would happen if we assigned the same I/O in a Modular device that was already being used in the project?

Sharc: In theory, yes. You could build an entire project inside the modular shell without requiring any external routings. Just like with projects though, the I/O modules are system specific. XITE I/O modules won't load on a Scope PCI card so patches using the hardware I/O modules would be more for personal use and not as easy to share with other users.

Also, as much as it would be great if they were, the I/O modules aren't intelligent. They can't communicate with other I/O modules in the project beyond the routings you make. If you try to load more than one instance of the same I/O you'll get an error message. Just like in the routing window. However multiple software Wave and MIDI I/O modules can be loaded.

Dante: 55 devices is a lot but then I noticed 24 more in v.0971b. Some useful MIDI modules took my eye here, and I noticed some new oscillators were well received. How do you plan in advance what modules to make?

Sharc: I usually try not to make too many long term plans. I've got a to-do list of updates, bug fixes and ideas for new modules. I try to keep that list at a manageable length. Some things might stay on the list for a lot longer than others. I think it's important to approach whatever you're doing with enthusiasm. Otherwise what's the point? Some chores do need to be done though so I try to balance it out on those terms so that I keep myself interested.

Dante: And how has the overall development been progressing during 2013?

Sharc: Progress has been slower than I expected. I don't mind admitting that. At the same time though, I'm really pleased with the way some of the developments have turned out. I think I've come to appreciate this as a much longer term project than I possibly realized it was a year ago. I don't see v1.0 as being the same milestone to aim for as I did a year ago. It's probably going to be just another update - the one before v.1.1.

Dante: I've seen a lot of positive feedback from the community - that must keep you inspired.

Sharc: Yes, the feedback I've received from users has been really encouraging. The time and energy some users have put into the project so far has been simply overwhelming. Having the BC Forum and Planet Z to interact with the user base has been really important to driving the project forward. I might be the one who started BC Modular and who's sitting here putting views across right now, but it's their project as much as it's mine.

Dante and Sharc December 2013
Source » Hitfoundry » BC Modular Update





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