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Bidule: Link Your Synths And Parameters In Any Way

Reviewing: Plogue Bidule  |  Rating:
zergfood By zergfood on
Badge: Author | Level: 3 | Computers & Laptops Expertise:

Ever wanted to add all sorts of controls to your VSTs? How about linking them together in a way to create one single VST combined? And I do not mean just chaining them, but any combination possible, even in parallel. A simple mix, or more complicated morphing... Well Bidule is one such VST and standalone program.

Bidule, like most modular synthesizers out there, offers a way for you to connect modules, or "bidules" as it's called in Bidule, together with virtual wires. These bidules can be Bidule modules (such as fundamental building blocks, or more complicated math functions, spectral analyzers, etc), but where it really shines is its ability to use other VST plugins as modules -- and able to MODULATE each and every parameter in there.

Do you have a very good high quality pitch-shifting VST effect, but you lack a LFO for it? What if you wanted to automate, and randomize, the pitch in it with a LFO? No problem, just use an oscillator in Bidule, use a simple math function for randomness (if you want -- let's say, control the oscillator's frequency slowly), and then link the oscillator to the VST's pitch parameter! That's it, you've just automated the parameter in an automatically fashion with a LFO, and a bit of random to make it sound more alive.

Bidule is easy to use but you can get as simple or as complicated as you would like. Really, you can do the most complex mathematical relationships to modulate VST parameters, or just link them straight to each other and be done with it. It is so versatile that a simple review like this, actually ANY review at all, won't do it justice.

Sure there are other modular VSTs or programs that you can use, like Native Instruments Reaktor, but they are much more expensive, harder to use... and plainly, much more bloated. Bidule is really elegant and simple, it doesn't overload you with features, so you don't have to feel confused when you look at it.

If you have always wanted to modulate VST parameters automatically with some way, or some other VST's output or basically ANY link/combination whatsoever, then I can only recommend you give Bidule a try. It can also be used as a VST instrument, and you can select which parameters are accessible to the host if you want -- these parameters can also be created by you to represent various things (depends how you link them really).

You can also create "groups": that is, bidules connected in a way with an input and an output. This simplifies the repetitive process if you have just created a wonderful model and want to reuse it in other instances. For example, if you have made the aforementioned "LFO pitch-shifting VST" bidule, you can save it as a group, and reuse it whenever you need it in other projects or instances of the program.

I absolutely recommend this to anyone who has a vast array of VSTs, especially VST effects, and wants to use them in a free manner -- not just chain linking one after the other as most hosts allow, but in ANY conceivable way possible. The "audio out" from one can be used to modulate a parameter of another, not necessarily "audio in"!

Bidule really feels like a visual programming language for your synthesizers, but much easier to use.

Please note that Bidule is still in BETA stage, and hasn't reached the 1.0 milestone yet. Don't worry though you can still support and purchase it and (I think) your license will be transferred once it reaches the 1.0 milestone. I can only recommend it. This is the time for your synths to sound "custom" made and unique to you.

Visit http://www.plogue.com for more information ;)