VST version of mlr

  • This issue was first discussed here:

    But I think it's worthy of it's own thread. I summary, Steve Duda has offered to port mlr to C++ so that it will run efficiently as a VST instrument under Ableton etc. Because he is a professional developer and doing ports can be time consuming and rarely fun, there has been a fee discussed of $1000. I get the feeling that there are a large number of people willing to contribute to this figure to see this come to be. I wanted to start this thread to properly gauge how many people would contribute and how much so that we can see if this could happen or not. There are secure sites where it is possible to cumulatively gather a sum of money.

    I would definitely contribute say $50, how about everyone else?

  • Have you tried Molar, or does that not quite cut it as a MLR substitute?
    I personally would like to see every audio/midi Monome app I've played with this far ported to vst :)....any takers ?
    Can we just get max into a vst shell,lol.

  • i would contribute i think, unsure how much, i guess it would depend on the uptake - actually buying a monome and a kit so i can have a botched 128 has nearly bankrupted me, and i haven't paid the import duty yet!

  • great idea, i could mosdef throw in some dough.

  • @gurulogic - I have tried molar, I like it but it doesn't quite have the immediacy of mlr for me. Apparently mlr performs terribly in pluggo (the max/msp vst shell) and the great thing about mlr is the near instant feedback.

  • id definately chuck in around $30-50

  • i'll talk to steve about this. it'd be an appropriate replacement for the poorly-promised mlr3.

  • well as interested as i'd be to try an mlr VST, i think that mlr is rock solid on its own, it took awhile to get used to, but now i've been programming tracks and loops specifically for mlr......if you ported to say ableton, all you would gain was efx, but thats what a koass pad is for.......i can't decide.....maybe

  • I think you would have a huge amount to gain by using within ableton: sequencing / scenes, effect chains, configurable routing, live beats etc. Basically everything that ableton excels at, leaving mlr to what it excels at. I think that the possiblities that it would open up are mind blowing, for instance, it would be possible to drum out some samples run through a guitar amp simulation, cut that up live in mlr, record the output to various ableton clips, warp them and leave them running, record it back through a kaoss pad, back into mlr....

    A lot of feature requests that I see for mlr are DAW features that could be easily satisfied if it ran as VST.

  • if it had an option like the NI stuff so you could use it as VST or standalone, I'd really dig it. I'm not sure of my capacity to donate at the moment though. =(

  • I would donate some for sure.

  • Currently saving up for a live license, but would be down to donate if and when the time comes...

  • I'd chip in if the source was released...
    A standalone C++ MLR would be nice too, it's not always possible/desirable to run a VST host.


  • I'd drop $50. i agree with eman, source would be crucial, both as a learning tool (for newbie programmers like me) and a modification tool (for programmers like me in a year).

  • $50 would be more than worth it to me.
    it would be great to have as an option.

  • I agree totally about having the source available, I'm a professional developer but know very little about C++ and VST so learning from this project would help me bring all of the ideas I would like to contribute into being.

  • I'm in $50-$100. As long as it has at least every function of 2.27 EXACTLY as it functions in max. More functionality would be great, but a true 2.27 vst clone would be dreamy...

    Being able to specify number of mute groups, pattern records, and multiple outputs would sweeten the deal even more. And custom-mapped top row controls and toggle screens would blow my freakin' mind!

  • +1 for $50 w/available source code

    i'd also like to agree that it should be a previous, stable release of mlr that gets ported. like 2.25 or 2.27. some of the features of version 3 would be nice, but the beautiful thing about mlr is its simplicity/power. giving it too many features takes this away.

  • ok for $50

    and why not add : random access to samples (secret wish).

  • I like features.Just cause they are there doesn't mean you have to use them.
    And when you are ready to expand your way of working,if the features are well implemented, new ways of doing things (features) can be adapted to as needed.
    I think minimilism definately works best for some people but I don't think it's fair when minimalists think minimalism should work best for everyone.
    Stability above all though!

  • if people follow through, we're at least halfway to $1000...

  • Count me in for $50 as well!

  • As long as ther are more than 4 groups, the pattern recorder works the same, and its stable, I would be down for $50 -$100 (depending on features implimented). I would love this as a VST. MoLaR is nice, but its still a bit confusing, so I gave up on it, and the pattern recorder in MLR is perfect.

  • I haven't even received my monome yet, I've played with the virtual mlr, but it's been my plan all along to use this with Live for a VST I'd drop $50 on it no problem.

  • who will step up and make it happen?

  • Get him to set up a needy or greedy page for it!


  • I hardly ever use more than 3 groups, I always use the extra aux of v2.3, and I was really looking forward to some of the features of version 3. Especially the way a pattern could be turned off without deleting it. I'm all for minimalism as long as it stands for intuitive layout and features, not unnecessary limitations. But first steps first I guess.

  • @dbelcham



  • Good call... was looking for the name of that one...

  • Absolutely in for 50.

  • it's interesting that this is brought up, actually. a few weeks back I started on a port of MLR mostly because there's something of a void in terms of MLR-like apps on Linux. this port is written in C and currently uses the Jack sound server for audio i/o, which potentially means OSX support (at least) without a lot of pain. it's about as far along as the ChucK version, at the moment, but progress it happening at a surprisingly swift pace.

    i'll stand aside and let steve respond to the requests for a VST version, which I would also be very excited to see. still, something to think about.

  • i'll donate $50


  • have any of you tried the latest Molar Builds? Seems pretty close to MLR to me, with lots of extras. Only thing missing is switching sounds per pattern/preset, which Steve mentioned he's working on implementing.

    Seeing the amount of work Steve put in, to me a one time 1000$ payment doesnt seem like the proper way to handle something like this, with all of the bug fixes and updates and all. To me, something like this should be a collective work of Monome Users, so the source will be there, updates will come if we are so motivated to make them, and one person is not responsible for the project.

  • @bangInclude - I would say that collective works are essential to the monome community and that the source for this project should be available for updates, extensions and for learning. However, this particular task will be difficult and lengthy for an amateur, what steve can do for us is provide a rock solid code base that we be able to rely upon. I beleive that a project of this size developed collaboratively in the early stages would lead to hard to read and unreliable code. I am willing to help steve out financially to lend his experience and talent to a task that he otherwise would not have chosen to do.

  • I second encouraging steve duda to take Molar the rest of the way as an mlr vst alternative.
    One downside is that the source is apparently not distributable for Molar as it contains 3'rd party code that as I understand it,he is not at liberty to share.
    The other downside is that Molar can be a bit much to wrap your head around and that so far there has been little more than bits and pieces of the much needed in depth documentation for Molar.(a possible community project?)
    Of course I haven't really delved much into mlr yet as Molar has been keeping me quite busy so I might not know what I am really missing..?

  • @crunchy_alligator :
    Have you tried the latest build of Molar ?

  • @bangInclude - I haven't tried the latest, I have tried a recent one and I think it's great. However I imagine that the basic concept of setting up patterns with the mouse then choosing between them live on the monome hasn't changed - this isn't quite what I want. I love exactly the way that mlr works, the simplicity, intuitiveness and the fact that you rarely have to look at the screen. I understand that this is really a matter of preference, but then having a VST version of mlr won't limit anyone's options, only create more.

  • Hi guys

    thanks, I'm flattered, but no time, cross your fingers to even see a Molar update (looking more like May now) as everyone seems to want my time recently. I'm involved in 4 music collaborations and will likely be starting a software collaboration later in the year that will probably eat up every hour for the rest of my life...


  • No worries Steve. At least you know that if you ever fancy doing it, the backing is there!

  • @crunchy_alligator
    You can do all your loop editing directly in Molar.

    Try this example:
    -Set all you row mode to LTG (holding ALT and changing a parameter changes that parameter for all rows,alternatively,holding shift+alt will change the paramaters for all pads on a selected row))

    -Select the first pad in each row and press the copy/paste+edit pads
    (this sets the default shape for each row)

    -Load loops into as many rows as desired.

    -Select a pad on a row,hold the edit pad and edit your loop as desired for that pad.
    Repeat for next pad or alternatively hold copy/paste, select a pad containing pattern edits you would like to copy and press the destination pad.
    (I am still not sure if there is a way to copy an edited pattern to all pads in a row in one operation?Steve?)

    -Optionaly choose from up to eight mute groups and eight stereo outputs

    -Jam away,meta-record and live audio capture away.Very mlr style imo?No?

    I hope we are going to be able to at very least steal you for some minor bug fixes before we are left completely on our own...?

  • >I am still not sure if there is a way to
    >copy an edited pattern to all pads in
    >a row in one operation?

    I think un-collapse and collapse will accomplish that.

  • regarding minimalism... i'm just saying the to me, 2.27 is perfect. version 3 does awesome things, but some of it is unnecessary in my mind. and i think molar's rad, but FAR too complex and too many options/features. i don't want a vst mlr to turn into that. mlr does a couple things and does them amazingly; i think it should be left at that is all.

  • i agree totally!

  • Personaly, I find mlr confusing:)
    Molar really isn't that overly complex...it just takes awhile to realize that it isn't.Some instructions other than the seven pages of forum dialogue would probably help.PLus you really don't HAVE to scroll through pages of extra features to get to the basic functionality.
    I'm not arguing for Molar over mlr by any means,I just think maybe some of you who are wishing for a vst mlr might not realize that there more or less is one already ,that I believe may have even sprung forth from the other long ago discussion about people getting together and donating towards development of a vst mlr...?
    But by all means,if someone wants to make mlr a vst, please dont let me rain on the parade;)

  • Thankyou very much for the instructions gurulogic, I think I may not have given molar enough of a chance - the last one I tried couldn't record live input.

    Maybe I may attempt a vst mlr myself one day when every moment isn't taken up by work and gigs.

    Out of interest, are there many other traditional programmers in the community? By traditional I mean non graphical languages. I ask because I may setup an SVN repository for projects in the future.

  • i had an SVN here until we did a server reinstall a while back.

    let me know if there are enough people interested, i could reinstall it.

  • > Personaly, I find mlr confusing:)


    > the last one I tried couldn't record live input.

    fwiw its been able to do that long before I even made it public, not that it was documented. (WAV+3rd pad from right enables constant input recording, +2nd = capture next bar, +rightmost = capture this bar)

  • @steve - I didn't realise that, as I said I haven't given molar enough of a chance and I will definitely be experimenting with it. I think that when you are new to something like the monome that has potentially infinite possibilities it's tough to settle on an approach that will enable you to create music with spontaneity and passion. I had a lot of fun with mlr but wanted to incorporate its strengths with the live scenario I have worked on so far. I have an immense respect for what you have done in this community and beyond, being able to reconcile the music and development sides of my life is a dream of mine.

    @tehn - I would love to see an SVN repository, I have so many ideas that I would be happy to make available as soon as I got the time. I suppose there is always google code but it would be nice to hold code centrally.

  • Like I said, the only limitation I see with Molar, is not being able to switch sounds per preset/pattern like MLR, which *is* a huge missing feature, but steve did mention that he is trying to figure out an elegant way to implement this feature. Hopefully he will pick up dev on this at some point.

    I would really like to see a VST version of MLR. As gurulogic said, I also would like to point out that there is something out there now, that will give you MLR Like functionality in VST flavor. get it MoLaR ... Honestly, Molar is nuts... While i don't have the time right now to write up a full manual, i have no problem answering questions about using the app. Id say myself and gurulogic, were among the most active testers and feature requesters for Molar, so both of us have pretty firm grasp on the app...

  • +1 on the SVN server. (Whenever you're ready tehn, we know you're a busy man)

    An 'official' monome.org svn server is an important symbol in my mind, that a sourceforge project would not satisfy.