DISTRHO - Cardinal


Thanks for the answer, I’ll give it a try, just need to understand how to get the standalone version working :sweat_smile:

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Updated plugin to 22.3-6, to match the literally-just-now released 22.03 version of Cardinal.
Release details at KXStudio News

Enjoy :slight_smile:

(and let me know of any issues too, thanks)


I updated the version on the store to an early build of 22.05.

The main reason for the update is to bring the main and full Cardinal variant.
Because this one has 19x2 ports (8x2 audio, 10x2 CV and MIDI in+out), I had to implement something special on it in order to deal with the bigger-than-usual number of ports. Some people might want to use all 10 CVs, or prefer to use more audio, so I didn’t want to simply remove these.

So in order to accommodate for this, the plugin modgui will only show the audio and cv jacks/sockets that are in use. (except when first loaded, for convenience the 1st 2 audio and cv ports are visible)

There are “show/hide audio” and “show/hide cv” buttons that will show all the related ports.
It becomes clear when you try it, so please do and let me know if it works well enough for you. Also, if it doesn’t work (some browser incompatibility with the fancy CSS?) please let me know!

Added the first preset for it too, just so it is not a totally barebones plugin without the desktop Cardinal side, that being a simple reverb patch that uses ValleyAudio’s Plateau.


A little pedalboard for having fun with Cardinal for those with a Duo X.
Mostly for testing, but fun is allowed too.

PS: There seems to be some oddities with the tempo of some “notes”, will try to fix before 22.05 release.


I feel tempo and syncing MOD to external devices (midi) also gives mixed results.

This board requires the paid shiroverb, but can easily replace it with something else. Runs very heavy on DuoX, need 256 block size.

But, sounds pretty good to me, semi generative. Need to try this with external CV sources too :wink:
(wanted RMPro on this one too, but can’t handle it)


Just chiming in about clock/notes/timing… I tested out Cardinal a few weeks ago with Topography (clone of Mutable Grids) and noticed that when using the Dwarf’s internal clock, an occasional beat was being missed and causing the pattern being played to “pause” for a beat. Switching to external clock coming in from a USB MIDI device solved the problem and never missed a beat… literally!


I’ve indeed had some similar transport synchronization issues with certain Transport Master programs (Bitwig for instance also messes cardinal Host Time on desktop).

[edit: tried with external MTC (jack_midi_clock → duox from my desktop) and can confirm 0 skip/jumps then]



Even if you can patch it - if it works - soon directly in the web browser, it would be possible to transfer the current patch from the mod to the PC - File->Deploy to PC option?
And possibly rename the parameters 1-24 individually would have the advantage that you can remember which controller regulates what. This refers only to the web browser, on the device you can name it individually.

I have wondered about this. The simplest approach I see possible is to have a button to copy Cardinal patch on MOD side to the clipboard, thus then allowing pasting that into Cardinal on desktop.
I will try this…

This is more tricky… the plugin settings screen can be customized in theory, though we never did it.
Main question is how to weak things, what the UX would look like for such a thing.
Do we simply make the knob/parameter titles editable? What then happens with the knob titles on the modgui side? (it is smaller in size for such text)


Regarding mod → PC would be great, so you could create/edit patches from anywhere (mod/PC). Make it as simple as possible.

That’s how I had thought, if you can. But I don’t have a concrete (technical) idea how to implement that. No stress if it is feasible would be great, but don’t hurry.

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ok so I just tried this, and there are many issues.
the first and main blocker, is that browser clipboard is not accessible on non-https pages even if on the local network. even trying to request clipboard permissions from the browser, we are not allowed to use the main clipboard API here.

even if trying the more permissive document.execCommand("copy"), nothing happens.
the same code works on https pages, so it is not a browser problem.

besides that, giving a binary to the browser to put in the clipboard is also a problem. the cardinal saved data is compressed, which makes it binary. we would need to give extracted json (if the clipboard stuff worked anyway) to browser to copy, which presents a problem for modules that save any extra data, and size of the patch grows quickly this way too…

so I am afraid we will skip on this entirely for now. something to check up again in a future release.


Cardinal has been updated, matching the just released 22.05 version.
See Cardinal 22.05 has been released | KXStudio News for details on the changes compared to 22.04.

Now as general question/thought, I am wondering what would be some requirements from the community to see this as a “stable” plugin, I mean not in beta.
It is a weird setup to compared to others, where you need to use a desktop tool in order to do anything useful with it, so perhaps it should have a dedicated application for remote control? (or is current approach of loading the plugin in a DAW and syncing/pushing to a MOD good enough?)

There is an issue with the screenshot sometimes, but easily fixable.
Some have suggested it needs a way to get patches out of MOD into the desktop. Not possible yet, but could be implemented why not.

Overall just curious on opinions from the community, on what you see Cardinal-in-MOD needs in order to feel more of a polished product.


In the long run it would be IMHO best if you can edit Cardinal also directly in the web browser, so on the device - double click on the screenshot opens Cardinal.
Also the option that you can create patches on the computer as well as - in the future - send patches from the web browser to the computer is awesome because you can create complex racks more freely, no matter (from) where.
If you could load in presets from the filemanager would be nice too.

In general, a big thank you to you and to Mod Devices!


I agree with @khz

I don’t use a daw at all, and everything I do is with hardware. The MOD GUI, and AUM are the only 2 pieces of software in my set up.

An app, browser, or device level control would be useful for me.

My desires are different, so without having a full external CV expander, I probably won’t use cardinal until I get the ability to create a modulation rack with full external CV control. The 2 CV outs included are awesome, but just isn’t anywhere close to being powerful in my synth set up.

I love the fact that this stuff is being included, but I won’t give up the hardware I paid for, to replace it with cardinal. I’d much rather have the option of using my mod device and an expander to utilize these digital modules into a physical set up.


Cardinal has been updated to match the 22.06 release.
More details at Cardinal 22.06 released | KXStudio News

There are no changes made to the MOD <-> desktop sync.
I did start some work to build an external remote-control application, but nothing to show for now.


Stupid question: I’m running 64bit Windows but would like to use the 32bit VSTi… so which version of Cardinal should I grab?


The win32 build then (with or without installer). There have been some reports of issues with win32, if you encounter any please report :slight_smile:


Excellent. Thanks for that info. I was previously using the JACK standalone and it was just so messy with the server and all that. Gonna go VST and see what I can cook up!


The jack standalone is just that, a standalone on top of jack. Cardinal is mainly a plugin, so it integrates best when using it as such :slight_smile:
(things like Host Parameters need a plugin host to expose them)


Haha yeah and JACK was not a fun experience in Windows 10. It always gave me an error about the server failing to start. I finally figured out if I just ignored that, Cardinal would work and I had a great time using it with the Dwarf. Just looking to make things simpler and hoping VST will do just that!