FellKlang Musik Technik
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11 July 2012

U-HE DIVA 1.1 | £138.04

Modelling the function of a light switch in code is simple enough. It has an On state, which we could call 1 (or a very small cup with an electron in it). And there’s an Off state, or 0, or an empty cup. So, that’s not a lot of binary data. But what if it’s a dimmer switch? One’s cup may be neither full nor half empty. We’ve a theoretically limitless amount of On-ness (or Off-ness) to deal with, which requires an infinite amount of code. And that’s where coders start making compromises, balancing the accuracy of the model against the resources required to render it. With soft synths, there’s the added complication of ensuring the model works in real time, producing audio on the fly.

Now look at all the dimmer switches (aka knobs and sliders) of an analog synth, each offering infinite opportunity to arrive at software models that’d send even Deep Thought into a sulk. In devising a workable virtualisation, developers compromise detail to ensure that an average computer, running a DAW and other plugins simultaneously, can cope and that one's cup runneth not over. In other words, so that clicks and pops do not start popping up as the system voices complaint. It’s precisely this compromise that developer U-He hasn’t elected to take with 32/64-bit, VST/AU, Windows/OS X synth plugin Diva.