Ascend VPU v1.1.1

Ascend VPU v1.1.1 is released. Ascend VPU is an audio plugin for modeling the sonic characteristics of electric guitar pickups. Given a multichannel pickup with a wide and flat frequency response such as the Nu Multichannel pickup, or the Roland-GK divided pickup, it is possible to reproduce the frequency response of various pickup positions (bridge, middle, neck) without actually moving the pickup. The technical details are elaborated in the five part Virtual Pickups series: Part1, Part2, Part3, Part4 and Part5.

Please be aware that the Ascend VPU plugin only works with divided pickups. It works well with the Nu Multi pickups, the GK-3 pickups, as well as divided piezo pickups. It will not work with standard monophonic pickups.

This is still an extension of the evaluation period to March 31, 2021 and probably through April. Why the long gestation period? This is the first of a series of plugins dedicated to the multichannel guitar. I want to be sure everything is working flawlessly. Ascend-VPU will pave the way to more Ascend plugins, all dedicated to the multichannel guitar. Your feedback matters.

A lot of groundwork was invested in developing the foundations for this system, including the DSP library (Q-DSP), the audio plugin-in library (QPlug), and the graphical user interface (Elements). Instead of simply using existing infrastructure such as Juce, all the hard work had to be done from the ground up. It took years, but I am quite satisfied with the results.

Special thanks to those who gave valuable feedback. I will include the credits to the About box as a small token of appreciation. That includes:

  • Eleanor Fontaine, who offered the most suggestions and bug reports.
  • Stefan Nowak for testing on AU and reporting the Mojave issue.
  • Felix Ahlstrom for reminding me that bass and extended guitars matter.
  • Matt Goodman for general good vibes and a lot of encouraging discussions, as well as very usable suggestions (some made it to 1.1, some scheduled in the future).
  • Andrew Bonica for keeping company and good vibes :-).
  • Alberto Tombolan for testing and doing that pair-testing with me via Discord screen-sharing.
  • Vance Galloway for testing Live on the Mac, offering suggestions and general expert advice.
  • Olav Kvern, testing  Live and VCV Rack on Windows.
  • John Matthew Tennant for testing on MacOS.

Please tell me if I missed someone!

Please report any problems here, if you encounter any. This version focuses primarily on stability and now fully signed and notarized on MacOS and Windows, ready for final release

Here are the download links:

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