Rings vs. Clouds sound quality and hacking

Hey there,

I’ve been thinking about creating my own sound effects on either Rings or Clouds and am weighing out the pros and cons of each module. My thoughs at this point in time,

  1. I prefer the sound quality of Rings, seems to have less aliasing and more high quality compared to Clouds, maybe it’s just how the software is written. Are there any differneces in h/w in this regard?
  2. Rings has 5 attenuators which I like
  3. Clouds have stereo in and stereo outs vs Rings mono in stereo out
  4. Clouds has an input gain and one additional parameter knob and freeze button

Any other items to consider and anyone that has experience with this would like to chime in and also any tips on how to begin this project would be great.

Many thanks!

There is no hardware difference between Rings and Clouds that could account for a big change in signal quality.

The codec used in Rings/Clouds/Warps/Elements doesn’t have a very good ADC - in terms of noise floor it’s almost a 12-bit part! (No idea why none of the clone makers ever bothered to address this). This is not a big deal in Rings/Elements, since the input signal is heavily filtered and transformed beyond recognition - most of what you hear is actually synthesized.

Another point: Clouds’ software runs at 32kHz and does a lot of sample manipulation (including naive resampling). Rings rungs at 48kHz and heavily filters everything (it’s a filter bank after all!). This might explain your perception about Clouds having nastier highs.

Objectively, if you were using this hardware platform to implement, say, a delay or a reverb, running at 48kHz, it wouldn’t sound as bad as Clouds, but it wouldn’t feel as hi-fi as Rings.

In terms of hardware differences, one thing worth mentioning is that Rings can do jack insertion detection on the STRUM, V/O, and IN inputs. This could be useful for some applications!

Interesting thread :wink:
Just a small question will it be possible to change the ADC for a better one without rewriting the driver ? Is there an easy drop in replacement?


Not at all!

:wink: thx

Thanks for the detialed information … definately some food for thought.

An idea just popped into my head, how about porting VCV Rack plugins into Clouds/Rings.

It will then complete the circle. :rofl: