The mixer emulates the hardware units everyone is well accustomed to. It consists of 16 channel strips (8 accompaniment parts, 4 lead voices, 4 aux voices) and 3 bus channels, hosting the global system effects (Variation, Chorus, Reverb).
For space constraint reasons only 8 channel strips at a time are shown (8 accompaniment parts OR 4+4 lead and aux parts). You can toggle between the 2 halves with a button.
Additionally the mixer is also partitioned vertically, with the strip controls subdivided in two different screens. You can toggle between the 2 screens with a button. The most used controls are replicated in both screens, so that they are always available.
- Channel strips.
- Bus strips.
- Channel strip labels and selection buttons.
- The selected strip has a lighter background and an highlighted selection button.
- Click this button to toggle between the 8 accompaniment and the 4+4 lead/aux channel strips.
- Click this button to toggle “vertically” the controls shown on the strip.
Main strip view
- Volume fader and meter. If the channel is muted the meter is dimmed.
- Balance knob. This is an additional volume control, in series with the main Volume fader. Its purpose is to customise volume on a section by section basis (for accompaniment parts), or for every OTS (for lead parts). It is explained later in more detail.
- Pan control.
- Insert/system effect switch and bus volume meter. The effect currently shown (and editable) in the DSP Editor has a flashing led. Right clicking (long pressing) an active switch will recall the corresponding dsp in the editor. Right clicking an unactive insert switch will switch it on using the variation dsp routed as insert, thus increasing the number of insert effects you can use. For this to work, the variation dsp must not be already in use elsewhere (either as insert or system effect). If you run out of insert DSPs, the switches will be dimmed and are unselectable. In this case, to use an insert on a channel, you have first to release another one elsewhere (including the system variation effect).
- A DSP can by bypassed (insert) or muted (system) so that you can instantly hear its effect (A/B comparison). Bypassing/muting a dsp will keep it assigned to the channel, switching it off will release it for use elsewhere (insert and variation DSPs).
- Every channel strip has the usual mute and solo buttons. Please note that these are organized in 3 independent groups (accompaniment, lead, aux). They do not affect channels outside the group they belong to.
- The channel strip can be enabled/disabled with this button. A disabled strip will not play. It is a sort of mute/unmute button that may be optionally customised on a section by section basis (for accompaniment parts), or for every OTS (for lead parts), to selectively and automatically exclude parts from the mix when you switch sections or OTSes (explained later).
Alternative strip view
The alternative strip view is toggled with the Show Fx Sends button.
- The Show Fx Sends button highlights when the strip’s send controls are shown.
- These controls are common with the main strip view.
- These controls are unique to this strip view.
- The audio signal from each strip can be sent, through these knobs, to the corresponding (color coded) system effect buses.
- The dry signal (dry from system effects, but taken after the insert effect) is sent to the master out through this volume knob. Please note that the dry knob is available only when the Variation effect bus is active; when there is no Variation system effect the dry level is always 100%. See the box below for further insights.
- Variation and Chorus buses have sends too: to other system effects.
- The audio signal from a system effect returns to the master out (mixed with the strip channels) through these knobs for volume (ret) and pan.
Section and OTS parameters customisation
Some channel strip parameters (strip enablement, voice, balance, pan, insert effect, all the sends, dry level) can be customised. A style maintains a set of global parameters, and many sets of customized parameters. Customized parameters have higher priority, but are optional: if no customization is present the global setting is used as fallback.
You have a set of customized parameters for every style section (these sets affect the Acmp parts only), and for every OTS (these sets affect the L/R voices only).
When a new section and/or OTS takes effect, the program looks for a customized parameter belonging to the corresponding set of parameters. If one is found it is used, otherwise the global parameter is used.
To recap, you can customize a parameter:
- Accompaniment parts: for every style section (main, intro, ending, break, fill).
- Lead parts: for every OTS (1÷8)
- Aux part: no customisation, the settings are unique style-wide.
A customised parameter can be recognized by a green background/outline (as opposed to the mixer blue background) in the corresponding widget. Here below (as well as in previous screenshots) you can see a few examples.
- L/R voices visualized. These parts can be customized for every OTS.
- OTS 2 is selected.
- These parameters (green background) are customized. Their value is specific for OTS 2 (and being higher priority than the global setting, it is automatically played every time OTS 2 takes effect).
- These parameters (blue/white background) are global. They are valid for all OTSes (if no customization is present in a specific OTS).
- Acmp voices visualized. These parts can be customized for every style Section.
- Section Main 3 is selected.
- These parameters (green background) are customized. Their value is specific for Main 3 (and being higher priority than the global setting, it is automatically played every time Main 3 takes effect).
- These parameters (blue/white background) are global. They are valid for all style Sections (if no customization is present in a specific section).
To customise a parameter:
- Select the desired section (for accompaniment parts) or OTS (for lead parts)
- Right click (long press) the widget. The background turns green (if it was blue!) and the parameter still retains the value it had before.
- Change the parameter at will. The editing will affect only the current section/OTS. Beware: sections and OTSes might change automatically if the sequencer is running!
To revert from a customised parameter to the global parameter:
- Select the desired section (for accompaniment parts) or OTS (for lead parts)
- Right click (long press) the widget. The background turns blue (if it was green!) and the parameter instantly revert to the global value. The customised parameter it had before is lost forever.
- If you change the global parameter you will affect globally all those sections/OTSes pointing to that global value. Beware: sections and OTSes might change automatically if the sequencer is running!
Parameter customisation is an opportunity, not an obligation: if you do not feel the need to use it, just do not use it!
Mixer parameter adjustments (global or customized) do NOT statically override parameter modulation built-in style sequences. For example, if a style sequence continuously moves the pan from left to right, and you tweak that pan, the pan style moves from left to right, but with a center of gravity that is shifted towards the value you entered.
Each style section consists of prerecorded patterns, one for each part, playing all together. For each part there are a certain number of available patterns that are used to build all the Main sections of the style (the same pattern might be reused in more than one section). The number of patterns available is not fixed, but depends upon the part and style. The patterns that constitute the currently selected Main section are shown in the pattern buttons (with a capital letter: A, B, C, ….).
You can customise the pattern that plays for each part in each Main section, sourcing freely from all the available patterns in the given style/part. Using patterns taken from other styles is currently not supported.
The new selected pattern takes effect immediately and smoothly, so that you can hear the effect in real time and speedup your experimentation. Or you can also use this technique to add variation to your performance. Sometimes the difference between the patterns is bold, sometimes is subtle and might be limited to a few notes only.
Do not forget to save the style once you have finished editing!
- When a Main section is selected, the currently loaded pattern for each accompaniment part is shown.
- By repeatedly clicking on the pattern button, you cycle through all the patterns available for that part. The automatic accompaniment immediately plays the new selected pattern.