Mixer

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.

Mixer

  1. Channel strips.
  2. Bus strips.
  3. Channel strip labels and selection buttons.
  4. The selected strip has a lighter background and an highlighted selection button.
  5. Click this button to toggle between the 8 accompaniment and the 4+4 lead/aux channel strips.
  6. Click this button to toggle “vertically” the controls shown on the strip.

Main strip view

Mixer

  1. Volume fader and meter. If the channel is muted the meter is dimmed.
  2. 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.
  3. Pan control.
  4. 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).
  5. 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).
  6. 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.
  7. 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).
Dsp data persistence

Switching on/off dsps (maybe to temporarily try an insert effect on another strip, when all the available inserts have already been used) will NOT cause any data loss. When you switch off a dsp, all its data (effect algorithm and parameters) are retained within the dsp switch. When you switch the dsp on again, it will be initialized with all the data previously stored, so that everything is exactly as you last left it. Then if desired, with the Dsp Editor, you can change everything.

Alternative strip view

The alternative strip view is toggled with the Show Fx Sends button.

Mixer, fx sends

  1. The Show Fx Sends button highlights when the strip’s send controls are shown.
  2. These controls are common with the main strip view.
  3. These controls are unique to this strip view.
  4. The audio signal from each strip can be sent, through these knobs, to the corresponding (color coded) system effect buses.
  5. 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.
  6. Variation and Chorus buses have sends too: to other system effects.
  7. 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.
Dry level and Variation effect

The Variation effect bus can be used as a third system bus, in addition to the more conventional Chorus and Reverb buses. In this scenario the Dry level knobs are (usually) set to the max (127).

It can also be used as a shared insert effect among different strip channels. This scenario is sometimes needed on PSR and Tyros keyboards, since they have a limited number of insert DSPs available. Genos has insert DSPs on every channel, and hence this use is less needed.

When you want (or are forced by the lack of dedicated DSPs) to apply the same insert to many channels, you set up the Variation system effect as the common insert. You then adjust, for the desired channels, the send to the Variation effect. Finally you set the dry level to (usually) zero. This way the channel audio signal goes through the variation effect and from there goes to the master out. If the dry level is zero, no dry (= without variation effect) signal will be heard to the master out.

You might also decide you want a mix of dry and effected signal. In this case you adjust the “dry” and “send to variation” knobs as desired for each channel strip.

If you route the Variation DSP as an additional insert (and hence no variation system effect is available), the dry level of each channel strip is automatically set to 100% and the knob is dimmed. This behaviour is hardwired in the XG tone generator. To adjust the dry level of each strip you have to use the volume and/or balance control.

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.

Mixer, parameter customization

  1. L/R voices visualized. These parts can be customized for every OTS.
  2. OTS 2 is selected.
  3. 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).
  4. These parameters (blue/white background) are global. They are valid for all OTSes (if no customization is present in a specific OTS).

 

 

Mixer, parameter customization

  1. Acmp voices visualized. These parts can be customized for every style Section.
  2. Section Main 3 is selected.
  3. 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).
  4. 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!
Beware!

You might have some sections/OTSes with a customized parameter (green background, each section is independent from the others), and other sections not customised (blue background, all sharing the same global parameter).

If you tweak a green background parameter, you only affect that section/OTS (and nothing else). If you tweak a blue background parameter you affect all the section/OTSes which have a blue background for that parameter (= there is only one shared global parameter).

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!
Voice customization

The voice can be customised by right clicking (long pressing) the voice display within the desired Acmp or Lead Voices panel. Before customizing a voice, be sure to select the correct section/OTS.

Voice customization is useful not only when you want to change the instrument, but also when, keeping constant a given instrument, you want to change some Voice Editor parameter (i.e.: the filter cutoff or the octave shift).

Please be aware that in case of style parts if the prerecorded sequence needs a megavoice, you should stick to compatible megavoices to retain maximum fidelity, otherwise an automatic remapping of articulations will be applied. Also drumkits might pose some problems, since the drums mapping might be different (and a sequence thought for one mapping would not musically work with a different mapping).

Customized voice display

You might also occasionally encounter voices with a blue background. These are in effect multi-voices: a series of different voices that take effect in succession within a given music sequence to further enrich the style part. While the sequencer is playing you might notice (and hear) the display being updated with the voice currently playing. You can cycle through the whole sequence of multi-voices right clicking (long pressing) on the voice display. This is best done with the sequencer stopped (so that the voices will not be changed automatically behind your back). When a particular voice within a multi-voice is displayed, you can edit or replace it as usual.

Multi voice display

Effect customization

The effect can be customised by right clicking (long pressing) the effect display within the DSP Editor. Before customizing an effect, be sure to select the DSP in the correct strip and the correct section/OTS.

The effect customization might consist in an entirely different algorithm or only a few parameters tweaking to an unchanged algorithm (i.e: increasing the “Distortion” in a guitar stomp box effect).

If you want to switch off an effect for a given section/OTS you may select the “No Effect” algorithm under the Misc category.

Customized effect display

Volume fader vs Balance knob

The Volume fader cannot be customised, the Balance knob can.

Use the volume fader to adjust the relative volume of parts. Use the balance knob to adjust the volume of a given part among different sections/OTSes.

Spelled in different words: look at all the parts when adjusting the volume faders, look at only one part (but in different sections/OTSes) when adjusting the balance knob.

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.

Pattern customization

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!

Pattern customization

  1.  When a Main section is selected, the currently loaded pattern for each accompaniment part is shown.
  2. 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.
Building customised Main sections

Now you have learned all the elements to effectively build fully customised Main sections, so that your style fits perfectly any song and gives you many options to add variation to your performance:

  • Use the provided Main sections as starting point to build upon. You can duplicate and move Main sections at will, even while performing.
  • Select the combination of patterns you want. Maybe changing only a few at a time, to gradually add (or remove) complexity from an arrangement.
  • Mute the unwanted parts with the Enable buttons. Sometimes less is more, and orchestrating various parts (muted/unmuted) to come and go in different sections is the key to an effective and varied performance.
  • Adjust the volume with the Balance knob. For example, you could make a part more prominent in a given section by raising its volume, and send it back (with a lower volume) elsewhere.
  • Change the voice. Why always use the same guitar for the whole song, if you can change it for a chorus?
  • Change the insert effect as well. This is particularly effective in guitar parts, and it is common practice with every guitarist (they are continuously fiddling with their foot controlled stomp boxes).
  • Change the sends to system effects. Sometimes a part sounds better with more delay or chorus or reverb in a given section. And then you go back to the “default” elsewhere.