Basics: General Handling 1

AGAIN: Before you start ANY experiments with SynthEdit, please lower the volume for speakers & headphones to the half.

First of all, I wanna show you some basic stuff. It’s needed to work with SynthEdit. You don’t need to know the modules shown on this Basics: General Handling page. It’s just examples, to explain SynthEdit’s functionality. Modules will be described in details in the future.

I know, most SynthEdit tutorials start using so-called containers from the beginning. Sorry, but that’s overwhelming people as far as I can see and more important: It is just a cosmetic thing to keep track of bigger instruments or effects.

Visual Changes between demo version and New Versions of SynthEdit
You will notice, that the modules in the demo version of SynthEdit I use, look different from the ones in later versions. The important changes to follow the tutorials are:

1) The names of modules are in a blue box in the demo version I use, out of the box in newer versions.
2) The plug colour of MIDI connections is golden-brown in the demo version I use, pure yellow in newer versions.


1) Start SynthEdit and save a new project. You know that act from other programs:
click File -> New
click File -> Save or Save As

New Project
When creating a new project, you notice a nice new window. In this window you create your instrument or effect.

Run Synthesizer or Effect
This buttons make your synth active or not. Always press stop, before you delete/add something in/to your project.


Different Project Views
SynthEdit has two types of viewing your creation. The module view and panel view. In module view you see all the crazy stuff, nobody understand. The panel view is how your instrument or effect will look like, when you export it to VST. You could display panel view with a right-click in module window selecting Panel Edit.


Add Modules
If you do a right-click on the nice new window u noticed before, a dialog box opens. First entry is Insert. That way you add new so-called modules to your project.

Move Modules
You could move modules by holding down left mouse button in the blue area top of the module. You could move modules pixel-precise via the arrow keys, if needed.
controls_grabmodule     basics_general_handling_1_controls_movemodulesviaarrows

Zones To Grab Modules
You will notice, that adjustable modules like a knob that is rotatable for example, will be adjustable in both module window and panel window. As a result of this fact, such controls are a bit hard to grab. The green areas are best choice to grab and move modules. Trying to move controls grabbing the red areas will just change adjustments of flexible elements.

Module’s Window Interaction
Keep in mind, changes in module or panel window will be done simultaneously. If you adjust a knob in the module window, that change will also be displayed in the panel window. If you select modules in the panel window, they will be also selected in the module window.

Different Module Types
SynthEdit uses two types of single modules. DSP modules (DSP = Digital Signal Processing) and GUI modules (GUI = Graphical User Interface. Short: DSP for the ears, GUI for the eyes. You can’t connect this different types of modules via plugs. To distinguish both module types from each other, DSP modules have a light grey background, whereas GUI modules have a light blue background.

Single Modules and Container Modules (group of modules)
There is 2 different types of modules in SynthEdit. Single modules or a group of modules, packed in a so-called container. If you see a grey or green symbol in the top right corner of a module, it is a container.

If you try to rename the slider and the knob later, you will notice, you could rename the slider easily, but you can’t do that with the knob. Reason: The knob is a combination out of other modules in a container. The module you have to rename is hidden inside. So don’t get crazy like me, trying to rename a knob. I will tell you later, how to do that.

Module Lock Symbol
As you see in the pic above, there is an Locked info in top left of window. Some control modules could be locked and unlocked.They are all marked with a symbol in the top right corner of the control module.

Lock/Unlock Modules
To lock/unlock this controls, just right-click on them and select/deselect Locked in menu. Unlocking a control module you will notice a change of this symbol from grey to green. Unlocked control modules show you more plugs. Why & for what? Doesn’t matter for now.

Open Module Structure
You could double-click in the blue area of a module, to open the structure of a module in a new window. Don’t forget, the control module must be unlocked to be able to do that. That way you could see the structure of a module. You can’t double-click control modules in panel view (discussed 7 steps down Different Project Views).

Select Module Group
For sure you could select more than one module to move a group of modules. Draw a selection rectangle by holding down left mouse button. You will notice, selected modules turns deep blue and the patch cords between the selected modules are thicker.

Module Plugs
Working with SynthEdit, I think 90% you are connecting so-called plugs. Plugs have left and right orientated connectors. Left orientated plug connectors means data in, right orientated plug connectors means data out.

Different Module Plugs
I’m sure u noticed the different plug colors. You can’t connect wrong data or signal types. Blue to blue, green to green and so on. Here is a small list, what the colors stand for:

Blue – voltage
(audio data, updated with samplerate of 44100Hz. Every calculation has to be made about 44100 times per second)

Turquoise – float values
(similar to voltage, but the update rate is only 40Hz, so much lower CPU load)

Green – a list of values
(enumeration, list of a drop down for example)

Black: bool data
(can only set to: true or false)

Yellow – MIDI data
(plug colour changed from golden-brown in older versions of SynthEdit to pure yellow in newer versions)

Red – text data
(for example filename)

Orange – integer data
(not important for the tutorials at the moment)


Connecting Plugs
Place 2 Containers now. Doesn’t matter what module you choose. The right Container is darker blue, because I’ve selected it by left mouse click. Remember: You could click and hold left mouse button in the red marked areas, to move modules around.

Both containers have a Spare connection plug. Doesn’t matter at the moment, what it is in details.
1) Left-click and hold mouse button on the left Spare connection plug.
2) Move mouse pointer to the right Spare connection plug. You will notice a black line, that follows your mouse pointer. The right Spare connection is yellow highlighted, when you arrive at the right Spare connection plug.
3) Release left mouse button.
That way you connect module plugs. To delete the connection, just left-click it and press delete.

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