[LAU] ZynAddSubFX Usability Survey

Christopher Arndt chris at chrisarndt.de
Sat Apr 30 23:33:43 UTC 2016

Am 01.05.2016 um 00:47 schrieb Mark D. McCurry:
> - [I'm not sure what you mean by this] a good controller matrix

Also known as a modulation matrix.

There are two big schools of modulation routing design in synths, with
the first further divided into two approaches, which mirror each other:

A1) Aach modulation source (LFO, envelopes, MIDI CCs, hardware
controllers, velocity, etc.) has a selector or intensity param to assign
it to one or (a fixed set of) multiple modulation destination(s).

A2) Aach modulation destination (filter, pitch, waveform, amp level,
etc.) has a selector or intensity param for each modulation source,
which can can affect it.

b) There is a modulation matrix, usually with a fixed number of slots,
and in each slot you can assign one modulation source to one modulation
destination and specify the intensity (and sometimes an offset too).

Mixing modulation sources in scenario B is usually implemented via
special modulation sources (e.g. Modwheel + LFO) or by providing special
functions, which take two modulation sources as input and then act as a
modulation source in another modulation matrix slot.

If a synth doesn't have many modulation sources or destinations,
approach A is usually easier and quicker to use, but often some useful
modulation routings are left out the design due to space constraints.

A modulation matrix is very flexible, but doesn't lend itself very well
to "knobby" interfaces and though setting up mod matrix routings via
MIDI is possible, MIDI controllers do not generally have good support
for it (they would need to support dynamic labels for controls, which
can't be done with MIDI CCs alone).


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