Getting Started

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A large project in Instrument Mode.
Fig 1

AudioGL is a Modular Synthesizer which focuses on open-ended mixing structures, and an advanced sequencing engine.

The key to learning AudioGL is understanding that electronic music centers around a basic set of principals. AudioGL is designed immerse the user in these principals, in hopes that the user will become more involved in the underlying structure of electronic music.

Contents

The Basics

Traditionally, a synthesizer has consisted of a few key elements. These elements are sequencing (some way of determining when a sound starts, when it ends, and what pitch it is playing at), oscillation (some way of generating tones for the sound), and effects (some way of modifying the tone, to make it sound pleasing to the ear). On top of this, synthesizers usually contain some form of modulation, to make the sound change over the course of time.

The earliest synthesizers were analogue, but as synthesizers became increasingly digital, a new aspect was added to them: automation. Automation is the ability to directly control a synthesizer over the course of time, in order to compose music.

Many software developers have focused on making digital replicas of the analogue synthesizers that came before, to duplicate them on a computer. Instead, as a uniquely digital instrument, AudioGL places automation at the core of its synthesizer, allowing the user to shape sounds using detailed articulations.

With automation, it is possible to view synthesized audio as a raw material which can be shaped and formed, whereas traditionally, it has been viewed as a score of notes which simply triggers a synthesizer.

As you work with AudioGL, you will begin to understand how to design sounds using articulations, and how the smallest variation can completely change the sound of a composition.

Modes

AudioGL is logically split up into different modes, each of which give you access to a different part of the AudioGL synthesizer.

In Module Mode, you can draft up an outline for a synthesizer, or a larger project. In Parameter Mode, you can control that synthesizer, and fine tune the way that it sounds. In Modulation Mode, you can create modulation networks that will make the instrument sound more interesting.

Instrument Mode, allows you to organize synthesizers that you've created, so that they can be stored for future usage in other projects.

Finally, EditPage Mode allows you to display groups of automation and sequencers on a single screen. This way, the user can edit them in logical groupings.

These Modes can be accessed through the User-Assignable keybindings shown in the table below.

Click on each Mode to go to a detailed description of how it works:

Mode Default Keybinding Description
Instrument Mode A Creation/Placement/Storage of Instruments. Editing of Sequencers.
Module Mode S Creation and editing of modular synthesizers and sequencers.
Parameter Mode D Editing of synthesizer parameters, sequencers and automation.
Modulation Mode F Editing of modulation network between synthesizer modules.
Editpage Mode G Editing of multiple sequencers and automation parameters. There's no limit to the amount of Editpages you can create.

Functions

There are 8 Edit Functions in AudioGL. It is recommended that you come up with your own user-assignable keybindings for them.

Be certain to read the Working With Input article to get a better idea of how to work with these functions.

Click on each Function to go to a detailed description of how it works:

Function Default Keybinding Description
Open/Start Left Double Click Open Sequencers, Automation lanes, Envelope editors. Edit text boxes.
Primary Left Mouse Button Typical Left Mouse Button Behaviour
Primary Alternate Shift + Left Mouse Button Select multiple objects.
Secondary Control + Left Mouse Button Creation of new instruments, notes, and automation points.
Tertiary Alt + Left Mouse Button Editing of notes and automation using linemode.
Quaternary Control + Alt + Left Mouse Button Delete under mouse cursor.
Quinary - Not used yet.
Senary - Not used yet.

These edit functions will vary depending upon which mode you are currently in.

Navigation

At this stage of development, AudioGL has two main views:

These two views have their own navigational rules, so please click on either of them to get a detailed description of how they work.

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