Unify Manual

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Navigating Unify's graphical user interface

Unify's graphical user interface (GUI) window is divided into five main regions, as shown below:

  • The Header displays information about the current patch, and contains several buttons for editing it. See Tour of the Header section below.
  • The Body usually contains the layer stack for the current patch, but may also contain other views
    • Select views using the icons at the bottom right.
  • The Footer usually doesn't appear at all, but it may contain certain auxiliary views, such as the MIDI Monitor view as shown in the picture above.
    • Use the icons at the bottom left to choose the Footer contents.
  • The Icon Strip along the bottom edge of the GUI are described in the next section.
    • These mainly allow you to navigate by revealing different views.
  • The Sidebar contains Unify's patch browser.
    • Click on the “browse” button at the top-right corner to open and close the sidebar.

The Body and Footer can each contain any of several views, which are described in detail on separate pages:

The Footer can also contain several views:

  • The ShowMIDI view shows MIDI and CC activity
  • The Macro knobs view is for real-time MIDI control and host automation
  • The Transport view allows setting BPM tempo and starting/stopping Unify's transport (internal timing system)

Tour of the Header section

The Header section comprises many distinct displays and buttons:

The large patch metadata area describes the currently-loaded patch. If there are more than two lines of (white) descriptive text, you will see a small green scroll-bar at the right-hand end. You can scroll down to see the rest of the description either by dragging the scroll-bar with your mouse, or using your mouse's scroll wheel (or ball, or touch surface, or whatever scroll mechanism your mouse or trackpad offers) while the mouse pointer is anywhere inside the metadata area.

The layer button just under the Unify logo on the left opens a menu of layer operations. The following screenshot shows how this menu looks when the first sub-menu is open:

The first three items on the layer operations menu allow you to add new layers, either empty ones, or prebuilt ones chosen from various sub-menus of layer presets.

The Show/Hide Midi layers item selects whether MIDI layers (if present) are shown full-size, or shrunk down to just their titles to make more space for other layers.

To the right of the patch metadata area you'll see the patch thumbnail image, and just to the right of that, you will see the global gain slider; see below for details about each of these.

To the right of the global gain slider are the prev/next buttons, for switching to the previous or next patch in the current patch list (shown in the patch browser in the sidebar, if open).

Down the right-hand side of the header are four buttons:

  • The browse button opens and closes the sidebar
  • The init button clears (initializes) the current patch, for when you want to start making a new one from scratch.
  • The revert button re-loads the current patch from the last saved version on disk, for cases where you have made several changes, but don't want to save them.
  • The save button is for saving the current patch to disk. See Creating your first patch.

Thumbnail image

The thumbnail image may be one of three things:

  1. If the patch library's Media folder contains an image file with the same base name as the patch file, i.e., a thumbnail image for that patch specifically, this will be shown.
  2. If there is no per-patch thumbnail image, but the library's Patches file contains at least one image file, the first such image file will be shown, as a thumbnail image for the library.
  3. If neither a per-patch or per-library thumbnail is provided, the default Unify image will be shown.

Starting in Unify v1.8, if you see a colored outline around the thumbnail image, this indicates the patch has associated Linked Media, which you can access by clicking the image.

Global volume slider

Starting in Unify v1.8, you will see a red Global Gain slider between the thumbnail image and the next/previous patch buttons.

There are several important things to note about this slider:

  • It is only active in the stand-alone Unify app. In the Unify plug-in, it appears as a non-responsive red bar.
  • It allows you to adjust the overall output-level of the Unify app, which affects all patches. It is independent of the Master-level slider for each patch.
  • The range is -24 dB to +6 dB; the default value (which you can restore by double-clicking the slider) is 0 dB.
  • The Global Gain value is NOT a parameter; it is a setting (see Using the Settings view).
  • You can right-click (or CTRL-click) the slider to pop up a small menu, which includes an option to save the Global Gain setting.
  • You must use the menu to save the setting, if you want Unify to remember it for the next time you open the stand-alone app.

The Global Gain slider is not needed in the Unify plug-ins, because you will normally use these in a DAW or other plug-in host program which provides its own gain or mix-level controls.

The Unify stand-alone app sends its output directly to your computer's audio interface hardware, and the amount of “headroom” such hardware provides can vary greatly from one brand or type to another. Some users have reported that Unify patches which output at the “0 dB” level will distort on their hardware, suggesting that it offers little headroom. Reduce the Global Gain setting just enough that you don't hear any distortion (with a loud patch), save it, and it's unlikely you'll need to adjust it again.

Random-patch button (dice icon)

Also in Unify v1.8, you will see a new “dice” icon in between the two green arrow buttons:

This is the load random patch button. When you click this, Unify will make a random selection among the patches currently listed in the Chooser area, and load it according to the current setting of the load-mode menu at the very bottom-right.

Icons in the Icon Strip

The Icon Strip along the bottom edge of the GUI contains four groups of icons:

The single icon at the far left cancels any latching notes. See MIDI Controls.

The three icons on the left allows you to select what appears in the Footer. From left to right:

  • MIDI Monitor: shows MIDI activity coming into Unify from outside
  • Macro Knobs: shows “macro parameter” knobs which you can link to multiple parameters
  • Transport: shows Unify's Transport, which controls BPM timing
    • In the present version of Unify, this only appears in the stand-alone app

The active icon will turn green; click it again to close the Footer.

The icons on the right allow you to select what appears in the Body. From left to right:

  • The first four icons select special views as follows, and will be greyed out in embedded Unify instances:
    • List icon: (favorite plug-ins) opens Unify's plug-in subsets view
    • Plug icon: opens the plug-in scanning view
    • Lock icon: opens the Licensing view
    • Gear icon: opens the Settings view
  • The two rightmost icons both select Unify's layer-stack view
    • The one on the right selects “accordion view”, where all layers will be shown, but may be squashed vertically
    • The one on the left selects “scrolling view”, where all layers are shown at full height, and you may need to use the scroll-bar on the right (or your mouse's scroll wheel) to bring them into view.
  • NOTE if you use any of the four leftmost icons, you can simply click the icon again to return to the layer-stack view

The three icons in the middle are all different:

  • The question mark icon brings up Unify's Help menu, which allows you to turn tooltips (helpful text hints which appear when you roll your mouse pointer over various parts of the GUI) on or off, display the About box, or open any of several Unify-related pages in your web browser.
  • The operations button (two concentric circles) pops up a small menu of operations affecting Unify as a whole, e.g. changing the default window size.
  • The exclamation mark icon is Unify's “MIDI Panic” button. Click this to immediately silence all plug-ins.
gui-overview.txt · Last modified: 2023/05/08 18:59 by