Unify Manual

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Basic patch recipes

This page gives very brief guides to setting up common patch structures in Unify.

Multiple Layers and Octaves

To layer multiple sounds, just create a new Instrument layer for each sound. By default, incoming MIDI gets routed to all instrument layers in parallel, so all layers will sound together as you play.

The quickest way to add instrument layers is to use the pre-defined instrument-layer presets available by clicking the add-layer button just below the Unify logo:

We suggest you try out all these pre-defined layer presets, to become familiar with what's available. In time, you may want to create your own layer presets–use the layer ops button at the extreme right-hand end of the layer title bar.

To change the octave for a layer, click the layer's MIDI pitch-offset control at the bottom-left corner of the MIDI controls cluster, and drag up or down to change the displayed number.

  • 12 semitones is one octave UP
  • -12 semitones is one octave DOWN

You may find it quicker to right-click (or Ctrl+click) the MIDI pitch-offset control, to reveal a pop-up editor box, where you can simply type in the value you want.

  • You MUST click once on the displayed value, before you can type
  • Hit the Enter/Return key on your keyboard when you are done.

Adjusting velocity response

To adjust the way a layer responds to MIDI key velocities, click the layer's velocity-response control to open the pop-up velocity response editor:

Click anywhere in middle part of the graph and drag UP or DOWN to change the curvature.

  • Drag UP to make the patch sound louder (less responsive to velocity)
  • Drag DOWN to make the patch quieter (more responsive to velocity)
  • SLIGHT changes are best–a little goes a long way
  • See velocity-curve_editor for more details

Key Split

A key split is two or more Unify layers configured with non-overlapping MIDI key ranges, e.g. a bass patch in the left hand and an electric piano patch in the right.

Add the layers as described above for layers and octaves.

To change the MIDI key-range for the layers, use the two MIDI note-number controls as shown:

Use the upper control to adjust the upper key limit for your left-hand layer:

  • Click on the value (default “G8”, MIDI key number 127) and drag down to reduce, OR
  • Right-click (or Ctrl+click) to pop up a value editor
    • You can enter either a MIDI note-number OR a key name (e.g. C3 for Middle C*), BUT
    • While the pop-up editor is displayed, you can simply press a key on your MIDI keyboard

* Whether Middle C is called “C3” (Yamaha style) or “C4” (Roland style) is a setting available on the Settings view. Yamaha style is the default.

It's up to you to ensure that layer key-ranges don't overlap or have “dead space” in between them. You'll notice a change in the color of the layers' title-bars, which can be helpful for this. The active part of a layer's key-range is denoted with a brighter shade of the background color.

Velocity Split

A velocity split is two or more layers, set to respond to non-overlapping ranges of MIDI key velocity.

Setting up a velocity split is almost the same as key-split, with these exceptions:

  • Use the max-velocity and min-velocity controls instead of the pitch controls (screenshot above)
  • Either click/drag the controls to change the displayed velocity-value (0 to 127), or right-click (Ctrl+click) to edit the value directly; there is no option to enter values from your MIDI keyboard
  • The layer velocity ranges are indicated using small vertical color bars on the left-hand side of each layer, rather than color changes in the title bars, as shown below.

Compression and Limiting on the Master Effects layer

You would not typically use the Master Effects layer of a patch for creative audio effects like chorus or delay, but this is an ideal place to put “mastering”-type effects such as a limiter, equalizer, and possibly a compressor.

The quickest way to set up your Master Effects layer is to use the layer ops button on the right, and select “Replace layer from preset” > “Unify Master Presets” > “MASTER Optimizer JL”. This immediately gives you Skippy's standard mastering effects chain, consisting of

  1. An instance of FlexEQ which allows you to
    • sweeten the low-end, e.g. with a slight boost
    • sweeten the high-end, either up or down, and
    • use one or both of the peaking filters to remove any harsh or strident peaks in the spectrum
  2. An instance of the Enforcer compressor, to reduce dynamic range and help quieter notes come through
  3. An instance of the LoudMAX limiter, to ensure you don't overdrive whatever audio system or software Unify's output is routed into.

Over time, you may want to create your own Master Effects layer presets, tweaked to your liking.

Sharing effects chains using AUX Effects layers

Although you CAN put chains of audio-effect plug-ins on each individual Instrument layer, this isn't always ideal, and you are more likely to follow traditional mixing-desk practice and put effects chains onto separate AUX layers. Unify's AUX-effects layers are what would be called Auxiliary buses on traditional mixing desk (or in any DAW whose design is based on one).

  • Add one or more (up to four) AUX layers to your patch using the add-layer button below the Unify logo.
  • Add effects plug-in instances to your AUX layers in the usual way
  • Drag to reorder the effects chain if necessary
  • Use each effect's GUI to set its parameters to taste

As soon as you add the first AUX layer to your patch, every Instrument layer's mix controls section will immediately expand to include circular send fader controls like this:

  • The fader marked “D” adjusts how much of the layer's output is fed directly to the Master Effects layer
  • The other faders adjust how much of the layer's output goes to each of your AUX layers
  • NOTE 1: the AUX layer's own pan and level fader settings determine how much that layer's processed output contributes to the final mix
  • NOTE 2: you can Mute or Solo AUX layers, just the same as Instrument layers

Using MIDI layers

MIDI layers allow you to use MIDI effects such as arpeggiators, with a MUCH simpler work-flow than you'll find in most DAWs.

To use, say, the bundled BlueARP arpeggiator plug-in on a patch:

  1. Add an empty MIDI layer, then add the BlueARP plug-in (OR use any of the pre-built BlueARP layer presets)
  2. On each Instrument layer you want BlueARP to drive, use the midi input selector (below) to change the input setting from “IN” to your new MIDI layer.

That's all there is to it. Note the following about MIDI layers:

  • You can chain MIDI effects together, so the output of one drives the input of the next
    • A typical case is putting an instance of the built-in MIDI Filter effect before an instance of any MIDI effect plug-in which does not support MIDI CC#64–sustain pedal
    • If your keyboard technique is not good, you might also want to use the built-in RipChord Player or some other chord-generating MIDI effect before an arpeggiator, to generate arpeggiated chord patterns.
  • It can even be useful to use empty MIDI layers (no plug-ins at all, just the MIDI processing available on each layer), to set up, say, a key- or velocity-split to control multiple Instrument layers simultaneously.

The MIDI Filter effect is useful when you have plug-ins which ignore MIDI CC#64 (sustain pedal), or don't respond to it as you might expect. This effect filters CC64 messages out of its input stream entirely, and delays sending note-OFF events while the pedal is DOWN.

Adding Drums and Percussion

The Unify Standard Library includes a small collection of drum-kit and drum-loop sample-sets for the built-in Guru Sampler instrument, found in the “Unify Bonus” collection.

  • A drum KIT is a sample-set where each key on the keyboard (perhaps only part of the key-range) triggers a different “drum hit” sound.
  • A drum LOOP is usually a single sample, which is a recording of a complete drum rhythm over one or more measures, at a specific BPM tempo.

A drum KIT can be triggered by an arpeggiator, to play rhythms at any desired tempo. A drum LOOP would not be used in this way, and can normally only be played back at its original tempo.

When playing drum loops in Guru Sampler, you would normally set the playback to Unpitched in the Master section of the Guru Sampler GUI. If you leave it at Pitched, the loop will play back at different speeds, depending on which key you strike, but will also change pitch, resulting in an unnatural sound. On rare occasions, this might be useful for creative effect.

patch-recipes.txt · Last modified: 2020/06/27 01:33 by shane