Unify provides thirty-two Macro Knobs, available in the Footer part of the GUI by clicking the knob icon on the left-hand side of the icon strip:
The 32 knobs are grouped into four “pages”, selected using the column of numbered page buttons down the left side.
Note there are two distinct kinds of ops buttons visible in the Macro Knobs view:
You can double-click any of the macro-knob labels to change the default name “Macro1” etc. to whatever you wish. As with all in-place text editing in Unify, either confirm your changes by hitting the Enter/Return key on your keyboard, or click anywhere outside the edit box to cancel.
The basic concept behind the macro knobs is that every Unify patch can be adjusted in real-time in multiple ways, each of which is represented by a different macro knob. The word “macro” is used because the knob can be linked to a whole list of actual parameters, including Unify's own parameters, such as layer pan and level settings, and also all plug-in parameters.
Each macro knob is a visual representation of an underlying abstract macro parameter (or simply “macro”) whose value ranges from 0 to 1, (or if you prefer, 0 to 100%. The connection between each knob (on the GUI) and its associated macro is fixed and cannot be changed, but you CAN change:
The Unify plug-in exposes all 32 macro parameters to the host DAW, so they can also be controlled through host automation.
Adjusting a macro value updates the values of all linked parameters. Macro values can be adjusted in three different ways, as follows:
To edit the list of parameters linked to any macro knob:
As shown in the screenshot below, the linked-parameter editor window is divided into four sections:
Note that you can resize these windows (drag any edge) and also re-position them (drag the title bar) to suit your monitor layout. All windows will open in the same spot near the top-left corner of the screen, and with the same initial size, so you can easily end up with older ones hidden by newer ones if you don't move them.
The basic work-flow for editing a linked-parameters list is:
In Unify 1.1.x the parameter-link windows were enhanced with some additional details as shown in the screenshot below.
Starting in Unify v1.3.2, a row of five curve-shape icons appear to the right of the Add button (see screenshot below).
Unify uses character-strings called paths to select linked parameters in a hierarchical way. Each path is a sequence of elements separated by the “/” (forward slash) character. Elements may contain embedded spaces (e.g. Osc1: Semitone), but if a parameter name contains the “/” character, it must be quoted using single quotes, e.g. ARP up/down would have to be specified as 'ARP up/down'.
Successive elements in the path narrow down the scope. For the first level, you can choose e.g. master (to select the Master FX layer), inst (to select an instrument layer), midi (MIDI layer), or aux (Aux FX layer). If you choose inst, the next element must be a layer number, e.g. 1, 2, etc. Subsequent elements further refine the choice. For example:
You don't need to worry too much about the details of parameter paths, because the “plus” icon at the top of the link editor window brings up a cascade of menus which allow you to select only valid paths.
Because parameter paths are just character-strings, they may become invalid if you change the Unify patch, e.g., by deleting layers, swapping or removing plug-ins, etc. Invalid parameter paths display in RED in the link editors, but they are otherwise harmless, i.e., Unify simply ignores them. You would normally wait until you have stabilized your patch structure before starting to define macro parameter links.
You can double-click any parameter path to edit it as text. Use the ENTER key on the keyboard to lock in the change when you are finished. If the text turns red, it means you have entered an invalid path. Click the ops-button to the right to re-select the path from the pop-up menu.
To add a linked parameter, click the add button (circled plus-sign icon) just under the title bar, to pop up the first in a hierarchical series of menus.
Macro parameter values are fractions in the range 0.0 to 1.0 (i.e. 0 through 100%). When a macro parameter is linked to an actual parameter with a different range (e.g. a mix level with a range of -60 to 0 dB), the linked parameter will be set to the corresponding proportion of its range.
In parameter response curves, the horizontal axis represents the value of the macro, with 0 at the left and 1 (or 100%) at the right. The vertical axis represents the corresponding value to be assigned to the linked parameter as a proportion of that parameter's total range, with the minimum at the bottom and the maximum value at the top.
Click (single-click) any row in the list to select that parameter, so you can edit its response curve in the graph editor.
Macro knobs can optionally be linked to MIDI CC's for real-time control. The linked CC number will be shown inside the knob like this:
To change a knob's CC assignment, click the knob's ops button (or right-click OR Ctrl+click the knob itself) to pop up the knob menu:
The “Linked Parameters…” item opens the linked-parameters editor as already discussed above.
“Copy Value” allows you to copy just the value of the macro parameter (i.e., the knob position) onto your computer's clipboard. “Paste Value” updates the value from the clipboard. This is useful for ensuring that two or more knobs have exactly the same value (knob position).
The “Copy Knob” and “Paste Knob” functions are similar, but operate on the whole knob and its parameter links. What is copied/pasted includes the knob's label, position (macro parameter value), and all links. These functions are useful if you decide you want to move links, etc. to a different knob.
The “Paste/Swap Knob” function is useful if you want to swap two knobs, so the label, value and links are effectively interchanged. The procedure has three steps:
“INITIALIZE” clears all parameter links, restores the default label (according to the macro parameter number), and resets the knob to the zero position.
The last three items relate to CC assignment, and are listed below in reverse order (bottom to top):
As of Unify v1.1.10, MIDI assignments are saved for embedded Unify instances, but not for the outermost instance. This allows embedded Unify instances to work exactly like any other plug-in which allows assigning MIDI CC numbers to specific controls, and ensures that if your main patch generates any kind of MIDI CC sequence (e.g. using MIDIBox, BlueARP, or any third-party MIDI plug-in), you can ensure that any embedded Unify instances are configured to respond correctly.
The Copy Links and Paste links items on the ops menus for each knob allow you to copy ALL of a knob's parameter links to another knob. This can be helpful if you set up links on one knob, then later realize you'd prefer to have them on another knob.
Unify v1.2 introduced some additional copy/paste options as follows:
The procedure for swapping two items A and B is always the same:
At the right-hand end of the Macro Controls area you will find an “ops button”—a small icon of two concentric circles. Clicking on this opens menu like this:
The top four menu items allow you to save the current Macro Definitions (which parameters are assigned to each macro, including response curves), or the current CC Assignments (which MIDI CC's are assigned to control each knob) separately.
Macro Definitions presets are useful if you set up a particular real-time control arrangement that you might want to use with multiple patches you're creating. When you create the next patch in your series, you can re-load the Macro Definitions preset.
CC Assignments presets allow you to quickly save and recall specific CC-to-knob linkages, which is particularly useful if you have multiple MIDI controllers. You could then switch between, say, an M-Audio keyboard whose knobs send MIDI CC's 16, 17, 18, and 19, and a Native Instruments Komplete keyboard whose knobs send CC's 14, 15, 16, etc.
The bottom four menu items are related to Using Unify itself as an Instrument plug-in in Unify; see the linked page for details.