Using the Settings view
Unify's Settings view allows you to change several important aspects of the program's operation, which are saved so they affect all subsequent instances of both plug-in and stand-alone versions of Unify.
To open the Settings view, click on the Settings icon at the bottom right—it looks like a gear.
From top to bottom, the individual items are:
- Audio/MIDI settings (Unify stand-alone app only)
- Click “Change…” button to choose MIDI and audio settings
- Note you may have to quit and re-start Unify after changing MIDI settings
- MIDI device polling (new in Unify v1.2.x)
- When checked (the default), Unify will automatically activate new USB MIDI devices when they are connected, and will NOT remember which device you may deactivate in the Audio/MIDI settings dialog.
- When this box is NOT checked, you get the older behavior:
- You can choose which MIDI input devices you want to be active in Unify in Audio/MIDI settings, and Unify will remember these choices.
- After connecting a new USB MIDI device, or after switching an existing device ON in Audio/MIDI settings, you must quit and re-start Unify for the change to take effect.
- Show tooltips checkbox
- Tooltips are little floating text windows which appear when you hover the mouse pointer over various controls, explaining briefly what the control does.
- These can be very helpful while you're still learning the Unify GUI, but at a certain point you'll want to turn them off.
- GUI Size menu
- Allows you to select a magnification factor for the GUI
- Higher magnifications yield larger, crisper fonts and graphics—very nice on high-density displays, and a boon for folks with less than 20/20 vision
- Lower magnifications shrink the Unify GUI window to take up less screen space.
- Third-party plug-in GUI windows are not resized. Use each plug-in's own resize functions (if any).
- Please note this function remains somewhat experimental, and in many cases you will have to stick to 100% to get reliable results.
- Auto-Open Browser (added in Unify v1.5)
- When checked, the patch browser (sidebar) will open automatically whenever the layer stack is shown.
- Standalone App (added in Unify v1.7, does not appear in plug-in versions of Unify)
- As “are you sure?” before quitting?: When checked, Unify will pop-up an “are you sure” warning when you try to close the main Unify window. This was added in response to user feedback, but is NOT checked by default. Check the box if you prefer to see these warning pop-ups.
- This was changed in Unify 1.9.x. Previously, the box was checked by default, but user feedback indicated that most users found it annoying.
- OSC (advanced) (added in Unify v1.7, does not appear in plug-in versions of Unify)
- Plugin Windows
- The default setting for “always on top” works well with many DAWs, but for some (e.g. Cubase), you may prefer to turn this off, especially if you find that certain pop-up message windows are “stuck” behind Unify's windows.
- Parameter Links
- Clear All on INIT patch: when checked, Unify will clear ALL linked parameters on all macro knobs when you click the INIT button. Default is checked. If you are creating a new Unify library, and want to use a standard set of links on every patch, you may find it useful to un-check this.
- Don't list VST3 “MIDI CC” params: The parameter menus for VST3 plug-ins usually have a great many extra parameters whose names begin with “MIDI CC” at the end. Checking this box allows you to suppress these, so you only see the actual automation parameters.
- Embedded Unify
- On Patch Load
- Always set “follow host”: Check the box (checked by default) to ensure that “follow host” is automatically checked in the Unify Transport, every time you load a new patch.
- Ask “are you sure?”: Check the box (checked by default in Unify v1.7 and later) to see an “are you sure?” warning pop-up any time you might lose work by e.g. hitting Init, loading a new patch, or quitting the Unify stand-alone app. See safety-features.
- Auto-save menu: Choose the number of auto-saved patch files you would like Unify to maintain for you. See safety-features.
- Patch Save Defaults
- Allows you to set which items in the patch-Save dialog are automatically remembered from the last time you saved.
- The Library, Category, Tags, and Author checkboxes control each of those specific items.
- Click the All button to check all four boxes.
- Click the None button to un-check all four boxes.
- Patch Browser (new in Unify v1.7)
- Two checkboxes let you choose whether or not optional controls appear at the bottom of the patch browser (see Patch count and load-options menu).
- If neither box is checked, the patch list (“Chooser”) will extend all the way to the bottom.
- Check Show patch count to display the number of patches listed in the Chooser.
- Check Show patch-load options menu to show the small menu at bottom-left.
- As of Unify 1.9.x, both checkboxes will be checked by default.
- Data folder
- Allows you to change the location of Unify's main data folder (where Libraries/samples and other disk-space hogging content are kept)
- See under “Data folder” below
- Add content
- Click the Select .guru file… button to load a .guru file containing e.g. a new Unify patch library.
- This is an alternative to the drag/drop method; see Adding new Patch Libraries
- Click the Load Patch file… button to load a single patch file from any location
- This is an alternative to the drag/drop method; see Loading individual patch files.
- Patch database
- Unify's patch database is basically an “index” to all the patch files under the Libraries folder.
- See under “Patch database” below
- Show Middle C as menu
- MIDI note number 60, aka “Middle C”, is called either “C3” (Yamaha convention) or “C4” (Roland convention)
- This menu allows you to choose whichever you're most comfortable with
- Your choice affects how note-names are displayed throughout the Unify GUI
- Velocity Curves
- You can define a different velocity-response curve for each MIDI channel (1-16)
- See under “Velocity Curves” below
- Show by default checkboxes
- MIDI Layers allows you to choose whether you prefer to see MIDI layers displayed with full detail or collapsed
- If you're creating your own BPM patches, you'll probably prefer to see full detail by default
- If you mainly enjoy playing pre-built patches, you might prefer to see them collapsed
- CPU Meters allows you to have Unify's CPU meters on all the time.
- As of Unify 1.9, defaults to checked
- New in Unify v1.2: /Note-range pop-ups allows you to select how MIDI note-number buttons on layers behave:
- When checked (default), right-clicking a note-box activates in-place editing
- When NOT checked (older behavior), right-clicking a note-box brings up the pop-up value editor
- MIDI Functions checkboxes
- Interpret in Embedded Unify Only: see Multi-channel Unify MIDI setup
- CC7 Main Volume: when checked, MIDI CC#7 controls Master layer level (volume)
- CC11 Expression: when checked, MIDI CC#11 controls the volume expression, which is basically a scale factor applied to the current volume setting. The expression scale factor resets automatically to 1.0 when
- Loading a new patch
- Using the INIT button
- Manually adjusting the Master volume slider
- Bank/Program Change and Bank/Prog error messages: see Changing patches with MIDI
- Pan Method menu
- See under “Pan Methods” below
- Link URLs
- See Linked Media
- The current path to the data folder is displayed on the right
- Click the “Open…” button to quickly open the folder in Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac)
- Click the “Change…” button to choose a different location
Unify's patch database is basically an “index” to all the patch files under the Libraries folder. If you should need to delete, add, or rename any of these files, you need to rebuild the database
Unify provides an adjustable “global” velocity response-curve which is applied to incoming MIDI note-on events, before they are sent to the layers. In fact, it provides up to 16 independent curves, one for each MIDI channel, so if you have multiple MIDI keyboards, you can set them to send on different MIDI channels, and adjust the velocity response for each keyboard independently.
To adjust one of the velocity curves, select the appropriate MIDI channel from the pop-up menu, then click on the small green graph beside it to open a pop-up velocity-curve editor just like the ones available for MIDI and Instrument layers. (Click the link to go to the section on the Layer Stack View page where these are described in detail.)
Professional patch creators like John Lehmkuhl usually use just one or two MIDI keyboards, and set the layer velocity-curves so those layers play with a certain “feel”. While you could adjust the individual layer curves to tweak the feel for yourself, it will usually be better to leave the layer curves alone and set the global velocity curve for your own keyboard and your own hands. Once you get the global curve right (which may only require a tiny change to the curvature), you should find that nearly all patches “feel” right.
Panning, i.e., positioning an audio signal in the stereo field, can be done according to any of several computational methods which are called . The best-known panning laws are simple linear scaling and so-called constant-power panning. Neither of these is entirely optimal, so various hybrid approaches are frequently used. Unify presently supports linear, constant-power, and a -4.5 dB hybrid panning law (see this online article for details).