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Effects, Polyphony, CPU load

In Falcon, any audio signal processing module is called Fx, including Filters.
You can load tons of Fx into Falcon: on Program, Layer, Keygroup levels, and into the four Master and Program Aux sections.
To save CPU resources, you can load Delay Fx (Reverb, Flanger etc.) only on higher levels.
Let's make a little experiment:

  • Create a new program with just one Layer, Keygroup and an Analog Oscillator.
    Now press a chord and watch the CPU meter in the lower right corner of Falcon's GUI; it will show less than 1%.
    Then add a Redux Fx (Miscellaneous folder) on Program level, and select the Linn9000 preset.
    This time the CPU indicator will show some activity; but also notice that the number of notes you play hardly makes a difference.
    Next, delete the Redux Fx on Program level and add it on Keygroup level instead.
    Playing a chord now will significantly stress your CPU; the more notes, the more CPU load.

Conclusion:

  • Fx CPU load on Program/Layer level is independent of the number of notes you're playing.
    Fx CPU load on Keygroup level inarguably depends on the number of notes you're playing.

    On Layer level the mixed output of all Keygroups is processed, and on Program level the mixed output of all Layers is processed.
  • The reason why all Fx with high CPU usage (all delay-based Fx like Delay, Reverb, Chorus) cannot be loaded on Keygroup level is that it would unnecessarily stress the CPU.

Other remarks:

  • In some Drive/Distortion Fx you can set the amount of oversampling applied. Higher settings will significantly increase CPU load.
  • Although you can add many Fx on Keygroup level, you should always ponder whether it's absolutely necessary to have Fx polyphony.
  • In Falcon, Filters count as Fx; they are surely the most used Keygroup Fx. In this case, polyphony is vital (also because of the Modulation sources involved). CPU load of most filter types is quite low; extreme Filter slope settings (like 96dB) can have a considerable impact on CPU load though. I've included CPU usage in the Effects chart if you're curious.
  • Fx are added in a serial way. To change the order, click-hold and drag the Fx to the right place. If you want parallel Fx, use Effect Racks (below).

Multi Effects  #top

MultiFx are just Fx combinations of several Fx. To save a Multi Fx, open the Effects tab:

The advantage of MultiFx is that you can quickly save your favourite effect combinations and later drag and drop them from the MultiFx browser into the Effects view panel. However, if you want more flexibility, I'd recommend Effects Racks.

Effect Racks  

Effect Racks provide an efficient and flexible way to combine several Fx. Not only you can have optional Parallel Fx processing; by using Effect Rack Macros you can improve Multi Fx control a lot.

To create an Effects Rack, open Tree view and select the hierarchy level where it should appear. Right-click Add Fx and choose Effect rack.
This action will create the Effect Rack, together with the first Chain.

Now, right-click Chain and add the desired Fx.
You can add as many Fx as you want. Inside this chain all Fx are serial as usual.
To view and edit them, use Effects view:
To add another chain(s), repeat the steps above.

Chains provide parallel Effect processing.
Your Effect Rack is now created, but lacking Macro controls.
To add Macros, you have two options: a Macro on the Program's surface (Info view), or one on the Effect Rack's surface.
Let's choose the latter option.

 Right-click on the control in question, and choose Assign To Effect Rack Macro/Add  new Macro.

 You can repeat this procedure for other parameters (also of other Fx if wanted), or  you  may  assign a control to an already existing Macro (Assign To Effect Rack  Macro/[Name of  existing Macro]).

 This way you can control various parameters with just one Macro knob.
 More on Macros here.

 You can furthermore save and load your new Fx creation using the browser (User  Presets). Note that only Fx are saved in presets, not involved Modulation sources.
 


You can edit the Effect Rack's front panel in the same way you can edit a normal Info View front panel, by pressing [Ctrl-E]. To leave edit mode, you have to right-click and disable it.


N.b.: by using Effect Racks it's possible to use all Fx types on Keygroup level, including Reverbs. It's not recommended (see above), but it's doable.