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Modulation: Basics, General Mod Sources, External Mod Sources, Internal Mod Sources, Mod Sources Details, Modulation Mapper

Basics

  • To understand how Modulation sources can be edited, see Editing/Modulation.
  • To assign a mod source, either
  • right-click a parameter knob and select 'Add Modulation', or
  • drag-and-drop a mod source directly from right sidebar's modulation browser, or
  • go to Main View/Mods view. You have to select the right hierarchy instance on top of the Modulation view, or in left sidebar/Tree view.
    Then click on the plus icon and select the mod source you want to add.
  • if you want to use a mod source which is already used for another parameter, drag and drop it from the Modulation Editor onto the new parameter knob.
  • You can only assign Modulation sources of the same or a higher hierarchy:
  • on Program level you can only assign Mods which are located on Program level
  • on Layer level you can only assign Mods which are located on Program or Layer level
  • on Keygroup level you can assign Mods of all levels.
  • Envelopes and LFOs can be triggered on all levels; however, mod destinations have to be on Keygroup level to be trigger-modulatable.
    Example: you have an ADSR envelope on Program level. You can modulate a filter on Keygroup level, but you can't modulate a reverb parameter on Program level.
    As a workaround you can use Event processors, time-synced LFOs or the Step Envelope to modulate Program or Layer parameters.
    Looped Multi Envelopes work but won't be retriggered (acting like an untriggered LFO).
    Sometimes the best option is to modulate via Macros, using modulation envelopes of your DAW.
  • Most parameters in Falcon can be modulated, exceptions are:
  • some drop-down menus, including Presets
  • Transposition and Poly parameters
  • many Event Processor parameters.
  • You can recognise whether a parameter is already modulated by its outer purple ring:
    modulated parameter; not modulated parameter
  • While being modulated, a small light purple dash shows the actual modulation, but only when the instrument is triggered by Midi.
  • Multiple mod sources can be assigned to one mod destination. Unlike Fx, their order in the Modulation Editor cannot be changed; they are ordered alphabetically.
  • One mod source can serve multiple mod destinations, but only if they are in the same hierarchy compartment, or on a higher hierarchy level.
    Example 1: you have two Keygroups (same Layer).
    The Amp Envelope of Keygroup 1 cannot modulate the Pitch of an Osc in Keygroup 2: you can only use Keygroup 2 Mod sources.
    Example 2: same as above, but you have an Lfo on Layer level. It can modulate any Keygroup 1 and 2 parameter.
  • Default modulation sources on Part level: Midi CC7 and CC11 are used for Part Volume, CC10 for Part Pan.
  • Default modulation sources on Keygroup level: Pitch Bend for tuning the Osc, Amp. Envelope for Keygroup Gain.
    (If you remove or deactivate the latter, sound will continue infinitely.)
  • If you want the sound to continue endlessly after key release (Noodle), you have to disable / delete the Amp.Env.
    In this case the Ratio slider is useless.
    Instead you can use any Mod source with loop / cycle capabilities (Multi Env, Drunk, LFO, Para LFO, Step Envelope).
  • Of course you can always manipulate any mod source's outcome by using the Modulation Mapper.
    For example, if you want to have random velocity for filter cutoff modulation, use the Mod Mapper's 'Randomize' preset.
    Or, if you want an algorithmic or logarithmic curve, you can use one of the 'Concave/Convex' presets.

General Modulation Sources #top

  • Midi Learn: after clicking, move a knob on your hardware controller which is able to send Midi CC messages.
    By default, Midi CC messages are unipolar; you can change this by using the Mod Mapper and choosing the Ramps/Ramp Up preset.
  • Modulation Wheel, Velocity: standard modulation types.
  • Mono Velocity: in Mono Portamento / Mono Portamento Slide mode, when notes overlap, the last note's velocity value determines the mod value. With normal velocity, the first note's velocity value determines the mod value.
    Example: you're modulating Lp cutoff with normal velocity. When you hit a note with strong velocity, Cf will be high. The next overlapping note will have the same Cf setting as the first, no matter how strong or soft you hit the keyboard.
    With Mono Velocity, cutoff setting for the second note will change accordingly how strong or soft you hit the key.
  • Release Velocity: works only if you controller supports it (cheap or old ones don't): the faster you release a key, the higher the mod value.
  • Key: the note number value (C-2 = 0, G8 = 128) is added to the parameter value.
    Example 1: Filter resonance is set to 0 %. When you hit the E3 key (E3 note number is 64 of 128), resonance will be at 50 %.
    Example 2: Filter resonance is set to 50 %. When you hit the E3 key, resonance will be at 100 %.
  • Key Follow: like above, the note number value is added to the parameter value. But in this case, the reference point is C3, not C-2.
    Example 1: Filter resonance is set to 0 %. Any keys below C3 won't have any effect. Any keys above C3 will cause more resonance.
    Example 2: Filter resonance is set to 50 %. Any keys below C3 will cause lower resonance, any keys above C3 will cause more resonance.
    Resonance will become 0 % at about C1, and 100% at about E4 (exponential curve).
  • Linear Key Follow: as above, but using a linear curve: resonance will become 0% at about F#0, and 100% at about F#5.
  • Poly Aftertouch, Channel Aftertouch: standard modulation types.

External Modulation Sources #top

Depending on whether the mod destination is on Program/Layer, or Keygroup level, possible choices differ:
On Program and Layer level these include just Midi CC, Pitch Bend and Channel Aftertouch, whereas on Keygroup level also [Voice]/Velocity, Key Follow, and [Other]/ Random, Unison, Pitch Bend, Aftertouch, Alternate are possible options. In detail:

  • Midi CC: all CC (0-127) can be used.
  • Voice:
  • Velocity: when playing a chord, velocity values are added to the original parameter value; if velocity values differ, modulations will differ as well.
  • Mono Velocity: as above, but different velocity values don’t result in different modulation.
  • Release Velocity: the faster (a) key(s) is/are released,the more modulation. Otherwise see Mono Velocity.
  • Key, Key Follow, Linear Key Follow: adding Modulation based on notes; see also General Modulation Sources, above.
  • Other:
  • Alternate: alternately subtracting and adding a fixed amount of Modulation. The amount is defined by the Modulation Editor’s Ratio slider.
  • Organ Pan: similar to Alternate, but based on note number.
  • Unipolar Random: when playing a chord, a random value is added to the original parameter values (one specific value).
  • Random: as above, but different random values are added to all original parameter values.
  • Unison: only effective if [Layer / Unison Voices] is greater than 1. Bipolar modulation.
  • Unipolar Unison: as above, but unison modulation.
  • Pitch Bend, Poly and Channel Aftertouch: standard modulation types.

Internal Modulation Sources  

These include various Envelope and LFO types: AHD, Adsr, AttackDecay, DAHDSR, Drunk, Multi Envelope, Step Envelope, LFO, Parametric LFO.

  • Controls that work equally in different Modulation Source types:
  • Trigger Mode - No Retrigger (Drunk, LFO, Multi Envelope, Parametric LFO, Step Envelope): modulation signal won’t be interrupted when playing new notes.
  • Trigger Mode - Legato (ADSR, Drunk, LFO, Multi Envelope, Parametric LFO, Step Envelope): Adsr/Lfo won’t be re-triggered until you make a pause between notes. The Lfo waveform won’t be interrupted when you’re playing legato.
  • Trigger Mode - Song (LFO, Parametric LFO): Lfo phase will be in sync with song position. Works only when Falcon works as a Plug-in.
  • Bipolar - Unipolar (Drunk, LFO, Multi Envelope, Parametric LFO, Step Envelope): signal polarity.
  • Vel. amount and Vel. sens (AHD, DAHDSR, Multi): defines how velocity affects the envelope output level.
    The Gif below shows audio output of eight velocity settings (16/32/48/64/80/96/112/127) with various
    Vel. sens settings.
    Velocity amount is set to 100 %.
  • AHD, DAHDSR, Multi Envelope Editor options:
  • for fine adjustment, use the Shift key;
  • to draw only vertically, use the Command key;
  • to draw only horizontally, use the Alt/Option key.
  • you can drag exponential or logarithmic Attack, Decay and Release curves, by moving the curve up or down.
  • Zoom to Fit (AHD, DAHDSR, Multi Envelope): available by right - clicking the editor and selecting Zoom to Fit, or just by clicking on the envelope's tab in the Modulation Editor.
  • To manually zoom in or out (AHD, DAHDSR, Multi Envelope), use the Mouse wheel over the editor.
  • Relative Segment Mode (AHD, DAHDSR, Multi Envelope): If you use the Graphical Editor, the overall envelope time remains always the same and won’t change if you change one of the time stages (except DAHDSR release).
    For example, extending AHD's Attack time results in shortening the Hold time. After shortening Hold time, Release time will be lengthened, etc.
    You can switch off this feature by right-clicking the editor and enabling 'Relative Segment Mode', or by just using the AHD sliders (which always work in this mode).
  • Snap to Grid: snaps to nearest Envelope point. Works only in Multi Envelope.
  • Grid (only Multi Envelope in tempo sync mode): select a tempo divider; range is 1/1 to 1/64 tri.
  • Some basic differences between Falcon’s modulation source types:



Internal Modulation sources in detail: AHD, Analog Adsr, Attack Decay, DAHDSR, Drunk, LFO, Multi Envelope, Parametric LFO, Step Envelope   

AHD #ModSourcesDetails


A simple Attack (0-10s; def. 0s), Hold (0-10s; def. 1s), Decay (0-30s; def. 100ms) envelope.
Times can be set by the A,H,D sliders, or by using the graphical Envelope editor.
Editor right - click options:
Relative Segment Mode: see here; Zoom to Fit: see here; Snap to Grid: see here.
The third option (Grid) is always greyed out; this envelope cannot be tempo-synced.
Vel. amount, Vel. sens: see here.
Oddity: double-clicking an envelope point lets you define Attack, Hold and Release levels. The envelope will temporarily work with these level settings; however, after Part saving and reloading everything will have maximum levels again.

Analog ADSR


Standard synth envelope; automatically created when you draw any synth oscillator onto a key map.
Not the fastest envelope - to get a snappy sound use AHD, DAHDSR or Multi Env.
It can either have ADSR or AD characteristics (switchable). Attack and Decay time settings are identical for both types:
Attack: 100µ to 10s (def.: 1ms); Decay: 100µ to 10s (def.: 50ms).
ADSR Sustain: 0 to 100% (def,: 100%); Release: 100µ to 10s (def.: 10ms).
You can define if/how Velocity and Key Follow have an impact on Attack and Decay times, with optional inverse Velocity.
Dynamic sets the impact of Velocity. (To invert Velocity, modulate Keygroup gain with Velocity, and set its Ratio slider to negative.)

Trigger Mode (Retrigger, Legato): see here.
Trigger is a manual trigger. You can assign any internal or external mod signal to it, which gives a bunch of new possibilities (e.g. modulating it by a Step Envelope which can also be triggered on Progr./Layer level).
Note: Envelope time display is quite inaccurate. If that's an issue for you, use one of the other envelopes.

Attack Decay


Good for percussive sounds; Decay stage has a fixed logarithmic curve.
Attack in this envelope is not a time setting but a percentage of the Decay time.
Attack: 0-100%, def. 10%; Decay: 1ms to 10s, def.: 300ms.

DAHDSR


Standard sample osc envelope; automatically created when you draw any sample oscillator onto a key map.
Six stages: Delay (0 to 10s; def. 0s), Attack (0 to 10s; def. 0s), Hold (0 to 10s; def. 0s),
Decay (0 to 30s; def. 0s), Sustain (0 to 100%; def. 100%), Release (0 to 20s; def. 50ms).
Relative Segment Mode: see here; Zoom to Fit: see here; Snap to Grid: see here.
The third option (Grid) is always greyed out; this envelope cannot be tempo-synced.
Double - click level oddity: see here (you can solely define sustain level).
Vel. amount, Vel. sens: see here.

Drunk


Random Lfo signal which can be faded into a sinoidal signal.
Trigger Mode (No Retrigger, Retrigger, Legato): see here.

Initial Value (-1 to 1; def. 0) defines the phase (only if Trigger Mode is set to retrigger).

Bandwith (0.10 Hz to 1 kHz; def. 4Hz) sets the speed of the mod signal.

With Bias (-1 to 1; def. 0) you can fade between a random and a sinus shaped signal: Bias 0.00 (default) means fully random, -1.00 is a clean negative sinus, +1.00 a clean positive sinus modulation signal.

Behind Smooth (0.10 Hz to 1 kHz; def. 100 Hz) seems to be a lowpass filter applied to the modulation signal, where low frequency settings are smoothing the signal down to a degree where it is barely audible, while higher frequency settings make it quite distinct.
Polarity switch (default: Bipolar).

LFO


Classic Lfo with some extra waveforms.
Besides standard waveforms Sine, Square, Triangle, Saw up, Saw Down, Sample&Hold it provides Analog Square, Chaos Lorenz, Chaos Rossier, and a user-defined waveform (transformable via right-click).

You can save user waveforms (together with the other settings) as LFO presets.
Controls: Phase (0 to 1; def. 0); Freq (0 to 20 Hz; def. 0.50 Hz resp. 32x to 1/64 tri; def. 1/1); Depth (0 to 100 %; def. 100%); Delay (0 to 10s; def. 0s); Rise (0 to 10s; def. 0s); Smooth (0 to 1s; def. 0s); Polarity switch (default: Bipolar); Trigger Mode (No Retrigger, Retrigger, Legato, Song): see here. With Song mode enabled, timing isn't as precise as in Retrigger mode, but still a good workaround if you need a tempo-synced mod source at Program/Layer level.

Multi Envelope


Highly flexible envelope, with unlimited number of possible steps. Can be looped and tempo-synced. There’s also the possibility to drag & drop Midi or audio file onto the graphical editor window.
Vel.amount and Vel.sens: see here.
Speed (0.10 to 10; def. 1): time multiplier.
Smooth (0s to 10s; def. 0s): smoothing amount.
Trigger Mode (No Retrigger, Retrigger (default), Legato): see here.
Polarity switch (default: Unipolar)
Envelope editor:
Click the eye icon to have a better view on the envelope.

To add a point, double - click; to remove it, shift + right-click the point, or right-click and select Remove Point.

Editor right - click options: see here.

You can drag and drop an audio file onto the editor, to create an envelope which emulates its amplitude curve.
In this case, a menu lets you choose between various options how the envelope points should be created:
RMS (average level of audio file), Peak, Brightness (higher frequencies will create more points), or Transients.
For precise pitch modulation, you can use the table I made for the Step Envelope, see below. Double-click the respective envelope point and type in the wanted pitch value.

Many presets are available.

Parametric LFO


Highly flexible Lfo, without standard waveforms but with extended control about Shape, PulseWidth, Symmetry, and Swing.
Otherwise like the standard LFO, but without Delay, Rise, and Smooth parameters.
Can be synced to tempo.
Polarity switch (default: Bipolar).
Trigger Mode (No Retrigger, Retrigger, Legato, Song): see here.

Step Envelope


Not a typical envelope, more a step sequencer. Can be used tempo-synced also on Program and Layer levels. In this case, set Trigger Mode to 'No Retrigger'.

  • Steps can be of any number between 1 and 128, Freq any rate between 0 and 20 Hz, or, if tempo-synced, 32x and 1/64tri.
  • Interpolation Mode - Hold means there's no transition (except Smoothing, see below), while in
  • Interpolation Mode - Spline there are transitions between all steps.
  • Smooth makes fades on a per step basis, the time (~amount) can be modulated by another mod source.
  • Edit step values by dragging, moving mouse-wheel, or double-clicking and typing in exact values.
  • Click the eye icon to get an enlarged view.
  • Polarity switch (default: Bipolar).
  • Trigger Mode (No Retrigger, Retrigger, Legato): see here.
  • Can we use it as Pitch Seq? It works, but with an effort. Drawing pitch values without quantisation most certainly will give inharmonic results.

    You can type in note values by using the table below (Oscillator pitch mod amount has to be set to 12 semitones).


Modulation Mapper  

The Modulation Mapper can give modulation signals a different shape. It's also useful when using Macro assignments.
To get it working,

  • right-click on the modulated parameter knob and select Edit Modulations. Click on the icon to open the Modulation Mapper.
  • Once it's opened, click ; a new Mapper is created ('Mapper0').
  • The created default Map (shown below) doesn’t do anything to the Mod signal; incoming and outgoing signal are identical.

                                           

  • You can now either draw your own mappings (straight lines via Alt/Option key), or right-click the Editor and use one of the provided Presets or Functions, or enter a Custom formula. For example, exponential curves can be made using one of the Concave/Convex presets.
  • You can ...
  • Save and Load mappings,
  • define array Size (1-512; default 128),
  • set the Range (minimum -128 to 0; default -1, maximum 0 to 128; default 1),
  • use Interpolation (smooth transitions between values), or use ...
  • Integer Output values (whole numbers only).