|MuLab & MUX Modular 7: What's New|
Several improvements and new features all together greatly increase MuLab's workflow when using audio tracks:
Easified Audio Recording
In previous versions, audio recording relied on the modular Audio Recorder module.
Although this allows for very flexible recording setups, for users that are used to traditional audio track recording, this modular approach could be daunting.
Now MuLab 7 also supports easy traditional audio track recording: Add an audio track, arm, record, done.
While the modular flexibility still is there in case you want it.
Improved Audio Parts
In previous versions audio parts always used a marker as start position.
So when splitting an audio part, a new marker was added.
When doing many splits this could end up in many markers, which was not very comfortable.
In MuLab 7, when splitting an audio part, no new marker is created, but a part specific start point is used. That's easier.
You can also still use start markers, just like in MuLab 6, so to manage a common start point for multiple audio parts.
Audio parts now also feature a snap marker for easily moving/copying an audio part with a specific audio cue point.
For example if you have a vocal audio part that starts with the word "Spring" you can put a snap marker on the "P" so to perfectly align it to the beat.
Improved Support For Streaming Audio Files With Different Samplerate
When playing back an audio file with a different samplerate, MuLab creates a resampled version of that audio file.
This is more CPU and RAM efficient than resampling the audio file in realtime.
In previous versions however, when switching a lot between various audio setups, this could result in multiple intermediate resampled audio files like "SomeName-resampled48000-resampled44100-resampled48000.wav" etc.
Now MuLab 7 always keeps track of the original source audio file and will only create a single "SomeName[Resampled].MuWave" that will only be used for playing the original file.
At the same time the resampling speed and quality have been greatly improved compared to MuLab 6 thanks to the use of Voxengo's R8Brain resampling library.
|Step Sequencer / Arpeggiator|
M7's new Step Sequencer module is a very creative tool to experiment with and generate all kinds of sequences like drum patterns, melodic riffs, chord progressions etc.
It features 12 lanes of 32 steps. Each lane can be a single note, a (strummed) chord, or even a micro sequence on its own.
Each step can be easily toggled on/off, transposed, etc.
When playing the Step Sequencer via MIDI the step sequence is automatically transposed so you can play melodies of sequences, a great way to generate new musical ideas.
At the same time the Step Sequencer also features multiple patterns, each with its own loop, and state of the art sync modes that allow realtime switching between patterns and come up with original dynamic sequences.
M7's Step Sequencer also features Modulation Groups which let you group certain steps and vary (and automate!) the pitch, velocity and length of the grouped steps on the fly!
More specs of the M7 Step Sequencer:
- Supports multiple MIDI channels hence multi-timbral sequences.
- Unlimited number of pattern, each with its own loop length and step length.
- Seamless pattern switching, recordable.
- Includes 4 lanes for sequencing MIDI Controller/Aftertouch/Pitchbend. Pitchbend features an auto-glide function.
- Arpeggiator mode with the same creative power and flexibility.
- Can be driven by another step sequencer, which can be driven by another one... Unlimited creativity.
|Audio-rate Parameter Modulation|
Using the new "Audio To Modulation Converter" and "Modulation To Audio Converter" modules, modulations can now also be done on audio rate.
Almost all parameters effectively support audiorate modulation with only a few exceptions. (eg ADSR Attack/Release Speed, LFO Frequency)
Being able to do audiorate modulations has several advantages:
- More sonic options as you can route audio to modulation and vice versa.
This allows for unlimited FM, PM, AM, filter FM, scan wavetables at audio rate, etc...
- All audio processor modules (filters, delays, ...) can also be used to process audiorate modulation signals.
The new Modulation Sample & Hold module samples and holds the input value upon every note-on.
|Parameter Value Randomizer|
New Parameter Value Randomizer module.
Upon receiving a note-on, this new module randomizes the selected parameters within a defined range.
This also works any VST plug-in!
|New "Pitch Bend Generator" Module|
The new Pitch Bend Generator generates a new pitch bend event whenever its parameter value changes.
Of course this parameter can also be modulated by all means eg. LFOs, Envelopes, Audio To Modulation Converter, ...
Racks can now import/export the auxiliary inputs and outputs of the plug-in modules in that rack.
This results in enhanced support for side-chaining, multi-out VSTs etc.
Racks now have a "Freeze/Render Audio" function that will render the audio up to just before the volume fader, as well as any used sends and aux outs.
This way you can freeze CPU-intensive plug-ins while still having realtime control over the mix.
You can also return to the original situation to make edits to the source and refreeze again.
Racks now have an on/off button.
This way you have more control over the CPU usage.
Grids are now fully user definable.
This allows to make your own grooves or extract grooves from audio eg. drum loops.
You can also store & recall your favorite grids to the preset library.
New "Swing" parameter allows for instantly swinging sequences, resulting a nice human-feel grooves.
You can easily set a common swing amount for the complete composition, but also a separate amount per sequence part, resulting in extra groovy multi-swing.
Double-clicking notes will delete them.
In previous versions this only worked on the sides of a note, but in the new M7 it works on the entire note.
Simple and easy.
There also is a new preference "Right-Click Deletes Notes".
When switched on then:
- Right-clicking a note will delete that note/the selected notes.
- [Cntrl]+click a note will only be used to copy notes, ie. it will never delete notes.
This preference is switched on by default.
|Audio File Search Function|
When you open a project of which some of the audio files cannot be found, you can now use the new M7 built-in audio file search function to help finding these missing audio files.
Better looking UI and polished workflow thanks to many subtle improvements, among which a new font and better font rendering.
Also delete actions are now undoable, including deleting tracks, racks and plug-ins, thus avoiding "Are you sure?" popup alerts.
|Enhanced Sound & Factory Library|
M7 features an extended sonic palette & even better sound quality thanks to enhanced algorithms.
On top of that the factory library has been improved and extended.
MUX Modular Sound System
- Step Sequence Recorder: Backspace key = Step one back + erase that step.
- Piano roll editor: Changing the start of a note did not snap the new start point to the grid. Fixed.
- Finetuned behavior for when to display standard piano keys (eg for synths) or when to display note key labels (eg for drum modules)
- Clicking the timebar in the audio editor did not memorize that position as last user position for auto-rewind. Fixed.
- Transport panel: Record button and Loop button have been switched, so to get the record button on a more traditional position.
- The focused module keyboard (top-right of project window) now highlights MIDI input notes.
- When an audio file is not found and the "Locate..." alert pops up, then the "Show" option now will also copy the unfound file path to the OS clipboard so that it's more easy to search for it using the OS search function.
- Added "Play/Stop-And-Return" shortcuttable function. On stop the composer will return to the Last User Position.
- The Rewind, Forward, Rewind One Step, Forward One Step, Goto Start, Goto Loop Start and Goto Loop End functions now also store the new position as the Last User Position so it's also taken into account for eg. "Play/Stop-And-Return".
- Removed the module name display from the Focused Target Panel at the top right.
Because in 99% of the cases the focused target is defined by the focused track.
As a consequence that module name display from the Focused Target Panel was more disturbing than helpful.
So now only the keyboard is left there.
In the exceptional case you want to put MIDI input focus on a non-tracked module, there are still 2 methods:
* Drag-drop the module on the keyboard at the top.
* Use a keyboard shortcut to "Play From MIDI Input" on the module.
- When trying to load a MuClip file that doesn't load, a proper alert is given now. (in M6 it silently failed)
- New project -> New audio track -> draw part => Asked whether it should be a audio or sequence part. Finetuned this case.
- When splitting unique sequence parts, any redundant events are deleted.
- When rendering audio for a selection of parts and some unselected part was muted then it was unintendedly unmuted after rendering. Fixed.
- Sequence functions: For sequences with mixed event types, the context functions were not right. Fixed.
- Event List: (Double)Clicking an event didn't select it. Fixed.
- More accurate rendering of automation parts. (especially when using a larger audio engine buffer size)
- Audio tracks now have an "Auto Arm" switch. By default it's on. This will automatically switch on "Record Arm" when the track gets focused.
- Audio Recorder: Monitor on/off state was not saved in the project file. Fixed.
- Inserting a new "Project Audio Input" now defaults to select both left and right pins, thus being a stereo input.
- When previewing audio files, then in some cases an "Attention: Long sample" alert was shown when it was not relevant. Fixed.
- Deleting a track also deletes its rack, if that rack becomes unused.
- Fixed a bug wrt. "Delete Time Slice".
- Splitting a selected part now results in both resulting parts to be selected.
- Audio editor: Monitoring a selection while the audio engine samplerate is not 44.1 kHz resulted in a wrong monitoring pitch. Fixed.
- When the rack desk is in a floating window, it can now also be minimized.
- Shift+click on rewind button = Rewind To Start.
- In some specific cases the play cursor line could be displayed only partially. Fixed.
- Sequence editor: When hovering the piano keyboard, it shows the key in the info display.
- Finetuned the condition for when activating a module editor window will also auto shift MIDI input focus:
Now this is only done when the activated editor is part of some synth patch or a module that has MIDI controller mappings.
- Delete Time Slice could delete the mandatory Loop Start / Loop End marker(s). Fixed.
- Insert/Delete Time Slice: Added an extra option to set the selected zone to the current composition loop.
- Audio recording: Added a new "Auto" channel mode. In case of using direct audio inputs, this results in mono recording when only the left/mono input is defined, otherwise stereo.
- The "Auto Loop Recorded Sequences" preference has been renamed to "Auto Loop New Sequences" and now is also taken into account when drawing new sequence parts.
MUX Modular Front Panels
- When inserting a new MuDrum or MultiSampla in a rack, the 3 extra audio outputs will automatically be exported so they're instantly usable as rack outputs.
- VST Plug-in Manager: Plug-ins now have an "Edit Extra Option" context menu where you can set the preferred num aux inputs and outputs.
When that VST plug-in then is inserted in a rack, it will automatically import/export the preferred num inputs/outputs.
This preference can be set per VST and is only to set once, then each time that VST is plugged in that preference is used.
It's a little time-saver.
- Oscillator: "AIPS" has been renamed/extended to "Phase Shift Mode".
It has 4 values: Off, Source Only, Add Layered, Invert Layered.
Off = No phase shifting is done.
Source Only = Only the source waveform generation is phase shifted. Then when applying audiorate modulation to the Phase Shift parameter you get true PM = Phase Modulation. (aka FM)
Add Layered = The phase shifted version is added on top of the original wave. This results in a similar phasing effect you get when detuning two oscillators.
Add Inverted = The phase shifted version is added on top of the original wave, but inverted. This way you can get a PWM block wave by using a saw wave. This mode is the M6 compatibility mode.
- Multi-sample zone editor: When monitoring a key, then previously zones that were set to output 2 or up were not auditioned. Fixed.
- Multi-sample editor: When dragging a zone's left/right side, it could end beyond the MIDI keyboard range. Fixed.
- Improved Sequence Player module now also featuring arpeggiator mode, velocity sensitivity, more sync options.
- When used in the PolySynth, oscillators do not generate any sound until they received a first note-on event.
- Event Monitor: Delete key now hard mapped to clearing the display.
- MuDrum: Finetuned layout.
- MuDrum: Upon opening the editor all pads could shortly flash. Fixed.
- Note To Modulation Converter: Random output now immediately starts with a random value, even before the first note-on. That's more logical as random means random.
- Finetuned behavior of the [Delete] key in the multi-sample editor.
- Note Key Ranger: Editing the Min and Max Key now had consistent editing behavior for MIDI keys eg. holding [Shift] will jump 1 octave up/down.
- Finetuned the looks of the modular area:
* Background color = "Main Editor Back Color" preference.
* Grid lines take "Main Editor Grid Contrast" into account.
* Unfocused cables are more clear, while still preserving a good difference with focused cables.
- A muted mixer strip does not bypass events anymore.
- When meta-mapping an Amplifier's Pad parameter, the value display was not going in 6 dB steps but continuously, which was not correct. Fixed.
- Multi-Sampler: Changed the Low/High Velocity properties to integer values ie no decimal point anymore as that could cause difficult situations.
- Multi-Point Envelope: When inserting a first point at the beginning you could not zoom out enough anymore. Fixed.
- Modular area: Alt-click on cable = toggle mute, but when doing this fast it was interpreted as a double-click and thus opening the cable editor. Fixed.
- Modular area: When alt-clicking a cable = toggle mute, then the respective open cable editor did not refresh its mute field. Fixed.
- Finetuned the White Noise Generator: The previous version had a little negative DC offset and a rather limited value resolution. The new version has no DC offset and a much higher value resolution.
- Parameter smoothing is more immediate. Important when doing hard non-continuous parameter automations.
- Multi-Point Envelope: When loading a preset file and the MPE is in a MUX and its event input is not connected, then it is auto restarted.
- Multi-Mode Filter: Increased sound quality cause it now uses 64 bit processing.
- Optimized performance of the TF Lowpass filter.
- Increased accuracy for all modulations, especially when using non-linear curves.
- When changing the audio engine samplerate, global LFOs like in the Tremolo patch where not properly updated resulting in a wrong timing. Fixed.
- Fixed a bug in the multi-sample player: When there were too many layers playing this could result in a "User thread wait time-out error". Fixed.
- Multi-Sample Player: Tripled the max num simultaneous layers from 4 to 12.
- Upon selecting a MUX device from the preset list the transpose value was left at the previous value. Fixed.
- When dropping a new MUX preset or VST plug-in on a rack slot, the MUX/VST editor is automatically opened.
- Fixed an issue with the send names.
- Individual mixer strips don't show a solo button anymore as it was inactive.
- In the modular area, racks don't have redundant outputs anymore.
- Moving/copying a rack plug-in to another rack preserves any auxiliary connections.
Eg you can copy a send from one rack to another and it will be the same kind of send.
This fixes the "Send To Nothing" issue in M6.
- The multi-sample editor now has a fixed height which ensures that the zone properties panel is fully visible.
This height is high enough to see many zone layers at the same time. And for the other zone layers you can still scroll up/down.
- Improved support for different VST input-output pin arrangement types.
- Audio level meters: "Max Level Fall Down Time" preference was not interpreted right when audio engine's samplerate was not 44.1 kHz. Fixed.
- Audio Envelope Follower and Level Compressor: Improved processing of stereo signals.
- Compressor module: Finetuned layout + fixed a mismatch wrt. the displayed curve.
- Audio Envelope Follower: The "Use RMS Window" switch was not preserved. Fixed.
- Improved behavior when loading LFO preset shapes in global/fx LFOs. (ie. LFOs outside PolySynth)
- Audio displays: More accentuated color difference between selected and non-selected audio.
- Added protection against connecting a module with itself.
- Rack names that are not fully visible are now instantly shown in a steady tooltip just above the rack.
- Fixed a crash bug when drag-dropping a module onto a rack slot that contains module that contains the dropped module.
- Multi-Samples can now be saved independently from a MUX as separate preset files.
- When dropping an audio file on the multi-sample editor, the created zone was selected but the properties pane was not updated. Fixed.
- Fixed a bug when inputting parameter value text strings.
- Fixed a bug when using meta-parameters where the minimum value equals the maximum value.
- Fixed a possible app freeze when dropping a module into the modular area of one of its own deeper modules.
- Multi-Point Envelope editor: When dragging the start/end loop flag, sometimes dragging was obstructed in an odd way. Fixed.
- The Pure Delay module now has an On/Off switch.
- When inserting a module into an effect slot in MuSynth, MuDrum, MuSampla and MultiSampla, that module's editor now is immediately opened.
- Fixed a crash bug when switching the Multi-Point Envelope to an empty preset envelope or deleting all points.
- Fixed a couple of potential crash bugs in the automation/modulation system when doing extreme automations/modulations ie. using high frequency loops and/or complex shapes. For such cases use audio-rate modulation.
- When a VST editor requests a window resize to make the window smaller, then it could happen that the top control panel (with MuTools' open/save/option buttons etc) was not fully visible anymore. Fixed.
MUX Modular Plug-In Specific
- MUX Modular front panels now have an explicit 'Edit' button to easily toggle front panel editing on/off.
- New text label component type.
- Support for copying components by holding [Ctrl].
- If a Waveform Display is wide enough it now also has a drop down button to choose a waveform from the library.
- Horizontal Slider With Vertical Name/Value: Properly disabled Name Size property as it's not relevant in this case.
- Fixed a potential problem wrt. the patch data not being restored/saved upon opening/saving the host project.
- Added a couple of stability protections wrt. hosts using an ambiguous VST implementation.
- Fixed a minor performance issue when playing notes from MIDI input.
- When the logging is active, it could contain a bunch of "File fn=x.Png, ec=2" lines. These have been removed.
- Better looking UI and improved workflow thanks to many detailed enhancements.
- Some finetunings in the color picker:
* Moved the "No Color" button to the left.
* Upon clicking "No Color" the new color is set to no color, but the window does not yet close. This makes it more clear what the No Color is doing.
* Upon clicking "No Color", the Hue Sat and LUM values were displaying a nonsense value. Fixed.
- Project browser: When dragging an item it's auto-selected if not yet.
- Project browser: When right-clicking an item it's auto-selected if not yet.
- Project browser: "Select Next and Drop Again" function was not working anymore. Fixed.
- Project browser: When renaming a MUX file, then the related .txt or .html info files are renamed too.
- Project browser: When deleting a MUX file, then the related .txt or .html info files are deleted too.
- When saving an individual sample as OGG file, you can now set the OGG compression quality.
- In some specific cases when the mouse cursor is over a tree list (eg project browser), it could be that it was not the expected arrow cursor. Fixed.
- Finetuned method for multi-selecting items in a tree list (eg project browser): That's done by holding [Shift], just like in the editors.
- Windows that are only resizable in 1 direction now do not show a resize cursor anymore for the non-resizable borders.
- All file browsers: [Alt]+N corresponds to the "New File" button.
- Finetuned auto-position for newly opened editors.
- Optimized double-click handling.
- Finetuned behavior in case of a mismatch between MuLab.exe and MuLab.ID.
- On multi-screen setups popup menus could appear on the wrong screen. Fixed.
- Curve sub-system: When using an exponential curve with 'hold' slope in an envelope, then the target value was never reached. Fixed.
- Added 2 color preferences "Wave Back Color" and "Wave Fore Color" for the main audio/sample editor.
- Added support for grayscale PNGs.
- The following "Delete" actions are now also undoable: Delete Track, Delete Rack/Module/VST, Delete Connection.
Now that deleting a rack is undoable, deleting a track and its rack does not popup a question anymore, it's just a single silent undoable action.
- Added 2 new shortcuttable functions "Add Marker At Cursor" and "Add Marker At Play Position".
- When copying markers without an explicit name, the implicit name of the source marker was copied as explicit name for the new marker, which is not intended, cause this results in unwanted+confusing name indexing. Fixed.
- "Select Between Markers" and similar audio editor functions did not work via keyboard shortcut. Fixed.
- Added a new preference "Rounded Corners". Default is ON, which generates the known MuTools look. When switched to OFF, rounded corners are avoided.
- Color preferences: Several colors can now be set to "Auto Color" which means that an automatic default color will be used. This allows for quicker and easier color preferencing.
- Added the "EditorPanelDefaultTopBackColor" and "EditorPanelDefaultBottomBackColor" preferences.
- When opening a project with missing audio files, then upon locating such missing audio files the file browser was not supporting previewing. Fixed.
- Envelope editor: When editing eg a pitch bend curve, the value pane at the left was not ok. Fixed.
- When saving a sample to an audio file and no explicit extension is given, now a question alert pops up to ask for the file type instead of assuming the default file type.
- Project Browser -> Samples -> Options -> Save All now also works on a selection of samples.
- Upon loading MP3 and OGG samples, marker meta-data saved by "Save Markers" was not loaded. Fixed.
- Upon loading and there are missing VST plug-ins, there now is an extra option "Ignore All".
- Upon deleting an audio stream from the project, you now get the option to also delete the audio file on disk.
This not only is a handy feature but it also emphasizes the difference between an audio stream (=project RAM) and an audio file (=disk file).
- Playing very short notes via MIDI while using a larger audio engine buffer size could result in hanging notes. Fixed.
- MuLab for Windows: When a crash occurs, then now relevant crash details are written in the MuLab log file, increasing the chance to retrieve the reason and thus also to fix it, if the crash was inside the MuLab code. (crash could be in plug-in code)
- When switching between editor windows and other apps, now switching back to a VST editor auto focuses the VST editor itself. This is related to using key shortcuts.
- Many more detailed improvements, too detailed to be all listed. They all increase the overall comfort and quality.
- Improved factory library.