Difference between revisions of "Zynthian UI Users Guide"

From ZynthianWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
(Instrument Control screen)
(grammar updates)
 
(68 intermediate revisions by 3 users not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
  
=The Zynthian's Hardware User Interface=
+
=General Concepts=
[[File:zynthian_controllers.png|340px|right]]
+
[[File:zynthian_ui_workflow_1.png|thumb]]
+
[[File:zynthian_ui_workflow_2.png|thumb]]
+
  
The Zynthian's Hardware UI is displayed on a touch display and controlled by 4 rotary-encoders with switches (push).
+
[[File:zynthian_controllers.png|430px|right]]
The encoders/switch knobs are used to navigate between the different screens/menus, select options and change the instrument parameters, acting as MIDI/OSC controllers.
+
  
Currently there are two screen types (layouts):
+
The Zynthian UI is displayed on a touch display and controlled by 4 rotary-encoders with switches (push switches).
 +
The encoders/switch knobs are used to navigate between the different screens/menus, select options and change the instrument parameters, acting as MIDI/OSC controllers. You can emulate the knob's behaviour using the touch-display, but it's sub-optimal and accessing some features could be tricky.
  
# '''Selector Screen''': a list of items that you can scroll and select with the SELECT (4) knob
+
Currently there are two main screen-types (screen-layouts/pages):
# '''Controller Screen''': In the corners, 4 control widgets (one for each knob), with label and value indicator (graphic and numeric). In the middle, a list of controller maps which you can use to change or rotate using the SELECT (4) knob.
+
 
 +
* '''Selector Screen''': a list of items that you can scroll and select with the SELECT (4) knob
 +
* '''Controller Screen''': In the corners, 4 control widgets (one for each knob), with label and value indicator (graphic and numeric). In the middle, a list of controller maps which you can use to change or rotate using the SELECT (4) knob.
 +
 
 +
Almost every Zynthian UI screen is one of these 2 types, however, other screen-types do exist:
 +
 
 +
* '''Confirmation Screen''': It will ask you to confirm some operation.
 +
* '''XY Controller Screen''': It allows to modify 2 parameters at once using the touch interface.
 +
* '''Info Screen''': It displays info about an operation, like "Update Software", or "Network Info"
 +
* '''Sequencer''': It's a planned feature, not implemented yet ;-)
 +
 
 +
There are 3 types of clicks (push) that can be performed, depending on how long you hold down the knob (or hold your finger on the touch-display):
  
And there are 3 types of clicks (push) that can be performed, depending on how long you hold down the knob:
 
 
* '''short:''' less than 0.3 seconds
 
* '''short:''' less than 0.3 seconds
 
* '''bold:''' between 0.3 and 2 seconds
 
* '''bold:''' between 0.3 and 2 seconds
 
* '''long:''' more than 2 seconds
 
* '''long:''' more than 2 seconds
  
Actions for each knob and click type are context dependent. Generally, the SELECT knob and a short click is used to navigate and select items on a "Selector Screen". Inside a "Controller Screen", short clicks can be used to rotate between layers (LAYER) or between controller pages (SELECT). "Bold" clicks are intended as shortcuts for jumping to some specific screens. Clicking the BACK knob generally jumps to the previous screen in the sequence.  
+
Actions for each knob and click-type are context dependent. Generally, the SELECT knob is used to navigate and a short click on it will select an item on a "Selector Screen". Inside a "Controller Screen", short clicks can be used to rotate between layers (LAYER knob) or between controller pages (SELECT knob). "Bold-clicks" are intended as shortcuts for jumping to some specific screens. Clicking the BACK knob generally jumps to the previous screen in the workflow sequence.
 +
 
 +
Most of the actions depend on context (the current screen), but there are some actions that are global and will work from any screen:
 +
 
 +
* '''long-back''': go to the admin menu
 +
* '''long-select''': power off
  
Loading and Saving snapshots: If you click SNAPSHOT (3) once, you get the Load Snapshot menu, another click and you will be in the Save Snapshot menu. If you bold-click SNAPSHOT then you will go directly to the Save Snapshot menu. The Snapshot menu have 2 levels: bank selection (directory) and snapshot (file).
+
Snapshot actions are also global and will work from any point in the workflow. If you click SNAPSHOT (3) once, you get the Load Snapshot menu, another click and you will be in the Save Snapshot menu. If you bold-click SNAPSHOT then you will go directly to the Save Snapshot screen. The Snapshot screen have 2 levels: bank selection (directory) and snapshot (file). These actions are better explained below.
  
 
=The Zynthian UI Workflow=
 
=The Zynthian UI Workflow=
  
The next flowcharts show the different "screens" or "functions" and the way to reach each one using the 4 switches.
+
The following flowcharts show the different "screens" or "menus" and how to reach each one using the 4 switches.
It could be a good idea to print these 2 flowcharts and keep it near of your Zynthian Box until you memorize the flow and the spirit of Zynthian UI got inside of you ;-)
+
It would be a good idea to print these flowcharts and keep them near your Zynthian Box until you memorize the workflow and the spirit of the Zynthian UI gets inside you ;-)
  
If you want to contribute improving these flowcharts, you can edit it using the Google Documents Tools:
+
<gallery mode="slideshow" widths="240" heights="320">
 +
Image:zynthian_ui_workflow__main.svg|''[[commons:Main Sequence|Main Sequence]]''
 +
Image:zynthian_ui_workflow__layer_options.svg|''[[commons:Layer Options|Layer Options]]''
 +
Image:zynthian_ui_workflow__snapshots.svg|''[[commons:Snapshots|Snapshots]]''
 +
Image:zynthian_ui_workflow__midi_learning.svg|''[[commons:MIDI Learning|MIDI Learning]]''
 +
</gallery>
  
  - [https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1jmt3zrJjPkbqj3hpzCIwRgFIKxiX2UptebBA_GN8e5I/edit?usp=sharing Main sequence: zynthian_ui_workflow_1]
+
If you want to contribute to improving these flowcharts, you can edit them using the Google Documents Tools:
  - [https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1Um1HVCvvb4gZF_X-vcIN9cTxYIBRCtZ5oxniUdSTB3c/edit?usp=sharing Aux. Sequences: zynthian_ui_workflow_2]
+
 
 +
  - [https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1jmt3zrJjPkbqj3hpzCIwRgFIKxiX2UptebBA_GN8e5I Main sequence: zynthian_ui_workflow_main]
 +
- [https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1C8kfovwXxuabl1u-UlrnHY8xzFFNiqiQWt1mmD5UXak Layer Options: zynthian_ui_workflow_layer_options]
 +
  - [https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1Um1HVCvvb4gZF_X-vcIN9cTxYIBRCtZ5oxniUdSTB3c Snapshots: zynthian_ui_workflow_snapshots]
 +
- [https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1I0ArYVr3zGtzcSgOy19fHlIh8VF15rmsll9wZi-aXaI MIDI Learning: zynthian_ui_workflow_midi_learning]
  
 
<br clear=all>
 
<br clear=all>
  
=The UI Menus=
+
=The UI Screens=
  
==Layer List==
+
==Layers==
 
[[File:Zynthian_ui_new_layer.png|400px|right]]
 
[[File:Zynthian_ui_new_layer.png|400px|right]]
This is the first screen you see when you power on and no screenshots are stored yet.
+
This is the first screen you should see when you power on your zynthian and no ''snapshots'' have been stored yet. Select '''New Synth Layer''' to get started.
Choose New Layer to get started. A layer is a synth engine preset assigned to one or several MIDI channels. You can adjust the preset parameters from the instrument control screen.
+
 
 +
There are several options on this screen:
 +
 
 +
* '''NEW Synth Layer''' => Create a new Synthesizer Layer.
 +
* '''NEW Effect Layer''' => Create a new Effect Layer that will be connected to soundcard's Audio Input.
 +
* '''NEW Generator Layer''' => Create a new Generator Layer that self-generates audio or midi.
 +
* '''NEW Special Layer''' => Create a new Special Layer that will receive all MIDI channels.
 +
* '''REMOVE ALL''' => Remove all Layers (Root layers and its associated Effect-Chains), returning to the initial state.
 +
* '''PANIC! All Notes/Sounds Off''' => All notes and sounds are stopped abruptly by sending CC#123 and CC#120 to all channels.
 +
 
 +
The last option, ''All Notes/Sounds Off'', can be triggered by bold clicking CTRL-1 (layer) from the layer screen (contextual action). You can trigger this actions from any point in the workflow by simply bold-clicking twice CTRL-1. Also, you can add a ''panic-button'' to your zynthian using the extra pins from the AllInOne circuit. You can [https://discourse.zynthian.org/t/extra-switches-sustain-pedal-panic-button-etc/1843 read more about this subject in the forum].
 +
 
 +
<br clear=all>
 +
 
 +
[[File:Zynthian_ui_layer_list.png|400px|right]]
 +
When you select '''NEW Synth/Effect/Generator Layer''', you create a new root-layer (first of a chain), choosing a free MIDI channel for it. You can create up to 16 layers (as many as MIDI channels), each one having an independent effect-chain.
 +
 
 +
Having several layers in the same MIDI channel is not allowed. If you want two or more layers playing unison (like being in the same MIDI channel), you should use the "Clone" feature, that allows you to bind several layers while keeping MIDI CCs and other MIDI messages (Program Change, Channel Pressure, etc.) independent.
 +
 
 +
<br clear=all>
 +
 
 +
[[File:Zynthian_ui_layer_options.png|400px|right]]
 +
If you bold-click the select switch over a layer from the list, the "Layer Options" menu will be displayed for the selected layer. This menu allows you to:
 +
 
 +
* '''Clone MIDI to...''' => clone the '''layer's MIDI channel''' messages to other MIDI channels. Note that only note on/off, pitch-bending, and key-press messages are cloned, while the rest are kept independent (CC, channel-pressure, program change, ...)
 +
* '''Transpose''' => transpose the '''layer's MIDI channel''' up and down, by semitones.
 +
* '''Audio Routing''' => route the '''layer's''' audio output to available audio input ports, whats allows processing the audio in any way you imagine. You can use this feature for creating your own customized/bizarre FX chains.
 +
* '''MIDI chan''' => change the MIDI Channel assigned.
 +
* '''Remove Layer''' => Remove the layer.
 +
 
 +
* '''Add Effect''' => Add an effect to the FX-chain.
 +
* '''Remove All Effects''' => Clean the FX-chain, deleting all the effects.
 +
 
 +
* '''Effect List''' => The list of effects in the layer's FX-chain. By bold-clicking on an effect, you will access the Effect's Options:
 +
** '''Effect Presets'''
 +
** '''Move Upchain'''
 +
** '''Move Downchain'''
 +
** '''Remove Effect'''
 +
 
 
<br clear=all>
 
<br clear=all>
  
 
==Engine Selection==
 
==Engine Selection==
 
[[File:Zynthian_ui_engine_list.png|400px|right]]
 
[[File:Zynthian_ui_engine_list.png|400px|right]]
When you create a new layer, you are asked about the engine synth you want to use for the new layer. You will see the list of synth engines to choose from. The zynthian logo on the right is animated while engine is being loaded.
+
When you create a new layer, you are asked about which engine/plugin you want to use for it. A list of engines to choose from is displayed. They can be synthesizers, effects, generators or special engines, depending on the type of layer you are creating. When you click on the list,
 +
the zynthian logo on the top-right will be animated while the engine is being started.
 +
 
 +
Some engines have special behavior regarding layers and MIDI channels:
 +
 
 +
* '''setBfree''': This engine can create 1, 2 or 3 layers assigned to the several MIDI channels starting at selected channel, each one corresponding to the upper, lower and pedals sections of the Hammond B3 emulation.
 +
* '''Pianoteq''': Only one layer is allowed to be created, assigned to the MIDI channel you choose.
 +
* '''Aeolus''': NORMALLY 4 layers are created, assigned to different MIDI channels (1,2,3 & 4), each one corresponding to the 3 manuals + 1 pedal of the Aeolus default instrument definition. You can change the MIDI channel assignments from the Aeolus native UI. If you want to use a different instrument definition, you will have to tweak the engine's code a little bit. Ask in the forum ;-)
 +
 
 +
* '''MOD_UI''': Only one layer is allowed to be created and it's assigned to ALL MIDI channels. If you want to filter the messages by channel, you can do it within the MOD-UI patch. (There are plans for improving this behavior.)
 +
* '''PureData''': Only one layer is allowed to be created and it's assigned to ALL MIDI channels. If you want to filter the messages by channel, you can do it within the PD patch. (There are plans for improving this behavior.)
 +
 +
 
 
<br clear=all>
 
<br clear=all>
  
 
==MIDI Channel selection==
 
==MIDI Channel selection==
 
[[File:Zynthian_ui_midi_channel.png|400px|right]]
 
[[File:Zynthian_ui_midi_channel.png|400px|right]]
This screen is shown after you have chosen a synth engine for a new layer. Also when, from the Layer Options screen, you want to assign the layer to a different MIDI Channel. Choose the MIDI channel you want to assign to the layer. You can assign several layers to the same MIDI Channel. In such a case, all the assigned layers will react to MIDI messages coming from the assigned MIDI Channel.
+
This screen is shown in various contexts:
 +
 
 +
* After you have selected the engine for a new layer. Only free channels are listed.
 +
* When you change the assigned MIDI channel from the Layer Options.
 +
* When you clone a layer from the Layer Options
 +
 
 
<br clear=all>
 
<br clear=all>
  
 
== Bank selection==
 
== Bank selection==
 
[[File:Zynthian_ui_bank_list.png|400px|right]]
 
[[File:Zynthian_ui_bank_list.png|400px|right]]
Presets (instruments, sound designs or patches) for a synth engine are organized into banks. Choose a bank to see the list of presets you can pick from in that bank.  
+
Presets (instruments, patches, or sound designs) for a synth engine are organized into banks. Choose a bank to see the list of presets you can pick from within that bank.  
 
<br clear=all>
 
<br clear=all>
  
Line 61: Line 137:
 
Once you have chosen a bank, Preset Screen will be shown. Choose a preset to load the instrument/sound/patch you want and the Control Instrument screen will be shown.  
 
Once you have chosen a bank, Preset Screen will be shown. Choose a preset to load the instrument/sound/patch you want and the Control Instrument screen will be shown.  
  
If the "pre-load on note-on" feature is enabled, you can pre-load the presets by playing notes. The highlighted preset will be pre-loaded before select.
+
If the '''preload with note-on''' feature is enabled, you can preload the presets by playing notes. When you do so, the highlighted preset will be pre-loaded before clicking select.  
 +
 
 +
You can return to the control screen directly, without selecting any preset, by clicking "bold-back". In such a case, the previously selected instrument will be loaded again in case you pre-loaded some preset.
 +
 
 
<br clear=all>
 
<br clear=all>
  
 
==Instrument Control screen==
 
==Instrument Control screen==
 
[[File:Zynthian_ui_instrument_control_01.png|400px|right]]
 
[[File:Zynthian_ui_instrument_control_01.png|400px|right]]
This screen is shown after you have chosen a preset. Your instrument is now playable and you can modify the parameters.
+
This screen is shown after you have chosen a preset. Your instrument is now enabled and playable and you can modify the parameters.
 +
 
 +
Turning any of the 4 knobs changes the values of the synth parameters displayed in the squares at the sides of the screen adjacent to each knob. You also can use the touch interface to change the values. See below.
 
<br clear=all>
 
<br clear=all>
  
 
[[File:Zynthian_ui_instrument_control_02.png|400px|right]]
 
[[File:Zynthian_ui_instrument_control_02.png|400px|right]]
 
+
The central list shows the different pages of parameters that you may alter. You can navigate the page of parameters by clicking short-Select to step by one page.
Turning each of the 4 knobs change the values of the synth parameters displayed in the squares at the sides of the screen. The list in the center of the screen allows you to choose the page of parameters. You can step one page by clicking select.
+
 
<br clear=all>
 
<br clear=all>
  
 
[[File:Zynthian_ui_instrument_control_03.png|400px|right]]
 
[[File:Zynthian_ui_instrument_control_03.png|400px|right]]
If the list is long, you can "bold click" the select switch for navigating the list.
+
If the page list is long, you can "bold click" the Select switch to navigate the list using the Select knob.
 +
<br clear=all>
 +
 
 +
====XY-Controller====
 +
[[File:Zynthian_ui_xy_select.png|400px|right]]
 +
If you click 2 switches at once, you enter XY-control mode. The 2 controllers you clicked are green and you can choose the desired parameters to control by rotating the controller. Of course, you can navigate the controller pages by clicking select, etc. so you can select parameters from different pages.
 
<br clear=all>
 
<br clear=all>
  
 
[[File:Zynthian_ui_xy_controller.png|400px|right]]
 
[[File:Zynthian_ui_xy_controller.png|400px|right]]
If you click 2 switches at once, then you will select these 2 parameters for XY-controlling using the touchscreen (ala kaospad).
+
Once you have selected the right parameters, touch the screen for entering the XY-control-pad (using the touchscreen ala Kaoss Pad).
 +
 
 +
Click ''back'' for returning to XY-select or bold-click ''back'' for returning to control screen.
 
<br clear=all>
 
<br clear=all>
  
Press the back switch to return to previous screen. If you press bold-back, then you will go 2 screens backwards.
+
====Tips====
 +
You can press the Layer switch to step over the layer list. If you bold-press, the layer list screen will be shown.
 +
 
 +
Press the Back switch to return to previous screen. If you press bold-Back, then you will go 2 screens backwards.
 +
<br clear=all>
 +
 
 +
==Snapshots==
 +
[[File:Zynthian_ui_snapshot_load.png|400px|right]]
 +
[[File:Zynthian_ui_snapshot_save.png|400px|right]]
 +
Snapshots are used for saving/restoring the status of Zynthian. A snapshot includes the full state, including layers, effects, parameter values, MIDI-learning, etc.
 +
 
 +
You can enter the ''Load Snapshot'' screen by clicking the snapshot switch. From control screen you have to use bold-click. A second click and you will be in the ''Save Snapshot'' screen. You can also use bold-click to go directly to the Save Snapshot screen (not from control screen!).
 +
 
 +
Obviously, before loading any snapshot, you should save one, and for saving a snapshot, you should create some layers, etc. Zynthian UI will use numbers for naming the banks and snapshots. Later, using the webconf tool you can rename the snapshots to something more explicit.
 +
 
 +
====Snapshot Banks====
 +
By default, snapshots are stored as a single list and bank-related stuff is not shown by Zynthian-UI. If you want to use banks for organizing your snapshots, you simply create a second bank using the webconf tool and the hidden bank functionality will be enabled.
 +
 
 +
When using snapshot banks, if you want to go up one level (from snapshot list to bank list), you must use the ".." entry. The back button will close the snapshot screen.
 +
 
 +
====Default Snapshot====
 +
You can save the status as "Default Snapshot". This "Default Snapshot" will be loaded automatically at startup. To delete it, you can use the webconf tool or the command line.
 +
 
 +
====Restore Last State====
 +
If "Restore last state on startup" option is enabled on webconf (and it's enabled by default!), then state will be saved when poweroff (using long-click select or from Admin Menu) and restored on next boot. This option has priority over the "Default Snapshot".
 +
 
 
<br clear=all>
 
<br clear=all>
  
 
==Admin Menu==
 
==Admin Menu==
 
[[File:Zynthian_ui_admin.png|400px|right]]
 
[[File:Zynthian_ui_admin.png|400px|right]]
Pressing the Back knob, when you are in the Layer List screen, brings you to the Admin menu. The last item is how you safely power off the Zynthian without corrupting data files.
+
Pressing the Back knob, when you are in the Layer List screen, brings you to the Admin menu.  
 +
 
 +
The last item is how you safely power off the Zynthian without corrupting data files.
 +
 
 +
* Network Info - displays the IP address (ifconfig inet addr)
 +
* Start WIFI - Starts or Stops WIFI (toggle)
 +
* Start Audio Recording
 +
* Start TouchOSC bridge
 +
* Start Audio -> MIDI
 +
* Test MIDI - plays the test.mid file
 +
* Test Audio - plays the (long) test.mp3 file
 +
* Update Zynthian Software - downloads and installs the latest software
 +
* Update Zynthian Library - downloads the latest instruments
 +
* Restart GUI
 +
* Reboot
 +
* Power Off
 +
 
 
<br clear=all>
 
<br clear=all>
  
Line 94: Line 222:
 
You can navigate and control the Zynthian UI without knobs/encoders/switches at all, using only the touchscreen.
 
You can navigate and control the Zynthian UI without knobs/encoders/switches at all, using only the touchscreen.
  
You can "emulate" the switches by tapping the controller widgets (squares in the 4 corners of a Controller screen). There are short, bold and long actions. Exactly the same workflow as with hardware knobs. When the "back" widget is not available, you can go back by tapping the top bar.
+
You can "emulate" the switches by tapping the controller widgets (squares in the 4 corners of the screen). There are short, bold and long actions, same behaviour than rotary encoders work-flow. The only screen having the 4 controller widgets is the "Instrument Control" screen. Most of screens are selector ones, that only have 1 controller widget. On those screens you can click the '''zynthian logo''' (top-right) for emulating the "snapshot" switch, and you can go back by tapping the '''top-bar''' area.
  
You can change the values of the controllers by "sliding" over the widgets. This is the same as turning the knob.  
+
You can change the controller values by "sliding" up/down over the widgets. (see the green arrow in the figure here) This is the same as turning the knob. If you are using a mouse, the mouse wheel also can be used for changing the controller value.
  
When clicking (tapping/touching) the topbar, a "back" event is triggered. It's a quick & dirty fix and probably it will change in the future, but meanwhile it will enable you to fully control Zynthian using the touchscreen if you don't have knob hardware.
 
 
<br clear=all>
 
<br clear=all>
  
=Global MIDI-learning=
+
=MIDI-learning=
  
It allows to easily bind any parameter from the Zynthian UI to any CC knob/slider from an external MIDI controller. I intend to extend the feature to other MIDI messages, but currently only CC messages are supported. Anyway, MIDI filter rules can handle these special cases, so it’s not an urgent task.
+
MIDI-learning allows you to easily bind specific MIDI events with Zynthian-UI actions. There are 2 types of MIDI events you can learn:
  
It works with ALL the engines, using the engine’s native MIDI-learning when available (and convenient) or the Zynthian’s MIDI-learning mechanism, based in the MIDI filter. To be more explicit, native MIDI-learning is used for MOD-UI and for ZynAddSubFX OSC parameters. All the MIDI-mapped parameters are managed by the Zynthian’s MIDI-learning mechanism.
+
====MIDI CC====
 +
[[File:Zynthian_ui_midi_cc_learn_01.png|400px|right]]
 +
[[File:Zynthian_ui_midi_cc_learn_02.png|400px|right]]
 +
You can map any parameter in the Zynthian UI to a CC knob/slider on your external MIDI controller. I intend to extend this feature to other MIDI messages, but currently only CC messages are supported. Until then, MIDI-filter rules can be used instead.
  
You get on-screen feedback during the learning process. When you enable the MIDI-learning for a parameter, a small green text with the string "??" appears on the botton side of the controller/parameter area in the Zynthian UI. When the parameter is bond, the number of the linked CC is shown in the same place.
+
Learning a MIDI-CC is quite easy:
  
The MIDI-learning configuration is stored in the snapshot.
+
'''1.''' From the control screen, you click the snapshot button. You will be in CC MIDI-learn screen. It’s identical to the Control screen except that all the controllers have a tiny yellow “???” in the bottom.
 +
 
 +
'''2.''' Move a zynthian controller. Its tiny “???” will change to green while the other 3 will go back to normal state.
 +
 
 +
'''3.''' Finally, move a knob/fader in your MIDI keyboard/controller and the binding is done. The new CC number should appear in the bottom of the learned controller, replacing the tiny "???".
 +
 
 +
Of course, MIDI-learning configuration, including CC mappings, is stored and restored with snapshots.
 +
 
 +
'''Technical Note:''' MIDI-CC learning works with all the engines. It uses the engine’s native MIDI-learning capabilities when available. Zynthian’s MIDI-filter mappings are used for the rest. To be more explicit, native MIDI-learning is used for MOD-UI and ZynAddSubFX OSC parameters. All the other parameters are managed by Zynthian’s MIDI-filter mapping.
 +
 
 +
<br clear=all>
 +
 
 +
====MIDI Program Change====
 +
[[File:Zynthian_ui_midi_zs3_learn.png|400px|right]]
 +
You can map "SubSnapshots" (ZS3) to MIDI programs. The idea behind this feature is to have a fast preset-change mechanism that can be used on stage. In combination with the “Single Layer” feature, it turns Zynthian in a “Stage-Beast”. You can prepare a snapshot for the full performance, and use ZS3 for fast changing from a song to another, or between parts inside the same song.
 +
 
 +
Learning a SubSnapShot is obscenely easy:
 +
 
 +
'''1.''' From the control screen, you click the snapshot button '''twice'''. You will see the current list of ZS3s and a message: “Waiting for Program Change…”
 +
 
 +
'''2.''' Simply push a “Program Change” button in your keyboard/controller and the ZS3 will be stored in memory, associated with the Program number you send.
 +
 
 +
After that, you can recall any stored ZS3 by simply pushing the same PC button again. Of course, the memory-stored zs3s will be saved with your snapshot and restored when loaded again.
 +
 
 +
Every zs3 includes:
 +
 
 +
    - Layer ID
 +
    - Bank
 +
    - Preset
 +
    - Controller values
 +
 
 +
As you can see, it has sense in a SnapShot context, where a set of layers are defined. Zs3 changing is very fast, as no engine must be started.
 +
<br clear=all>
  
==How it works?==
+
====MIDI-CC Learning with touch interface====
  
First, you need a working touch interface in your display. If not, you could use a mouse ...
+
First, you need a working touch interface in your display. If you don't have a touchscreen, you could use a mouse ...
  
 
[[File:Zynthian_ui_midi_learning.png|400px|right]]
 
[[File:Zynthian_ui_midi_learning.png|400px|right]]
 
'''Learning:'''
 
'''Learning:'''
  1. In the "Instrument Control" screen, navigate the parameter screen list until having the parameter you want to learn.
+
  1. In the "Instrument Control" screen, navigate through the parameter screen list to get to the parameter you want to learn.
  2. On the parameter/controller area, slide with your nail from '''left to right'''. A green "??" should appear in the bottom side.
+
  2. In the parameter/controller area, slide with your fingernail from '''left to right'''. A green "??" should appear at the bottom.
  3. In your MIDI controller, move the desired knob/slider (or a CC-assigned pad).  The green "??" should be replaced by a tiny number, and the parameter should change when you move the knob/slider or push the pad. CC-assigned pads can be very useful for "boolean" parameters (i.e. on/off).   
+
  3. On your MIDI controller, move the desired knob/slider (or a CC-assigned pad).  The green "??" should be replaced by a tiny number, and the parameter should change when you move the knob/slider or push the pad. CC-assigned pads can be very useful for on/off parameters.   
 
<br clear=all>
 
<br clear=all>
  
 
[[File:Zynthian_ui_midi_unlearning.png|400px|right]]
 
[[File:Zynthian_ui_midi_unlearning.png|400px|right]]
 
'''Unlearning:'''
 
'''Unlearning:'''
  1. In the "Instrument Control" screen, navigate the parameter screen list until having the parameter you want to unlearn.
+
  1. In the "Instrument Control" screen, navigate through the parameter screen list until you get to the parameter you want to unlearn.
  2. On the parameter/controller area, slide with your nail from '''right to left'''. The tiny number, indicating the current CC bond, should disappear or change. If the parameter is an engine-specific controlled engine, the number will disappear. If the parameter is hardcoded MIDI-mapped parameter, then the number will change.
+
  2. In the parameter/controller area, slide with your fingernail from '''right to left'''. The tiny number, indicating the current CC assignment, should disappear or change. If the parameter is an engine-specific controlled engine, the number will disappear. If the parameter is a hardcoded MIDI-mapped parameter, then the number will change.
 
<br clear=all>
 
<br clear=all>

Latest revision as of 00:20, 21 January 2019

General Concepts

Zynthian controllers.png

The Zynthian UI is displayed on a touch display and controlled by 4 rotary-encoders with switches (push switches). The encoders/switch knobs are used to navigate between the different screens/menus, select options and change the instrument parameters, acting as MIDI/OSC controllers. You can emulate the knob's behaviour using the touch-display, but it's sub-optimal and accessing some features could be tricky.

Currently there are two main screen-types (screen-layouts/pages):

  • Selector Screen: a list of items that you can scroll and select with the SELECT (4) knob
  • Controller Screen: In the corners, 4 control widgets (one for each knob), with label and value indicator (graphic and numeric). In the middle, a list of controller maps which you can use to change or rotate using the SELECT (4) knob.

Almost every Zynthian UI screen is one of these 2 types, however, other screen-types do exist:

  • Confirmation Screen: It will ask you to confirm some operation.
  • XY Controller Screen: It allows to modify 2 parameters at once using the touch interface.
  • Info Screen: It displays info about an operation, like "Update Software", or "Network Info"
  • Sequencer: It's a planned feature, not implemented yet ;-)

There are 3 types of clicks (push) that can be performed, depending on how long you hold down the knob (or hold your finger on the touch-display):

  • short: less than 0.3 seconds
  • bold: between 0.3 and 2 seconds
  • long: more than 2 seconds

Actions for each knob and click-type are context dependent. Generally, the SELECT knob is used to navigate and a short click on it will select an item on a "Selector Screen". Inside a "Controller Screen", short clicks can be used to rotate between layers (LAYER knob) or between controller pages (SELECT knob). "Bold-clicks" are intended as shortcuts for jumping to some specific screens. Clicking the BACK knob generally jumps to the previous screen in the workflow sequence.

Most of the actions depend on context (the current screen), but there are some actions that are global and will work from any screen:

  • long-back: go to the admin menu
  • long-select: power off

Snapshot actions are also global and will work from any point in the workflow. If you click SNAPSHOT (3) once, you get the Load Snapshot menu, another click and you will be in the Save Snapshot menu. If you bold-click SNAPSHOT then you will go directly to the Save Snapshot screen. The Snapshot screen have 2 levels: bank selection (directory) and snapshot (file). These actions are better explained below.

The Zynthian UI Workflow

The following flowcharts show the different "screens" or "menus" and how to reach each one using the 4 switches. It would be a good idea to print these flowcharts and keep them near your Zynthian Box until you memorize the workflow and the spirit of the Zynthian UI gets inside you ;-)

If you want to contribute to improving these flowcharts, you can edit them using the Google Documents Tools:

- Main sequence: zynthian_ui_workflow_main
- Layer Options: zynthian_ui_workflow_layer_options
- Snapshots: zynthian_ui_workflow_snapshots
- MIDI Learning: zynthian_ui_workflow_midi_learning


The UI Screens

Layers

Zynthian ui new layer.png

This is the first screen you should see when you power on your zynthian and no snapshots have been stored yet. Select New Synth Layer to get started.

There are several options on this screen:

  • NEW Synth Layer => Create a new Synthesizer Layer.
  • NEW Effect Layer => Create a new Effect Layer that will be connected to soundcard's Audio Input.
  • NEW Generator Layer => Create a new Generator Layer that self-generates audio or midi.
  • NEW Special Layer => Create a new Special Layer that will receive all MIDI channels.
  • REMOVE ALL => Remove all Layers (Root layers and its associated Effect-Chains), returning to the initial state.
  • PANIC! All Notes/Sounds Off => All notes and sounds are stopped abruptly by sending CC#123 and CC#120 to all channels.

The last option, All Notes/Sounds Off, can be triggered by bold clicking CTRL-1 (layer) from the layer screen (contextual action). You can trigger this actions from any point in the workflow by simply bold-clicking twice CTRL-1. Also, you can add a panic-button to your zynthian using the extra pins from the AllInOne circuit. You can read more about this subject in the forum.


Zynthian ui layer list.png

When you select NEW Synth/Effect/Generator Layer, you create a new root-layer (first of a chain), choosing a free MIDI channel for it. You can create up to 16 layers (as many as MIDI channels), each one having an independent effect-chain.

Having several layers in the same MIDI channel is not allowed. If you want two or more layers playing unison (like being in the same MIDI channel), you should use the "Clone" feature, that allows you to bind several layers while keeping MIDI CCs and other MIDI messages (Program Change, Channel Pressure, etc.) independent.


Zynthian ui layer options.png

If you bold-click the select switch over a layer from the list, the "Layer Options" menu will be displayed for the selected layer. This menu allows you to:

  • Clone MIDI to... => clone the layer's MIDI channel messages to other MIDI channels. Note that only note on/off, pitch-bending, and key-press messages are cloned, while the rest are kept independent (CC, channel-pressure, program change, ...)
  • Transpose => transpose the layer's MIDI channel up and down, by semitones.
  • Audio Routing => route the layer's audio output to available audio input ports, whats allows processing the audio in any way you imagine. You can use this feature for creating your own customized/bizarre FX chains.
  • MIDI chan => change the MIDI Channel assigned.
  • Remove Layer => Remove the layer.
  • Add Effect => Add an effect to the FX-chain.
  • Remove All Effects => Clean the FX-chain, deleting all the effects.
  • Effect List => The list of effects in the layer's FX-chain. By bold-clicking on an effect, you will access the Effect's Options:
    • Effect Presets
    • Move Upchain
    • Move Downchain
    • Remove Effect


Engine Selection

Zynthian ui engine list.png

When you create a new layer, you are asked about which engine/plugin you want to use for it. A list of engines to choose from is displayed. They can be synthesizers, effects, generators or special engines, depending on the type of layer you are creating. When you click on the list, the zynthian logo on the top-right will be animated while the engine is being started.

Some engines have special behavior regarding layers and MIDI channels:

  • setBfree: This engine can create 1, 2 or 3 layers assigned to the several MIDI channels starting at selected channel, each one corresponding to the upper, lower and pedals sections of the Hammond B3 emulation.
  • Pianoteq: Only one layer is allowed to be created, assigned to the MIDI channel you choose.
  • Aeolus: NORMALLY 4 layers are created, assigned to different MIDI channels (1,2,3 & 4), each one corresponding to the 3 manuals + 1 pedal of the Aeolus default instrument definition. You can change the MIDI channel assignments from the Aeolus native UI. If you want to use a different instrument definition, you will have to tweak the engine's code a little bit. Ask in the forum ;-)
  • MOD_UI: Only one layer is allowed to be created and it's assigned to ALL MIDI channels. If you want to filter the messages by channel, you can do it within the MOD-UI patch. (There are plans for improving this behavior.)
  • PureData: Only one layer is allowed to be created and it's assigned to ALL MIDI channels. If you want to filter the messages by channel, you can do it within the PD patch. (There are plans for improving this behavior.)



MIDI Channel selection

Zynthian ui midi channel.png

This screen is shown in various contexts:

  • After you have selected the engine for a new layer. Only free channels are listed.
  • When you change the assigned MIDI channel from the Layer Options.
  • When you clone a layer from the Layer Options


Bank selection

Zynthian ui bank list.png

Presets (instruments, patches, or sound designs) for a synth engine are organized into banks. Choose a bank to see the list of presets you can pick from within that bank.

Preset selection

Zynthian ui preset list.png

Once you have chosen a bank, Preset Screen will be shown. Choose a preset to load the instrument/sound/patch you want and the Control Instrument screen will be shown.

If the preload with note-on feature is enabled, you can preload the presets by playing notes. When you do so, the highlighted preset will be pre-loaded before clicking select.

You can return to the control screen directly, without selecting any preset, by clicking "bold-back". In such a case, the previously selected instrument will be loaded again in case you pre-loaded some preset.


Instrument Control screen

Zynthian ui instrument control 01.png

This screen is shown after you have chosen a preset. Your instrument is now enabled and playable and you can modify the parameters.

Turning any of the 4 knobs changes the values of the synth parameters displayed in the squares at the sides of the screen adjacent to each knob. You also can use the touch interface to change the values. See below.

Zynthian ui instrument control 02.png

The central list shows the different pages of parameters that you may alter. You can navigate the page of parameters by clicking short-Select to step by one page.

Zynthian ui instrument control 03.png

If the page list is long, you can "bold click" the Select switch to navigate the list using the Select knob.

XY-Controller

Zynthian ui xy select.png

If you click 2 switches at once, you enter XY-control mode. The 2 controllers you clicked are green and you can choose the desired parameters to control by rotating the controller. Of course, you can navigate the controller pages by clicking select, etc. so you can select parameters from different pages.

Zynthian ui xy controller.png

Once you have selected the right parameters, touch the screen for entering the XY-control-pad (using the touchscreen ala Kaoss Pad).

Click back for returning to XY-select or bold-click back for returning to control screen.

Tips

You can press the Layer switch to step over the layer list. If you bold-press, the layer list screen will be shown.

Press the Back switch to return to previous screen. If you press bold-Back, then you will go 2 screens backwards.

Snapshots

Zynthian ui snapshot load.png
Zynthian ui snapshot save.png

Snapshots are used for saving/restoring the status of Zynthian. A snapshot includes the full state, including layers, effects, parameter values, MIDI-learning, etc.

You can enter the Load Snapshot screen by clicking the snapshot switch. From control screen you have to use bold-click. A second click and you will be in the Save Snapshot screen. You can also use bold-click to go directly to the Save Snapshot screen (not from control screen!).

Obviously, before loading any snapshot, you should save one, and for saving a snapshot, you should create some layers, etc. Zynthian UI will use numbers for naming the banks and snapshots. Later, using the webconf tool you can rename the snapshots to something more explicit.

Snapshot Banks

By default, snapshots are stored as a single list and bank-related stuff is not shown by Zynthian-UI. If you want to use banks for organizing your snapshots, you simply create a second bank using the webconf tool and the hidden bank functionality will be enabled.

When using snapshot banks, if you want to go up one level (from snapshot list to bank list), you must use the ".." entry. The back button will close the snapshot screen.

Default Snapshot

You can save the status as "Default Snapshot". This "Default Snapshot" will be loaded automatically at startup. To delete it, you can use the webconf tool or the command line.

Restore Last State

If "Restore last state on startup" option is enabled on webconf (and it's enabled by default!), then state will be saved when poweroff (using long-click select or from Admin Menu) and restored on next boot. This option has priority over the "Default Snapshot".


Admin Menu

Zynthian ui admin.png

Pressing the Back knob, when you are in the Layer List screen, brings you to the Admin menu.

The last item is how you safely power off the Zynthian without corrupting data files.

  • Network Info - displays the IP address (ifconfig inet addr)
  • Start WIFI - Starts or Stops WIFI (toggle)
  • Start Audio Recording
  • Start TouchOSC bridge
  • Start Audio -> MIDI
  • Test MIDI - plays the test.mid file
  • Test Audio - plays the (long) test.mp3 file
  • Update Zynthian Software - downloads and installs the latest software
  • Update Zynthian Library - downloads the latest instruments
  • Restart GUI
  • Reboot
  • Power Off


Touch Screen UI

Zynthian ui top bar.png

You can navigate and control the Zynthian UI without knobs/encoders/switches at all, using only the touchscreen.

You can "emulate" the switches by tapping the controller widgets (squares in the 4 corners of the screen). There are short, bold and long actions, same behaviour than rotary encoders work-flow. The only screen having the 4 controller widgets is the "Instrument Control" screen. Most of screens are selector ones, that only have 1 controller widget. On those screens you can click the zynthian logo (top-right) for emulating the "snapshot" switch, and you can go back by tapping the top-bar area.

You can change the controller values by "sliding" up/down over the widgets. (see the green arrow in the figure here) This is the same as turning the knob. If you are using a mouse, the mouse wheel also can be used for changing the controller value.


MIDI-learning

MIDI-learning allows you to easily bind specific MIDI events with Zynthian-UI actions. There are 2 types of MIDI events you can learn:

MIDI CC

Zynthian ui midi cc learn 01.png
Zynthian ui midi cc learn 02.png

You can map any parameter in the Zynthian UI to a CC knob/slider on your external MIDI controller. I intend to extend this feature to other MIDI messages, but currently only CC messages are supported. Until then, MIDI-filter rules can be used instead.

Learning a MIDI-CC is quite easy:

1. From the control screen, you click the snapshot button. You will be in CC MIDI-learn screen. It’s identical to the Control screen except that all the controllers have a tiny yellow “???” in the bottom.

2. Move a zynthian controller. Its tiny “???” will change to green while the other 3 will go back to normal state.

3. Finally, move a knob/fader in your MIDI keyboard/controller and the binding is done. The new CC number should appear in the bottom of the learned controller, replacing the tiny "???".

Of course, MIDI-learning configuration, including CC mappings, is stored and restored with snapshots.

Technical Note: MIDI-CC learning works with all the engines. It uses the engine’s native MIDI-learning capabilities when available. Zynthian’s MIDI-filter mappings are used for the rest. To be more explicit, native MIDI-learning is used for MOD-UI and ZynAddSubFX OSC parameters. All the other parameters are managed by Zynthian’s MIDI-filter mapping.


MIDI Program Change

Zynthian ui midi zs3 learn.png

You can map "SubSnapshots" (ZS3) to MIDI programs. The idea behind this feature is to have a fast preset-change mechanism that can be used on stage. In combination with the “Single Layer” feature, it turns Zynthian in a “Stage-Beast”. You can prepare a snapshot for the full performance, and use ZS3 for fast changing from a song to another, or between parts inside the same song.

Learning a SubSnapShot is obscenely easy:

1. From the control screen, you click the snapshot button twice. You will see the current list of ZS3s and a message: “Waiting for Program Change…”

2. Simply push a “Program Change” button in your keyboard/controller and the ZS3 will be stored in memory, associated with the Program number you send.

After that, you can recall any stored ZS3 by simply pushing the same PC button again. Of course, the memory-stored zs3s will be saved with your snapshot and restored when loaded again.

Every zs3 includes:

   - Layer ID
   - Bank
   - Preset
   - Controller values

As you can see, it has sense in a SnapShot context, where a set of layers are defined. Zs3 changing is very fast, as no engine must be started.

MIDI-CC Learning with touch interface

First, you need a working touch interface in your display. If you don't have a touchscreen, you could use a mouse ...

Zynthian ui midi learning.png

Learning:

1. In the "Instrument Control" screen, navigate through the parameter screen list to get to the parameter you want to learn.
2. In the parameter/controller area, slide with your fingernail from left to right. A green "??" should appear at the bottom.
3. On your MIDI controller, move the desired knob/slider (or a CC-assigned pad).  The green "??" should be replaced by a tiny number, and the parameter should change when you move the knob/slider or push the pad. CC-assigned pads can be very useful for on/off parameters.  


Zynthian ui midi unlearning.png

Unlearning:

1. In the "Instrument Control" screen, navigate through the parameter screen list until you get to the parameter you want to unlearn.
2. In the parameter/controller area, slide with your fingernail from right to left. The tiny number, indicating the current CC assignment, should disappear or change. If the parameter is an engine-specific controlled engine, the number will disappear. If the parameter is a hardcoded MIDI-mapped parameter, then the number will change.