The Sosnowski Synthesizer
The Sosnowski Synthesizer is
organized in five "rows" from top to bottom. We'll start here with the top
(first) row, divided into left, center, and right sections.
The Top Row - Left
|The top row left section contains the logo "Synthesizer"; but in addition to the
the logo, there are also a few useful controls and important elements here.
The build number appears in small typeface just below the word "Synthesizer". This is essentially equivalent to a version number, with higher numbers indicating a later build. Periodically, new builds may be issued for various reasons, so you may wish to check the current build on our site from time to time. The current build number is indicated on the Download page.
If the application is unregistered, the word "Register" will appear, blinking white and green, beginning ten seconds after the application is opened. Clicking on the word "Register" will open an entry box into which you may type your registration number. (See the earlier section on product registration.)
Finding Your Product Serial Number:
There are two "Easter Eggs" dots above the "y" in the word "Synthesizer". Click on the upper of the two dots to open a message dialog in the application which will show your product serial number. The product serial number is needed to register your application. (see the earlier section on product registration.)
Finding the Path to the Application and
There are two "Easter Eggs" dots above the "y" in the word
Synthesizer". Click on the lower of the two dots to open a pair of message
dialogs which show, respectively, the current path to the application and the name and path
of the most recently loaded sound file or sound set file.
Top Row - Center
|The top row center section contains two graphical elements. The left
graph is the parametric equalizer. The right graph is a simple oscilloscope.
The left graph at the top of the application is a parametric equalizer. It can be turned on and off with the EQ button between the VOL and PAN knobs at lower right, or with the clickable label over the onboard keyboard. When the equalizer is engaged, the curve line is green. When the equalizer is off, the curve line is blue, and the equalizer does not affect the sound.
There are four "bands" in the equalizer, with each band represented by a circle with a dot within it. Click-and-hold on the circle with the left mouse button to drag the circle. Dragging the circle left or right lowers (to the left) or raises (to the right) the center frequency of that band. Moving the circle upward increases the amplitude of that band's frequencies; moving it downward decreases the amplitude of that band. Notice that each circle has an associated crossbar, with a small box on the right extension of the crossbar. Dragging the box left or right respectively tightens or broadens the "Q" of that band.
In the graph behind the equalizer, the (horizontally) center-line is normal amplitude. Take care in adjusting the equalizer, as moving high above the center-line increases amplitude significantly, making it more likely the sound will over-modulate or "clip". Though there's nothing fundamentally wrong with running high in the graph -- sometimes it's necessary -- be aware that this usually means you'll have to lower the oscillator volumes, lower the main volume, or back off the attenuator knob (small knob to the left of the main VOL knob).
The right-hand graph at the top of the application is a basic 'scope
(oscilloscope). If the 'scope is engaged, the waveform trace line will be green.
Clicking on it will do a sample-and-hold
representation of any waveform currently playing, and the waveform trace line will turn
blue. Clicking on it again will return it
to dynamic representation of playing sounds. The 'scope can be shut off with the same
button that shuts off the keyboard (to the left of the keyboard) since both are typically used
together. When the 'scope is shut off, no waveform trace line shows in its graph.
|The Top Row - Right
|The top row right section is devoted to the preset manager and the file
There are 128 presets. The name of the current preset is shown in the preset button ("Classic I", for example, when the application opens). The preset button is located immediately to the right of the scope.
There are two ways to navigate the presets. First, a left (<) arrow button and a right (>) arrow button are located to the right of the name preset button. Clicking the left (<) button will go "up" the list of presets. Clicking the right (>) button will go "down" the list of presets. Second, clicking on the preset button will open a vertical menu from which you can select the desired preset.
The preset number is shown in small typeface just below the left (<) and right (>) buttons; for example, 10/128 would be the tenth preset of the 128 onboard. This number is equivalent to the MIDI Program Number. In sequencers, notation products, etc., one would change "patches" (sounds, or presets, that is) with a Program Change command that references this number.
The remainder of the controls in this area are devoted to the file system. The preset file system enables you to save and load your own custom sounds and groups or "sets" of sounds
There are two types of files used in the preset file system: "sound files" which contain individual sounds and "sound set files" which contain complete sets of 128 sounds. To avoid confusion, different file extensions are used for each type. An individual sound file will have an extension of .ss-sound (for example, Classic I.ss-sound). A sound set of 128 sounds will have an extension of .ss-soundset (for example, default.ss-soundset).
First, in the standalone version only [not present in the VST], there are four buttons directly below the preset button labeled, respectively, (D) (1) (2) (3). These are used to load specific pre-existing files containing complete sound sets. These specific sound set files must be located in the same directory as the application. If the files are not present, no error or notification will occur, but, of course, the files will not be loaded. Respectively, these "dedicated" sound set files must be named, exactly, default.ss-soundset, user_bank_1.ss-soundset, user_bank_2.ss-soundset, and user_bank_3.ss-soundset. When shipped, the default.ss-soundset file contains a duplicate of the native onboard sounds. Read more about this in the section below on loading the default.ss-soundset file to better understand the reasoning behind it, as this default file has a special function. The user bank files are shipped with a few incidental sounds on the first one, and the second and third are empty. The user bank files are intended for your own custom use when you create your own sounds and soundsets.
The general idea behind the (D) (1) (2) (3) buttons in the standalone is for you to be able to quickly load pre-established sound sets for specific purposes -- useful, for instance, in performance venues. But the file system also allows you to save and load any sound or soundset files from any location on your hard drive. Now, let's look at how to do that.
Now, let's move to the file system in general. The following applies to both the standalone and the VST versions.
To save a new individual sound you've made, first double-click on the button labeled "name". A text field will open over the preset button, highlighted in light blue. Type in a name for the sound, and press Enter on your computer keyboard. (Do not make names longer than the field space!). Next, click on the button labeled "file". From the drop-down menu, select "Save Sound". A standard Windows file-save dialogue will open, from which you can navigate to whatever folder in which you choose to save the file. Later, if you wish to reload that individual sound, click on the "file" button, select "Load Sound", navigate to the folder where you saved the sound, and load it.
Let's say, now, you've developed a whole set of sounds; perhaps for performance use, for a certain project, etc. (It can be any number of sounds -- it is not required that you fill all 128 slots). To save a complete sound set, click the "file" button, and select "Save Sound Set". In the Windows save dialog, give the file a name, navigate to the folder in which you wish to save it, and save the sound set. To reload it at a later time, click the "file" button, select "Load Sound Set", navigate to the folder where you saved the sound, select the sound and load it.
Loading a Default File on Start
If you have not already done so, please read the File System section above.
The default.ss-soundset file is a special purpose file. When shipped, the file contains a duplicate of the native onboard sounds. However, you may wish to create a sound set of your own that automatically loads when the standalone application starts. To this, make up a set of your own sounds, and save that sound set (see above) as default.ss-soundset in the same folder as the application. Your custom sound set will then load automatically when the standalone is opened. (Again, remember, this feature applies only to the standalone.)
Additionally, note that nothing evil happens if the default.ss-soundset is absent. The standalone will simply load its internal copy of the native sounds.
Safe Sound and Sound Set Copies
When shipped, copies of all sounds and soundsets are present in the \presets folder. We suggest you keep your own customs sounds there, too.
As a "safety", though, we also provide a complete set of sound and sound set files (including the default and user bank sound sets) in the \vault folder. If you accidentally over-write a native sound, just go grab a copy of it from the vault.
File System Standalone vs. VST:
It should be clearly understood that the standalone file system has a few features that
are not present in the VST -- either because they would not make sense or they would not
work properly within a host. First, the VST does not contain the (D) (1) (2) (3)
buttons -- though you can certainly load those sound sets manually from the "file"
button. Second, the VST does not have the default.ss-soundset automatic load
feature. The VST will always load only the native onboard sounds when it first opens.
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