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Take a look at one of the screen designs, look down at the bottom, yep those are the ever present unchanging effect system controls. They’re pretty sophisticated. All 4 loops have 4 slots each into which the user can place any of around 20 effects, there’s also 4 send effects too – that the pad Send effect controls the routing to. The user can select any one of 6 different effects to load into each Send slot. In the end the FX System is a completely separate thing that just sits at the bottom of any other product page adding lots of really nice effect addition and control.

I built this system for an unreleased product called Cadence, but then reused it for Formation, and it’s been in every product since. It’s massive, and good, and not everything I wanted it to be (but I admit I was being hugely ambitious). As I’ve mentioned here before it started out as an all-singing-all-dancing solution to ANY product design, handling group based effects, bus effects, insert effects and send effects. If you could load an effect somewhere in Kontakt this would do it too. It has nearly killed me more than once.

I cut it down to work for Formation(one bus and the sends) and this worked fine for Slice too. But adding 4 parallel loops in Orbiter required me to add in 4 busses alongside the Sends. So I’ve done that. But the problem has always been about saving the effect settings – which I got a handle on at the end of Slice 4.2 (never released, and now replaced by my decision to go with Snapshots anyway), and modulation – or more specifically the lack of any modulation of effect parameters.

So given I’d been in Modulation adding mode, before being so rudely interrupted(<- look a real-time coding pun!) by all that timing rework,  I thought about adding modulators to the FX system too. But timing, timing, timing – this modulation system wasn’t going to make that less of a problem. There would need to be about 10 to 20 modulators, they would each need to be capable of working on up to 240 effect parameters – in real time. Possibly a big ask. But I’d re-built the internal product “Clock” so I could reuse that, and see if it broke things badly or not. Can you tell I’m still worrying abut timing issues here?

Stepping back for a minute (and only for a minute) sanity seemed to prevail(for a change). I realise, importantly, that I’m burned out. Time to stop adding stuff in, so reluctantly effect system modulation will also have to wait for another product to do it and get retro-fitted here. Users always have the CC learn facility available anyway, and this is not a synth, modulating filters etc. isnt a must-have feature, it’s a loop player. Or to keep this Star Wars analogy alive “These are not the feature changes you are looking for…”


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