Finallly tried MUX modular synth from MUTOOLS

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glowrak guy
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Finallly tried MUX modular synth from MUTOOLS

Postby glowrak guy » Tue May 28, 2019 1:45 am

I've read lots of good comments about MUX Modular from experienced users, so took part of the holiday
to try it out in Mint 18, generic kernel, in the latest wine-staging.
And what a great instrument it is. Must be one of the easiest to use
and most flexible 'deep' synths around, as others have mentioned
Also, it's colorful and fun. At $59 eur it's quite a bargain.
Tons of categorized presets to launch out from. Lots of docs:

https://www.mutools.com/info/docs/

http://www.mutools.com/mulab-downloads.html

Each preset opens a gui suited to it's complexity, (categories are color coded)
so a woodblock may have a small panel with a few basic controls, while a complex synth sound may have dozens.
The modular view is off by default, and is opened by clicking a widget,* a lot like patchage
in connections use. There is a preset selector, with load/save options.
It even will host 3rd party vsts. I loaded the excellent LaGrange granular delay plugin
without issues.

The oscillators have a handy submenu with options to modify the sound.
The controls seem to work fine, and are big enough so stress is not invoked
while giving things a good test.

The demo makes some average white noise at times, and is not too loud.
It is a locked part of the full version, without some complex reg scheme.
The developer is easy to find, with a kvr dev forum to chat in.

https://www.kvraudio.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=79

A free reverb, MUVerb, is probably worth checking.

I also tried the MuLab daw, but it opened fullscreen and largely unresponsive.
Some fiddling about opened a nice step sequencer, so I keyed in a seq,
but had to ctrl-alt-F5 to a new user, and record the running output from there.
I've tested the daw several times over the years, and never had results where I could
recommend testing in linux, but if you have a modern graphics card/driver
and a spare few minutes, you might get lucky. It's a portable install,
so can go on a usbstick as you move about, in case band or family members
saddled with msoft want to give it a try.

*One of the small preset display panels opened up beneath the synth display
and faked me out for a few seconds. The medium and larger ones were fine.
Cheers

jonetsu
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Re: Finallly tried MUX modular synth from MUTOOLS

Postby jonetsu » Tue May 28, 2019 1:21 pm

Good sounds in there, but the windows are behaving erratically on Xubuntu 18.04 wine-4.5 (Staging), and linVST from git. For instance, opening the edit window from any sound will make a window appear partly, down in the right bottom corner of the screen. It will resist dragging it in full view a few times then it becomes possible. Other windows popping up as a sound is edited and modules are opened also brings display problems.

That's one thing. The other thing is that each sound has its own user interface, which is very neat in a way but, the main plugin window will not resize according to the sound patch changes (Bitwig 2.4.3). The UI needs to be minimized then brought back for a resizing to happen. Can't be done for every sound that's browsed.

Sound with good potential, but UI is not stable and this system ... unless some wine/linVST specific config is used ?

The reverb is nice. I consider it as an FX reverb, especially when using the filters, and not as a reverb for regular audio processing.

UPDATE: I immediately adjusted the UI size to 150 before using the synth. When I leave the UI zoom at the default 100% the windows behaviour is much better, although even at the default size, having many opened windows (editing a sound) and then moving a window quickly around can provoke some of that UI instability. In which case moving the window much slower to put it to its new place seems to work.

Cheers.

jonetsu
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Re: Finallly tried MUX modular synth from MUTOOLS

Postby jonetsu » Sun Jun 02, 2019 12:36 pm

Here's something that I do. In addition to its own synthesis capabilities (oscillators, wavetables, samplers, grains), MUX can also load VSTs. Moreover, it is possible to assign a single meta parameter to various VST plugins.

As a simple test, here are two Synplant synths with a parameter from each controlled by the 'Atonality' meta-parameter, which in turn is assigned to the modwheel (it can be other modulation sources).



muxVST.jpg




And then once, collapsed into the regular non-editing view of the sound patch, the two meta parameters 'Atonality' and 'Effect' in this case are automatically shown in the main UI. Here 'Effect', which is also assigned to both Synplant synths, is automated in Bitwig:



muxVST2.jpg
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jonetsu
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Re: Finallly tried MUX modular synth from MUTOOLS

Postby jonetsu » Sun Jun 02, 2019 1:00 pm

The above made me ask myself a question: why is it that such a truly modular synth like MUX makes it so easy to explore sounds whereas the VCV Rack seems of not so an easy approach as far as coming up with potent sounds is concerned ? In my case that is, although I'm certain many also share this experience of finding VCV Rack not so inviting. Obviously others do come up with very creative sounds using the VCV Rack. So my questioning is oriented, although I'm not so sure it is oriented around laziness :?

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sysrqer
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Re: Finallly tried MUX modular synth from MUTOOLS

Postby sysrqer » Sun Jun 02, 2019 6:44 pm

jonetsu wrote:The above made me ask myself a question: why is it that such a truly modular synth like MUX makes it so easy to explore sounds whereas the VCV Rack seems of not so an easy approach as far as coming up with potent sounds is concerned ? In my case that is, although I'm certain many also share this experience of finding VCV Rack not so inviting. Obviously others do come up with very creative sounds using the VCV Rack. So my questioning is oriented, although I'm not so sure it is oriented around laziness :?

I find vcv rack very easy to come up with interesting and inspiring things. In fact, I was in a rut and bored with what I was creating but I gave VCV a try and, after a lot of videos and learning, I quickly found myself glued to it at home and thinking about it at work. I like how easy it is to come up with some unpredicted sequence with just a few modules. Taking two sequences and outputting the min and the max from them to create two more sequences for example is quick and leads to stuff you would never have manually programmed.

I haven't tried MUX but it looks much less modular from your screenshots, that's more like using the channel routing in reaper than modular synthesis, although it is still modular in a sense. VCV rack stays somewhat within the hardware format so there are lots of legacy techniques for certain types of modules that are not obvious at first and means that it is difficult both in concept and complexity at first. The sheer depth of possibility is mind boggling but that's what's so fun about it. Laziness in learning and racks isn't a good combination, willingness to experiment and read manuals really pays off and you're quickly at a point where you can use 90% modules easily.

glowrak guy
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Re: Finallly tried MUX modular synth from MUTOOLS

Postby glowrak guy » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:10 am

This is a MUX modular view screenshot, (posted at kvr) the modular view is optional
from the MUX gui. The shots above appear to be
shots of Synplant in Bitwig.
Cheers

Image

A video relating to the above MUX screenshot

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAqp17f ... e=youtu.be

jonetsu
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Re: Finallly tried MUX modular synth from MUTOOLS

Postby jonetsu » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:32 pm

sysrqer wrote:I haven't tried MUX but it looks much less modular from your screenshots, that's more like using the channel routing in reaper than modular synthesis, although it is still modular in a sense. VCV rack stays somewhat within the hardware format so there are lots of legacy techniques for certain types of modules that are not obvious at first and means that it is difficult both in concept and complexity at first. The sheer depth of possibility is mind boggling but that's what's so fun about it. Laziness in learning and racks isn't a good combination, willingness to experiment and read manuals really pays off and you're quickly at a point where you can use 90% modules easily.


As an aside, here's MUX with a couple of unconnected modules I've thrown in for demo purposes. There are several audio generators: oscillator, multi-form sampler, grain player. Then some filters and an envelope followed by a ring modulator, an analog-to-modulation converter, a modulation envelope, two sequencers and a parameter value randomizer. The linked one to the right belongs to the preset whose custom UI is shown at the top. And so the building blocks can be quite basic. Each of these blocks can be edited. From this basic component approach MUX also offers a ready-made synth, pad synth, sampler and drum. I think it's fait to call it modular, although I do not know about Reaper and its channel routing.

The example shown by glowrak above is about using Kontakt with MUX audio processing (and MUX meta parameters). The uses of MUX can be varied.

About laziness I'm still questioning. I can spend extensive time, like I did recently with ElectraX, going from first to last page of a user manual, along with viewing videos when available. This done, of course, while exploring the concepts and trying out things. It could be done faster but the problem is, when trying out things, is that it's often tempting to veer off in an improv and start adding instruments. It might be something else to gives a not-so-inviting approach to VCV Rack although I do not know what at the moment.

The use of sequencers you mention is quite interesting. I have no doubts at all that VCV Rack as a lot of creative potential. And I almost started seriously with it. Just enough to see though that since modules are made by different people and companies, the documentation is not standard. I remember finding, then browsing the documentation for one module which I do not remember which one it was, to find it a bit arcane. Nevertheless, I will undoubtedly be getting into the VCV Rack at one point. And very likely has I already used it, which was as a VST plugin in Bitwig.

Cheers.



MUXmodules.jpg
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