Difference between revisions of "The basic idea"

From Jeskola Buzz Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
(Connecting Machines)
m (there was lots of screen space on the right side :))
Line 1: Line 1:
=== Buzz Machines ===
=== Buzz Machines ===

Revision as of 22:57, 8 August 2009


Buzz Machines

Buzz has three types of machines:

  • Generators: These machines produce audio.
  • Effects: These machines process audio (despite a couple of exceptions, effects generally do not generate audio on their own).
  • Master: This dedicated machine is responsible for mixing the signals of all machines connected to it, as well as controlling global track parameters (particularly tempo, notated in Beats PerMinute (BPM), and resolution, notated in Ticks Per Beat (TPB).

Adding Machines

There are three ways to add a machine:

  • Click anywhere in the background of the Machine View, and start typing the name of the machine you'd like to add.
  • Right-click in the background of the Machine View to open up the Machine Menu which can be customized by editing or downloading custom-made index.txt file.
  • Double-left-click anywhere in the background of the Machine View to bring up the ancient dialog for adding machines. This method is largely abandoned due to the lack of organization of machines apart from the natural separation of Generators and Effects.

Installing New Buzz Machines

Please see Machine Installation Guide for information on installing and upkeep of Buzz Machines, Machine Presets, and VSTi/VST plug-ins and effects.

Connecting Machines

To connect two machines, simply hold down SHIFT key on your keyboard. Left-Click and drag the mouse on the machine you'd like to connect, and release the mouse when you've dragged your cursor to the machine you'd like to connect it to. Don't forget to let go of the SHIFT key afterward.

IMPORTANT: Machine-connections are direction-sensitive. For example, if you're connecting an instance of Matilde Tracker to Joachims Mars 2 Filter, you must click on your Tracker machine first, and then on Mars. If you try to reverse the order of machine connections, Buzz will not allow the connections. Similarly, you can always connect things to the Master machine, but never the other way around.

Signal LED

The top left corner of each machine contains a little box, which lights up when the machine is either generating or processing audio. Plugging a short-sound into a long reverb will cause the reverb machine LED to turn off a substantial amount of time after its input generator. Use the LED to keep track of how long your actual effect chain will prolong each sound.

Left-clicking the LED toggled the machine mute on and off.


If a machine is connected to the Master, panning controls become available on the bottom of the machine. Simply drag the Panner controller (rendered as a little square at the bottom of the machine rectangle) to pan your signal. To reset the panner, Right-Click on the Machine and select "Center Pan." Buzz supports equal-power panning (logarithmic response of panning curves) past Build 1103. Make sure View->Options->Equal Power Panning has a check-mark next to it, if you wish to use it.

Signal Path

Each connection is shown on your screen as a line connecting two machines with a triangular arrow, which always points to the machine the signal travels to, and away from the machine the signal travels from. The triangular arrow is a controller of its own:

  • Left-Click and hold the mouse button over the connection arrow to bring up the slider, controlling the amount of signal passed between the machines. This slider allows you to boost the audio signal by the maximum of +12 dB, or alternatively lower the slider to -inf dB (silence).
  • Right-Click on the connection arrow between two machines to bring up a menu that allows you to:
    • Disconnect Machines
    • Insert another machine - the menu will take you to your index.txt menu. (Alternatively, you can left-click on the connection arrow once and type in the name of the machine you'd like to insert, as that is generally much faster than going through the Machine Menu)
    • View the wave-form and spectrograph analysis of the signal passing between the two machines.

Beware of clipping the signal between machine connections in your chain, as that will result in distorted audio regardless of the presence of clipping when connected to the Master.


Connection-Arrow Menu‎

Since some machines are mono and some are stereo, Buzz denotes the presence of conversion between machines with a lowercase c rendered inside the Connection Arrow. In the example above, a stereo output of Matilde Tracker is Connected to a Mono Input of 11-Rhythm Gate machine, resulting in a need to convert the signal. When this is the case, right-clicking on the Connection Arrow introduces options for Left, Center, and Right: the source that you wish to pass between machines. Keep in mind that Buzz defaults to converting "Center" to mono (average of the sum of Left and Right), which may result in phase-cancellation artifacts. The best rule of thumb when you see the c-Arrow is to solo the Generator, and ensure that everything sounds right.

When working with converted signal, keep in mind that the signal loses its original placement. That is, if you choose "right" or "left," the output of the c-Arrow connection is simply mono, and therefore the outputs will need to be panned manually to restore the stereo separation of the original split if that what is desired.

Splitting The Signal

As mentioned before, Buzz architecture implies modular signal-path, and therefore allows you to add secondary chains. A good example of this is the implementation of parallel vs. serial filtering of sound. Please consult the following screenshot:

Serial (top) vs. Parallel (bottom) Filters

The top chain introduces two filters (here, Joachims Tethys is used) running serially - one follows another. The bottom chain shows the same two filters running in parallel, processing the output of the Matilde Tracker separately, with the results mixed together at the end. Buzz allows maximal freedom in applying this basic technique for signal-processing: allowing parallel computation of several serial chains.

Machine Options

Right-click a Buzz Machine to bring up Machine options. Underlined letters in the menu correspond to keyboard shortcuts when the menu is open.

  • Mute : Mutes the machine. Works for Generators and Effects.
  • Solo : Mutes every generator apart from the one selected. Does not apply to Effects, as that would make no sense whatsoever.
  • Center Pan : Centers the Pan slider. Only applies to machines connected directly to the Master.
  • Oversample : Computes the machine at twice the rate than the current sample-rate set up by your drivers. Machines that do not support this feature will sound an octave higher or display wrong timings. Using this will sometimes get rid of certain kinds of artifacts in the treble, but will also double the CPU usage of the specific machine.
  • parameters... : Opens the Parameter View of the selected Machine. For most machines the parameters are displayed when one double-clicks the machine.
  • Attributes... : Displays Machine Attributes.
  • MIDI Input Channel : Provides a drop-down selection of MIDI channels assigned for control. See MIDI Controls for more information.
  • Delay... : Allows the user to set up Machine Delay Compensation manually. See Configuring_Buzz#Machine_Delay_Compensation. Make sure the feature is turned on under View->Options->Machine Delay Compensation.
  • Patterns : Moves the user to the Pattern View for the current machine.
  • Signal Analysis... : Opens the Signal Analysis display for the machine, which displays the waveform and spectrograph rendering of the sound.
  • Replace : Allows the user to replace the machine with another from the drop-down index.txt-menu. Alternatively, one may choose to select the machine and start typing as explained above. Connections remain intact when the machine is replaced.
  • Rename... : Opens up a Rename machine dialog. Custom names have no effect on machine operation, apart from cosmetic (which includes identification and aesthetic reasons).
  • Clone : Creates another copy of the machine. Clone copies over the settings of all Machine Parameters, but does not copy over the patterns used by the cloned machine. No connections are inherited by the clone.
  • Delete : Deletes the machine.
  • Search Online : Connects to buzzmachines.com and performs a search for the missing machine.
  • Custom Entries : Below "Search Online," the menu will display entries added by the machine developer. For instance, Matilde Tracker only has "About..." which opens the very useful help file for machine operation. FSM Infector and Polac VST Loader machines have several custom menus.