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The basics of RolloSONIC - Modules and Module Connectivity

Lists of module types available

RolloSONIC is a fully (free-form) modular synthesis system, meaning that the synthesis is made up of components, or modules; Each module is imported (created) manually by you, the user - as needed.

There are various module types - each to perform a particular part of the greater synthesis. You can create one or more of each type of module - so as to accomplish what you need. The apparatus of modules into a system within RolloSONIC to perform a particular task or tasks is called a Configuration. You can load and save these configurations so that you are not later required to re-create the system of modules for a particular task or tasks.

Shown at the upper-left is an image of the creation menu that lists the available module types in RolloSONIC version 1.0a5.

Two classes of modules exist

There are two basic classes of modules that exist in RolloSONIC; Control-based modules, and Audio-based modules. (depicted at right)

The primary difference between control-based modules and audio-based modules is that control-based modules put out (output) control-data, while audio-based modules do not put out control-data but instead put out audio-data. See below for explanations of control-data and audio-data.

Control-data is a stream of values, or levels, that are used by other modules to control the value of various sliders and/or knobs. Basically, control-data allows one module to control some aspect of another module, such as the volume, frequency, delay, or any other such adjustable aspects. When working with physical (electronic rather than software) modular-synthesis systems, short patch-cables are used to connect the output of one module with some adjustable aspect of another module; these cables hold a control-voltage that, when changed, changes some level, or other adjustment, of the receiving module. To sum it up, control-data in RolloSONIC is used in the same way as patch-cables in electronic-synthesis are - to allow one module's output to control another module's adjustments and levels.

Audio-data is a wave of values, or levels, that when played by speakers, produces audible sound. Most (if not all) of the audio-based modules in RolloSONIC are able to use control-data (as decribed above) to control their adjustments. Some of the audio-based modules are also able to take in audio-data from other audio-based modules. These modules, which may be called audio-effects modules, modify audio-data and then output the modified audio-data, which may, if needed, be processed again by further audio-effects modules. All the audio-based modules in RolloSONIC are able to output to the sound-card(s) of the computer.

How modules connect

As shown in the image above, each aspect of each module that can be controlled by control-data has a drop-down box that allows you to select from which source to obtain the control-data. When an aspect (an adjustment slider) should be controlled by another module, the other module's name should be selected in that aspect's drop-down box.

As you can see in the image above, the oscillator module, "Oscillator Module 1"'s Frequency is selected to be controlled by the outputted control-data of the modulator module, herein named "Control-Modulator Module 1".

You may have noticed that many of the controllable aspects shown in the image above do not have any selected control-data source, but instead have an option titled "-[ Manual ]-" selected. When a controllable aspect has an option available called "-[ Manual ]-" and that option is selected, the control-data for that aspect is set to a static value that is configured by the slider immediately below that aspect. When an aspect has another module as the control-data source, rather than when set to manual, the slider directly below that aspect controls the sensitivity of that aspect to the chosen module's outputted control-data. This is useful for getting just the effect that you need.

In the image above is also depicted the "Output device" drop-down box. This type of drop-down box is found near the bottom of most all the audio-based modules. This drop-down box is what lets you choose the output device, or sound card, to which the sound should be outputted. Since audio-effects modules can take the output from another audio-based module, it is not required that you choose anything for the output device drop-down box as you could always have the audio from this module eventually work it's way to the sound card through other, audio-effects modules.

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