Basic Concepts

[Nitrox 1.11]

Although many things in Nitrox should be pretty self-explanatory and learning by doing is more fun, you should at least read through the following basic concepts to get most out of Nitrox:

  1. Online Help
  2. Windowing Philosophy
  3. Direct Control Philosophy
  4. On/Off-Management
  5. Button Icons
  6. Parameters
  7. Modulation Unit
  8. Buddy Buttons

1. Online Help

To get online help you first of all have to have access to the internet. Then you only need to click onto the names of the items you are interested to get help for like "OSC", "Filter", "ADSR", "Wave Shaper" etc. Nearly all the things that are printed in the large font are really hyper links to the respective online help.

2. Windowing Philosophy

The windowing philosophy is based on the goal to be as comprehensive as possible and always provide a perfect overview of what is going on.

The main window shows the most frequently used entities:

In contrast to many other plugins Nitrox uses additional sub-windows for functionalities which may be needed only occasionally:

The subwindows are managed such that when the main window is closed all subwindows are also closed automatically. When the main window is opened again the sub-windows are also re-opened like before. The sub-windows also move together with the main window, if the main window is dragged.


3. Direct Control Philosophy

No implementational effort was omitted to ensure that every parameter change takes effect immediately. You can even trim a custom wave or a wave shaper and directly audit the changes in the sound of the currently played note.

We found this message important enough to dedicate it this special paragraph!


4. On/Off-Management

Nitrox comprises a sophisticated on/off management of all its components. The mechanism starts at the oscillators which are the sound sources. Therefore, the oscillators are equipped with on/off buttons. For all the other components, may they be filters, effects, ADSRs, LFOs or anything else the on/off state is derived from the signal routing and the modulation dependencies.

Components which are "on" have colored parameters whereas the "off" components are "grayed out". Therefore, this mechanism not only saves valuable CPU power but also fosters our main goal: comprehensiveness and a perfect overview.

Note, that saving a preset only stores the parameter values of components which are "on". The parameters of the other components will fall back to their default values.


5. Button Icons

on/off, only oscillators have this button
button_open open file
button_save save to file
button_copy copy to clipboard
button_paste paste from clipboard
button_record record to .WAV file, this button is found in the presets section
button_show_midi_ids let all linked parameters show their midi controller id or preset parameter number
button_email open your email client and initialize a Nitrox feedback email
button_prev previous
button_next next


6. Parameters

Most of the settings in Nitrox are done using gauge-like parameters. There are two types of parameters and parameters can be in several different states. One of the most important features of parameters is, that most of them can be linked to either a MIDI controller (e.g. of the MIDI keyboard) or to the so-called preset parameter which can be found in the presets section.

6.1. Parameter Types

Option Menu parameter_option_menu

An option menu parameter lets you select one of a set of alternative options. The parameter has a small downward arrow on the right hand side to indicate the popup menu which appears when the parameter is being left-clicked.

Continouus parameter_normal Far more of the parameters are so-called continouus parameters, whose value can be changed by clicking into the parameter and dragging the mouse either left and right or up and down (or even diagonal). Holding down the shift key while dragging decelerates the parameter change providing a more subtle control.

6.2. Parameter States

Off parameter_off When a Nitrox component is in the "off" state, all parameters are colored gray.
Normal parameter_normal In the normal state, all parameters are colored blue.
Modulated parameter_modulated Parameters which are actively modulated are colored yellow.
MIDI Learn MODE parameter_learn Continous parameters can be linked to MIDI controllers (e.g. of the MIDI keyboard) or to preset parameters. This can be done very easily by activating the MIDI learn mode (left-click + Alt). In the MIDI learn mode the parameter is colored red and the parameter reads "learn". Then you simply tweak the desired MIDI controller or preset parameter and the link is set up. The parameter enters the "Show MIDI Controller ID" state.
Show MIDI Controller ID This state is only valid for linked parameters. In this state the parameter shows the MIDI controller ID or the preset parameter it is linked to. The state remains for five seconds. Then the parameter falls back to the "Linked" state.
This state is entered automatically after the MIDI Learn Mode or manually by clicking the "Show MIDI controller ID" button button_show_midi_ids.
Linked parameter_linked Linked parameters show a black triangle on the left hand side.

6.3. Parameter Editing Operations

Operation Option Menu parameter_option_menu Continouus parameter_normal
Normal Edit left-click + selection from popup menu left-click + dragging
Fine Tune - left-click + Shift + dragging
Reset to Default left-click + Ctrl left-click + Ctrl
Enter MIDI Learn Mode - left-click + Alt
Leave MIDI Learn Mode - left-click + Alt
Unlink Linked Parameter
- left-click + Alt


7. Modulation Units

Many parameters in Nitrox, especially in the main window, have a modulation unit associated with them. When the modulation unit is inactive it is nearly invisible in order not to disturb the overall picture. The parameters are colored blue in this case (assumed the concerned component is "on").

Once at least one modulation source is set and the depth is greater than zero, the modulation unit becomes active and the modulated parameter changes its color to yellow, like in the image below:

The elements of a modulation unit as depicted above are described in the subsequent sections.

7.1. Source 1 and Source 2

Each modulation unit can have two modulation sources Source 1 and Source 2. These can be

7.2. Input

The two modulation sources are connected to a mixer via the Inputs. The input can be clicked to invert the connected modulation source.

7.3. Mix Type

In the mixer, one of the following mix types can be selected by repeatedly clicking into the mixer:

only source 1
only source 2
source 2 controls source 1 like a voltage controlled amplifier
source 1 plus source 2
source 1 times source 2
the biggest value of source 1 and source 2
the smallest value of source 1 and source 2

7.4. Depth

Depth determines the intensity of the modulation.

Note, that although the graphical representation is different, Depth acts in many aspects like a parameter of the type "Continouus". Especially the edit operations are identical and Depth can also be linked to MIDI controllers and preset parameters.

7.5. Modulation Type

The Modulation Type defines in which way the modulated parameter is affected, always taking the current parameter value as the base value for the modulation:

the modulation value is subtracted from the base value
the modulation value is added to the base value
the base value is modulated in both directions


8. Buddy Buttons

Buddy buttons are a concept to facilitate and accelerate working with Nitrox. There are two types of buddy buttons:

button_buddy_h horizontal
button_buddy_v vertical

An active horizontal buddy button lets the parameter left of it forward its value to the parameter on the right. A vertical buddy button does the same for the parameter above and below. In Nitrox, buddy buttons can for example be found between the parameters of the oscillators and some of the filter parameters.

In some cases the buddy button not only synchronizes its neighboring parameters but also the entire modulation units associated with them.



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