MOD Synth, a walk through
A few day ago, we released MOD Synth. Our idea was to create a modular synthesizer using just your browser.
MOD was build with flexibility in mind. We wanted both professional musicians and normal users to have an intuitive interface beautifully crafted. However some of the terminology we use might be a bit technical, so hopefully by the end of this article you’ll feel more familiarised with MOD.
The idea with MOD is that you connect different components together to make up your custom synth. Just like you would normally assemble an analog synth with oscillators, filters, etc. In MOD, we call this a patch.
A patch can sound very different if you just change the settings of every individual component, and that’s called a preset.
You can access the menu on the top right corner of your interface. It’s there where you can add different components, and, if you’re logged in, you can save your patches and presets. You can also access which MIDI devices you want to enable (if available).
You can login to MOD with Twitter, Facebook and Github. Once logged in you’ll be able to create new patches and presets.
There are several available components you can add, all of them with different characteristics.
Noise Generator (NSG)
This component is capable of emulating three types of noise. White, brown and pink noise.
An oscillator generates one of four types of wave. Sine, triangle, square and sawtooth. The OSC can be either monophonic or polyphonic.
Commonly known as an ADSR envelope, it allows the connected audio capable component (NSG or OSC) to inherit attack, decay, sustain and release properties.
Standard second-order resonant lowpass filter with 12dB/octave rolloff. Frequencies below the cutoff pass through, frequencies above are attenuated.
Pattern Gate (PTG)
This component is inspired by MOTU’s Digital Performer original pattern gate plugin. Its a mix of a drum machine and a gate.
Low Frequency Oscillator (LFO)
This component, is an oscillator that operates at a significantly lower frequency, typically below 20Hz. This lower frequency or control signal is used to modulate another component’s value, changing the sound without introducing another source.
If you’re logged in, you can create several patches. Each patch can have an unique combination of components. Think of it as a different synthesizer.
When you create a new patch, you get a default preset created automatically. Like patches, presets get saved in the database automatically every time you make a change.
This is where MOD gets fun — making use of the new Web MIDI API, you can connect any MIDI device to your computer and use it as a controller.
The keyboard icon is on the bottom left corner of the interface. To interact with the keyboard, you can use your mouse or computer keyboard shortcut keys. If you want to know which keys you can use, enable the “labels” toggle button on the menu.
Once you’ve clicked on an added component, a settings panel will appear. You can also delete the component in this settings panel.
Follow us on twitter for updates. We’re always happy to hear your feedback. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
André Venâncio, Developer.