Revision:5
Date:29-12-2002
Psycle version:1.7


Introduction

This tutorial aims to be the reference for newcomers to Psycle.It explains the basics of composing with Psycle. Notice that you might need knowledge about Trackers in general, to understand some aspects.
Please, choose your next Step:


  • Machine Creation/Connection/Usage
  • Composing With Patterns
  • Commands and Tweaking
  • Useful Tips
  • Closing Words

    Machines. All that you need to know

    Definition

    A Machine is an element that creates or processes a signal (in Psycle, an audio signal).

    There are three types of Psycle Machines: Generators , Effects and Master Machine.

  • Generators are the machines that Generate sound.As an example, we have Arguru Synth 2f. Generally, these Generators create the audio signal by they own and allow a great configurability.
    But if you want to use samples, Psycle offers you the Sampler Machine.
  • Effects only modify a signal. That is, they don't create audio by themselves. Different types of Effects are Delays, Reverbs, Equalizers and more.
  • The Master Machine is the one that receives all the audio and sends it to the Soundcard.

    Creation

    To add Machines, press F2 or this: button to go to the Machine View (if you are not already there)
    Then, double click over the background (or press F9 ).You'll see a Window similar to the following one:

    NewMachine Dialog. Click to enlarge

    Machines are divided in 3 categories: Internal Machines, Native and VST Plugins. (or Generators and Effects, if you click on Sort by Class of Machine). The Image that preceeds each name helps you identify the Machine's class and Type.

    Select Arguru Synth 2f and press OK (or double-click it, if you preffer). After that, Add Arguru Cross Delay.Now you can move them to any place by dragging them.


    Connection

    To connect these two Machines that you have created, press the SHIFT key and drag Arguru Synth 2f to Arguru CrossDelay. Doing so you'll see a line that goes from one to the other. Leave the mouse button and both machines will be connected. Do the same from Arguru CrossDelay to the Master.
    If you have done it right, your screen will be similar to this Image:

    Machines Connected. Click to enlarge

    The white triangle that appears between the Machines indicates the direction of the sound.
    If you doubleclick it, the Connection Dialog will appear, and you will be able to define the volume attenuation between both machines.


    Usage

    Now, doubleClick over Arguru Synth 2f This will pop up the Parameters Dialog. From here you can change the parameters of the machine to make it sound different. You can already play alive from there, using either a MIDI keyboard or your PC keyboard.
    To change a value, click over a Knob and drag up and down. You'll see that the value is updated.
    Finer Tweaks can be done pressing simultaneously the CONTROL key (10x finer) or SHIFT key (change one by one) while you drag the mouse.
    Also, you can Right Click over the parameter to pop up the Tweak Dialog, where you can specify the exact value.
    Note: This is the value that the plugin uses internally. Sometimes, it has nothing to do with the displayed one. You'll have to find it out.

    Machine Parameters. Click to enlarge


    Sampler Usage

    Using the sampler is just like using any other Machine.First, add it to the machine view, connect it, and load the samples that you need. To add samples, press the Load button as shown below

    If you press the Edit button, you'll be shown the Instruments dialog where you can change the volume, panning and other parameters of the Sample.
    Note: The sampler is quite simple right now. It will be recoded in one of the new versions of Psycle to make it better.

    Editing your music.

    Firstly, Psycle has a Tracker Style edition mode. You have patterns where you put notes and commands, and a sequence, where you define the order on how these patterns are created.Press F3 or this: button to go to the Pattern Editor.

    By default, you have 16 Tracks to compose, but you can adjust it from 4 to 32 using the first Combobox that says Tracks.
    On the upper side of each channel you have three indicators, one Red (R), one yellow (M), and one Green (S).These indicators allow you to Record notes, Mute or Solo in this track.

    Before you start, you might want to change the Tempo (BPM) and the lines (or ticks) per beat (LPB) which are on the Song bar. Bigger BPM, faster beats. Bigger LPB, more space between beats (or faster pattern playing)




    Entering Notes and commands

    To be able to enter values in the Pattern editor, The Edit Mode has to be turned On. To switch between enabled and disabled, you can press the Space Bar, or just use the Record Sequence button.


    You can use either the Mouse or the cursors to positionate the Cursor to the track you want.
    Now, let's explain each Track's row:



    The first column is the Note column. Here you enter the notes. 2 octaves are mapped in your PC keyboard. To go to a higher/lower octave, press the * or / keys respectively (the ones in your numeric keyboard!) or use the combobox that says "Octave" in the "Song Bar".
    The second column is the Auxiliar Column. In the case of the Sampler, this column indicates the Instrument to be played, for VST Plugins, it indicates the MIDI Channel, and when using the Tweak Command, it indicates the Parameter number.
    The third column indicates the Machine number. You can easily know it looking at the Machines' combobox:



    See that Generators are numbered from 0 to 3F and Effects from 40 to 7F (Hexadecimal values)
    The fourth column is the commands Column. Take a look at the Commands and Tweaking subsection to know more about it.

    Updating the Sequence

    Now that you know how to write a pattern, it is time to write a sequence with a few of them. To do this, you use the sequencer bar:

    The position you are editing is the one highlighted. You can use the + and - buttons to change the pattern for that position. (the ++ and -- buttons jump in steps of 10). You can also use Shift+up arrow and Shift+down arrow of your keybard for that, and shift+left arrow and shift+right arrow to move the cursor position in the sequence bar.

    Use the New button to insert a new position with an unused pattern. Use the Ins button do the same, but adding the same pattern.
    The Clone button is usefull to enter a new position, with a new pattern, which is a copy (hence, the "clone") of the current selected.
    Use the Cut, Copy, Paste buttons to move/duplicate parts of the sequence.
    The Del button removes that pattern position, and Clear removes all the sequence (Patterns are not deleted).
    Finally the Sort button can be used when you've finished your song, to polish the sequence and show it ordered.
    The Len buttons with arrows allows you to change the length of the sequence. This was useful before, but now it is just there because it might be needed in some older songs.

    If you activate the Follow song, it updates the pattern and the sequence position to the ones that are being played.
    The Record Tweaks and Record Noteoffs checkboxes indicate if you want the tracker to write them to the pattern when you're playing live/recording sequence.
    Multichannel audiition is enabled by default. Disabled is useful for machines that have Glide. Allow notes to effects is a special option that will be needed for some machines that need note entering for anything. This disables the possibility to tweak an effect while playing a generator, though.

    There are other editing options that you might find useful, in the "Configuration-Settings", and there in the "Keyboard and Misc." tab.

    Changing the Parameters' values in Realtime

    Commands are deprecated in Psycle in favour of Tweaking. Take a look at the Tweakings and Commands.txt file included with psycle for a "in deep" explanation of both.

    Tweaking

    Tweaking a machine from the pattern is changing the value of one parameter to another one. This allows you to control the machine in playback time.
    To enter them, you put the cursor in the Note Column, and press the tweak key.

    The Tweak key differs from different keyboard languages, and you might have to configure it because the default one might not work for you. To do so, go to "Configuration-Settings" and there in the "Keyboard and Misc." Tab. Look for "tweak key" and set your prefered one (generally, the one next to the number "1".

    The second column indicates the Parameter that you want to change. If you look again to the Parameters' Dialog Image you'll see that in the Titlebar you can see a number in Hexadecimal value. This is the one you need. With VST's, it is the one that appears in the Parameters' List.

    For Internal Machines (Those that Use a Dialog Box), you can see the number next to the parameter name:

    NewMachine Dialog. Click to enlarge

    The third column indicates the Machine number. You can easily know it looking at the Machines' combobox:



    Finally, the fourth column indicates the Value that the parameter will take.

    If you tweak a VST Plugin you'll have to give a value between 0 and FFFF (meaning 0 minimum, FFFF maximum)
    For a Native Plugin, you have to indicate the exact value that it will take. Check it from the Tweak Dialog.
    And for Internal Effects... Sorry, you'll have to find it by yourself, but usually it is the value indicated in the dialog.

    This is what you'll see:





    Tweak Slides (tws) and Midi command (Mcm)

    Tweak Slides are exactly like tweaks, but they changes the parameter smootly (each 64samples, instead of each line). The usage is exactly the same as of the tweak command, and you will have to configure its key as well.


    The Midi Command is a way to send MIDI messages to machines (right now only to VST's). The format is as follows:
    The Second column indicates the Control Code to be sent to the machine.
    The third column indicates the Machine number (as always).
    The fourth column indicates the Information for that Control Code. The first two digits are the first byte, and the last two digits are the second byte.

    Useful Tips

  • To FineTweak a Machine's parameter. Hold down the CONTROL key while you move the mouse. This will give you a 10x finer tweak, or SHIFT key to changes values one by one.
  • You can Play notes from the Parameters' dialog! Use it while you tweak a machine.
    Note: With VST plugins, when the cursor is kept in the Programs' combobox, they don't receive notes. Click on any parameter in the list to refocus to the GUI.
  • Read the keys.txt. There are many useful shortcut Keys in there, and remember that you can configure almost all of them to your liking.

    Final Words

    I hope this tutorial will give a clearer view on how to use Psycle for people that want to learn to use it, and for those that want to use it better. For more info about Psycle and the community I recommend you to visit:

    Psycledelics

    psycle.pastnotecut.org

    Also you're welcomed at #psycle IRC Chat channel on EFNet network.

    Thanks go to : Arguru, Mats, ksn, JAZ, SAS, Tao, Pikari, alk, Bohan, ZombieHead, Imagineer, FatalD, dj_d and all other users of Psycle!


    UPWEGO Tutorial Copyright 2000-2001 Gerwin Koudijs
    Further updates of the tutorial done by [JAZ]
    All damage caused by this tutorial, cannot be held responsible by Gerwin, nor by [JAZ] (or maybe...)
    Contact info: gerwin@koudijs.org or jaz@pastnotecut.org