MUX Modular is a modular synth and effect.
You can connect all kinds of plug-in modules.
Creating such modular patch can be a fantastic sonic adventure.
But when you're in musical mood, you often want quick and easy access to preset sounds and effects and avoid that deep modular world, which can be time-consuming.
So that's where the MUX Front Panels come into play.
Creating a nice front panel for your MUX patch also is the cherry on the cake before sharing your MUX preset with other users.
Here is how it works:
A front panel is a layout of components, eg knobs, sliders, displays, ... that can tweak the modular sound.
If you want to customize a front panel, click the pencil button (= Edit Front Panel) at the top control bar:
Now you can resize the window and double-click or right-click the background to edit its properties.
How to add components to a front panel:
Concrete example: Lets say you want to add a waveform display for osc 1 in your synth patch.
First make sure the osc 1 editor window is open.
Now right-click the front panel -> Add Component -> Waveform Display.
With the pointing hand click on that osc 1 waveform display (eventually after having activated that window again, if it would have gone behind the front panel)
Now that osc 1 waveform display is added to the front panel and you can position, resize and color it.
- Make sure that the original of what you want to add is visible in a separate editor window.
- In the front panel window right-click the main background or the background of a group frame -> "Add Component".
- From the popup list choose the type of component you want to add.
- Now a pointing hand appears with which you can select what you want to add. Click with the pointing hand on the relevant component in the other window.
As long as the pointing hand is up, you can also click title bars to activate covered windows, or Ctrl+Tab to switch thru windows.
Or press [Esc] to cancel the selection.
Here is a little movie that demonstrates this: The Muvies
Important note: In edit mode the components on a front panel are kind of frozen and do not work as normal.
These components now are in a special state in order to position and size them, change their graphic properties etc.
To be able to quickly switch between edit mode and normal mode, assign a shortcut key to the "Toggle Editing" function.
- You can move components by dragging them.
- You can resize components by dragging the border(s). Note that not all components are resizable in both directions.
- Double-click a component to edit its graphical properties.
- Right-click a component for its context menu.
- When a group frames has an empty title, the title bar is removed and you have a pure grouping frame.
- The preset color palette for a front panel is purely for that specific front panel. Another front panel can have another preset color palette.
- Many of the component colors can be set to "No Color". This means that you want no specific color for this, but want to use the default color.
For example if a parameter's Knob Color is set to 'No Color' then the default color is used.
The default color is the front panel's "Top Color" (right-click front panel's very background -> Edit Preferences)
or if that's also set to No Color then the global Top Color preference is used. (see Edit Looks in main menu)
- Via the front panel context menu -> Edit Preferences, you can set a bunch of colors that are common for the whole front panel, eg the button colors.
- The "Remove Component" function is an undoable action.
- When a front panel background picture is not found, the default background is used.
- You can drag-drop any (meta-)parameter of any sub-module of this patch onto the front panel.
- All parameters (except VST parameters) can be renamed so you can give them specific names that match your front panel layout.
Renaming parameters cannot be done when the front panel is in edit mode, but using a shortcut key you can quickly switch back and forth between 'real' and 'edit' mode.
Renaming parameters is also always possible via the modular area editor, this is independent from the front panel edit mode.
- With the Copy/Paste Colors function you can copy all equally named colors from one component to another.
- You can move a component to another position. If you move it outside its current parent it will be moved to the new target parent. It's the center point of the drag rectangle that defines the target location.
- Instead of doing "Add Component", you can, in some cases, drag-drop a module editor onto the front panel.
It depends whether the editor is supported (=whether that type is in the Add Component list) but also if it's possible to start a drag from that editor, which is not always the case, it depends on the editor.
For example you can drag-drop an oscilloscope on the front panel, but you can't drag-drop a pian keyboard on the front panel because all mouse-clicking on the keyboard is used for playing the keyboard.
Luckily the "Add Component" way always works though, so you can add a keyboard that way.
- Right-click the front panel background -> Show Color Picker.
From the color picker you can drag-drop colors on the various colors in the front panel component properties editors.
- When you use a background picture for the front panel and you want to share the MUX preset file with other users on other systems, then you should move/copy the background picture file in the same folder as the MUX preset file, or in a "Pictures" sub-folder there.
That way, when saving the preset, a relative file path can be used and so when you send the MUX preset together with its resources (background picture, any used samples) as a zip file to someone else, it will all load fine on the other system.
When the background picture is not found at its saved location, then the app will also look for it in the same folder as the source file, or in its "Pictures" sub-folder.
- When a parameter name/value background is fully transparant, then there also is no contour drawn. If you want a transparant name/value but with a contour then set the alpha value to 1.
- For vertical sliders the "Slider Size" defines the size of the hande in case the name/value background is not fully transparant, else it defines the width of the whole slider.
- You can drag-drop color fields to each other to easily copy colors.
- When holding alt while click-dragging a border, this will move the component instead of resize.
- If you drag-drop a component (focus = it's middle point) upon a group frame it becomes a child of that group frame.
The visibility of a child component is bounded by the bounds of its parent. Make sure the parent is large enough so to see all of its childs. There is a handy function for that: "Optimize Size".
- Components on the same parent (=sibling components) should not overlap. It is an unsupported and non-recommended case.
- When using a picture file as panel background, then editing and saving the picture won't immediately refresh it in the front panel, even not when reopening the editor or reloading the MUX preset.
That's because once a certain picture file is loaded in MuLab/MUX it is cached until you quit.
Solution is to assign a shortcut to the "Reset Graphic Resources" function and use that shortcut to refresh the graphics cache.
- Currently PNG files that use a color palette are not yet supported.
- When a group frame's "Frame Color" is set to Auto Color, then it defaults to color ARGB 25,0,0,0 = 10% black = subtle darken.
- You can copy front panel components by holding [Ctrl] while dragging them.
Note however that this only makes sense for some component types.
For example it does not make much sense to copy a parameter component cause why would you want to have it double?
But it does make sense to copy group frames and text labels, as well as for example a step sequencer so to include different sections of a step sequencer.