MicroTonic: Stereo spread on the Noise Generator

Joel Winston1 705 views2 posts
  • Joel Winston

    Hi Magnus

    Great work on Microtonic, been absolutely loving it for the last couple of years. And the new features on version 3 are great... still need to explore the morphing properly, but the ability to drag and drop the pattern into my logic sequencer is an absolute god-send!

    A very minor thing, not sure if there's a way to do it already, but the stereo button really adds some nice space to the noise generator, but I sometimes find it can add a bit too much stereo spread that it seems to dominate. You ever thought of making it a variable slider? Really have no idea how the stereo generation works, so not sure if that's even possible!

    Keep up the good work though!


  • Magnus Lidström

    There are some (mainly historical) reasons why the stereo spread is an on/off switch rather than a continuous parameter.

    Behind the scenes, enabling stereo creates two uncorrelated random noise sources, one for the left channel and one for the right. They are then processed in two parallel signal paths by filter, envelope, mix, distortion, equalizer etc. Put simply, a drum channel with stereo enabled is processed internally as two separate channels, which means almost twice the CPU requirement.

    When I created MicroTonic first in 2003, I spent many months optimizing the engine so that it ran smoothly on all existing computers of the time. Some of those optimizations required this parameter to be discrete (in other words, either on or off).

    Today I could probably rewrite the audio engine to have the stereo spread continuous as the CPU load of MicroTonic has become silly low. I do see the point but it has not been a high priority feature this far. In most cases you can adjust the stereo width with insert effects or directly on the mixer in your host. Naturally you can also do this on a channel basis with the separate output version of MicroTonic. So there are workarounds.

    But I'll note your request for this feature and I'll seriously consider it in the future.

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