Girl is based on a simple idea. Using a library of sound files in the "Sounds" folder, you can select any sound from any folder in the "Sounds" folder, and load it into a GirlModule, which will continuously loop the sound. Within a module you can modify the sound file using the effects and by looping smaller parts of the sound file. You can open any number of these modules, limited only by the amount of RAM and the power of your computer's processor. The modules can be treated individually, or the playback speeds of the loops can all be synchronized to a tempo.
Before you open the application, put sound files into folders in the "Sounds" folder. You can use almost any format, including MP3, but AIFF, SD2, and WAV files perform best. For example, you can put a folder of drum sounds in a folder called "Drums 100bpm" and another called "Electrons" in the Sounds folder. You can use up to 2000 folders, each with up to 2000 files.
Once the application is opened, the folder names will show up in the top left pulldown menu in the FILES panel in a Girl module, and the files within that folder will show up in the pulldown to the right of that. You can also drag and drop files onto the FILES panel of the module.
Double-click on the GIRL icon to open the application. A total of 4 windows will be initially loaded:
There are visual "Help" guides in the program. In the "Help" menu, simple select a help guide for the topic you are interested. Windows with pictures of the various windows of Girl have roll-over hints: just move your mouse over a button or interface item in question, and an explanation will appear.
TO LOAD A SOUND
Choose a folder from the left pull down menu. Choose a sound file in the pulldown menu to the right of that. It will start playing automatically.
Mess around with the sound with filters, delays, and pitch. Select parts of the sound with the waveform window.
The little button next to the LFO durations (on Filters and Pan) set min/max for the LFO range. Select a value and click the button once. Select a higher value and click again. The LFO will only sweep between those values, at the duration specified.
Select a module number from the buttons on the right, or click on a colored dot.
Move your mouse around in the square window with crosshairs. (Note that you only need to click, release, then drag. You do not need to hold down the mouse button.)
You are now controlling the pan/volume of the selected module, as indicated by the appropriately colored dot.
Click in the window to set the pan/volume at desired setting.
For extra fun, set up pan LFO's on all your modules, and watch the dots fly!!
The "solo" button will allow you to listen to 1 module, muting all others. Select a module to solo using the numbered buttons. Press "solo" (it will turn yellow), and all the other modules will mute. Press again to restore their volume settings.
Additionally, you can set up "live" and "monitor" channels in the Module Mixer. A GirlMod's output can be assigned to the "live" channel or the "monitor." With a multi-channel ASIO-compliant soundcard, you can set up a headphone output on the monitor to preview sounds before you output them to the "live." Even with a 2-channel sound card (such as provided on most Apple Macintoshes), the monitor channel is useful for the studio, since it is not recorded. So, if you are improvising a recording, and wish to preview a Module's sound before it is written to disk, assign that module to the "monitor" channel.
F-keys will select a module to control with the keyboard. For example, F1 will enable keyboard control of GirlMod1
The keys are assigned as follows:
"esc" is a PANIC button. If the sound just stops for some mysterious reason, press "esc."
tab = tap bpm
play once = "="
mute (pre-effects) = "-"
pitch = u i o p [
(all neighboring pitch keys can be used in combination to access more pitches.)
vol= x c v (0,50,100)
fade= , .
filter wet = j k l ;
del wet =a s d f
pan= q w e r
up arrow=prev file
down arrow=next file
right arrow=forward/reverse direction
space=play from start
record live audio into module = "\"
"we" combination gives 50% pan
"kl" combination gives 50% filter
"sd" combination gives 50% delay
number keys=changes delay time according to tempo
CAPITAL LETTERS select segments of an opened file. Turn Caps Lock on for best grooving.
"control + a capital letter" will store current selection at that letter.
use the "seg" menu (in PLAYBACK AND CONTROLS) to determine how many segments a sound is broken into when it is loaded. You can select a new segmentation at anytime to create new segments.
For a visual guide to the keyboard assignments, click here
You can control pairs of effects in the "PLANE CONTROLLER." Click on a button or a colored dot to control a pair: "pan/vol," "del fb/wet", "F1 f/Q," and "grain" will control the pan and volume, delay feedback and wet, filter1's frequency and resonance, and a variety of "Grains" parameters, respectively.
Once you have clicked a button or dot, for example, the red pan/vol button, you can move your mouse in the Plane Controller (JUST DRAG: no click needed) and the dot will follow your motions, setting the pan (x-axis) and volume (y-axis). Click in the plane controller to make a setting permanent.
SAVING IN GIRL
When you choose "Save" from the "File" menu (topmost application menu, not the FILE menu in a module! Also known as "cmd-S"), you will get a dialog asking to save your setup to a file. Saving will remember your current setup: all effects settings, files, MIDI setup, current loop selections, and the number of modules you have open. Essentially, it puts you back where you left off when you saved. Saving does not keep track of files or folders you have renamed or moved from the all-important "Sounds" folder. Just because it is Girl, doesn't mean it's your mother! Anyway, it is prudent to note that you can use aliases of sound files in the "Sounds" folders, so you can easily duplicate a "Sounds" folder, rename it for the project, and put it away for later use. If you wish to use that folder again, you can simply rename it "Sounds," and replace the current "Sounds" folder in the Girl Application folder.
You can also save MIDI Setups, independent of the rest of the application. This is useful if you like to work with different devices. Simply click the "save" button in the MIDI Setup window.
GIRL CONTROL WINDOW (at top of screen):
This floating window is at the top of the screen when the application opens. There are many "global" functions that can affect all modules. The functions are as follows:
Click "ADD module" (or select "New" from the File menu) to add another looping module to your set up.
Click "Simple" to open the SimpleSound panel. The "SimpleSound" modules let you play or loop a sound file, change its pitch, volume, and pan, and add a VST plugin. Since these modules take up very little processing power, they are ideal for playing back longer, pre-produced sound files for "backing" tracks.
Select the output from the pull down menu. Depending on your computer's sound configuration, this menu will vary. Standard output to a Macintosh's internal speaker or headphone jack is "Sound Manager." There are other, more exotic, ways of directing the sound output from GIRL to the outside world, or even within other applications.
-DirectConnect: Use this option to send audio output from GIRL into the Digidesign ProTools application. To use DirectConnect, you must have the DigiStream Manager library in your "System Folder:Extensions" folder. It is probably already there. You also need to install "DirectConnect" plug in and the MSP-PI plug in in the "Plug-Ins" folder in your "DAE Folder." The DAE folder is typically found in the System Folder or at the root level of your hard disk. You can find these files in the "audio stuff" folder in the GIRL folder. Do not replace newer versions of these files with the ones provided.
-ReWire: You can use GIRL as a client (or sound source) application for ReWire compatible applications. Install the "ReWire library" and the "ReWire MSP library" from the audio stuff folder into your Extensions folder.
-VST: You can use GIRL as a VST plug-in within a VST compatible host application, such as Cubase or Digital Performer. Install the MSP-VST file in the host application's VstPlugIns folder. Select MSP-VST as a plug in in your application. This will NOT work in Max/MSP. You can only use 1 instance of the MSP-VST plug in in your host application.
In addition, you can use the SYNC window to synchronize Girl to a sequencer. Girl will also respond to the play, stop, and record transport buttons of a sequencer if the MIDI IAC bus is chosen in the SYNC window.
Click "record" to record a stereo mix of what is currently being played in the modules. Name the file in the small text box before you press record. If you do not, it will add a number to the end of the current filename. After you press "record," the button will display the minutes:seconds of the current recording. You can also record individual stereo files from each module if you select "individual tracks" in from the drop down menu, or you can record a single, multiple-track AIFF file by choosing "multitrack." Recorded files automatically go the "Sounds:Recordings" folder. You can select the "Recordings" folder from the top left menu in a module to load and remix a recently recorded file!
The "Audio Input" button will open the AudioInput floating window:
Select a source of audio input. You can select from a variety of your soundcard or built-in inputs. You can also select ReWire sources from ReWire 2.0 compatible software. You cannot route Max/MSP-based application's audio using ReWire. To do this, you can choose "VST" as the MSP output driver, and make sure that the MSP-VST plugin is in the "Defaults" folder.
Select a module to record into.
Select a duration to record.
Press "record." Press "record" again to stop recording prior to the duration set.
You will see the waveform updating in the module you selected.
You are now free to play with the sound you just recorded, as if you had loaded the sound from a file.
The "Sequencer" button will open the 32-step global sequencer, described here.
The "MIDI" button will open the MIDI window:
You can control almost any parameter of GIRL using MIDI controllers. You will need OMS 2.38 installed, of course. Click the MIDI button, and you will open an extensive and customizable table of all the MIDI controllable features.
Setup is easy. Simply select your input device from the top menu. You can use the "MIDI Spy" to view all your incoming MIDI data.
To configure your controllers, you can just press on the light blue parameter name (it will turn yellow), and move a lever/knob or press a MIDI note, then click the name again.
You can also enter in the controller numbers and channels in the number boxes.
To turn a MIDI control off, set the control/note# to -1.
You can customize the range of the controllers as well. If you want a midi knob's values 0-127 to vary pitch only from 0. to 1.0, rather than the default -3.0 to 3.0, you can change the range in the right 2 columns of the MIDI setup window.
The "pitchX" control is a groovy feature that is only available in using MIDI. Values 0-127 will vary the pitch between -2.0 and 2.0, but has the additional joy of setting pitch to 1.0 and playing from the beginning of the current sound selection. This is WONDERFUL for rhythmic sound tweaking, since you can always be assured of coming in "on the 1".
The "mixer" button will open the Module Mixer. This functions like the PLANE CONTROLLER in modules. Select a module number from the array of buttons, and move its color-coordinated dot in the plane to set volume and pan. There is also a sound levels display, and a master gain to control the final volume.
The "SYNC" button will open the SYNC Window. Use this to synchronize loops in different modules. Use the "SYNCto" button to set all "included" (button must read "include" not "exclude") modules to the "SYNCto" module. You can set BPMs (Beat Per Minute) for a module using the BPM numbers boxes if the "SYNCon" for that module is on. There is also the option of using MIDI beat clock to determine the SYNC bpm. Simply choose a MIDI source, and the the bpm will appear in the bpm number box. Use the MIDI IAC bus to sync GIRL to a MIDI sequencer like Logic, ProTools, or Performer.
And, as a final option, you press the "Tap" button to open the TapMetronome. Use the mouse or "tab" key to tap in a tempo, which you can use as the master tempo.
Additionally, in the "Configure" menu, there is an option for "Network Sync." This allows you to send a tempo to other Girl users on an Ethernet network. The user can be in the same room, or in another country on the internet. If "send tempo" is on, then your master sync bpm, as used in the SYNC window, will be sent to the IP address or URL you specify on port 5500. If someone is sending you a tempo, you will see it displayed in the "tempo received" panel. This feature can also be used to sync to a tempo provided by the software Max. Use the "Network Send Tempo" file in the "Max Patches" folder. Simply connect the number box to your Max patch's tempo, and send on IP "127.0.0.1" or press the "this machine" button.
The "VST" button will popup a menu of available VST PlugIns. This is the "final" vst, and can be used for mastering the mixed stereo signal of all the modules. An excellent use would be opening an equalizer for final adjustments for a room or for tweaking the final recording. The "open" button will open the VST PlugIn interface, and "bypass" will bypass the plugin's processing.
The "SYNC lfo" button will start all LFO's at their beginnings, putting them all in phase.
The "Start all" button will force all sounds to start at their beginnings.
The "mute" button will force all modules to mute. Press again to return all modules to their original volumes.
The "cpu%" display gives you an idea of how hard your machine is working on Girl.
The Surround/Multi-Channel mixing capabilities of Girl offer an exciting development in live and studio performance. Using multiple amplifiers and multiple speakers, you can direct the Girl modules' outputs from 3 to 16 channels of sound (a channel of sound is a monophonic amplifier attached to a single speaker), plus a subwoofer. Using the DirectConnect, ReWire, or VST plugins, you can send the surround mix to another sound production application. It is also very easy to record a multi-channel sound file for playback or further editing in a multi-track sound editor.
The flexibility of Girl's Surround/Multi-Channel mixing means that this feature can be used in a "professional" sound design environment for producing music and sounds for DVD's and movies, or even in a "jury-rigged" sound system composed of bits and pieces scrapped together from thrift stores, garage sales, and city streets. Of course, you will need an ASIO-compatible sound card with multiple outputs, which generally is not available at thrift stores!!!
To use this feature, go to the "Configure" menu and select "MultiChannel/Surround". The "Surround Panner" window will open. Enter the number of channels you wish to mix to, and press "create panners."
This creates a meter display for each channel for visually monitoring levels, as well as panners for each open module. If you open more modules, panners will be created for those at the same time. Normal stereo output will be disabled, but you will still have a stero monitor channel for headphone monitoring. You may need to reassign the monitor outputs, since they may output to 2 of the surround channels.
A panner will allow you to send the monophonic output of a module to any of the channels. The "pan" value represents an output number. The range for the panner is the number of channels + 1, allowing you to mix in a complete circle (assuming your speakers are in a circular arrangement!). The "interp" value is a millesecond interpolation between pan values as they are changed. For simple continuous panning, 40ms is a good value. However, another example would be to type in a pan value directly. If the pan was at "1.0", and you typed in "4.0" with an interp value of 5000, then the sound would take 5 seconds to pan from channel 1 to channel 4.
Each panner also has an LFO for automating and/or randomizing the panning process.
TURNTABLE CONTROL WITH MSPINKY
A GirlModule or SimpleSound can be controlled using a MsPinky vinyl platter playing on a turntable. Scratching and needle-drop effects performed on the turntable can be applied to the digital audio playing in a GirlModule for DJ-style playback effects.
You will need to purchase the specially-encoded vinyl platters from the MsPinky website. Plug the turntable outputs into a phono preamp and then plug in phono preamp into your computer audio inputs. That is all there is to the hardware setup.
The first step is to open up a MsPinky control channel from the "Configure" menu. In the floating MsPinky Configure panel, simply press the "new" button to open a MsPinky channel. You can add as many channels as you have turntables. Select the Left and Right inputs that your turntable(s) are plugged into. You made need to adjust the threshold levels, but the defaults will likely be fine.
The next step is to select a MsPinky channel from the MsPinky menu in the Module or SimpleSound you wish to control. Once selected, the playback rate will now be tied to the turntable, where normal pitch for the digital audio file is represented by 33 1/3 rpm at 0 pitch shift. If you are playing a file from disk or in a SimpleSound, you can change the location of the needle on the platter which will change the location of file playback.
A GirlMod is a sound and simple sound altering effects. Put them all together, though, and a very complex sound can emerge. A module consists of many panels, each providing control over a sound property, such as pitch, loop beginning and endings, frequency bandwidth, and volume. If you want to move modules to other monitors, choose "Float/Fix Window" or "Float/Fix All Windows" from the Configure menu. This will add title bars to the modules so you can click and drag them to new locations.
Here are all the panels and explanations of the functions within:
select folder - Select a folder of audio files from the "Sounds" folder. The files will appear in the menu to right.
select file - Select a file to load into a module for looping and alteration.
from: - There are 3 sources of audio available:
segs - This determines the number of segments a file is broken into. These segments can be accessed with the CAPITAL letters of the keyboard, or with the sequencers. For example, if you open a 12-bar drum loop, with "12" segs, then each bar can be selected with the keyboard and/or sequencers. You can change the number of segments at anytime, and you can create new ones by selecting a part of the waveform, and using "control+ a capital letter" to store it at a segment location (Q=1, W=2, E=3, etc.). Break it down!
It is also possible to create an unlimited number of segments. Click on the word "segs," and the popup menu will change into a number box. You can type in or click-and-drag a number to create the desired number of segments.
multiplier - You can multiply the length of segments using this menu. For example, if you load a 12-bar drum loop into memory, with "12" segs and a multiplier of "2", then each bar can be selected with the keyboard and/or sequencers, but the loop will extend into the next bar, rather than lasting just 1 bar.
refresh - If you make changes to the "Sounds" folder (for example, adding new folders or sounds to a folder) while the Girl application is open, you can click the "refresh" button to make the application aware of the changes.
close - Close the currently playing sound file, thereby stopping playback. You will need to select a file from the "select file" menu to begin playback again.
start - Force the playback to play from the start of the current selection at any time.
1x - Play the selection from beginning to end, then stop playback. Press again to play one more time, or press "loop" to begin looping playback again.
forward (reverse) - Play the selection forwards or in reverse.
loop - Loop the playback of the selection.
LFO - The LFO allows for automatic changing of the files over time. See the LFO explanation in the "PAN" panel for details
level - The position of the sound file in the stereo spectrum. 0 places the file in the far left speaker, 200 places the file in the far right speaker. click-and-drag in the number box, or click and type, a value to set. The pan can also be set with the Plane Controller.
L,c,R - Pan preset buttons, L(eft), c(enter), and R(ight). Press to set the pan to these positions.
LFO - The LFO (Low Frequency Oscillator) allows for automatic changing of the pan over time. Click the LFO button, and a small window will appear with the LFO controls. There are 4 types of oscillators: Sawtooth, Triangle, and Random, and Continuous Random. You can program the range of the oscillator, as well as the period (the amount of time it takes to oscillate from the minimum of the range to the maximum).
To program the minimum and maximum values, simply enter the desired range in the "min" and "max" number boxes.
The period (the time it takes to sweep through the range, or, in the case of a Random LFO, the time between value changes) can be set by entering a millisecond value in the number box, or by selecting a tempo division from the popup menu next to the number box.
Finally, turn the LFO on using the menu selector, choosing one of the three types of LFO: Triangle, Sawtooth, Random, or Continuous Random. (Random will output a random number at each interval, Continuous Random will provide a continuous interpolation between random numbers).
level - The volume of the sound file in the stereo spectrum. 0 is mute, 100 is unity gain (the sound's "natural" volume). You can use values above 100 if the sound file is particularly quiet, or you if you want the volume to clip in nasty and noisy ways (sometimes nasty and noisy is desirable!). click-and-drag in the number box, or click and type, a value to set. The volume can also be set with the Plane Controller.
0,50,100 - Volume level preset buttons. Press to set the volume to these levels.
In, Out, dur, div - Automatic fade in and out controls. Press "In" to fade in from 0 to 100, press "Out" to fade out from the current volume. Set the duration, in milliseconds, of the fade in the number box, or use a tempo division using the pop-up menu.
fade-hold-fade - Automatic fade in, pause, then fade out. Click the button to turn fade-hold-fade on, then click either "In" or "Out" to begin the fade-hold-fade routine. The fade duration is set using the In/Out duration, and the hold duration is set using the number box to the right of the fade-hold-fade button.
LFO - The LFO allows for automatic changing of the volume over time. See the LFO explanation in the "PAN" panel for details.
Env - This menu give you a selection of volume envelopes for the loop. There are a few presets, as well as a "draw" option that will open a simple drawing window where you can draw your own envelope. Select "Env" or "none" for no envelope.
level - Change the gain of the module to increase maximum volume using the number box. A gain of "1" is unity gain.
meters - The sound level meters display the sound level in the Left and Right channels of the module output. Red indicates clipping, which is usually undesirable. Lower the gain or volume of the module if you are consistently clipping a sound.
lever/number box - Use the lever or number box to change the pitch of a sound loaded into memory.
presets - The preset buttons are a collection of useful pitches for exact pitch settings. Place your mouse over a colored dot, and the value of that dot will appear in a hint box. Click to set the pitch to that value.
SYNC off,on - Turn SYNC mode on or off. SYNC mode allows you to synchronize multiple modules to the same (or related) beat, and it also allows you to set a module's tempo by entering a value in the "bpm" number box. The tempo is calculated based on the length of the waveform selection. It assumes (naively) that your selection is in 4/4 time, and therefore considers 1/4 of the selection as 1 beat. With SYNC mode on, any selection you make will adjust its pitch to fit to the current bpm.
For example, if you have a selection that is 1 second long, then Girl will calculate the tempo as 120 bpm. Now turn SYNC on. Make a new selection that is twice as much of the waveform. The pitch will speed up 2 times in order to synchronize the selection to the current tempo.
sync fx - If "sync fx" is on (yellow), then all effects will synchronize to the current tempo (SYNC does not need to be on for this to happen). What this means is that any duration that can be set with a tempo division popup (such as the LFO periods and delay time), will automatically change to synchronize to the current tempo, according to the division selected in the popup menu. For example, if you have a selection that is calculated at 120 bpm, and a delay time set to an 1/8th note, then the delay time will be 250 ms. If you make a new selection (or change the tempo with "SYNC" on) at 240 bpm, then the delay time set to an 1/8th note will now be 125 ms.
bpm - Beats Per Minute. If SYNC mode is off, then this number box is strictly for information, and will display the calculated BPM of a selection. If SYNC mode is on, you can set the BPM of the module by entering a value here.
ms - A millisecond translation of the bpm. For display only.
GRAINS is an elementary granular synthesis effect. It allows for simple control of very small selections of a waveform. The ordered grains will scan through a selection, playing a small loop of a waveform (whose length is set by "duration", then moving onto the next loop. This allows for a sort of "pitchless" time stretching of a sound, either slowing it down, or speeding it up. The "random" amount will add randomness to the loop selection-the higher the number, the more jumbled the sound.
The grains can also be controlled with the Plane Controller.
on/off - Press this to turn the granulator on.
speed - The white box sets the speed of the grain playback. A speed of "1.0" for ordered grains means that GRAINS will scan through the selection at regular pitch. For example, if you have a 2.5 second selection, and turn on ordered grains at a speed of "1.0", then the scan will take 2.5 seconds. A speed of "2.0" will take 1.25 seconds to scan through the selection.
duration - Set the duration of the grain, in milliseconds. Very small grains (less than 50 ms) will have a somewhat "flanged" sound, whereas larger grains will have a sort of "delay" repetition effect.
random - Add randomness to the scanning.
scrub - Clicking and dragging in this box will allow you to manually "scan" through the sound file.
window - click-and-drag selections of the memory-loaded waveform in this window with your mouse.
tools/cursors - There are 3 different tools to use in the selection window. Select them using the buttons to the left of the selection window.
The top "I-beam" cursor tool is used to click-and-drag selection in and out points in the window.
The middle "Double I-beam" cursor uses vertical and horizontal mouse motions to create selections. click-and-drag, and left-right motions will move the selection in time, while up-down motions will change the selection duration.
The bottom "Hand" cursor allows you to zoom in/out and navigate the waveform. It does not affect selection.
all - Select the entire waveform to loop.
start - The starting time of the selection, in milliseconds.
end - The ending time of the selection, in milliseconds.
length - The length of the selection, in milliseconds. For display only.
crop - Press this to crop the waveform to what is selected. This will free up memory and create new segments. This is particularly useful for sound files with extra silent space at the beginning or end. It is also useful for saving new soundfiles to loop.
snap - Select a selection "snap" mode: none, grid, or zero.
"none" means that selections are exactly as you enter them in the number boxes or draw them in the waveform.
"grid" will limit selection start and end times to the display grid. This is useful for limiting selections to certain durations, or keeping in time with a certain tempo when the display grid is in BPM units.
"zero" limits selection starts and ends to places where the waveform is at an amplitude of 0. This reduces audible clicks at the loop points.
unit - The units used in the display: ms, samples, phase, and bpm. This will change the type of display information presented in the window. Default is bpm.
mouse - Choose a type of output when drawing selections in the waveform window:
none - drawing a selection will have no effect
down - output selection data on mouse down
up - output selection data on mouse up
downup - output selection data on mouse down and up
continuous - output selection data while dragging.
setbpm (display tempo) - Manually enter a bpm to set the display grid to that tempo. If you know the bpm of a file, and you wish to easily select time divisions of it, enter the bpm, select "bpm" in the units menu, and set snap to "grid." Your work will be much easier now.
display meter - If the meter of your file is something other than 4/4, you can set it here (3 = 3/4, 5 = 5/4, etc.) to make the BPM display properly.
hours:minutes:seconds:milleseconds - these numbers display the current play location of the soundfile.
filename - the name of the currently loaded file appears in bold, red letters.
save - if you have cropped the soundfile, you can save this new, shorter sound as a separate file. This is very handy for editing loops for use in other applications, or for saving fortuitous accidents.
reset - sometimes the display will get a bit confusing. Click the "reset" button :)
feedbk. - Set the delay feedback to determine the number of delay repetitions, on a scale of 0.0 to 1.0. The feedback can also be set with the Plane Controller
wet - Mix the delay signal with the original signal. 0 is no delay, 1.0 is all delay. The dry/wet mix can also be set with the Plane Controller.
length - The delay length, in milliseconds. This can also be set using a tempo division with the adjoining popup menu. The blue lever can be used to create continuous delay effects for psychadelic fun. This differs from the adjoining number box, which sets the delay time instantly.
feel - The "feel" adjusts the interpolation time for the delay length lever. By using the simplest example, which is clicking once on the lever to set a new delay time, you can easily observe what the feel does. With "feel" at 500, and the delay at 30 ms, click on the lever near the end setting a new value (say, 2500 ms). The delay will take 500 ms (one half of a second) to change the length from 30ms to 2500ms.
LFO - The LFO allows for automatic changing of the delay length over time. See the LFO explanation in the "PAN" panel for details on using the LFO controls. Long durations for this LFO are recommended for maximum psychadelia, short durations for more of a glitch aesthetic.
There are 2 filters that you can use to process your sound. If you do not wish to include a filter in the mix, set the filter gain (g) to "0.0". You can use the number boxes to set the filter parameters, or click-and-drag in the filter display to set frequency (using horizontal mouse motions) and resonance (vertical mouse motions).
type - Choose a type of filter to process your sound: lowpass, highpass, bandpass, bandstop, peaknotch, highshelf, or lowshelf.
f - Enter the cutoff frequency for the filter. The frequency of Filter 1 (F1) can also be set with the Plane Controller.
g - Enter the filter gain. "1.0" is standard, unity gain.
Q - Enter the filter "resonance," which determines the bandwidth of the filter. The Q of Filter 1 (F1) can also be set with the Plane Controller.
LFO - The LFO's allows for automatic changing of the filter parameters over time. See the LFO explanation in the "PAN" panel for details on using the LFO controls.
slot - You can load up to 3 VST PlugIns to alter your sound. Select a slot to load a VST PlugIn before proceeding.
One of the slots is reserved for a VST Instrument, which can be played with a MIDI controller or by playing MIDI files in another application, and sending the data to Girl via the OMS IAC bus. The output from the instrument can be played along with any sound in the module, and will be affected by any effects processing in the module.
choose - Press "choose" and a menu pops up with all the VST plugins in your "VSTPlugIns" folder (in the same folder as the GIRL application). If you don't want to select a plug in, and you get this menu, just wait about 5 seconds, and it will go away.
open - Open the VST plugin's editing window to change the effect parameters.
bypass - Bypass the VST processing.
on/off - turn the ring modulator on or off.
f - change the frequency of the modulating sine wave. At frequencies less then (approx.) 20 hz, this provides a tremolo effect. At frequencies above 20 hz, additional frequencies are added to the sound.
amp. - change the amplitude of the modulating frequency.
You can control pairs of effects in the "PLANE CONTROLLER." Click on a button or on a colored dot to control a pair: "vol," "del", and "F1" will control the pan and volume, delay feedback and wet, and filter1's frequency and resonance, respectively. The "grain" button allows you to control multiple parameters of the GRAINS effect. If you MUST know how the movement is mapped:
-Horizontal motions in top half change "Speed."
-Horizontal motions in the bottom half "Scrub" the soundfile
-Vertical motions in the left half control grain "duration."
-Vertical motions in the right half control the amount of "random."
Even though you are new well informed, I am betting you will rely on your ear to make your moves, rather than the above information!
Once you have clicked a button or dot, for example, the red pan/vol button, you can move your mouse in the Plane Controller (just DRAG: no click needed) and the dot will follow your motions, setting the pan (x-axis) and volume (y-axis). Click in the plane controller to make a setting permanent.
The sequencers allow you to create times sequences of sound segments. For most accurate timing in the sequencers, turn "Overdrive" on in the top "Edit" menu. If you have a lot of LFO's active, particularly the filter LFO's, Overdrive will cause problems, such as slowing the responsiveness of your mouse. You will just have to decide what is more important to you: a lot of LFO's or Sequencer accuracy.
Using the 8-step sequencer within a module:
Click on the "SEQ" button to open the 8-step sequencer window. Turn the sequencer on, using the on/off button. Choose a tempo by entering a number in the "bpm" number box. The sequencer will play the segments numbered in the 8 boxes. Enter "-1" in the box to play a random segment. Enter "0" to play silence.
Using the global 32-step "Sequencer," opened from the pink "Girl" window at the top:
You can select a module number and a segment number at each step. It works in a similar way as the 8-step sequencer in a module. A segment number of "0" is silence, and a segment number of "-1" is a random selection from the module specified at that step.
To turn it on, click the square toggle to the left of the bold "bpm" number box. The sequencer will begin playing at the bpm specified, default is 100 bpm. You can change the speed by entering a new number, or by using the "tempo multiply" buttons to the right. Notice that this multiplies the CURRENT tempo, not the "original" tempo that was set prior to using the buttons. For example, if your sequence is playing at 100 bpm, and you press "0.5" your tempo will change to "50 bpm." If you press it again, it will change to "25 bpm." This may or may not be what you expected. :)
Note that the 32-step sequencer plays the segments ONCE, rather than continuously looping them until the next segment is selected. If you turn off the sequencer, and want to loop sounds in a module, you will need to turn "loop" back on (in the FILES panel of the module).
You can store a particular setup (filter, delay, volume, etc settings) with the EFFECT PRESETS. Select a preset slot and hit "store". To recall, select a preset slot and "recall." These banks of settings can be saved to a file. Just press the "save" button, and a dialog box will appear to save the file to disk. Press "load" to open a file of presets.
index - The effect present number.
store - Store the current setup (LFO settings, volume and pan levels, pitch, etc.) at the chosen index.
recall - Recall the chosen index.
save - Save all presets to a file.
load - Load a file of effect presets.
OTHER (bottom right)
live - Assign the module's output to the "live" channels.
monitor - Assign the module's output to the "monitor" channels.
NOTE: The "live" and "monitor" channels can be used with multi-channel sound cards, such as those made by MOTU, MidiMan, Emagic, and other ASIO-supported sound cards The monitor channel does NOT get recorded, even if you have the live and monitor channels assigned to the same 2 outputs. You select the outputs with the main mixer.
key control - Select an F-key that will enable key control for the module.
recording - Enter a file name in the text field. Press "record." The button will read "recording" and turn yellow and display the time elapsed in your current recording. Press again to stop recording. The file will be recorded to the folder "Recordings" in the "Sounds" folder. If you wish to load this file into a module, select "Recordings" in the folder select menu, and then select the file from the file select menu.
In the "Edit" menu at the very top of your screen, there is an option for "Overdrive." Using this feature will take some judgement on your part. If you have a lot of LFO's active, particularly the filter LFO's, Overdrive will cause problems, such as slowing the responsiveness of your mouse. However, Overdrive can be beneficial for certain activities. The sequencers are more accurate in Overdrive, and pop-up menus (such as the folder and file selection menus) will not stop the audio processing when you use them.
About the Demo
The free downloadable demonstration version of Girl is functionally the same, but certain operations are limited. You can open a maximum of 3 modules, you can record for only 10 seconds, outputs other than the Sound Manager can be used for only 10 minutes, and, finally the application can be used for only 1/2 hour.
Additionally, there is a file called "Example Presets" that can help give you an easy introduction to the variety of sound alterations available with Girl. Once you have opened the application, load some sounds in the modules. Then, click on the "load" button in the Effects Preset panel of a module. Go ahead and select from the first 11 indexes to get an idea of some ways to use the effects to process sounds. Enjoy!