mx44.2 graphic user interface, version mx44.2

Demos (versions 1 and 2) :


Mx44 (version 2 shown above) is a multichannel realtime polyphonic software synthesizer for linux, designed by Jens M. Andreasen.

Mx44 is a multichannel midi softsynth which utilizes an FM-type synthesis approach, with the basic waveform which can receive added harmonics, modulation and cross-modulation, thereby creating some interesting textures. This synth comprises 4 separate operators, all having similar controls. Operator 1 is located upper left in the GUI, operator 2 is upper right, operator 3 is lower left, operator 4, lower right. The lower right corner of each operator includes both frequency and amplitude modulation for each of the four sections.

Mx44 does not have monophonic capability or portamento, but the intonation slider provides "slide" control to the note-on value, a very useful function. The newer version (version Mx44.2) includes microtuning capability, and operator (oscillator) settings can be copied and pasted. There are two patch blocks with 64 slots each. The newer version doesn't have any presets, so the easiest way to get started is probably to turn down the volume to zero on three of the operators, and just focus on the remaining operator until you get a sound to work with. There is an LFO section on the right side of the GUI that has two separately-controllable LFOs, with 2 LFO time sliders, 2 LFO rate sliders and 2 LFO amount sliders.

This synthesis approach is a bit more "hit and miss" than the standard subtractive method, where you get sounds almost immediately with any provided waveform. With Mx44, a bit of patience is required while modulating the various harmonics and modulators. They can change quite abruptly, into either really harsh or really warm tonalities. With patience, this softsynth is capable of some rather powerful sounds, particularly strings. For example, to get some interesting beating oscillations, try adjusting the two sustain loop time and two sustain loop level sliders. The frequency multiplyer is also useful. (If it's set to zero the operator might not be audible at all.)

Patches are saved by to a file (the older version's file is called "mx41patch"). To save a preset, click the "save" button, then give the preset a name, select the slot number, then click the "save" button again. The patch file will update when Mx44 is quit.

I made a short video to give a quick demonstration of the various parameters of just one operator. The controller names can be seen as you mouseover each one, and is shown in the box to the right of the patch save area. The video can be seen here:

Mx44 on YouTube

Below is a "map and key" with the names of most of the controls. The layout is the same for each of the four operators.

guide to mx44 graphic interface

A: Bias breakpoint. Directly linked to (B) and (C). B: Bias low. C: Bias high. D: Release time 2. E: Release time 1. F: Sustainloop time 2. G: Sustainloop time 1. H: Release level 1. I: Intonation amount. Controls pitch movement to the played key. If set to the center, no pitch slide occurs. J: Intonation decay. Controls speed of the pitch slide (I). K: Frequency multiplyer. L: Frequency offset. M: Phase modulation: OP 1. N: Amplitude modulation: OP 1. O: Phase modulation: OP 2. P: Amplitude modulation: OP 2. Q: Phase modulation: OP 3. R: Amplitude modulation: OP 3. S: Phase modulation: OP 4. T: Amplitude modulation: OP 4. U: Main oscillator volume output. V: Output panning. W: Start level. X: Phase init. Y: Phase velocity/keyfollow. Z: Velocity sensitivity. AA: Attack time 1. Works in conjunction with attack level 1 (EE). BB: Attack time 2. Works in conjunction with attack level 2 (FF). CC: Attack time 3. Works in conjunction with attack level 3 (GG). DD: Attack time 4. EE: Attack level 1. FF: Attack level 2. GG: Attack level 3. HH: Sustainloop level 1. II: Sustain loop level 2. JJ: Attack/release keyfollow. KK: Sustainloop keyfollow. LL: Attacktime velocity follow. MM: Phasing Key Follow NN: Modulation wheel selector OO: Envelope Wave Shaping PP and QQ: Detuning. First radio button produces only the root (played) note; the second button produces the root plus an octave; the third produces root plus fifth above octave; fourth produces root plus two octaves; the next four buttons add the major third, perfect fifth, dominant seventh, and the last button produces root plus 3rd octave. RR: Internal Detune SS: Cross Modulation and Lowpass selectors


Mx44 Presets A few starter presets I made on the older version. Remember to make a backup of your own preset file (located in your home directory's ".mx44" folder) before overwriting it with this one.