Introduction [WIP]

Who is this book for?

This book is for anyone interested in SunVox, the music studio app you can use on almost any computer.

Here are some of the types of people who might enjoy this book:

Beginner musicians
Learn about music by using SunVox to compose songs using simple techniques. As you progress, you can add more layers and sounds to your projects.
Professional musicians
Use SunVox by itself to create your next masterpiece, or connect it to the rest of your music studio.
Sound designers
Create and discover exciting new timbres using SunVox’s powerful audio engine. Complex synths and effects can be bundled into easy-to-use MetaModules, making them easy to organize and easy to share with others.
Developers of apps and games
Embed SunVox music and sound effects into your next game using the royalty-free SunVox DLL. Develop
Chiptune and tracker enthusiasts
If you already know what trackers are, and like the sound of chiptunes, enjoy SunVox’s blend of a familiar tracker interface and modern synthesis tools.

What is SunVox?

From the SunVox home page:

SunVox is a small, fast and powerful modular synthesizer with pattern-based sequencer (tracker). It is a tool for those people who like to compose music wherever they are, whenever they wish. On any device. SunVox is available for Windows, OS X, Linux, Maemo, Meego, Raspberry Pi, Windows Mobile (WindowsCE), PalmOS, iOS and Android.

What is a modular synthesizer?

Synthesizers, or synths, are electronic instruments that receives musical notes and other commands, transform them into sounds, and send out audio signals.

SunVox is a modular synthesizer, a synth that is composed of smaller components that can be easily patched (connected and disconnected from each other) to create complex sounds.

(In contrast, non-modular synths usually have parameters you can change, but do not allow rearranging their internal structures.)

What is a pattern-based sequencer?

Sequencers send a pre-programmed notes and other commands to synthesizers. The notes and commands are sent at precise times, following the tempo of the music being played.

SunVox is a pattern-based sequencer, which lets you create groups of these notes and commands. Each of these groups is called a pattern. This makes it easy to rearrange music, and to repeat sections more than once.

What is a tracker?

SunVox offers a tracker interface, which is a way of programming sequencer patterns by placing notes and commands into a grid of tracks and lines.

Tracks are arranged horizontally, and lines are arranged vertically. As a pattern plays, the sequencer steps through each line in the pattern, following the current tempo.

The currently-playing line of a pattern is then scanned for notes and commands in each track. Everything on that line is then sent to synthesizer modules, and played back at the same time.

What makes SunVox unique compared to similar apps?

  • SunVox is one of the lowest-priced modular synths on the market. It’s free on most supported platforms, and very affordable on others.
  • The powerful timeline interface used to arrange patterns is unlike any other
  • You can create, share, and modify complex module setups using MetaModules.
  • It uses the same interface on all platforms. Learn SunVox concepts once, then use the same and techniques and project files on any supported platform.
  • For developers, a royalty-free DLL is available. You can embed SunVox music and sound effects into your app.

How to read this book

Beginners may want to read the book sequentially, to build up an understanding of basic concepts before moving to more advanced topics.

Intermediate and expert-level SunVox users may want to skip some of the basics and jump to more advanced topics right away, or use this book as a reference manual.

To help you get the most from the book regardless of how you read it, we’ll offer images, animated GIFs, diagrams, links to other sections, audio samples, and downloadable SunVox projects.

Conventions used in this book

(to be written)


Contributors to this page

Author(s)
Matthew Scott