« User Interface

Time Surface



The Time Surface is the name we use for the time-domain synthesis unit in Cycle. It's a multilayered shape-morphing oscillator.

There are two windows that visualize different perspectives of the Time Surface. One is called the Waveform Surface and shows the entire signal from start to end.

The other is the Waveshape Editor and shows a single cycle at a particular time (the time set by the playhead of the playback bar.

On this page:

Waveform Surface

This area is another view of the same curve wireframe and signal you see in the waveshape editor.

It shows what the waveform looks like if you arrange the cycles of the signal into columns and look down from above, like a topographical map. In this way you can see how the waveshape evolves.

See the exact visualization process here.

1. Background
2. Waveform surface visualization
3. Vertex Editor showing node paths along a morphing range.

Waveform Surface Visualization

This is how the signal is represented in the waveform surface. Cycles are juxtaposed in columns as if you were looking down from above.

This perspective shows all of the signal's data from beginning to end of the currently viewed morphing range.

Light colours corresponds to positive parts of the waveform while dark colour corresponds to the negative parts i.e. a trough.

Waveshape Editor

This area is where the oscillator's waveshapes are created. Only one layer's waveshape curve is visible and editable at a time.

1. Background
2. Waveform waterfall visualization
3. Vertex / Curve Editor

Waveshape Editor Visualization

This is how the signal is represented in the waveshape editor. The future cycles of the processed signal are shown receding into the depth of the screen. The purpose is to see what effect the various processing stages of Cycle have on the signal and also how the signal's waveshape changes with time.

By changing the view depth (on the Playback Bar, the time range of the signal shown is adjusted. Often when the signal is too 'busy' you might want to reduce the view depth.

Layer Controls

  • Enable / disable layer.
  • Shift waveshape phase up by 90 degrees (1/4 cycle). This can be useful if a vertex path crosses the horizontal edge and becomes hard to work with. To restore back to normal phase, click it 3 more times to complete a full cycle.
  • Layer's Scratch Selector. This connects a scratch envelope to this layer and the envelope then distorts the timeline of the curve wireframe.
  • Add or remove a waveshape layer.
  • Layer selector - left drag or use scroll wheel to change the current layer. The total number of layers is shown in subscript to the right the current layer number.
  • Layer Pan. Use this to make a stereo oscillator with two layers panned to opposite sides.
  • Mesh Selector for waveshape mesh files.