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Time Surface

The Time Surface is the name we use for the time-domain synthesis unit in Cycle. It's roughly equivalent to a multi-layered oscillator.

There are two windows that visualize different perspectives of the Time Surface.


Playback Bar

The playback bar is the timeline of the sound. It has a playhead that sets the graphic position in time by left-dragging with the mouse.

The waveshape editor and spectrum are views of the sound's waveshape and harmonic spectrum at the time set here.

Note that for brevity, we say 'time' yet the playback bar will set the position of whatever is the currently viewed morphing axis (time is the default).

Another function of the Playback Bar is to set the view depth. This is done by right clicking on the bar a distance away from the playhead -- the depth will be the space between the two.

The view depth does two things: it sets how much of the rendered waveform is visible in the waveshape editor's visualization and it can be used as part of the workflow process of creating vertex paths.


When you zoom in or out on either the spectrogram or waveform surface, Cycle will keep the time axis of each panel synchronized, including the envelope panel.

This alignment provides a more intuitive visual feedback on the changes you're making when you edit an envelope.

To zoom to the attack part of the envelope, click the button left of the playback bar. Each time this button is clicked, the panel will zoom in by a factor of 5.

To zoom back out, click the button.

Vertex Params

This window shows the values of selected vertices. If more than one vertex is selected, each slider shows the average parameter value of the group.

Use these sliders to move groups of vertices or adjust a parameter of all of them at once.

Note that this is a workflow area and not connected with any audio processing, so these sliders aren't automable parameters.

Each vertex can have up to 6 parameters, if they're in a morphing domain, but in all areas with curves the vertices have at least an x- and y-position and a curve-sharpness value:

The position along the time morphing range.

The position along the Red morphing range.

The position along the Blue morphing range.

The x-position in 2D editors.

The y-position in 2D editors.

Sharpness of the curve at this node.

(Not a parameter. This is used to replace the shape of the curve with a deformer.)

Menu Bar

Morph Panel

In Cycle, the defining structure of the sound has multiple dimensions it can morph over. These morphing ranges are by default time, key scale, and modulation.

The general term for each respectively is Yellow, Red, and Blue, because they can be remapped to multiple modulation sources.

The sliders in this panel set the position within that morphing space used to render visualizations of the sound.

Also, the sliders are an important part of the workflow of Cycle - the slider positions are used in the proximity-selection of vertices.



On the console you can see some useful context information from whereabouts on the UI the mouse cursor is.

At the right are the keyboard shortcuts and the mouse buttons that are applicable to the hovered area.

Mesh Selector

The Mesh Selector is a popup menu with a list of mesh presets.

When you hover over an item in the menu, the associated editor previews the contents of that mesh.

The menu also lets you save the current mesh data to a preset. Optionally you may provide a folder for the file to save into.

You may copy and paste mesh files if they are compatible. For example, you cannot copy an impulse response mesh file to the Spectrum Filter because they have different structure. However, you can copy and paste between the Spectrum Filter and Time Surface.

Spectrum Filter

The Spectrum Filter is the filtering and spectral-additive synthesis unit of Cycle.

Like the Time Surface, this component has two editors that show different perspectives of the spectral information.


Master Controls

Volume - the overall gain of the preset with a +-18dB range.

Octave - the octave offset of the preset.

Duration - the duration of the preset.


Player Mode

Collapsed Mode

Unified Mode

The entire UI is resizable to best fit different sized screens.

To resize, click the 'restore' icon in standalone mode or the windowing icon on the upper right, in plugin mode.

Internal Resizing

Preset Browser

The preset browser allows you to catalogue presets and easily find the one preset you're looking for.

Multi-keyword search

The search function updates the preset list live. It looks at all text fields including author, preset pack, preset name, and the tags. So you can narrow down the list to any of these, removing the need for separating preset into folders.

Preset Tagging

In the Save As... dialogue, there's a field for entering tags for the new preset.

Also, the browser window's tags field is editable so when you select a preset you can adjust the tags by clicking the field and changing the text. In the text field tags are comma-separated.

Browsing, downloading presets

The browser lets you view a list of community presets. Presets that you have already downloaded are excluded from this list.

Preset Sharing

A click to the upload button uploads the preset to the Amaranth Audio server, making it available to the community.


You can rate presets to keep track of your favourites.

Keyboard Shortcuts

1 .. 9

highlight the nth row in the browser


loads the selected preset


dismiss the browser