NEXUS2 reference

Introduction

Welcome! Thanks for purchasing NEXUS2, a flexible high-quality instrument with a comprehensive sound library, a powerful patch management system, and a streamlined interface that makes it easy to customize sounds to taste in a matter of seconds.

NEXUS2 is a hybrid virtual analog synthesizer with sample playback capabilities. This means that NEXUS2 sounds can utilize alias-free waveforms generated in real time alongside samples of high-end hardware synthesizers and real acoustic instruments. These sounds are shaped with NEXUS2's built-in filters, effects, and modulators to produce unique, complex sounds which are remarkably light on your CPU. Dive into the world of NEXUS2 and experience a totally new dimension of sound.

Specifications and Features

  • Over 13 GB library of high quality multisamples
  • Eight alias-free classic waveforms
  • Over 2,250 factory presets covering all popular genres
  • Four different filter types with flexible envelopes
  • Two freely editable Insert Effects and two Master Effects
  • Freely programmable 32-step arpeggiator with note transpose
  • Freely programmable 32-step stereo trance gate
  • Flexible delay with adjustable modulation
  • Production-quality reverb (licensed from ArtsAcoustic)
  • Zero latency convolution reverb, for extreme realism
  • Sound library can be upgraded via expansions

The Basics

Loading Nexus

NEXUS2 works with any DAW that supports the VSTi or Audio Unit plug-in formats, and with Pro Tools 7.3 or greater (RTAS and AAX).

To use NEXUS2, load it into a track in your DAW just like you would any other virtual instrument. NEXUS2 receives on all 16 MIDI channels simultaneously, so there's no need to set a MIDI channel. If you want to load more than one NEXUS2 sound, add an additional instance of NEXUS2 to a new track.

Interface

The NEXUS2 interface has three main components:

The Front Panel contains knobs for making simple adjustments to presets. (It consists of six sections: Filter Modifier, Amp Modifier, Master Filter, Delay, Reverb, and Output).

The Display is used for loading presets and making detailed edits to presets.

Click the Vengeance / reFX logos to reach the Rear Panel. The Rear Panel is used for setting a handful of advanced preferences.

Loading a Sound

The Display's default view is the Library, an easy-to-use browser for navigating NEXUS2 presets. Select a Category on the left, then double-click the preset you want to load in the Preset List on the right. That's it!

Tip

You can navigate the Preset List from your computer keyboard using the up and down arrow keys. After highlighting the preset you want to load, press the right arrow key to load it.

Tip

To enlarge the text in the Category List and Preset List, click on the category or preset headings.

Adjusting Sounds

NEXUS2 sounds can also be customized quickly using the knobs on the the Front Panel. For advanced editing, you will need to edit parameters found in the the Display (see below).

Regardless of what you are doing with NEXUS, here are a handful of interface tips that will make your life easier:

  • To reset a control to its default value, hold down Ctrl while clicking on it.
    A middle click will do the same.
  • To make fine adjustments, hold down Shift while dragging the control or use the right mouse button to initiate the adjusment.
  • Numeric values can be changed by dragging them vertically as if they were faders, or by double-clicking on them, then typing in a value and pressing Enter or Return.
  • NEXUS2 features a variety of right-click context menus which contain all sorts of useful commands. As you explore NEXUS2, make sure to right-click as you go!

The Front Panel

The Front Panel consists of two Modifier sections which are used for making global adjustments to filter and amplitude settings. It also contains three effect sections, and a master Output control for adjusting the volume.

Modifiers

The Front Panel has two Modifier sections:

  • Filter Modifier: Adjust cutoff, resonance, and basic filter envelope settings.
  • Amp Modifier: Adjust panning and basic volume envelope settings.

By default, all modifier controls are set to their neutral (12 o'clock) position. In this state, the preset will play exactly as it was programmed. When these knobs are moved from their default position, they increase or decrease values relative to their programmed settings.

For example, moving the Attack (atk) knob to the right will make notes fade in more slowly, while moving it to the left will decrease the fade time. However, if the preset has been programmed such that the attack is already at it's minimum, moving the knob to the left will have no effect.

Front Panel Effects

The Front Panel contains three effect sections:

  • Master Filter: An additional filter at the output stage. Off by default - factory presets typically do not include settings for the Master Filter.
  • Delay: A flexible echo effect. Most factory presets include delay settings.
  • Reverb: A reverb effect. Most factory presets include reverb settings.

Tip

If you want to turn effects off, and have them stay off while you browse different presets, right-click on the Delay or Reverb headings/label on the Front Panel, and select 'global off' from the context menu.

Output

A master volume control and level meter for monitoring output levels. For optimal sound quality, it's best to avoid hitting the red LED at the top of the meter. NEXUS2 has a built in limiter to prevent clipping, so occasionally hitting the red at the top of the meter is just fine. The master volume setting is saved with the preset.

The Display

The Display has eight different views. Select a view using the buttons located to the left and right of the display.

Below you will find brief descriptions of each view. (Consult UNDER THE HOOD for an explanation of every parameter.) Bear in mind that there are two areas at the bottom of the Display which are visible in all eight views:

  • Name/Data Area: displays the preset name. (Double-click to rename, right-click to save.) When knobs on the Front Panel are turned, this becomes the Data Area displaying detailed information about the parameter being adjusted.
  • Info Area: click on the info heading to cycle through four views: Info, Author, Memory, and Rating.

Library (library)

Used for loading, saving, renaming, deleting and managing presets.

Modulation (mod)

Used to configure modulations such as vibrato and portamento, create routings with the modulation matrix, and adjust LFO settings.

Arpeggiator (arp)

Used to edit arpeggiator patterns, and load arpeggiator presets.

Trance Gate (tg)

The Trance Gate is a powerful sequenced audio gate for turning sustained notes into rhythmic patterns. Use this view to edit patterns or load preset patterns.

Frequency (freq)

Used for analysis of sounds with an FFT analyzer, oscilloscope, and a vector scope.

Mixer (mix)

The deepest of all the views in the Display, the Mixer is used to adjust NEXUS2's broad array of effects, and tweak the individual layers and oscillators of a sound.

Live Update (live)

News, updates, expansions, skins and more!

System (sys)

Used to adjust global settings and import expansions.

Under the Hood

NEXUS2 is built on a powerful synthesis engine featuring all the oscillators, filters, modulators and effects you would expect in a modern virtual instrument. What makes NEXUS2 different is the perfect balance it strikes between flexibility and simplicity. Instead of presenting page after page of baffling parameters, NEXUS2 makes it easy to get to the most important parameters instantly, providing a great degree of editing potential with a minimum of complexity.

If you want to become an expert at editing NEXUS2 patches, you will need to understand a bit about how sounds are constructed, and how the signal flows. Below you will find information on the basic concepts.

Every sound starts out with at least one oscillator. An oscillator can be a generated waveform (such as sine or square), or a mulitsample. NEXUS2 has 64 oscillators.

An oscillator's output is routed into one or more layers where it is filtered, processed with layer effects, and shaped with envelopes. Layers are very flexible. For example, a single sawtooth wave could be routed into multiple layers for parallel processing, or a 16 oscillator patch could utilize four layers, each containing four oscillators.

Once the layers are summed together, the signal is passed through the effects block which consists of two insert effects, followed by an EQ, a convolution reverb, and two master effects.

After all of this processing has occured, the signal is sent to the Front Panel effects: Master Filter, Delay and Reverb. Before the final output, the signal passes through a limiter to prevent peaks from going above 0dB.

Filter Modifier

As mentioned in the previous section, each layer of a NEXUS2 sound has its own filter and filter envelope. The Filter Modifier section provides a way to globally adjust the filter settings of all layers simultaneously.

At the neutral position (12 o'clock), all filters and filter envelopes perform exactly as programmed in the preset. When a knob is turned clockwise, the values are scaled upwards, reaching their maximum values at the far right position. Moving a knob counterclockwise scales values downwards, with values for all layers being set to the minimum at the far left.

On/Off (on)

Click this button to switch the Filter Modifier section on or off. When switched off, all modifications to the filter are disabled, and the patch plays back as it was originally programmed. This is handy for A/B comparison while adjusting Filter Modifier knobs.

Cutoff (cutoff)

This knob modifies the cutoff frequency of each layer's filter stage.

Resonance (res)

This knob modifies the resonance of each layer's filter stage.

Envelope Amount (env)

This knob determines the amount of filter envelope modulation applied to the cutoff frequency. At the far left position, filter envelope modulation is disabled, and the following controls (Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release) have no effect.

Attack (atk)

This knob modifies the attack time of each layer's filter envelope. Move knob to the right to increase the attack time, and left to decrease it.

Decay (dec)

This knob modifies the decay time of each layer's filter envelope. Move knob to the right to increase the decay time, and left to decrease it.

Sustain (sus)

This knob modifies the sustain level of each layer's filter envelope. Move knob to the right to increase the sustain level, and left to decrease it.

Release (rel)

This knob modifies the release time of each layer's filter envelope. Move knob to the right to increase the release time, and left to decrease it.

Amp Modifier

Each layer of a sound has its own amplifier envelope (also known as a volume envelope), and its own panning (left/right balance). The Amp Modifier section allows you to globally adjust the volume envelope and panning for all layers simultaneously.

When a knob is turned clockwise, the values are scaled upwards, reaching their maximum values at the far right position. Moving a knob counterclockwise scales values downwards until they reach their minimum value at the far left position.

On/Off (on)

Click this button to switch the Amp Modifier section on or off. When switched off, all modifications to volume and panning are disabled, and the patch plays back as it was originally programmed. This is handy for A/B comparison while adjusting the Amp Modifier knobs.

Panorama (pan)

This knob modifies the pan position (left/right balance) of all layers. Turning the knob clockwise moves all layers towards the right from their initial position, while turning the knob counterclockwise moves all layers towards the left side of the stereo image.

Spike (spike)

Spike creates a short volume "spike" during the first three milliseconds of a note's duration. Move this knob to the right to raise the level of the spike and create a punchier, more percussive attack. If a spike has been programmed into the sound, move the knob left to soften the attack.

Spread (spread)

Spread switches the pan position from one note to the next. Turn the knob to the right to increase the width of the alternating panning. If spread has been programmed into the sound, move the knob to the left to decrease the width.

Attack (atk)

This knob modifies the attack time of each layer's volume envelope. Move knob to the right to increase the attack time, and left to decrease it.

Decay (dec)

This knob modifies the decay time of each layer's volume envelope. Move knob to the right to increase the decay time, and left to decrease it.

Sustain (sus)

This knob modifies the sustain level of each layer's volume envelope. Move knob to the right to increase the sustain level, and left to decrease it.

Release (rel)

This knob modifies the release time of each layer's volume envelope. Move knob to the right to increase the release time, and left to decrease it.

Master Filter

The Master Filter processes the signal after all layer-level filters and effects.

This filter is useful for final shaping of the overall sound, and for automating filter sweeps. It is completely independent of the Filter Modifier section, and very easy to use. If you are looking for the quickest way to apply a filter tweak to a NEXUS2 preset, the Master Filter is a great place to begin.

On/Off (on)

This button is used to activate or deactivate the Master Filter. By default, the Master Filter is switched off.

Cutoff (cutoff)

This knob controls the filter's cutoff-the frequency at which it begins to attenuate frequenices.

Resonance (res)

This knob adjusts how much the frequencies around the cutoff are boosted. Especially with a high Slope setting, high values can result in an intense "whistling" or "ringing" sound.

Type (type)

The Master Filter can be set to one of four different filter types:

  • LP (lowpass): frequencies above the cutoff frequency are attenuated.
  • HP (highpass): frequencies below the cutoff frequency are attenuated.
  • BP (bandpass): frequencies above and below the cutoff frequency are attenuated.
  • NTCH (notch): the cutoff frequency, and the frequencies immediately around it are attenuated.

Use the type button to cycle through the types, or click directly on a type to select it.

Slope (slope)

The Master Filter can be set to one of four different filter types:

Front Panel Delay

NEXUS2 features a powerful delay effect on the Front Panel. It processes the signal after the Master Filter, and is handy for adding delay to the sound as a whole.

The Front Panel Delay has multiple modes for different types of delay, and offers modulation and filtering for adding movement and vibe to the repeats.

Front Panel Delay settings are stored with the preset. To prevent delay settings from being loaded with the preset, right-click on the Delay label above the controls and select "locked" from the context menu. Alternately, you can completely disable the delay by selecting "global off" instead.

Note

If the Front Panel Delay is activated, all layer delays are deactivated. Front Panel Delay and layer delays can not be used simultaneously. (For more information on layer delays, refer to layers in the Mixer)

On/Off (on)

This button activates or deactivates the delay effect.

Delay Type (type)

The Front Panel Delay can be set to one of four different types:

  • Mono: a simple mono delay which mixes left and right together.
  • Stereo: a simple stereo delay. Both channels are processed independtly
  • Cross: the left and right channels are swapped at each repeat. This type is most useful for presets which produce audibly different output in the left and right channels.
  • Ping Pong (pngpg): the repeats alternate between the left and right channels. This type produces the widest and most obvious stereo effect.

Click on type to cycle through the delay types, or click directly on a type to select it.

Dry/Wet Mix (mix)

Use this knob to adjust how much delay is heard. It adjusts the ratio of dry (unprocessed) signal to wet (delayed) signal. At the 12 o'clock position (50/50) the dry and wet signals are equal. At the far left, the delay is off completely; at the far right, none of the unprocessed signal is heard.

Modulation (mod)

This knob adjusts the amount that the delay time is modulated by the delay's built-in LFO. As the delay time is modulated, the pitch of the repeats changes. Use low values for subtle warmth, and high values for vibrato and chorus-type effects.

Delay Time (time)

This knob adjusts the amount of time between the repeats. Times are automatically synchronized to your host application, and range from 1/32 notes to dotted whole notes.

As you adjust the delay time, watch the Data Area in the display to see the exact value.

  • Standard durations are notated as simple fraction (1/8).
  • Triplet durations include a "T" after the fraction (1/8T).
  • Dotted durations include a "D" after the fraction (1/8D).

Feedback (f-back)

This knob adjusts the feedback amount. In practice, this determines the number of repeats before the delay fades to silence.

Low Cut (lo-cut)

The cutoff frequency of a highpass filter that processes the repeats. When set to a position other than the default (far left), each repeat gets progressively thinner as the signal is repeatedly passed through the filter.

High Cut (hi-cut)

The cutoff frequency of a lowpass filter that processes the repeats. When set to a position other than the default (far right), each repeat gets progressively darker (much like an analog or tape delay) as the signal is repeatedly passed through the filter.

Front Panel Reverb

NEXUS2 includes a high-end reverb effect licensed from Arts Acoustic. It is unsurpassed in the world of virtual instruments-you will not find a better quality built-in reverb anywhere.

The Front Panel Reverb processes the signal after the Front Panel Delay. It features three reverb types, and is highly customizable with a simple set of controls.

Front Panel Reverb settings are stored with the preset. To prevent reverb settings from being loaded with the preset, right-click on the Reverb label above the controls and select "locked" from the context menu. Alternately, you can completely disable reverb by selecting "global off" instead.

On/Off (on)

This button activates or deactivates the reverb effect.

Reverb Type (type)

Use this button to select one of three reverb algorithms:

  • Room: short to medium reverbs.
  • Hall: longer, more complex reverbs.
  • Arena: long, wide, deep sounding reverbs.

Use the type button to cycle through the reverb types, or click directly on a reverb type to select it.

Dry/Wet Mix (mix)

Use this knob to adjust how much reverb is heard. It adjusts the ratio of the dry (unprocessed) signal to the wet (reverb) signal. At the 12 o'clock position (50/50) the dry and wet levels are equal. At the far left, the reverb is off completely; at the far right, none of the unprocessed signal is heard.

Modulation (mod)

This knob adjusts how much the reverb time is modulated by a built-in LFO. Modulation introduces subtle pitch changes, creating additional movement and depth.

Predelay (pre-dly)

This knob adjusts the amount of time before the reverb signal is heard. Longer predelay settings create the perception of a larger space, and can help preserve the clarity of the original signal when long decay times are used.

Decay Time (dec)

This knob adjusts the reverb's decay-how long it takes for the reverb tail to fade to silence.

Low Cut (lo-cut)

Use this knob to remove low frequencies from the reverb tail. As the knob is turned clockwise from its default position (far left), it raises the cutoff frequency of a highpass filter that processes the reverb signal.

High Cut (hi-cut)

Use this knob to remove high frequencies from the reverb tail. As the knob is turned counterclockwise from its default position (far right), it lowers the cutoff frequency of a lowpass filter that processes the reverb signal.

The Display

The Display is where detailed information about presets is viewed and edited. There are eight different views which are used to access various parameters.

In all eight views, the bottom of the Display contains the Name/Data Area and the Info Area.

Name/Data Area

Displays the current preset name. When front panel knobs are touched, this area temporarily updates to display the name and value of the parameter being modified.

Double-click in the Name Area to rename a preset, and press Return on your computer keyboard to confirm the new name, or Esc to cancel renaming.

Info Area

In the lower right corner is the Info Area, which has four different views: Info, Memory, Author, and Rating. Click on the label at the top of this area to switch views.

  • Info: Shows the CPU usage and number of voices currently playing.
  • Memory: Shows the amount of memory used by the preset.
  • Author: Shows the name of the sound designer who created the preset.
  • Rating: Shows a rating of zero to five stars (zero by default). For information on creating ratings, see Ratings.

Library

Browsing and Loading

The Library in NEXUS2 is divided into two columns. The column on the left is the Category List. A Category is like a folder that contains a certain type of sound. Select a category to display its contents in the Preset List on the right.

Once you have selected a Category, there are four ways of loading a preset:

  • Double-click a preset.
  • Use the Up and Down arrows on your computer keyboard to navigate to a preset, then press the Right arrow key to load it.
  • Use the Previous/Next buttons located below the Preset List (shown below).
  • Use MIDI CC# 96 and MIDI CC# 97

Searching

Sometimes you will need a more flexible way of finding presets that goes beyond category browsing. For example, maybe you want to find every preset with "Bass" in the name, or every preset that you have given a four-star rating (see ORGANIZING PRESETS for more about ratings). Fortunately, NEXUS2 has one of the most powerful search features around.

To search, right-click in the Category List and select new 'search' from the context menu. (It does not matter what Category you click on when you do this.)

In the field that appears, type your search term and press Return. The search results will appear in the Preset List on the right. There are a variety of ways to search:

  • Search by name: type in the text you are looking for. For example, type bass to find all presets with "bass" in the name.
  • Fuzzy Search by name: type the text you are looking for in quotes. For example, type "bass" to find presets that are similar. e.g. "bass" would also find "brass" or "buss".
  • Search by prefix: type a two-letter NEXUS2 prefix (see Appendix for a full list of prefixes) to find all presets of a given type. For example, type AR to find all arpeggio presets in all categories.

The search criterion "-" allows you to search for characters that must be at the beginning of each name.

  • Search by rating: type the minimum number of stars you want to find. For example, a search for *** would show only presets with three or more stars.
  • Search by name and rating: after your search term, type a space followed by the minimum number of stars. For example, type bass *** to show only presets with "bass" in the name and a rating of three or more stars.

Saving and Organizing

To save a preset, right-click in the Name Area and select save preset from the context menu.

If the Overwrite Warning dialog box appears, this means that the preset you are about to save will replace an existing preset. It is fine to do this if you want, but it is sometimes preferable to save a new version and keep the original version in tact.

To save a new version of the preset, first give it a new name. Double-click in the Name Area and type in the new name. Then, right-click in the Name area and select save preset from the context menu. For example, if you were to load the "AR Broken Square" preset, rename it to "AR Broken Square 2," and then save it, you would see this in the preset list:

Using Categories

NEXUS2 allows you to save presets into existing categories of your choice, or to create. To create new categories of your own. To create a new Category, right-click in the Category List and select new from the context menu. Then, type in a new Category name and press Return.

When you save a preset, it is automatically saved into the currently selected Category. Therefore, you must select a Category before saving a preset. For example, let us say you have tweaked the "Crushed Bass" sound to use it as a lead. To save the new version into the "Dance Leads" category:

  1. Rename the preset (i.e "Crushed Lead")
  2. Select "Dance Leads" in the Category List
  3. Save the preset

Voila! You now have a new preset in a different Category. Be aware that, strictly speaking, you do not have to rename the preset; saving the preset into a new Category will prevent the original from being overwritten. However, this can cause confusion so this practice is not recommended.

Favorites

Favorites folders are handy for quickly organizing presets you like. Unlike Category folders, Favorites folders contain links to existing preset files. This means you can add a preset to a Favorites folder without creating a new copy of it. A single preset can be added to multiple Favorites folders if you choose.

To create a new Favorites folder, right-click in the Category List and select new 'favorites' from the context menu. Type in a name for the Favorites folder (i.e. "Fat Basses") and press Return. You can create a maximum of eight Favorites folders.

Add presets to Favorites folder by right-clicking on the preset you want to add, then selecting a Favorites folder from the context menu.

Rating

In addition to Categories and Favorites, NEXUS2 offers a five-star rating system to help you keep track of presets you like. Once you have rated some presets, you can search by rating to find them quickly.

By default, all presets have zero stars. To give a preset a rating, click the heading at the top of the Info Area until it reads Rating. Click in the row of stars to assign a rating of one to five stars.

For information on how to search by rating, see SEARCHING.

Modulation

Vibrato Settings

NEXUS2 has a few simple settings that allow you to enable vibrato (pitch modulation) for any sound.

Vibrato Source (vib-source)

The vibrato's depth is controlled by the modulation wheel, aftertouch, or both. If no Vibrato Source is selected, no vibrato will be heard. Choose one of the following options:

  • modwheel: modulation wheel messages (MIDI CC# 1) control vibrato depth.
  • aftertouch: aftertouch controls vibrato depth.
  • mw + at: modulation wheel and aftertouch control vibrato depth.

Vibrato Speed (vib-speed)

Vibrato Speed adjusts the rate of the pitch modulation.

Vibrato Depth (vib-depth)

Vibrato Depth sets the maximum amount of pitch modulation-the amount of modulation that will occur when the Vibrato Source (see above) is at its maximum.

Velocity

As you load different presets, you will find that some change volume in response to how hard a MIDI note is struck while others remain at a fairly constant volume regardless of how hard you play. The Velocity->Volume setting lets you adjust this behavior.

Velocity->Volume (vel-volume)

Much like the Modifier knobs on the Front Panel, this parameter makes relative changes to a preset's programmed settings. At zero, the preset plays exactly as programmed. When moved to the right (positive values) the sound's volume becomes increasingly sensitive to velocity.

When moved to the left (negative values), the relationship of velocity to volume is inverted, with lower velocity notes becoming louder than high velocity notes.

Pitch Blend

Most MIDI controllers have a pitch wheel, touchstrip, or joystick used to send pitch bend data. The settings explained below control how much the pitch of NEXUS2 will bend in response to this data.

pb-range- (Pitch Bend Range Minimum)

The number of semitones the pitch is lowered when the pitch wheel is at its minimum value.

pb-range+ (Pitch Bend Range Maximum)

The number of semitones the pitch is increased when the pitch wheel is at its maximum position.

pb-speed (Pitch Bend Speed)

The amount of smoothing that is applied to coarse pitch bend data (sent by certain controllers). At zero (the default), maximum smoothing is applied. This works well for most circumstances. As the value is increased, less smoothing is applied. At 127, the pitch bend data from the controller is used as-is, without any smoothing.

Portamento

When portamento (sometimes called glide) is enabled, the pitch of each note slides into the next.

port-mode (Portamento Mode)

To enable portamento, select one of the three portamento modes. Select off to disable portamento.

  • ply: polyphonic portamento
  • trg: monophonic portamento. Pitch glide only occurs for overlapping notes. Envelopes are re-triggered for each note that is played
  • lgt: legato monophonic portamento. Pitch glide only occurs for overlapping notes. Envelopes are not re-triggered for overlapping notes. This is the mode to use for classic monosynth glide

port-speed (Portamento Speed)

The length of time it takes for one note to glide into the next when portamento is enabled. Portamento Speed can synchronized to the host tempo, from 64th notes (1/16) to dotted whole notes (1/1D), or set to instant which provides the fastest pitch glides regardless of tempo.

Modulation Matrix

By default, the right half of the Modulation view offers advanced modulation routings. (It can also be switched to display LFO settings. See LFO for more information.)

The Modulation Matrix is divided into three columns.

  • Modulation Source: A standard MIDI control message, host automation, or a NEXUS2 LFO.
  • Modulation Amount: A bipolar value indicating how much modulation should be applied to the Modulation Destination.
  • Modulation Destination: A NEXUS2 parameter, such as filter cutoff, oscillator pitch, or reverb decay.

The Modulation Matrix has ten rows. Each row is an individual modulation routing consisting of a source, an amount and a destination. Therefore, NEXUS2 allows a total of ten custom modulation routings.

Modulation Sources

Available modulation sources are: Modwheel (MW+, -MW), Aftertouch (AT+, -AT), Pitch Bend (PB), Midi CC (control change), host-automation (an alternative to Midi CC) and the two LFOs.

source description
--- none
mw+ mod-wheel
-mw inverted mod-wheel
at+ after-touch
-at inverted after-touch
pb pitch-bend
cc16 Midi CC #16
cc17 Midi CC #17
cc18 Midi CC #18
cc19 Midi CC #19
cc20 Midi CC #20
cc21 Midi CC #21
cc22 Midi CC #22
cc23 Midi CC #23
au1 host automation source 1 (autSrc1)
au2 host automation source 2 (autSrc2)
au3 host automation source 3 (autSrc3)
au4 host automation source 4 (autSrc4)
au5 host automation source 5 (autSrc5)
au6 host automation source 6 (autSrc6)
au7 host automation source 7 (autSrc7)
au8 host automation source 8 (autSrc8)
LFO1 User LFO1
LFO2 User LFO2

LFO

NEXUS2 has two assignable LFOs. To configure them, click the lfo tab above the Modulation Matrix. The LFOs are assigned to destinations using the Modulation Matrix.

Mode

This setting determines whether or not the LFO is synchronized to the host tempo, and if it is re-triggered.

  • free: LFO speed is not synchronized to host tempo
  • syn (Sync): LFO speed is synchronized to host tempo
  • syTr (Sync Re-trigger): LFO speed is synchronized to host tempo. LFO is restarted whenever a new note is played.

Speed

Sets the speed of the LFO. In free mode, speed is represented as a numeral between 0 and 127. In either of the synced modes, speed is set to a note duration ranging from 16th note (1/16) to four bars (4/1).

Shape

Sets the waveform of the LFO.

  • sine: sine wave
  • tri: triangle wave
  • saw: sawtooth (falling) wave
  • ramp: a ramp (rising) wave
  • sqr: square wave
  • chaos: a random value is generated every cycle (sometimes called sample and hold)

Granular

Lowers the resolution of the LFO's waveform to make it more coarse. This "granularity" adds an interesting twist to typically smooth LFO modulations such as sine and triangle. At higher values, the modulated parameter will audibly jump from one value to the next instead of shifting continuously.

Arpeggiator

Use the NEXUS2 arpeggiator to turn sustained notes into melodic patterns. You can create patterns from scratch, or load one of the many Arpeggiator presets and adjust it to your taste.

Note

If the arpeggiator is activated, all layer arpeggiators are deactivated. (For more information on layers, see Mixer)

Mode

Use the power switch next to the Mode menu to enable the arpeggiator. The Mode determines the order in which sustained notes are played. In the menu, select an arpeggiator mode:

  • up: Notes are played from lowest to highest
  • down: Notes are played from highest to lowest
  • alter: Notes are played from lowest to highest, and then from highest to lowest
  • order: Notes are played in the same order they are triggered via MIDI
  • random: Notes are randomly selected from the notes being sustained
  • poly (polyphonic): All notes are played simultaneously in a rhythmic pattern. Strictly speaking, this mode does not generate arpeggios-it is useful for playing chords in a repeating rhythm.

Speed

The rate at which notes are played. The arpeggiator's speed is synchronized to the host tempo, and is set in standard note durations, from 64th notes (1/64) to dotted whole notes (1/1D).

Octaves

The number of octaves over which the arpeggio will be transposed. The transposition occurs after each full iteration of the arpeggiator pattern. For example, if mode is set to Up and octaves is set to 2, the arpeggiator will play all sustained notes from lowest to highest, then repeat them again one octave up.

Gate

The duration of notes generated by the arpeggiator. At 0 each note is a short blip, while at 127 each note sustains until the next one plays.

NOTE: When legato portamento is enabled (see port-mode), note glides will only be triggered within an arpeggio when gate is set to 127 and notes in the Pattern Editor are contiguous.

Length

The length of the arpeggio pattern. For basic arpeggiator use, this setting can be left at its default value of 16. Unless you are editing patterns using the Pattern Editor, setting it to values lower than 16 will have no effect.

When creating custom patterns (see Pattern Editor below), this property allows you to create longer patterns, shorter patterns, or patterns with an odd number of steps.

Pattern Editor

Enables the customization of arpeggiator patterns. You can extend, remove, transpose notes, and alter their velocity as well. This feature can create subtle variations or be used as a powerful built-in step sequencer to create new melodies.

Click to add notes, and right-click to remove them. Drag the right edge of a note to extend its length up to a maximum of four steps. (The steps to the right of a note must be empty before you can extend it). Alt-click on notes and drag vertically to adjust velocity.

Notes entered in the middle row sound at their original pitch. Notes in the rows above are transposed up by octaves, while notes in the rows below are transposed down. To transpose notes by intervals other than an octave, use the bottommost row (shown in a lighter gray than the other rows). Click on a step in this row and drag vertically (as if it were a fader) to select the number of semitones the note will be transposed by.

Patterns always begin playback from the first step, but can be set to loop back to a different step once the pattern has played through. Drag the Loop Start marker (the right-pointing flag) at the top of the Pattern Editor to set the loop position.

Filter

Filters incoming notes before they are passed to the arpeggiator. This feature forces the arpeggiator to play a pattern based on single-note input, even if a chord is being played. Select one of the following modes to enable filtering:

  • first: Only the first note played is passed to the arpeggiator
  • last: Only the last note played is passed to the arpeggiator
  • lowest: Only the lowest note played is passed to the arpeggiator
  • highest: Only the highest note played is passed to the arpeggiator
  • fixed (c0-c4): The note C is passed to the arpeggiator regardless of the notes played. Use the transpose function of the Pattern Editor to alter this fixed pitch.

Shuffle

Applies 16th note shuffle (sometimes called swing) to the arpeggiated pattern. As this value is increased, every other 16th note step (starting with the second) is delayed more. This change is reflected in the Pattern Editor.

Arpeggio Library

Click on the lib tab in the upper right corner of the Arpeggio view to display preset arpeggiator patterns. Double-click on a preset to load it. Click on ext to restore the Arpeggio view to its default state.

Below the Arpeggiator preset list, you will see the name of the currently loaded arpeggio preset. If no preset is loaded, this area will display the name of the currently loaded NEXUS2 preset. To save an arpeggio preset, right-click in this area and select Save Arp preset from the context menu.

Trance Gate

NEXUS2 features a powerful sequenced audio gate which is useful for turning sustained notes into rhythmic patterns. Unlike the arpeggiator, which generates patterns of MIDI notes, the Trance Gate works by rhythmically lowering and raising the volume of the audio signal.

Note

If the Trance Gate is activated, all layer Trance Gates are deactivated. (For more information on layers, see Mixer)

Mode

Use the power switch next to the mono/stereo switches to enable the Trance Gate. In mono mode, the left and right channels are gated simultaneously. In stereo mode, there are independant gates for the left and right channels. See Pattern Editor below for more information on stereo patterns.

Speed

The rate at which the Trance Gate pattern plays. Speed is synchronized to the host tempo, and can be adjusted from 64th notes (1/16) to dotted whole notes (1/1D).

Length

The number of steps in the Trance Gate pattern. Adjustable from a minimum of two steps up to a maximum of 32 steps.

Mix

Adjusts the level of the gated signal. At 127, the signal is muted when the gate is active. As the value is decreased, the effect of the Trance Gate becomes more subtle-the volume of the signal is reduced instead of muted. At zero, no effect will be heard.

Contour

The gate's fade time. As the value is decreased, the gating effect becomes less choppy as the fade time in and out of every gated step is increased. At the lowest values, the Trance Gate produces effects less like gating and more like tremolo.

Width

The stereo width of the trance gate (stereo mode only-in mono mode, this parameter has no effect). As the value is decreased from 127, the stereo effect becomes more subtle until zero is reached, at which point the gate functions in mono.

Pattern Editor

This is the heart of the Trance Gate, where rhythms are created.

A step is either "on" or "off." A dark colored step is "on"-the signal is passed through. An empty step is "off"-the gate is active and the signal is either muted or reduced in volume (depending on the mix setting). Click in a step to switch it on, or right-click to switch it off.

When mode is set to stereo, a thin line runs horizontally across the center of the Pattern Editor, dividing it into two channels (shown above). The left channel runs along the top and the right channel runs along the bottom.

Patterns always begin playback from the first step, but can be set to loop back to a different step once the pattern has played through. Drag the Loop Start marker (the right-pointing flag) at the top of the Pattern Editor to set the loop position.

Delay

The amount of time that elapses between a note being played and the Trance Gate becoming active. Delay is synchronized to the host tempo, and can be adjusted from 16th notes (1/16) to four bars (4/1).

Fade In

The amount of time that elapses between a note being played and the Trance Gate's mix value reaching its specified value. When a Fade In value is specified, the mix value starts at zero when a note is played, then fades up to its programmed value over the length of time specified in the fadein menu. Fade In is synchronized to the host tempo, and can be adjusted from 16th notes (1/16) to four bars (4/1).

Trance Gate Library

Click on the lib tab in the upper right corner of the Trance Gate view to display preset Trance Gate patterns. Double-click on a preset to load it. Click on ext to restore the Trance Gate view to its default state.

Below the preset list, you will see the name of the currently loaded trance gate preset. (If no preset is loaded, this area will display the name of the currently loaded NEXUS2 preset.) To save a trance gate preset, right-click in this area and select Save TG preset from the context menu.

Frequency Analyzer

The frequency analyzer does not process or transform audio in any way. It provides three tools for visually displaying the audio output of NEXUS2. To select a tool, click on one of the tabs running along the top of the Frequency Analyzer view.

FFT

FFT stands for Fast Fourier Transform, a method for analyzing the spectral characteristics of a sound. The X axis shows frequencies from low to high, while the Y axis shows amplitude.

Oscilliscope (osc)

The oscilloscope shows the waveform being output by NEXUS2.

Vectorscope (vec)

A vectorscope displays the difference between the left and right channels of a stereo audio signal. A mono signal is displayed as a vertical line in the center.

Additional Controls

There are a few additional controls for customizing the display in Frequency Analyzer view.

  • freeze: Click freeze to pause real time analysis and "freeze" the display in its current state. Click again to un-freeze.
  • L+R: Click L+R to reveal the channel menu. Select "left" or "right" to analyze an individual mono channel, or "L+R" to analyze both.
  • zoom x / zoom y: Use these sliders to adjust the display's horizontal (zoom x) and vertical (zoom y) zoom. The FFT display only offers vertical zoom. No zooming is available for the vectorscope.

Mixer

The Mixer view contains nine different editors for controlling NEXUS2's powerful effects blocks, and for accessing the layers and oscillators within a preset. Select an editor by clicking on one of the tabs running across the top of the Mixer view.

Effects are applied in series, in the following order: Insert Effect 1, Insert Effect 2, EQ, Impulse Reverb, Master Effect 1, Master Effect 2, Front Panel Effects, Limiter, Layer.

Effect Blocks

The Mixer contains four flexible effect blocks: two insert and two master. The effect blocks are identical to each other, except for their placement in the signal path. The parameters displayed vary depending on the effect selected. (See Effect Reference for more information on individual effects).

To enable an effect block, click the power switch to the left of the type menu. Then, click in the type menu to select one of the following effects:

  • chorus: Adds thickness and width to the sound by adding very short time-modulated delays
  • flanger: Similar to chorus, but a portion of the delayed signal is mixed back into the input creating complex resonance
  • phaser: Creates sweeping phase cancellation effects with LFO-modulated notch filters
  • ensemble: A more complex chorus effect, with a greater number of delays and more modulation.
  • degrader: A bit depth and sample rate reduction effect with an additional distortion option.
  • distortion: Creates non-linear distortion around an adjustable center frequency
  • analog phsr: A smoother sounding, more customizable version of the phaser effect
  • st enhcr: Widens or narrows the stereo field across an adjustable frequency range
  • ringmod: A modulation effect which only preserves the sum and difference of the original signal and the modulator. It produces unusual, inharmonic results.
  • gate: Reduces the gain of any audio that galls below an adjustable threshold.
  • compressor: Reduces the gain of any audio that rises above an adjustable threshold.
  • talkbox: A vowel filter with LFO modulation
  • limiter: Provides a more extreme form of compression in which the signal is never allowed to rise above a given threshold.

Insert Effect 1 & 2

Click i1 to access Insert Effect 1 or i2 for Insert Effect 2. These two effects sections are identical except for their placement in the signal path (Insert Effect 2 follows Insert Effect 1).

Effect Library

The right side of the effect editor displays effect presets. Double-click on a preset to load it.

Below the preset list, you will see the name of the currently loaded effect preset. (If no preset is loaded, this area will be blank.) To rename a preset, double-click the name. To save an effect preset, right-click in the name and select Save FX preset from the context menu.

Each preset name begins with a two-letter prefix indicating the preset type:

prefix category
AR Arpeggio
AT Atmospheres
BA Bass
BL Bells
BR Brass
CL Classical
DL Drum Loop
DR Drum Kits
FX Effects
GT Guitar
LD Lead
MA Mallet
OC Orchestra
OR Organ
PD Pad
PL Plucked
PN Piano
SQ Sequence
ST Strings
SY Synth
TG Trancegate
VO Vocals
WW Woodwind

EQ

A fully parametric four-band EQ. Each band can be enabled or disabled with the power switches at the far left.

Each band has the following parameters:

  • frq: the frequency of the band
  • gain: the amount of cut or boost
  • Q: the bandwidth of the cut or boost. lower values mean narrower bandwidths, which provide more resonant boosts and surgical cuts.
  • type: the filter type. Select one of the following:
    • lpass (lowpass): frequencies above the frq setting are attenuated
    • hpass (highpass): frequencies below the frq setting are attenuated
    • bpass (bandpass): frequencies above and below the frq setting are attenuated
    • bpass2 (narrow bandpass): frequencies above and below the frq setting are attenuated more severely than bpass
    • notch: frequencies at and around the specified frq setting are cut severely
    • peak: frequencies at and around the specified frq setting are cut or boosted
    • lshelf: frequencies below the specified frq setting are cut or boosted
    • hshelf: frequencies above the specified frq setting are cut or boosted

Impulse Reverb

Click imp to open the Impulse Reverb editor. This reverb is of a type sometimes called convolution reverb. It uses samples of real spaces and classic gear, called impulse responses. This extremely powerful method of generating reverberation allows for a wide range of reverb types that go far beyond typical halls and rooms.

  • type: Click the power button next to the type menu to enable the Impulse Reverb. Select a reverb type from the menu to determine the type of the reverb that will be produced. In this menu, you will find long decays, subtle ambiences, and some unusual effects such as reversed reverb. Each of these reverb types is based on a different impulse response, which you will see an image of in the Envelope Editor below.
  • dry: The level of the original, unprocessed signal.
  • wet: The level of the reverb.
  • pre-delay: The length of time before the reverb sounds.
  • pitch: Acts as a tone control for the reverb tail. Positive values make the reverb brighter, while negative values make it darker.
  • low-cut: The cutoff frequency of a highpass filter for the reverb. Increase the value to increase the amount of low frequency cut.
  • high-cut: The cutoff frequency of a lowpass filter for the reverb. Decrease the value to increase the amount of high frequency cut.
  • mid-boost: The amount of midrange (X kHz[24] ) cut or boost.
  • high-boost: The amount of high frequency (X kHz[25] ) cut or boost.
  • stereo %: The stereo width of the reverb. At 0%, the reverb is mono.
  • Envelope Editor: The Impulse Reverb features a flexible volume envelope that allows you to reshape the reverb to your taste. It is possible to make simple adjustments such as changing the length of the reverb tail, or unusual adjustments such as having the reverb fade in slowly. Drag the circular handles to adjust the attack, decay, sustain, and release of the envelope. The diamond-shaped handles are used to to create exponential (curved) volume changes for any of the envelope's stages.

Master Effect 1 & 2

Click m1 to access Master Effect 1 or m2 for Master Effect 2. These two effects sections are identical to the Insert Effects except for their placement in the signal path; the Master effects occur after the EQ and Impulse Reverb.

Limiter

Click lim to access the limiter. The limiter is inserted in the signal path at the final output stage to prevent clipping. It is on by default, and configured such that it will be minimally active, only preventing the loudest peaks.

  • status: Turns the limiter on or off.
  • input-gain: The volume of the signal before it is fed into the limiter.
  • threshold: The volume that must be exceeded for gain reduction to occur.
  • look-ahead: How large of a buffer the limiter will use to analyze incoming audio. Longer lookahead times increase latency, but increase the limiter's accuracy.
  • release: The limiter's release time.

Layer and Oscillator

The Layer editor displays the signal flow of the current preset, and allows the disabling and enabling of layers and layer modules.

In the leftmost column of the editor is a number representing each active layer. A preset may contain only a single layer, or it may have as many as 16. Click on one of these numbers to disable the associated layer. When a layer is disabled, it appears in light gray. Layers are used in many different ways in NEXUS2 presets, so make sure to experiment!

To the right of each layer, there are a maximum of six layer modules shown. Layer modules can be effects, or other features such as portamento, Trance Gate, or arpeggiator. These modules cannot be edited-only disabled. Click on modules to disable or enable them.

Below the layer and slightly indented to the right are the numbers of oscillators that are being used in a preset. You can adjust the volume, panning, transposition, and detuning of each oscillator. The elements are (from left to right):

  • Oscillator #: Click on the oscillator number to disable or enable it.
  • Volume: Drag the horizontal slider to adjust the oscillator volume. When there are two volume sliders for one oscillator, the bottom slider adjusts the volume of a slave oscillator one octave higher.
  • Panning: Drag the horizontal slider to adjust the panning of the oscillator.
  • Transpose: The transposition amount of the oscillator, in semitones. Drag vertically to adjust with the mouse, or double-click and type a new value.
  • Detune: The detune amount of the oscillator, in cents (hundreths of a semitone). Drag vertically to adjust with the mouse, or double-click and type a new value.

In the expample above, the first layer (with two oscillators enabled) is highlighted.

Live

The Live view displays the latest NEXUS2 developments, and information about new expansions and skins.

Click in the Live view for more information. A web browser will be opened, and you will be taken to the relevant page. Right-click in the Live view to refresh it.

System

The System view is where you edit global parameters (such as master tuning) that affect all of NEXUS2. It is also used to import new expansions, and to display the expansions that are currently installed.

Settings changed in the System view only affect the currently active instance of NEXUS2. (They will not affect other instances of NEXUS in the same project or any other project.) System settings are not saved within presets; they are saved within the DAW project instead.

mst tuning

Adjusts the fine tuning of NEXUS2 in steps of 1Hz. Default value is 440Hz.

transpose

Transposes NEXUS2 up or down in octaves.

vel-curve (velocity curve)

Adjusts how NEXUS2 responds to MIDI velocity. As this parameter is moved further into negative values, NEXUS2 will interpret an increasingly wider range of high- and medium-velocity notes as if they were low velocity. As it is moved further into positive values, NEXUS2 will increase the range of low- and medium-velocity notes that it interprets as high velocity.

voices

Adjusts the maximum number of voices that NEXUS2 can play back simultaneously. On older computers, a lower value can be used to prevent performance problems. The default is 32 voices, which should be sufficient for most users. This value can be increased as high as 128-just bear in mind that a high number of simultaneous voices can be very demanding on your CPU.

arpvelsrc (Arpeggiator Velocity Source)

Select one of the following:

  • first: the velocity of notes generated by the arpeggiator is determined by the first note played
  • last: the velocity of notes generated by the arpeggiator is determined by the most recently played note

outgain (Output Gain)

Adjusts the overall output level of NEXUS2. The default value of zero is suitable for most applications. If you find that the overall output level is too high or too low for yourneeds, select -6db or +6db.

quality

Adjusts the quality of the interpolation algorithm. Use the "low" setting to conserve CPU power, or "ultra" to maximize quality (at the cost of additional CPU performance). The default setting (high) is suitable for most applications.

gui-skin

Select a skin from the menu to change the overall look and color scheme of NEXUS2. For information on importing skins, read the "Import Data" section below.

expansions

Displays a list of all installed expansions. For information on importing new expansions, read the "Import Data" section below.

Import Data

The desktop and import data buttons are used to import expansions, skins, and the Master Key file which authorizes the expansions and skins you import.

  • desktop: Click this button to import reFX files from your computer's desktop. All files are imported with a single click. When new skins or expansions are purchased, download them and the Master Key file to your desktop. Then, click this file and you are all done! After importing, you can delete the files from your desktop, or move them to an archive for reinstallation at a future date.
  • import data: Click this button to import reFx files from any location on your hard disk. Select a folder, and all reFX files contained within will be imported. After import, the files can be deleted or moved to an archive for reinstallation at a future date.

Appendices

Appendix A - MIDI implementation chart

Function Txd Rxd Remarks
Basic Channel Default: x 1-16 Messages are always
Change: x 1-16 received on all channels
Mode Default x Mode 1 OMNI Mode is always on
messages x x
Note number Sound range x 0-127
Velocity Note On: x o
Note Off: x o
Aftertouch Key: x x
Channels: x o
Pitchbend x o
Control Change o o
Program Change Actual No. x x
System Exclusive x x
System Common Song Pos: x x
Song Sel: x x
Tune: x x
System Realtime Clock: x x
Commands: x x
Aux Messages Local On/Off x x
All Sound Off x o
All Notes Off x o
Act. Sensing x x
Reset: x x

Appendix B - MIDI continuous controller support

In addition to the messages specified in the MIDI implementation chart on the previous page, the following MIDI continuous controller messages are recognized, affecting the parameters listed below. By sending MIDI-CC messages from your host application, you can change or even automate these parameters at any time.

CC# Name
7 Channel Volume
8 AMP Spread
9 Output volume
10 AMP Pan
11 Expression
24 AMP Sustain
25 Delay Feedback
26 Delay Highcut
27 Reverb Decay
28 FLT Attack
29 FLT Decay
30 FLT Sustain
31 FLT Release
44 FLT Envelope
45 FLT Cutoff
46 FLT Resonance
71 Master Filter Resonance
72 AMP Release
73 AMP Attack
74 Master Filter Cutoff
75 AMP Decay
91 Reverb Mix
94 Delay Mix
96 Previous preset
97 Next preset
98 Previous category
99 Next category
120 All Sound Off
123 All Notes Off

Appendix C - category prefixes

This is a list of prefixes used by us to categorize the factory content and expansions:

Prefix Name
AR Arpeggio
AT Atmosphere
BA Bass
BR Brass
CL Classical Instrument
DL Drumloop
DR Drum
FX FX Sound
GT Guitar
LD Lead
LL Live Loop
LP Live Loop Menu
MA Mallet
OC Orchestra
OR Organ
PD Pads
PL Plucked
PN Piano
SQ Sequence
ST Strings
SY Synth
TG Trancegate
VO Vocal / Choir
WW Woodwinds

Copyright

The copyright including all exclusive rights of use on the software Nexus2 including all versions and updates belongs to reFX Audio Software Inc., PO box 61543 Brookswood, Langley BC V3A 8C8, Canada. All product and company names are ™ or ® trademarks of their respective owners. © reFX Audio Software Inc. All rights reserved.