> Step by step
1. Getting started with Sinevibes Flow
1 As with all Sinevibes plugins, Flow comes in Mac Audio Units format, meaning Mac users can load it up in AU-compatible DAWs such as Logic Pro, Ableton Live, GarageBand, MainStage, Studio One, Reaper, Renoise, Digital Performer and Tracktion. Double-click the DMG file, open the PKG file and follow the instructions to install. Easy!
2 To walk you through Flow’s fabulous features, we’ll load a new instance of the effect over a sustained polysynth signal. The interface is colour-coded: red for the input signal; blue for flanger and phaser parameters; yellow for envelope controls; and white for sequencer and snapshot parameters.
3 Hit Play in your DAW. Flow is always in sync with your host’s tempo – you’ll see the input signal rendered in real-time at the top of Flow’s red Input section. This is useful when processing beats or rhythmic material, as it helps you line up your modulation fins over particular points of the audio signal.
4 In flanger mode, Flow layers a copy of the input signal with itself, then delays that copy by a few milliseconds to create sweeping comb-filter effects. Click and drag in the blue Frequency sequencer area to paint in stepped frequency values and create that classic metallic ‘whooshing’ effect. It can be a phaser, too, as we’ll see later…
5 Unlike your average modulation effect, Flow is driven by a temposynced step sequencer for more creative possibilities. White Sequencer parameters are found at the top: drag the Duration grid to set the number of bars (between 1 and 8); switch between regular quadruplet and triplet by clicking the Division grids; and dial in off-kilter shuffle with the Swing slider.
6 Flow’s envelope is driven by the sequencer’s timing. To modulate frequency values over time on a per-step basis, click and paint in fins and lines on the yellow Envelope grid. Click one of the five dots to change that step’s envelope shape. Polarity flips that shape between positive and negative. Make sure you check out Flow’s PDF manual for loads of useful keyboard shortcuts.
7 The three yellow Shape sliders at the bottom alter all envelope shapes globally. Time alters all envelopes’ decay times; Curve shapes the envelopes, through convex to linear to concave; and Lag relaxes the sharp curve – a bit like raising a synth envelope’s attack
8 Now to the bottom global Effect parameters, coloured blue. Four types are available: Flanger+ is a positive flanger, Flanger- is a negative flanger, Phaser 4x is a four-stage phaser, and Phaser 8x is an eight-stage phaser. Min and Max sliders set minimum and maximum frequency ranges for the chosen effect. There are also Feedback, Level and Dry/Wet controls.
9 Finally, scoot over to the bottom Snapshot section and prepare eight unique setups, then switch between them by punching the 1-8 buttons (or do it with automation). Various buttons such as Copy, Paste, Reset, Evolve, Randomise and Clone live here. Again, refer to the manual for more power user tips.