sketchbook: phasex shenaningans

This one comes right from the Where The Hell Were You Last Month department — playing around with PHASEX, one of the more feature-packed and better-sounding softsynths for Linux. PHASEX’s interface is a little confusing at first because it has some interesting and unique features, but at its core it’s essentially an analog modeling synth.

One very cool feature that I only just discovered, though, is the support for audio input. Lots of hardware synths have audio inputs, which you can use to run external audio through the synth’s filters and effects, and that’s exactly what the inputs in PHASEX do, too. There’s even an envelope follower, so it can trigger its filter envelope based on the level of the incoming signal. It’s exactly the kind of thing that might have been brilliantly handy when I was making that sample-based Tunestorm piece!

This, then, is a cello sound from Qsynth running through PHASEX — I’ve used the filters with a bit of resonance added (shifting the cutoff on the fly with the mod wheel), and a square wave for amplitude modulation to gate the sound.


mp3 | vorbis | 60 seconds

2 thoughts on “sketchbook: phasex shenaningans

  1. So, if I may ask, how do you actually get sound to be put through Phasex? I’d love to know how, I’ve been at it for hours messing with knobs and the such to no avail.

  2. PHASEX has a pair of JACK inputs, so you need to connect whatever you want to play through PHASEX in to those. Once that’s done, you also need to switch the “Source” parameter on one or more oscillators to Input 1, Input 2, or Input 1&2 — then, those oscillators will play whatever audio’s at the appropriate input, rather than generating their own sound.

    Have fun!

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