Alphas

work-in-progress

What is alpha?

Alpha is a letter in the Greek/Latin alpha-bet-a that comes first before all others. These versions are built from the newest source code for testing purposes and may contain bugs or malfunction unexpectedly.

If you are interested in free software for general use please use the latest stable release versions from the synth and effects pages.

If you are interested in assisting with the project by identifying and verifying bugs, requesting new features and tracking changes the alpha versions are for you. For communication related to alphas please contact me via e-mail.

Rules

IMPORTANT, MUST READ!

You may use the alpha so long as you're aware of and accept the potential risk.

Alpha versions are released for testing and not guaranteed to be bug-free for regular use.
You may need to continue to use a specific alpha version to get identical results.
You should expect that alpha versions may not work perfectly.
New features and changes can lead to new bugs or issues.

I almost solely use alpha versions and it does not bother me if it crashes and I lose my work. I am aware of the risk and when something goes wrong I am able to fix the issue.

If you have read the rules (please do) the download section is at the bottom of the page.

Work in progress

What makes the alpha special?

The alpha is unstable meaning that features of the alpha version are expected to change. A bug discovered in a release version may be fixed with no other changes.

For a bug in the alpha version, an in-place fix will never be provided. A replacement version may be made available including a fix along with other changes. In order to maintain a stable version it is necessary that a lot of additional overhead work is invested to ensure any changes are fully compatible with the previous version. For that reason unnecessary changes and additions are not made to stable versions.

How to help

At times testing may be focused on specific issues. The general idea is to try to come up with new ideas to improve Xhip further before the next release as well as to keep an eye out for any bugs that might show up during use.

Please report any bugs or issues you have with the alpha version[s].
After checking the bug & todo lists below, if your issue isn't on the list yet let me know so I can add it.
In normal use the plug-in should never crash.
If the plug-in it does crash please report it immediately! If you can reliably reproduce a crash, providing instructions on how to do so will be extremely useful to me in fixing the problem. Reporting "it crashed" will not help me, I will have nearly nothing to work from with such a report without any information about what may have triggered or caused the crash.

Until the final testing stage before release small bugs (if on the known list) are not too concerning as the code may continue to change. That said, I'd be interested to hear about any bugs that are discovered in any version.

To do

5 April 2022

Xhip Synthesizer 8.1

Complete all effect changes.

Some prototype effect features need to be polished and finalized before release.

Update effect preset imports.

Some changes to a few effects were made which require mostly testing to ensure older projects load correctly. This will be relatively easy to accomplish by creating a project using all the old effects and loading it while debugging to identify any issues.

Minor GUI tweaks, alignment. Partially completed.

Improved kerning in general and specifically in larger font sizes.

New version/date/author chunks in preset banks.

This will allow the plug-in to automatically apply any updated versions of "factory" banks or warn/ask the user to backup or replace when they've modified any of the "factory" content in the "library" folder.

Linux xlib file dialog improvements.
"Show hidden files" option.
Fix issue with file overwrite confirmation dialog (doesn't show in all cases).
Include manual in distribution package.

The manual PDF and plug-in are now so small they can both be included together along with "factory" preset banks. The last alphas already implemented (since r1100) default banks included directly in the plug-in itself.

Improvements for Windows installer (NSIS.)

The installer needs a "getting started" chapter and a nice Xhip logo.

Other modifications are possible too; I'll investigate more later.

Xhip Effects 7

Complete all effect changes.

Some prototype effect features need to be polished and finalized before release.

Update effect preset imports.

Some changes to a few effects were made which require mostly testing to ensure older projects load correctly. This will be relatively easy to accomplish by creating a project using all the old effects and loading it while debugging to identify any issues.

New effects.
I'd like to include:
EQ
Mid-side
Distortions (one or two.)
Some of these are already working such as a crossfeed (mono bass or headphone filter) effect.
Extended to do

Xhip Synthesizer 9, 10 & Effects 8, 9, 10

Basic skinning.

While the core features of basic configuration and GUI scaling are already working, this system will likely only be partially completed for the next release of the effects. For the synthesizer some progress has been made toward a working implementation but it is not yet capable of handling user configuration.

Full skinning.
The GUI engine used in Xhip Synthesizer and Effects includes basic configuration that was not previously exposed to the user. Work is already underway to implement a skinning and configuration system that will eventually evolve to provide all the features currently used by the plug-in GUIs.
Complete configuration of all aspects of the GUI.
Adjustment of widget positions.
In-GUI menu system or configuration dialogs: skins, fonts, options.
More advanced "skin files" including skin resources, configuration and layouts.
Unification of all systems used in Xhip Synthesizer and Xhip Effects.

Xhip Synthesizer 9

Map-CC presets in human-readable format.
Basic skinning.
This likely will not include widget positions or advanced features.
Sample configuration page.
Store samples in presets/banks.
Store remaining control data in presets (polyphony, unison, etc)

Add "lock" to each to select between global/preset source.

Preset and bank 'attachments'.
Already working due to the RIFF-like data format.
Text files, images, audio (example: preset comments.)
Monophonic mode switch to sync modulators in polyphonic mode.

If mono and tempo modes are both enabled, attempt to read phase from song position (sync to host.)

Preset transpose/tune parameters.

Both a global tuning affecting all KBT destinations as well as oscillators 'range'.

Sync phase parameters.

Both for oscillators, modulators and possibly the filter.

MacOS version.

A functional version has been built without a GUI. Porting of the GUI library is currently pending (= low priority.)

Xhip Synthesizer 10

Complete skinning support.
More effects;
Effects routing configuration, feedback?
Additional audio inputs?
Sends, preset send levels?
Sample editor (names, loop points, ...)
Additional back-panel features (mutant's envelope asymptote, ...)
OSX VST and AU plugins.

Already exists. Components of the GUI need to be ported.

Hazy idea field

User manual
This is 'complete' and available on the synth page.
I'd appreciate any help with formatting, proofing and requests for further information or new sections that should be added.
Advanced back-panel configuration page (more wild options?)
Additional GUIs, specifically a mini-GUI for preset browsing.
Drag & drop file support.
Extended waveshaper pre-filter (low/high?)

Planned for "Xhip 2" (different, new synthesizer)

New skin-based GUI system.

Most of the required implementation already exists to support the existing GUI. Putting it together into a highly adaptable system is another issue.

New waveforms, filter modes
Already exists. Can be tested in alpha version accepting some difficulty with preset compatibility. (In other words, works now without presets.)
Full "mod-matrix"
Already exists. Used in current version of Xhip. A GUI is simple.
I would prefer to call this functionality "modular signal routing" instead. "Mod-matrix" is a misnomer.
Key mapping, splits, layering
Mostly requires complex GUI functionality to support the features.
Advanced effects system
Quite simple and could be said to already exist, requires mostly GUI functionality.
Graph-based "drawable" oscillator waveforms, envelopes and modulators
Already exists.
Sequencer, arpeggiator, ...

Components already exist depending upon how you define these features. A working tracker/sequencer exists which includes features supporting arpeggios and sequenced parameter changes. Mostly requires a lot of GUI to support the features.

Fixed or new features

10 July 2021

Lazy updates

10 July 2021 (r1234)

I haven't written a list of changes as many changes aren't yet finished. I'll write a list once I've completed a few more to-do tasks.

Changes:

Effects global/preset menu.
Effects bypass switches.
Modulation rate division.
Preset effects.
GUI back-end improvements.
New and modified effects.
Various fixes in both Windows and Linux.
Improved oscillator anti-aliasing kernel.
Previous releases [+]

Download

You've read the rules, right?

/alpha/releases/
namesizedate
cubanc.7z44k10 May 2022
xfx_r1317_linux_64bit.7z368k16 Apr 2022
xfx_r1326_windows_64bit.7z676k15 May 2022
xhip_8_user_manual.pdf149k06 Mar 2022
xhip_r1317_linux_64bit.7z520k16 Apr 2022
xhip_r1326_windows_64bit.7z617k15 May 2022
[+] presets

I've switched to 7z format for the alpha. It can be extracted with 7-zip, a free archiver.

Requirements

Windows Vista (recommended Windows 7 SP1 or greater)

Known bugs or issues

26 June 2018

If unlisted issues are discovered please let me know and I'll update this list as well as my TODO.

Linux Issues:

The file browser dialog remains incomplete.
There are issues with the dialog such as no "show hidden files" option, the "sure to overwrite?" confirmation does not always work.
The dialogs lock keyboard/mouse focus.
This is complex to solve. A work-around is to close these dialogs before switching focus from the plug-in GUI.

MacOS Issues:

No GUI on MacOS.
Porting the GUI to MacOS will require a lot of time/effort. Not planned until after v8.1 has been released. Planned for v9.

Xhip Synthesizer Issues:

There are remaining minor imperfections in import of v7 presets.
If this is an issue please let me know. Currently it is not important enough to warrant further effort. The issues are KBT zero-point related and corrected by adjusting times, rates or frequencies by a unit stepYou can move by one unit step with mouse-wheel.
This only gives approximate results in some cases,
but the result is generally satisfactory.
?
.
Some core features are nonintuitive.
This requires an updated installer with a short "getting started" page. Additional menu-trigger buttons are not ideal; sub-menus may improve ease of use.
The manual should be included with the plug-in.
Ideally including the manual with the plug-in (archive or installer) directly should improve readership and education.