SFX Machine Pro
Frequently Asked Questions


QUESTIONS

How to Use SFX Machine Pro

How can I learn more about how to use SFX Machine Pro and the Preset Editor?

How do I launch SFX Machine Pro from my host program?

How do I launch SFX Machine Pro from GarageBand?

How do I authorize the plug-in?

What are some little-known features and command-key shortcuts?

How can I edit the Min and Max slider values?

Why do some parameters need values of up to 200% or higher? For example, why does the Sitar Drone patch use a feedback of 198%? Shouldn’t it be half of that?

Why doesn't it affect the sound when I change a field in the Preset Editor?

Why didn't it change the frequency or delay value(s) when I clicked on the Tempo Sync button?

How do I use the "MIDI Learn" feature?

Host Programs, Formats & Requirements

I want to use SFX Machine Pro, but I don't have a VST or Audio Unit format host program. What should I get?

Do you support Intel Macintoshes (Universal Binary)?

Does SFX Machine Pro work with 64-bit host programs?

Presets

How can I save and load presets?

Where can I save my custom presets?

Why does the VST version remember slider changes if I select another preset and then switch back to my previously modified preset, but the Audio Unit version does not?

Is there a way to create new presets from scratch?

Miscellaneous / Support

How can I upgrade from a previous version?

Is there a discount for buying both the Mac and PC versions?

I lost my serial number. How can I recover it?

What should I do if I have tech support questions?


QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

How To Use SFX Machine Pro

How can I learn more about how to use SFX Machine and the Preset Editor?

Read the friendly manual. It includes a simple tutorial about how to use the Preset Editor.

Also see the final question: What should I do if I have tech support questions?

 

How do I launch SFX Machine Pro from my host program?

  1. Find the Plug-ins, Audio Effects, VST Plug-ins, or Audio Unit Plug-ins menu in your host program. SFX Machine Pro works with dozens of different host programs, and the name and location of this menu will vary from one host to another. Please consult your host program's manual for further information.
  2. Under the Plug-ins or Audio Effects or Audio Unit menu, find "The Sound Guy" submenu.

  3. Select "SFX Machine Pro" under that submenu.

 

How do I launch SFX Machine Pro from GarageBand?

It can be a little tricky to find effects plug-ins in GarageBand. To instantiate SFX Machine Pro in GarageBand:

  1. Use the menu command Track > Show Track Info or <Command-i> to display the Track Info window.
  2. Open the "Details..." triangle if it's not already open.
  3. In the bottom half of the Track Info window, select one of the effect pop-up menus.
  4. Scroll all the way to the bottom past "GarageBand Effects" and look for "SFX Machine Pro in the "Audio Unit Effects" section.
  5. Then click the button with the diagonal "edit pencil" to get the SFX Machine Pro interface to pop up.

See our GarageBand page for more detailed information, with graphics.

 

How do I authorize the plug-in?

Click on the "Authorize" button. Then, in the "Authorize SFX" preset, type or paste your serial number into the large "PRESET DESCRIPTION" text field (not in the individual slider fields).

The serial number will be included in the e-mail you receive from shareit.com (or other payment processor) shortly after purchasing SFX Machine Pro.

 

What are some little-known features and command-key shortcuts?

To fine-tune the slider values, hold down the shift key while clicking on the body of the slider. Also, you can click on the body of the slider to make the indicator scroll instantly toward the mouse cursor.

To restart an effect in the middle of audio playback, click on the preset name in the Preset list box again. This is especially cool for effects like Freeze Pan (in the Multitap category).

Command-c, command-x, and command-v (Macintosh) or control-c, control-x, and control-v (Windows) can be used to copy, cut, and paste to and from any of the numerical or comment text fields.

 

How can I edit the Min and Max slider values?

The slider ranges can be edited by double-clicking on the Min and Max Value text fields. Adjust listening levels very conservatively when doing this, because presets can easily become unstable, causing loud sounds.

 

Why do some parameters need values of up to 200% or higher? For example, why does the Sitar Drone patch use a feedback of 198%? Shouldn’t it be half of that?

This typically happens because multiple signals are being mixed together. SFX Machine Pro averages signals together instead of adding them, to avoid large amplitude variations. Because signals are averaged, you may need to use values greater than 100%. You can calculate the percentage to enter by multiplying the desired value by the number of signals modulating the parameter. Don’t be afraid to use values of 200%, 400%, etc., if needed.

 

Why doesn't it affect the sound when I change a field in the Preset Editor?

There are many possible reasons for this. Try systematically isolating sections of the patch, or routing signals to the output to see what’s going on.

 

Why didn't it change the frequency or delay value(s) when I clicked on the Tempo Sync button?

Tempo Sync only affects frequencies and time delays in the sub-audio range (i.e., frequencies under 20 Hz, or delays over 50 ms.).

For more info on using Host Tempo Sync, allow me to refer you to our friendly manual.

 

How do I use the "MIDI Learn" feature?

If you want to control any of the sliders with MIDI CC messages, you need to first assign specific CCs to the sliders. This is done with a simple "MIDI Learn" system.

To put a slider in MIDI Learn mode:

  1. Activate the slider by control-clicking on it (in the VST version) or shift-control-clicking on it (in the Audio Unit version), or simply right-click on it if your mouse has more than one button. You will see the blue light above the slider handle light up, as will the MIDI Learn light. This means that it is in MIDI Learn mode.
  2. Next, generate some MIDI CC message (move your MIDI keyboard mod wheel, move a slider on your MIDI controller box, etc.) and you're done! The first CC message that SFX Machine Pro receives will be the CC type to which the "MIDI Learner" becomes assigned.

Now your MIDI controller will control the slider you selected.

To erase a MIDI assignment:

  1. Click on the "MIDI Learn" light. It should briefly turn red, indicating that you have erased your MIDI assignment.

Please note that MIDI control requires a host application that can send MIDI to plug-in effects. Please see your host application documentation to find out whether your host supports this and, if so, how to configure MIDI for effects.

For Apple Logic Pro, the procedure seems to be different. A customer provided these instructions and accompanying screenshot:

  1. Press B to open "Smart Controls" for the track
  2. Select a scheme such as "General Audio 8"
  3. In "Parameter Mapping", select SFX Machine Pro and one of the parameters
  4. In "External Assignment", press "Learn" and move the knob on the MIDI controller. Note that the names don't necessarily match the selected sliders in the plugin, but the controller still affects the sliders.

MIDI control on Apple Logic

 

Host Programs & Formats

I want to use SFX Machine Pro, but I don't have a VST or Audio Unit format host program. What should I get?

A number of host programs are listed on our System Requirements page.

 

Do you support Intel Macintoshes (Universal Binary)?

Yes.

 

Does SFX Machine Pro work with 64-bit host programs?

SFX Machine Pro (VST) version 1.5x installs 32- and 64-bit versions, so, no problem.

If you have an older 32-bit version and a 64-bit Mac host program, you may be able to use SFX Machine Pro via one of the following methods:

  • Launch your host program in 32-bit mode and possibly rescan for new plug-ins, OR

  • For the VST plug-in, try using jBridgeM (Mac) or jBridge (Windows), an inexpensive third-party 64-bit VST bridge program, OR

  • For the Audio Unit plug-in, try using 32 Lives from Sound Radix, OR

  • For Apple Logic, use the built-in 32-bit Audio Unit bridge, http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3989 . (Also see this article: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS3171 .) 32-bit Audio Unit plug-ins will appear in the channel strip plug-in insert menu under "Audio Units (32-bit)". The 32-bit bridge may be removed in more recent versions of Logic, OR

  • Upgrade to SFX Machine Pro 1.5x - email support@sfxmachine.com for details.

Presets

How can I save and load presets?

To save a (modified) preset:

  1. Most host applications include extra buttons and controls in every plugin's window. You should see a button called "save" or "S", or maybe a menu called "file" or "presets" in which you'll find a menu item for saving a preset file. It varies from app to app, but it's generally similar in all cases.
  2. After invoking that control, you should be greeted with a window asking for a file name and location for the preset file. Enter a name and location and press the "Save" button (or "OK" or whatever the window says). For maximum compatibility, save VST presets with a .fxp extension, and save Audio Unit presets with an .aupreset extension.

To load the preset you just saved:

  1. Look for a control in the plugin window called "load" or "L" or something like that (depending on the host program).
  2. After invoking that control, you should be greeted with a window asking you to find the location of the preset file that you would like to load. Find it and press the "Open" button (or "OK" or whatever it says).

To save a new bank of presets (VST only):

  1. Look for a "save bank" control. (The name may vary from one app to another.)
  2. After invoking that control, you should be greeted with a window asking for a file name and location for the preset bank file. Enter a name and location and press the "Save" button (or "OK" or whatever the window says). For maximum compatibility, save preset banks with a .fxb extension.

To load the preset bank you just saved (VST only):

  1. Look for a "load bank" control. (The name may vary from one app to another.)
  2. After invoking that control, you should be greeted with a window asking you to find the location of the preset bank file that you would like to load. Find it and press the "Open" button (or "OK" or whatever it says).

Note that not all VST host programs support loading and saving of preset banks.

 

Where can I save my custom presets?

If your host program supports saving and loading of presets (almost all do), you can save your new presets anywhere you want. Note that the next time you launch SFX Machine Pro, you will see the factory presets, not your custom presets; if you want to load your custom presets, just use the host's Load button to load them from whatever directory you saved them to.

If you're using the VST version, you may be able to save an entire bank of custom presets; in this case, you might want to load your custom presets into the "User Presets" category (which can serve as your custom preset category), then save all your presets as a bank so you can reload them later.

In Audio Unit format, you can only load one custom preset at a time. Even in VST format, note that not all host programs support loading and saving of preset banks.

 

Why does the VST version remember slider changes if I select another preset and then switch back to my previously modified preset, but the Audio Unit version does not?

This was done to conform to the VST and Audio Unit APIs.

In the VST version, the presets represent what the VST spec refers to as “programs,” which are numerical slots which can hold your settings. Each time the plug-in is instantiated, it fills these slots with some default settings (factory presets). However, the contents of these slots are volatile (i.e., writeable, not just readable). So any changes that the user makes will be part of the user state that is saved when you save a song or export a VST preset or bank file. If you load a new preset, the preset name will change appropriately in SFX Machine’s presets list box; unfortunately, there is no way to notify the host of this change, so the host will still show the old factory preset name. At any rate, note that if you modify a preset in the VST version, then switch to a new preset and switch back, your changes will still be there. (However, each time you launch SFX Machine Pro, you will see the factory presets, not your modified presets.)

In the Audio Unit format, the factory presets are like static ROMs. If the user changes the current state of the preset, the host program provides a mechanism for the user to save this as a new preset. The current state of the plugin is always the user state, and it automatically gets saved when saving a song or exporting a preset file. However, if the user clicks on another preset without first saving the changes, those changes will be lost. (We may add a warning message to a future version.)

The main thing to remember, for both versions, is to save any custom presets you want to keep.

 

Is there a way to create new presets from scratch?

Yes, SFX Machine Pro provides a Preset Editor which allows you to directly access any and all of the modular synthesis parameters that make up a given effect.

 

Miscellaneous / Support

How can I upgrade from a previous version?

E-mail us your serial number or other proof of purchase, and we'll let you know how to obtain the discount.

 

Is there a discount for buying both the Mac and PC versions?

Yes. Just go to the order page and add one of the versions to your shopping cart. The next page will offer a 75% discount for adding the second version to your cart.

 

I lost my serial number. How can I recover it?

You guys!!

Please keep the e-mail containing the serial number. Search for an e-mail from "share-it!" with "SFX Machine" in the subject header.

If you can't find it, and you ordered via shareit.com, go to the Customer Care Center page and click on the "My Account" button.

If you ordered via eSellerate, go to the After-Purchase Services page.

Alternatively, you can always e-mail us.

Please note that we've implemented a three strikes policy. The third time you ask us about a lost serial number, our auto-scolder will scold you for not keeping it in a safe place.

 

What should I do if I have tech support questions?

    1. Go to the System Requirements page to make sure your host program is compatible.
    2. Go to the Tech Support page to see if it addresses your question.
    3. Read the Read Me file that comes with the software
    4. Read The Friendly Manual.
    5. Go to the Frequently Asked Questions page to see if it addresses your question.
    6. If the previous steps don't answer your question, e-mail us or report the problem on The Sound Guy forum.

     

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