This is used to call up ready-made sounds, Patches (also called Presets).
- If you want to try a Patch that we made for you, click on the patch name (in red) and select from the list. You can then change it to make it your own. And even save it and send it to a friend (click the save button).
- If someone sent you a patch, you can open it by clicking the folder button.
The Reason and VST/AU versions of Europa comes with hundreds of Patches!
Sound Engine Selector
The three Sound Engines create all sound in Europa. If they are all turned on, you hear all three every time you press a key.
- Use the small ON-buttons to turn each Engine on/off (you can do this in the Oscillator too).
- Use the large I/II/III-buttons to choose which Engine you see and edit.
When you are figuring out how a sound was made or create a new one, listen to one Engine at a time.
An oscillator creates sound. In Europa it does so by playing wavetables. A wavetable is a set of waveforms put together, one after the other.
- To select a Wavetable, click the name in red.
- To try out all the waveforms in the table, turn the Shape knob
- Advanced: An arrow points at two additional controls. These are used to make the Shape change automatically over time (“modulation”)
The four small knobs on the left determine the pitch, high or low.
These sections modify the waveform further.
Start by turning each Modifier on and off, with the square buttons. Choose a type of modifier in the display and apply by turning up Amount.
- In the Wave section, start with simple wavetables, the ones at the top. Use Shape to explore.
- Use OCT (octave) to make your sound a bass or a lead.
- Experiment with Modifiers to make the sound come alive.
A filter shapes sounds, in this case from the oscillator. We call this a Spectral Filter because it’s a special design unique to Europa.
- Turn the whole Spectral Filter on/off with the square button in the upper left corner.
- Start by selecting a type of filter from the list that appears when you click the name in red.
- Experiment with the Freq and Reso knobs to change the sound of that filter.
- The display shows the whole sound range and how the filter will affect it. The low parts of the sound (bass) are on the left and the high parts (treble) are on the right.
- If you feel bold, also activate the Harmonics section, select from the list and use Pos and Amount to shape the sound further.
Unison makes the sound fatter, as if you were playing lots of identical synths at the same time.
- Use the square button to turn the whole effect on/off.
- The list in the display allows you to choose from different ways to fatten the sound.
- Count sets how many “extra” synths are added.
- Blend is for setting how loud those “extra” synths are.
- Detune is for setting how much out of tune they are.
- Spread sets the stereo width. Headphones on!
OK, hold on for this one. You can actually load your own sample and use it as a wavetable in the Oscillator.
- Use the Folder button to select any sample you have on your computer
- To actually hear it, go to the Wave section and select “User Wave Smooth” from the menu in the display.
- To “sweep” (go through the waveforms that make up your sample) use the Shape knob in the Wave section
- Try different samples, vocal recordings, chords, drum sounds, loops.
- If you have figured out the controls in the Oscillator section that modify Shape (the ones the arrow points at) try these to sweep through your sample automatically (modulation).
Sampling and Sample Editing directly from the synth is only available in Reason.
In this section you can set the levels of each of the three Engines, using the horizontal faders.
You can also change their panning, which means where in the left/right stereo field they appear (headphones on!).
If nothing happens, check the Sound Engine Selector section to make sure the Engine you are adjusting is actually turned on.
This is a more traditional filter than Spectral Filter, shaping the final timbre of the sound. Use it to take out high or low frequencies and to create “sweeps” (like when you sing the word “wow” slowly).
- The three square buttons determine if each Sound Engine goes through the filter or skips it.
- The display is used to choose a filter type. Start with filter types with LP (Low Pass) in the name, they take out high frequencies. HP filters take out low frequencies.
- Use Freq to shape (cut out) the frequencies and Reso to give the sound “hollowness”.
Try modulating the filter, by selecting a modulation source (the small display) and set an amount with the red knob to the left of it. This will create those filter “sweeps”. Experiment with different modulation sources in combination with various Freq and Reso settings.
Amp stands for amplifier, the thing that controls the volume of the sound.
- Master Volume simply sets the overall level.
- Pan is for moving the whole sound left/right.
- Velo controls how much the volume is affected by how hard you play on your MIDI keyboard (if you have one).
An Envelope controls the sound “shape” over time.
- A (Attack) is for how fast the sound starts.
- D and S (Decay and Sustain) work together to control what happens after the Attack, but while you still hold the key. For a pluck sound, for example, set both to low values.
- R (Release) is the same but for after you release the key, ie how long the sound rings out.
Other things may also influence the “shape”. For example, even if you pull down attack, the sound might still start slowly
How many notes you can play at the same time. Set to 1 for sounds like lead and bass, and to higher numbers for chords and pads.
This section is devoted to how Europa will react to notes you play on your keyboard.
When Porta is activated (try “On” first, “Auto” is more complicated), notes will “slide” into their pitch. How fast/slow that happens is set with the Time knob.
- When Key Mode is set to Retrig or Legato, the synth only plays one note at a time, like a flute.
- When it is set to Poly, you can play many notes at a time, like on a piano or guitar.
OK, here we get techy. An Envelope is a thing that can control how the sound changes over time (just like the LFO). For example, if the Envelope has a long “attack”, the sound will change slowly when you press a key. Like when you sing a note with your mouth closed and then open it slowly.
The envelope doesn’t make any sound of its own. Instead, you hook it up so that it controls something that makes or shapes sound, like an oscillator or filter. That’s called modulating the oscillator/filter.
Europa has 4 Envelopes, all going at once. You switch which one you see and edit, with the 1-4 buttons at the top. Try this:
- Select an envelope, for example 4.
- Click Preset and select some shape that looks cool.
- Somewhere in some other section of the synth, select “Env 4” from the menu to hook up Envelope 4 with that section.
- Close to where you selected Env 4, there will be a red knob that controls the amount of modulation. Try it!
- Experiment with different envelope shapes, the speed of the envelope, different things to modulate, and how much you modulate.
The Amp section has its own simpler envelope.
This is a little complex, OK? An LFO is a thing that controls how a sound changes over time (just like the envelope). It does so in a cyclic, repetitive way, like a vibrato.
An LFO doesn’t make any sound of its own. Instead, you hook it up so that it controls something that makes or shapes sound, like an oscillator or filter. That’s called modulating the oscillator/filter.
Europa has 3 LFOs. You switch which one you see and edit with the 1-3 buttons at the top. Try this:
- Select an LFO, for example 3.
- Use the little arrow buttons to select some interesting LFO shape.
- Somewhere in some other section of the synth, select “LFO 3” from the menu to hook up the LFO with that section.
- Close to where you selected LFO 3, there will be a red knob that controls the amount of modulation. Try it!
- Experiment with different LFO shapes, speeds, different things to modulate, and how much you modulate.
The pitch bend wheel (to the left) changes the pitch of the notes, up or down. You can adjust by how much.
The Modulation wheel (to the right) applies whatever sound change is programmed into the Patch you are playing. It can be anything from a vibrato to a sound sweep and beyond.
This is the most advanced and complex part of Europa. It is used to let anything affect (modulate) anything else.
The Matrix itself has eight rows, meaning you can set up eight different modulations.
Yeah, it’s a lot to take in, we know. Please experiment!
- For each row you can select what you want to modulate (two things per row, Destination 1 and Destination 2) and what you want to modulate it with (Source).
- Amount sets how much modulation you get in each case.
- Scale is used to control the amount of modulation, by yet another source.
This section adds up to six effects to your sound.
- You reveal the settings for each effect by clicking on its name. Each effect has different settings.
- You can turn each effect on and off, using the button below its name.
- You can actually change the order that the sound passes through the effects, by dragging the names left/right.
- Try one effect at a time to experiment with what it does (turn all others off).
- Some effects will be obvious, like REV (Reverb) whereas other will be more subtle, like COMP (compression).
Scales and Chords
This section is not a part of Europa itself, but how you play it on the web.
When Auto Scale is on, any notes you play will be adjusted so that they are always in scale (C major or C minor, your choice, do you feel happy or sad today?)
When Auto Chord is on, a full chord is generated for every note you play. You can adjust how many notes are in the chord (two to five).
The arpeggiator repeats all the notes you play in a round-robin fashion. There are three controls that determine exactly how:
- Rate sets how fast the notes are played.
- Octave is for setting how far up and down the keyboard the arpeggio plays.
- And last, you can set the direction.
The notes from Chords go into the arpeggiator. With Chords turned on you can create beautiful, complex arpeggios, by only pressing one key.
This sets the speed of the Arpeggio.
The top control in this section is for setting which octave the keyboard plays in. Try low for bass, mid for chords, high for leads.
With Hold Key activated, keys don’t stop playing until you turn them off. Use this for example to “latch” arpeggios or chords, while you experiment with the sound.