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MX4 Rear Panel
MX4 "Rear Panel"
(Click for a close-up)

The MX4 is MOTU's hybrid synthesis virtual instrument, which is now shipping for Digital Performer (MAS), Pro Tools (RTAS), Logic Pro and other Mac OS X audio hosts (Audio Units). The release includes several additional features not previously announced, such as built-in effects, more LFOs, external audio input, a unison multiplier and parameter randomization options for creative programming.

Built-in chorus and delay effects allow users to program, save and recall patches with these effects as part of the patch. The effects section can be independently shown or hidden to conserve screen space.

Six LFOs can independently modulate any of MX4's continuously variable parameters. LFO waveshapes include sine, sawtooth, rectangle, sample & hold, sample & ramp and random walk. LFO controls include rate, fade, delay, phase, and symmetry. In addition to a range from 0-360 degrees, phase can be triggered randomly. Users can also choose a setting called 'Free Running', which allows the LFO to run completely independently of any notes being played. For example, users can apply a filter cutoff sweep over several measures, regardless of the notes being played.

Any external audio input can be fed into MX4 via a mono or stereo sidechain bus, where it is then blended with MX4's audio signal before the two filters, amplitude envelope (for note triggering) and effects.

The 'unison multiplier' allows users to fatten MX4's sound by multiplying the number of notes played each time a key is struck. For example, if the multiplier is set to 3, each time a note is played, three notes sound. Combined with MX4's adjustable detune feature, users can quickly create rich and lush sounds.

When users click the 'Random' button, the MX4 window flips to the plug-in's rear panel, complete with serial number plate and ventilation grill. There, users can independently randomize various combinations of parameters to instantly create new patches. By constraining what is randomized, users can quickly zero in on the most interesting and productive results.

MX4 is now available for a suggested retail price of $295.

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