Fathom Synth Plans for Fathom Vector

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
1295 posts since 25 Mar, 2017

Post Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:41 am


Great Ideas. You have some many good ideas in one post I just recorded your full post in my features list document.

First priority right now is the CPU efficiency and I plan on releasing the Intel AVX Parallel Processing release at the end if this month. I was initially planning on an preliminary release last week of just the new Serum Wave Table import feature, but I got deep into testing the wave table and had to redesign it. So I changed my plan to release everything at once. The new threading model will eliminate glitches in the audio when Bezier points are moved.

Some of your feature requests I recognized as important items in other synths but don't know much about them myself, so for the following please provide a little more detail:

- macro controlls
- macro-knobs
- envelope follower (attack, release, inverse, scew, min, max)
- signal shaper
- a waveshaper (please!)
- hardsync
- linear FM (or the possibility to fix one OSC to X Hz)
- oversampling for FM

The following features were already planned and should be coming out in the oscillator redesign later this summer:

- phase setting for each oscillator
- additive: more partials (max partials will be 1024)
- easy unison with adjustable phase and spread
- possibility for saving and copy unison-settings
- arpeggiator
- a flat design

The new gui design will allow you to control the flatness yourself or import any image for any part of the interface, as well as the ability to re-skin the interface yourself.

Previewing Presets can already be done, see the manual.

CPU settings changed sound, all settings are erased. This sounds like a bug so please provide steps to recreate. I test the settings page extensively and it should always save and reload all the settings, at least it does for me.

Saved preset, but where is it? This also is explained in the manual.

- the website... What? LOL, you don't like my website?

Once again, great in depth list. I think you will like Fathom since it is built for people like you who are deep into sound design and like to create waveforms from the ground up.

7222 posts since 6 Oct, 2004

Re: Fathom Synth Development Thread

Post Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:12 am

A few FR's regarding pitchbend/glide/portamento uses:

Ability to use midi keypresses assignable from the Fathom gui,
or a .ini file, to mute/unmute second, third, fourth etc instances of Fathom while playing/recording.

Ability for assignable midi keypresses to switch between user-chosen
pitchbend settings, typically 2,5,7,12 'on the fly'

A setting of directional point-to-point pitchbend: tap a configured
midi key, then press an active midi key, followed a second active key,
and the pitch bends between them, either up or down.

Then a setting for the ability to play a chord followed by playing
the root note of the chord at a different octave, with Fathom
filling in the rest of the chord, while bending up or down accordingly.
(please forgive me, as I haven't dug deep into the current portamento
tools. There are a lot of bread+butter sounds quite fun to bend,
without massive (no pun intended) cpu usage.

Looking forward to the next release, and related $oundset$. :hyper:

edit: also having different numeric settings available
for the up or down pitchbend swing


126 posts since 25 Aug, 2018

Re: Fathom Synth Development Thread

Post Mon Jul 15, 2019 1:04 pm

I don't get the fascination with flat design and why it is supposed to be so modern. To me it looks terrible and it sacrifices usability for the sake of being trendy. One of the things that attracted me to Fathom in the first place was the UI. It wasn't flat.

It will be a great feature to be able to reskin Fathom to personal preferences though.

2031 posts since 17 Sep, 2016

Re: Fathom Synth Development Thread

Post Mon Jul 15, 2019 3:30 pm

Speaking of usability, I recently tried Sektor by Initial Audio, and found the UI quite intuitive. It is not a flat design, and some of the website graphics even depict a 3D hardware interface. https://initialaudio.com/sektor-manual/

And obviously it is not a modular synth design, but the wavetable workflow is very accessible. Not sure how you could pull this layout off with a modular design, but for a limited 2-4 osc synth (counting a wave sample oscillator and a sub oscillator in addition to the two wavetables), the design is quite nice.
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1295 posts since 25 Mar, 2017

Re: Fathom Synth Development Thread

Post Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:25 pm

Glokraw, thanks also for the feature ideas, I have added them also to the official list.

It seems to me that all that could be implemented with a generic modulator which uses midi keys as a sample and hold then you could assign any midi key to do anything on the interface.

The chord stuff will be part of the arpeggiator.

The pitch wheel range is already a setting in the settings page.

The "Flat" UI trend is on the way out again. It reached its apex with Windows 8 which everyone hated. However it's really a moot point for Fathom since when I redo the GUI after the Intel AVX Parallel processing is done I will be making it so the depth of all 3D shading is settable by the user.

There will be a generic UI component editor where the user can select any panel or component on the interface, then assign to it a background color, gradient colors top and bottom, texture image select-able from defaults or user supplied images, intensity level for the texture, width of edge bevels and intensity of edge bevels, reflection images and reflection intensity.

So basically you will be able to make it "Flat" or "3D" to your heart's content.

Fathom extreme will also expose all the existing default graphic images so users will be able to completely re-skin the interface if they feel so inclined.

Also, the new Fathom Extreme default GUI will be based on a 3D model not 2D graphics pretending to be 3D. It will have 3D reflections from the model built in 3DS Max, Maya or Blender and when you move the mouse over the interface the reflection angles and highlights will change.

1056 posts since 28 Sep, 2012

Re: Fathom Synth Development Thread

Post Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:26 pm

I dunno, I kind of prefer a flat design to skeuomorphic. An example of skeuomorphic which I really like however is Soniccharge Permut8 and some of the Softube plugs like modular.

Your approach sounds interesting. Is there an example of another application of that approach online?

126 posts since 25 Aug, 2018

Re: Fathom Synth Development Thread

Post Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:01 pm

Everett, I really like your ideas for the UI. Should be fantastic. While flat design may look clean, the biggest problem with it is it often doesn't provide the user clues as to what they need to do to accomplish something and feedback when they perform an action. Looks like you have that covered.
Last edited by courtjestr on Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

1295 posts since 25 Mar, 2017

Re: Fathom Synth Development Thread

Post Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:02 pm

There's never been an interface like the one I described, at least not to my knowledge, and certainly not anywhere in music software.

The interface will be all metal with sub-surface glass lighting and real time reflections, dynamic shadows, plus everything adjustable by the user.

Crytek's CryEngine gaming engine is certainly capable of it, but I don't think anyone has used its power for that purpose yet.

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117 posts since 23 Jun, 2012

Re: Fathom Synth Development Thread

Post Fri Jul 19, 2019 6:03 am

The response time is unbelievable here! I will do more details and screenshots at home. I wrote it based on my notes at work.
Sorry for the design debate. I like 3D, lights and shadow too, but only if it looks really photorealistic and does not look like photohsop. But with these insane great news about the 3d-interface we don't need to talk about it anymore. This will be great and the synth is already setting itself apart from the others.
You're right, I think that will be the right synth for me and for many others with a feeling for innovation! Working closely with the users themselves is the most ingenious!

Okay, the details:

- macro controlls/knobs: Like in Massiv or Alchemy. Eight knbos (for excample) or a X/Y pad you controll several parameter at once. Example: Macro knob A modefies filter cutoff 0-100%, resonance 50-0%, and a peak filter cutoff from 20-70%. In between you can optional add a signal shaper:
- signal shaper: you can shape the signal amplitude, see waveshaper:
- waveshaper: Like MWaveShaper. Yo can create a curve that amplifies the input and can add distortion and harmonics. Like a compressor without attack and release time an more knob points to edit. Fathom has no amp overdrive or distortion function as an individual FX. But it would be covered with a waveshaper
The distortion function in the osc is not what i expected from distortion and overdrive in general. It's type of pitch and grain distortion?
- Hard Sync: a analog-synth function: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscillator_sync / Pictures say more than words: https://macprovid.vo.llnwd.net/o43/hub/ ... _Fig_3.jpg
- linear FM an the types: https://learningmodular.com/understandi ... h-zero-fm/ u-he Bazille is a good example for both types of FM
- oversampling for FM: (quote from the quick start guide: "Fathom currently performs the FFT and band limits waveforms for all the basic oscillators as well as the edited waveforms. It does not, however (yet), send the FM output through the FFT. This means that currently the FM output is not band limited and may become aliased if the frequency content rises above the Nyquist frequency.") Is it difficult to change this?
- For the CPU-setting problem , i have difficulty recreating it myself. Maybe obsolet.
- Website: Sorry i didn't explain anything. :D. I find the start page useless without any function. But the main-thing: Too little information. There could be more text everywhere. But of course this is also subjective.

Thank you and keep it up!

1295 posts since 25 Mar, 2017

Re: Fathom Synth Development Thread

Post Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:23 am

- Macro controls/knobs:

Fathom is modular so all objects are dynamic. So there is no way to know which eight parameters would be the default.

In Fathom you have to select the parameter and then it will show up in the host as an automation option. If you typically have a basic preset with 8 host macros and normally want to start with that you can simply make your own start up preset and have the 8 host parameters already selected. Then when you first load it those host automation parameters will be there. Instructions on host automation is in the manual.

- Waveshaper:

Yes a wave shaper is a good idea. I’ll try to add that soon. In terms of the basic overdrive function. That belongs as an algorithm in the wave table page. So I will add that. If you are just looking for a simple overdrive function, that already exists on the oscillator distortion page.

A separate Compressor/Limiter/Overdrive unit has been on the list for a long time but got pushed back after the CPU efficiency changes which are the highest priority right now.

- The distortion function in the osc is not what i expected:

The oscillator distortion page is actually frequency distortion.

- Hard Sync: analog-synth function:

Good idea, but I’ll have to research the algorithm.

- Pre FFT FM:

This is already planned for version 2.34

- Website:

Yes, this is very subjective. There are some pages with a huge amount of depth, such as:


And if you like deep explanations, then this page will be paradise for you. Accessible from the main box menu under Features.


After redesigning the web site I tried to avoid too much text hitting the guest too soon, otherwise people get overloaded and leave. The object was to entice the guest with short bullet points, audio tracks, pictures, and videos. Then if they want more in depth they can click deeper and enter the black hole of audio math.

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360 posts since 30 Mar, 2008

Re: Fathom Synth Development Thread

Post Fri Jul 19, 2019 1:02 pm

Regarding the Macros: You already are already most of the way there with the X/Y modulation sources. The problem is that these sources cannot be automated (AFAIK).

Ideally, the X/Y could be automated, and in addition to those 4 macros, there would be 4 more single axis macros for assigning to sliders and knobs, or for automating. This makes it trivial to automate multiple targets at the same time by simply automating the macros in the same way that performance using the X/Y controllers allows you to target multiple parameters while performing.
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1295 posts since 25 Mar, 2017

Re: Fathom Synth Development Thread

Post Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:28 pm

I have something planned for this.

The front panel 2D controls will be automated from the host as four parameters, Left X, Left Y, Right X, Right Y. They are already assignable as modulators to multiple parameters. So then, through them a single host automation can be linked to multiple parameters.

Also, I'm planning on adding a feature to the front panel where the main frequency gain faders can be placed in a mode where they are assigned as modulators to multiple parameters. Then each fader is accessible in the host as an automation parameter. This will give you the one to many connection you are looking for.

In regard to overdrive and hard sync.

I just finished adding overdrive and hard sync as algorithms in the wave table oscillator.

Then in the oscillator redesign release coming out immediately after the Intel AVX processing release they will also be added as simple dials to all the oscillators.

281 posts since 25 Aug, 2016

Re: Fathom Synth Development Thread

Post Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:23 pm

Yes a waveshaper soft clipping / hardclipping module effect similar to gclip, msaturator, or mwaveshaper would be excellent.
Common use case @ 28:04

I came by to mention that I'm having trouble with essential am/fm params which can be mapped to modulators but they have no effect, similarly the host does not detect the params.

As far as macros are concerned, I tend to prefer to map the modwheel to several params, just like a simple macro control, but I don't see that as a modulation source for some reason. Am I missing something?

I might as well recommend a couple key things which I don't see any mention of in the manual
1) Audio in / External input
This would be monumental as it would allow midi triggerable tempo sync'd envelopes allowing fathom to operate as a drawable level / amplitude shaper for sidechaining and vibrato, as well as an autofilter, or harmonic layer generator, etc etc.

2) Comb Filters / Tonal delay filters including ones such the infamous Serum Freeverb based filter. A key advantage to implementing this is pitch tracking as you can see here @ 5:48


Also since you're a genius I'll just lay this on the table.
Rather than a conventional comb filter, consider an fft filter like ReaFir in precise mode, which could be modulated across the spectrum. That would be the next league.
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281 posts since 25 Aug, 2016

Re: Fathom Synth Development Thread

Post Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:16 pm

Wow Fathom is so self sufficient that I've never noticed the lack of host automation for Fathom in Reaper, Tracktion, or Live.
I always wonder how Bjorn was able to get around this with Modulair.

Also, I use Reaper mostly, and even with
instructions taken care of, Fathom often causes crashes such as when adding new instances I often get a runtime error, and more.
It works much better in Tracktion and Live. Live is only 64 bit so that may solve some ram problems. Wish I had more of a clue.

Looking deeper into the issue with the AM FM params not modulating internally, the bug is not consistently repeatable, and I've only found one patch in one Tracktion project which always has this problem. If the patch is loaded elsewhere, it's resolved. If it happens more I'll have more info for you.
brisk walk in the sun
beaming positivity
some protein and rest

1295 posts since 25 Mar, 2017

Re: Fathom Synth Development Thread

Post Tue Jul 23, 2019 4:41 am

To modulate the AM/FM dials you have to modulate them in the first oscillator, not the second.

Hit Add Mod, Select Modulator, New Modulator, MIDI Controller, Modulation Wheel is number 1.

You can choose the Modulation Wheel for as many modulations as you want.

I don’t think you can do external audio in for a VST plugin, if you could I would have done it already so the Fathom FX could be used without the oscillators. You can only build a VST plugin in source mode or effects mode, not both.

Comb Filter is on the list.

Thanks for the compliment, and also good idea for the FFT filter, I’ll put that on the list also.

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