Matrix-12 - My First Single

Single mode is where it all begins, and it's really important to understand the available features. So now we’re going to show examples of how to use them. For more precision concerning each modules, read the user manual.

Sound Synthesis Parameters


“VCO” stands for “Voltage Controlled Oscillator”, the most basic building block of sound in an
analog synthesizer. The quickest way to make a large change in the tone of a Voice is through its waveforms.


This parameter group contains one of the most distinctive features of the Matrix-12 V sound. Rather than merely offering the requisite Low pass / High Pass / Band Pass filters in 2- or 4-pole options, it offers some very unusual filter types as well. There are 15 filter modes in total!

To experiment, just play with VCO  and Filter parameters.

Sound Modulation Parameters


If it weren’t for envelopes it would be very difficult to achieve any subtlety when programming;; every sound would simply turn on and off. (There’s a way to do that, too, when needed: that’s what a Gate does.)  
Every sound in the universe has an envelope. 

To experiment, load the Template Single preset from the toolbar and modify ENV2 parameters while playing keyboard note.


“LFO” is the easy way to say “Low Frequency Oscillator.” Each LFO has seven waveform choices that range from rounded (Triangle) to potentially abrupt (Square, Saw Up/Down) to nearly unpredictable (Random, Noise, Sample).

To experiment:

  • STEP 1 : load the Template Single preset from the toolbar.


  • STEP 2 : On VCO1 section, press the button called FREQ.


  • STEP 3 : On the center modulation panel, click on the dash [---] to add a source and select the LFO1.


  • STEP 4 : Set amount to 63.


  • STEP 3 : On LFO1 section, change the waveforms and observe the sound.


Ramp Experiment

What a ramp generator does is provide a simple “sawtooth” mod source that can be routed positively or negatively to affect a mod destination, such as VCO Frequency or the rate of an LFO. The source rises from 0 to maximum in a linear fashion, drops instantly, and begins the cycle again.  

You can specify whether the Ramp will rise only once after it is triggered by the keyboard and then wait for another trigger, or be triggered repeatedly by an LFO.  

Try routing these to the rate or amplitude of an LFO with the LFO routed to the VCOs. This is tons of fun, and at one extreme can provide a beautiful, subtle shift in vibrato; the other extreme will set new standards for aural insanity.

FM Experiment

The FM Generator is actually the MATRIX-12's "28th" Source of Modulation. But due to its unique design (utilizing a VCO for its waveform and frequency) and specialized use as a Modulator (it can only affect VCO1 or the VCF), it is given its own Page and is not used in the MATRIX-12's Matrix Modulation.

To experiment with FM in its simplest form, do the following:

  • STEP 1 : Load the Template Single preset from the toolbar.


  • STEP 2: On VCO2 section, turn all waveform outputs OFF. VCO2's Triangle wave is patched separately for FM so we don't want interference from its audio waves.


  • STEP 3: On VCO1 section, turn ON any one of its waveform outputs. Using a SAW wave will enable us to hear the effects of FM the best.


  • STEP 4: On FM/LAG section, select either VC01 or VCF as the FM DEST. For our experiment, we'll use VC01.


  • STEP 5: Gradually increase the FM AMP (the Amount of FM) while you are playing notes on the keyboard. What you will hear will be the new harmonics generated by the FM process.


  • STEP 6: For FM routing to the VCF, on VCF/VCA section, turn the RES (Resonance) parameter Amount to 63 and select 2 POLE LOW as the Filter MODE. By so doing, the VCF will be in oscillation which is the the point where FM is best heard.


A wide variety of FM-generated sounds can be produced by the MATRIX-12 using the following parameters (VCO1 FREQ and waveforms, FM Amp, VCF Freq and Res, VCO2 Freq) 

LAG Experiment

Since the LAG Processor is one of the 27 Modulation Sources, it is used in the Patch the same as any other Source. As an example, say you were using LFO4 to modulate the FREQ of VCO2 directly but decided that you want to Lag LFO4 instead:

  • STEP 1 : Load the Template Single preset from the toolbar.


  • STEP 2: Press button called FREQ on VCO2 section.


  • STEP 3: On the center modulation panel, click on the dash[---] to add a source and select the LFO4. (You can also open the MOD panel and add the modulation LFO4 to VCO2 here.)


  • STEP 4: On FM/Lag section, select LFO4 as the LAG IN.


  • STEP 5: start with a LAG RATE of 0, then adjust the Rate gradually higher. As you increase the amount of LAG RATE, you will begin to hear LFO 4's waveform being smoothed by the LAG Processor.


You can now experiment different LAG MODEs. (Linear, Legato)

Track Experiment

A very basic and easy to hear demonstration of how the Tracking Generator re-shapes  a modulation source is to modulate the pitch of VCO1 by an LFO. We'll use a slow UP SAW (positive Sawtooth) waveform that will produce an effect of the note having a smooth rise in pitch with a sharp dropoff at its peak. We are going to use TRACK to put an audible "hump" in the rising portion of the wave. Let's setup the patch as follows:

  • STEP 1 : Load the Template Single preset from the toolbar.
  • STEP 2 : On VCO2 section, turn off VCO 2's waveforms. By doing so, you have defeated the output of this VCO because in our experimentation with TRACK, we are only interested in listening to VCO1.
  • STEP 3 : On VCO1 section, press the button called FREQ. On the center modulation panel, click on the dash to add a source and select the TRACK1. Set amount to 63.
  • STEP 4 : On LFO1 section, set SPEED to 20 and WAVEFORM to UP SAW.
  • STEP 5 : On TRACK section, select LFO1 as Input.We have just set up the MATRIX-12's Matrix Modulation to perform a slow, deep modulation. Play a note on the Keyboard and listen to the effect of the UP SAW on the frequency of VCO1. Notice that it sounds normal as we have not yet altered the Tracking Generator's default settings. By experimenting with the five Track POINTS, we will see how the Tracking Generator modifies a modulation source to do something that itcannot do normally.
  • STEP 6 : Change the Amount value of POINT 2 from "15" to "60". Play a note from the Keyboard and listen to how the normally smooth rise in the waveform now has a noticable "hump". By experimenting with other POINT Values, see how many ways you can change the UP SAW waveform. Try Point Values of 63,31,0,31 and 63. These settings will cause the UP SAW wave to now closely approximate a TRIANGLE waveform.