Tutorials

Quick Start Guide

Introduction

Integra Live is divided into two main views: the Arrange View is for composing and experimenting with musical ideas — the Live View is for performance.

To switch between the views, click the buttons in the top-left of the Integra Live window:

Integra Live also has an Info View showing info about the application and current project.

Arrange View

The Arrange View is the main view of the application. It enables audio processing blocks to be be created and arranged on a musical timeline. It also enables interactive elements to be added through the Routing and Scripting tabs in the Properties Panel.

Blocks

A block is a container for adding and connecting modules. blocks are used to organise modules into groupings that make musical sense. One example is the “SpectralDelay” block included in the Integra Live Block Library. This block contains a stereo soundfile player feeding into two filters and two spectral delays.

  • To add a block from the Block Library, click the block name and drag it onto a track

  • To add a new empty block, double-click an empty area inside a track
  • To activate a block, drag the playhead so that it is horizontally aligned with the block
  • blocks can be re-sized by click-dragging their left or right edge

Tracks

tracks enable multiple blocks to be active at the same time.

  • To add a track, double-click in the empty space under an existing track
  • To vertically re-size a track click-drag the tab in the bottom-right corner

Properties Panel

The lower part of Arrange View shows a Properties Panel. This panel changes context depending on whether a block, track or entire project is selected. The Properties Panel is used to control routing, scripting and envelopes. The current project, track or block can also be selected using the “cookie crumb navigation” widget in the top-left of the Properties Panel.

Figure 2. Block, Track and Project properties selection in Arrange View

Block, Track and Project properties selection in Arrange View

Block, Track and Project properties selection in Arrange View

Module View

The Module View is a sub-view of the Arrange View. It can be entered by double-clicking on a block.

A module can be used to process, generate or analyse musical sound in Integra Live. modules can be very simple “effects” such as delays and pitch shifters, or more sophisticated processing tools such as granular synthesisers.

Adding and connecting Modules
  • To enter Module View double-click a block in Arrange View.
  • To add a module to the Module View drag a module name from the Module Library to the canvas

  • To connect two modules, click and drag from a module output (e.g. “out1”) to a module input (e.g. “in1”)

  • Dragging a module onto an existing connection, will split the connection and add the module in the signal path
  • Modules and connections can be removed by selecting and then pressing “backspace”
Module Properties Panel
  • Selecting a Module will cause its controls to be shown in the Module Properties Panel underneath the canvas

Figure 1. Module Properties Panel showing controls for the Granular Delay module

Module Properties Panel showing controls for the Granular Delay module

Module Properties Panel showing controls for the Granular Delay module

  • Module controls (such as sliders and dials) are used to change module parameters in real-time and are interactive through clicking, dragging and text-entry
  • Precise values can be entered by double-clicking the control‘s numeric value and typing the new value in the text-entry box

  • MIDI learn can be enabled for a parameter by clicking the MIDI learn icon on the parameter’s control . Once incoming MIDI has been received, an automatic route will be created in the block‘s routing panel.
MIDI Learn

All parameters in Integra Live can be controlled via external MIDI messages, for example from a hardware MIDI device. The simplest way to set up routing between a MIDI controller and a module parameter is to use Integra Live’s MIDI learn feature.

  • To use MIDI learn, first enable that the correct MIDI input device is selected in the Integra Live Preferences
  • To enable MIDI learn for a parameter, in Module View select a module, then click the MIDI learn icon for a parameter in the Module Properties Panel
  • The MIDI learn icon will then flash until incoming MIDI is received
  • Once incoming MIDI has been received, an automatic route will be created in the block‘s routing panel
  • The MIDI learn icon will change to a lock to indicate that the parameter is being controlled by an external device
  • To “unlearn” a MIDI → parameter routing click the lock icon on the corresponding parameter and select “Delete Routing from MIDI.cc”

Lock Override

When a module parameter is being controlled by a source such as an envelope or an external MIDI controller, a lock icon will be shown on the parameter’s control in the Module Properties Panel. When a parameter is locked it can’t be target of another route and the control can’t be modified by clicking with the mouse.

  • To temporarily override a lock hold down the ctrl key before clicking on the control

The parameter will be re-locked after the ctrl key is released.

Routing

In Integra Live, tracks, blocks and modules all have parameters that are used to store values representing their current settings. These values can be routed so that when a source parameter changes, the value of any target parameters also changes. This can be used to route the value of a slider on an external controller to “room size” of a reverb, or to route the value of a “play” button to another “play” button so that playback of two separate modules starts simultaneously.

  • To add routing within a block, select a block, then click the Routing Tab in the Block Properties Panel, then click the “+” icon to add a new route
  • The drop-down menus can then be used to set the source module, source parameter, target module and target parameter

  • The same process can also be used for routing between blocks or tracks, by selecting the parent track or project respectively

When a route is created between two parameters, the target parameter becomes “locked”. A small lock icon will be displayed on the parameter’s control in the module properties panel indicating that it cannot be changed. To temporarily override the lock, hover over the control and hold the ctrl key.

Scripting

Integra Live has a built-in scripting facility based on the Lua programming language. Scripts can be used to set and get parameters and perform a range of procedural operations on them.

  • To add scripting within a block, select a block, then click the Scripting Tab in the properties panel, then click the “+” icon to add a new script. Script can then be typed into the text-area
  • Integra Script is a super-set of Lua, with the added ability to directly address Integra Live parameters using “dot notation”
    x = AudioIn1.vu
    TapDelay1.delayTime = math.abs(x) / 10.
  • Scripts can be triggered by routing any parameter to the Script “trigger” parameter

Timeline

The master timeline provides a reference point against which musical ideas can be organised. Timeline progression can be linear, where the ordering and duration of blocks corresponds to their ordering in performance, or non-linear, where the playhead moves to arbitrary points on the timeline with some blocks being activated indefinitely or stopped and started through user interaction.

  • The playhead position can be changed manually by click-dragging the control triangle

  • The playhead state can be set to “play” or “pause” using the button controls in the top-left of the Arrange View
  • Clicking the timeline numbering, can be used to zoom and scroll the view. Clicking and dragging left/right controls horizontal scroll, dragging up/down controls zoom level

Scenes

Scenes are used to create user-defined progressions through musical time. One application of this is to define Scenes that correspond to different sections of a musical work “Section A”, “Section B”, “Cadenza” etc. Another application is to create multiple pathways within a work as found in improvisation and “open form” composition

  • Scenes can be added by click-dragging in the scene bar on the global timeline

  • When a scene is selected, its properties are shown in the Properties Panel
  • A scene can be activated by selecting it in the global timeline, or by selecting its keybinding in Live View
  • A scene can have three different states when it is activated:Hold:The playhead will be set to pause when the scene becomes activePlay:The playhead will be set to play when the scene becomes activeLoop:The playhead will loop back to the beginning of the scene, when it reaches the scene end

Envelopes

Envelopes can be used to automate the control of module parameters. This can be used for creating pre-defined musical gestures resulting from multiple module parameters changing simultaneously. Another example use is to create cross-fades between sections.

  • To add an envelope select a module from the modules dropdown on the Block Properties Panel:

  • Select the parameter to control from the parameters dropdown:

  • To add control points click on the envelope line in the block:

  • To delete a control point, drag it to the left until it disappears and release the mouse button.
  • To select an envelope use the module and parameter dropdowns on the Block Properties Panel.
  • To delete an envelope click the “x” next to the module parameter dropdown on the Block Properties Panel.

As with routing, when an envelope is created, the target parameter becomes “locked”. A small lock icon will be displayed on the parameter’s control in the module properties panel indicating that it is being controlled by an envelope cannot be changed. To temporarily override the lock, hover over the control and hold the ctrl key.

Block Toolbar

Each block has a block toolbar, which contains a number of buttons that can be used to perform actions on the block.

  • To enter the Module View for a given block, click the plus sign:
  • To lock a given envelope for editing click the lock button. When the lock is closed: only the current envelope will be selectable. When the lock is open: any envelope can be selected by clicking on it.
  • To modify the curvature of an envelope, click the curve button. When the curve has arrow indicators , envelope curvature can be modified by clicking an envelope and dragging up or down to change the shape of the curve.

Live View

The Live View is designed for live performance. Its purpose is to provide a reduced set of module controls for each Block, with custom control sizes and layout for convenience. When in Live View the computer keyboard also becomes active for navigating between Scenes.

  • Controls can be added to Live View by selecting Arrange View, clicking “+” on the relevant block, and then clicking the checkbox in the top right corner of the required controls
  • An entire Module‘s controls can be added or removed from the Live View using the checkbox on each module
  • Controls can also be added directly in Live View by right-clicking the canvas and selecting a control from the menu:

Figure 3. Live View with custom control layout and keyboard map

Live View with custom control layout and keyboard map

Live View with custom control layout and keyboard map

Scene shortcuts

  • Scenes can be activated from Live View by pressing the key associated with each scene
  • Scene key bindings can be reassigned by click-dragging the scene names on the Live View keyboard map

Control layout

  • Controls in Live View can be moved and re-sized by click-dragging their background and edges respectively

Info View

The Info View shows information about elements in Integra Live when the cursor hovers over them.

The Info View can be shown or hidden at any time using the View menu

Adding Info

The Info View can be used to add info to projects. Info can be added to the project itself, as well as individual tracks, blocks and scenes.

To add info to an element:

  • Hover the mouse over the element
  • Press Control-3 (F2 on Windows) to lock the Info View
  • Click the “edit” button on the Info View title bar
  • Type your info into the Info panel
  • Press Control-3 (F2 on Windows) to release the Info View

Info can now be viewed by hovering over the element with the cursor.

Module Management

Integra Live supports three types of module:

  • The Latest Official modules that come bundled with the application
  • Third Party modules created by the Integra community
  • Old versions of modules that are embedded in projects or blocks

To install a Third Party module:

  • double-click a .module file or
  • select Install Third Party Modules… from the File menu

This will make a copy of the module and add it to the Integra Live module library as shown below.

To uninstall a Third Party module:

  • Select Module Manager from the application’s View menu
  • Select the Install / Uninstall tab
  • Select the module to be uninstalled from the Installed Third Party Modules listing
  • Click the Uninstall button

Module Versions

Integra Live can support multiple versions of the same module. If more than one version of a module is available, a disclosure arrow will be shown to the right of the module name in the module library. Clicking this arrow will reveal the available versions of the module. In the following listing there are three versions of the Stereo Soundfiler module available: the latest official version, a third party version and an out-of-date version embedded in the project.

To upgrade all modules in a project to the latest official version:

  • Select Module Manager from the application’s View menu
  • Click the Upgrade All button in the Manage Versions Tab

To switch versions for a specific module:

  • Select Module Manager from the application’s View menu
  • Select the module for which multiple versions are available
  • Select the version to switch to from the Alternative Versions list
  • Click the Switch Versions button

This will switch all instances of the module to the selected version.

Versions currently in use within the project are indicated with arrows. The following example shows that the project contains instances of a Stereo Soundfiler module and that these instances use either a Third Party version and an out-of-date embedded version.

Typically it is best to always upgrade projects to use the latest official versions, but there may be occasions when an alternative version is required because it has characteristics not present in the official version.

Module Upgrade Dialog

When a project, track or block is opened or imported, and improved versions of the Latest Official modules are available then Module Upgrade Dialog will be displayed.

  • Click Upgrade to upgrade modules in the project, track or block to the Latest Official versions—these Latest Official versions will then be embedded in the project file and replace current instances of those modules
  • Check the Always Upgrade checkbox before clicking Upgrade to always upgrade modules in future without prompting—this option can later be unchecked using the Module Manager
  • Click Module Manager… to selectively upgrade specific modules
  • Click Cancel to leave the project as it is—modules can always be upgraded later using the Module Manager

If modules are upgraded, an Upgrade Report will be shown, providing a detailed report of the changes that have been made.

In the upgrade process, Integra Live will attempt to preserve connections and parameter settings for upgraded modules. However if parameters or audio inputs and outputs have been removed or renamed in the Latest Official versions then connections to these will not be preserved. Ranges of parameters may also be altered in ways that affect the operation of the module. It is therefore good practice to keep a copy of the upgrade report and check through all upgraded module instances for issues.

When performing any upgrade, Integra Live will create a backup of the project with the file suffix (backup).integra. This can be used to revert to the pre-upgrade version of the project or can be safely deleted.

Other features

Mute Control

Projects, tracks and blocks can all be muted, making them inactive and silent.

  • To mute a project or track, click the speaker icon next to the VU meter:

When a track is muted, it will be greyed out as shown below.

Individual blocks can also be temporarily muted by clicking the speaker icon in Module View. This mute setting will be overridden if the block is re-activated by the global playhead.

MIDI Input Indicator

When MIDI is received by Integra Live, the MIDI Input Indicator in the top-right corner of the application window will glow.

  • To view incoming MIDI note and CC values click the MIDI Input Indicator. This will display the MIDI Info panel:

If the MIDI Input Indicator fails to glow when MIDI is sent to Integra Live, check the MIDI device settings in the Integra Live preferences dialog.

Lighting

  • Lighting can be set to “on” for studio use and “off” for live use in darkened environments. This is achieved by clicking the lighting icon in the top-right of the application window

Import and export

Tracks, blocks and module settings can all be exported and imported to/from disk. This enables specific components to be moved between projects. Additionally, blocks, can be added to the Block Library, which allows easy drag ‘n’ drop of exported blocks.

  • Import/export is available from the context menu in Arrange View. For example to export a track, context-click the track and click “Export…→Track”

Renaming

  • Tracks, blocks and modules can be renamed by double-clicking their name and typing in the text-entry box