These are the minimum recommended system requirements for running Snap Heap.
If you have many instances of Snap Heap running, or use a lot of snapins at the same time in your patch the CPU usage will increase accordingly. Thus, we cannot guarantee that Snap Heap will work flawlessly in all use cases even if your system does meet the minimum recommended system requirements.
The versions of the plugins installed via the Slate Digital installers, like other Slate Digital products, uses the iLok licensing scheme. If you are using these versions, an iLok (USB dongle or iLok cloud) with a valid license from Slate Digital is required to use the plugins.
Snap Heap is a modular effect plugin with many uses. At the heart of the plugin is four lanes of modular effect plugins known as snapins. Snapins come in many different flavors, and implements many classic effects like distortion or chorus as well as more unusual ones like formant filtering and frequency shifting.
In addition to being loaded into Snap Heap, snapins can also be loaded as plugins directly in your DAW. Snap Heap is bundled with a few different snapins, and more can be bought from the Kilohearts website.
This is an overview of the plugin UI. It may look a bit overwhelming at first, but let's try to break it down a bit.
The input audio is passed through all of the enabled effect lanes from left to right. Each lane is processed in sequence, unless the "paralell routing" button is clicked. When parallel routing is enabled, the two adjacent lanes will be linked together and processed in parallel instead, and the result mixed together before being passed into the next lane. If multiple parallel routing buttons are enabled, all linked lanes will be processed in parallel.
Most parameters of Snap Heap are controlled by the knobs and the sliders seen in the UI. To move a knob or slider simply click on it, and while holding the mouse button down move the mouse up or down.
Sometimes you might want more precise control when tuning a parameter. Hold the shift key while moving a knob or slider to enter fine tuning mode, where the knob or slider will move more slowly.
You can reset a knob to its default position by double clicking it.
Finally, most controls support entering the value using your keyboard by right-clicking on them.
The first thing you want to do after installing Snap Heap is probably to try out some of the presets it comes with. To reveal the preset browser, click on the 'Browse' button next to the Snap Heap logo.
Loading a preset in the preset browser is as easy as clicking on it. Double clicking will load the preset and also close the browser. You can also step through all the presets in the current folder by using the arrow keys, or the arrow buttons in the top bar.
Presets are divided into a number of folders, visible on the left hand side. 'Favorites' starts out empty but will be filled with any presets you favorite by clicking their heart icon. 'Factory' contains the presets shipped with Snap Heap, categorized in subfolders. The 'User' folder is the default location for saving your own presets, but you are free to add any number of additional folders by clicking the 'Add Location' button at the bottom of the list. Hovering a location you've previously added will show an 'x' button, which allows you to remove it from the list again.
The search field has free text search of all preset information: name, description and author. All words in your search will be matched in any order. To do exact matches of multiple words, put your search terms in quotes. You can also quickly search for all presets by a certain author by clicking the author name in the rightmost column, or searching for "by:Author Name"
Left of the search field you will find back and forward arrows, which work much like in a web browser by taking to to the previous folder or search results.
Right-clicking a preset in the browser list shows a small context menu with controls for setting the default preset for Snap Heap. This will make all new instances start with the specified preset opened automatically.
You can close the preset browser by clicking the 'Browse' button again, clicking the 'X' button on the top right, pressing the escape key, or double clicking a preset
Your currently selected preset is also shown in the top bar, where you can edit the name, author and description by clicking them. Saving your changes is done with the 'Save' button, and the 'New' button clears the current patch.
The save dialog lets you choose where to save your preset. Note that write protected folders like 'Factory' and 'Favorites' are not included. The 'Name' and 'Author' fields reflect the preset info fields in the top bar, but gives you an opportunity to edit it again before saving.
At the top of the dialog, the 'Create Subfolder' button lets you create subfolders to categorize presets in any way you like.
Once you have checked out some of the presets you are probably eager to get your hands dirty and create your own patches. We designed Snap Heap to be easy and fast to work with, and we hope you will enjoy experimenting and discovering the possibilities. Still, knowledge is power, so in this section we will go through all the features of Snap Heap in detail.
Lanes are divided into three parts. The header, where you will find a few toggle buttons, the main part of the lane, which holds the snapins in the lane, and the footer where you will find some mixing controls.
In the lane header you will find the following controls:
In the lane footer you will find some knobs which impact how the output of the lane is mixed down during lane mixing:
To add a new snapin to a lane, click the add snapin icon which appears when you hover the empty space in a lane. This will make a dialog appear giving you a selection of all the snapins you have installed. Simply click one to add it to the lane. To insert a snapin between existing snapins, hold down alt/cmd (Win/Mac).
Snapins can be reordered or moved between lanes by clicking their title bars and dragging them. If you hold the ctrl/alt (Win/Mac) key when dropping the snapin you will make a copy of it instead of moving it.
To remove a snapin simply click the little X icon in the top right corner of the snapin.
Almost all parameters in Snap Heap and in snapins can be modulated. In Snap Heap you will find four different modulation sources that can be used for modulation; macro knobs, LFOs, envelopes and MIDI.
Hooking up a modulation source to a target parameter is done in pretty much the same way for all modulation sources. Look for the little link icon appearing when you are hovering your mouse pointer over a modulation source. Clicking the link icon selects the modulation source and switches the UI over to modulation target selection mode. In this mode a small orange modulation knob will appear next to each possible modulation target. Click and drag on the modulation knob to connect the modulation source to the target parameter and set the modulation level. The modulated control will to turn an orange color to indicate that it is being modulated.
After a modulation source has been connected to a target parameter the modulation knob will be visible next to the modulation source at all times. The modulation knob will also appear next to the modulation target when the target is hovered. The modulation knob can be dragged to adjust the level of modulation. To disconnect the modulation, double click the modulation knob.
In addition to just modulating knobs and parameters directly, you can also use the modulation system to modulate the depth of other modulations. To set up this kind of modulation, enter modulation mode and then click on the yellow star icon under a parameter with an existing modulation. This will bring up a popup where you can see all the modulations for the parameter. Click on the dashed yellow rectangle under the modulation to scale that modulation.
Modulations that target other modulations will be shown as yellow in the UI.
The macro knobs can be routed to any other parameter in Snap Heap or in Snapins using the modulation system. This lets you control many different aspects of the sound of the patch using a single macro knob. The macro knobs can be renamed by clicking on their label. The new name is stored in the preset.
The macro knobs are probably the first thing you should take a look at when trying out new presets, since the preset maker may have routed them to allow quick adjustment of some key parameters in the preset.
Snap Heap is equipped with two low frequency oscillators, or LFOs for short, which are ideal for modulating parameters in an oscillating and rhythmic fashion.
Snap Heap is equipped with two envelopes, which can be used to modulate parameters using the audio volume or MIDI note events.
The pitch tracker allows modulation using the pitch of the input signal. The modulation output of the pitch tracker is set to match any frequency based parameters at 100%. For example, this means modulating the cutoff of the Filter snapin with 100% pitch, the cutoff frequency will follow the tracked frequency of the input similarily to how 100% keytracking in a synth behaves.
The MIDI tab allows modulation using MIDI input. Since Snap Heap is an effect rather than an instrument, many DAWs will not route MIDI events to it by default. Check the documentation for your DAW for details on how to set up MIDI routing.
Snap Heap can also be loaded as a snapin in snapin hosts like Multipass, Phase Plant or itself. In this mode, the Snapin interface shows all named macros that have any modulation bindings. At the top, up/down arrows can be used to scan through presets and a full browser can be opened by clicking the preset name. To edit the current patch, press the pen icon. This will open the full Snap Heap interface in a separate window.
The External Input selector allows you to choose which sidechain channel in the snapin host should be mapped to the external sidechain channel in the contained Snap Heap instance.
This development of this product was helped by the following pieces of excellent open source software:
Skia Graphics Library
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C++ optimized SHA1 algorithm
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