core | ugens | analysis



The UGen class is an abstract class which provides the basis for all UGens in Minim. UGen is short for Unit Generator, which is simply something that either generates a sample value, or transforms the sample value produced by another UGen. Since everything is a UGen, there is a common interface for patching things together. For instance, you might have a line of code that looks like this:
osc.patch( filter ).patch( adsr ).patch( output );
You can read this code left to right. It says that the output of an Oscil should be sent through a filter (perhaps a LowPass) and the output of the filter should be sent through an ADSR envelope, which should then be sent to an AudioOutput. It's incredibly clear what the signal path is and it can be stated concisely.

UGens might also have UGenInputs. Oscil, for example, has a UGenInput called frequency. UGenInputs can be patched to, just like UGens, which means you might have a line of code like this:

line.patch( osc.frequency );
This says that a Line UGen should control the value of the Oscil's frequency. You may have created a Line that changes it's value from 440 to 880 over 2 seconds. The audible result, when you call activate() on the Line, is that the Oscil will sweep upwards in frequency and then hold there until you activate the Line again. All of this control happens on a sample-by-sample basis, which means (hopefully) no clicks and pops. For a list of all UGens included with Minim, see the UGens package doc.





  * This sketch demonstrates how to create synthesized sound with Minim 
  * using an AudioOutput and an Oscil. An Oscil is a UGen object, 
  * one of many different types included with Minim. By using 
  * the numbers 1 thru 5, you can change the waveform being used
  * by the Oscil to make sound. These basic waveforms are the 
  * basis of much audio synthesis. 
  * For many more examples of UGens included with Minim, 
  * have a look in the Synthesis folder of the Minim examples.
  * <p>
  * For more information about Minim and additional features, 
  * visit

import ddf.minim.*;
import ddf.minim.ugens.*;

Minim       minim;
AudioOutput out;
Oscil       wave;

void setup()
  size(512, 200, P3D);
  minim = new Minim(this);
  // use the getLineOut method of the Minim object to get an AudioOutput object
  out = minim.getLineOut();
  // create a sine wave Oscil, set to 440 Hz, at 0.5 amplitude
  wave = new Oscil( 440, 0.5f, Waves.SINE );
  // patch the Oscil to the output
  wave.patch( out );

void draw()
  // draw the waveform of the output
  for(int i = 0; i < out.bufferSize() - 1; i++)
    line( i, 50  - out.left.get(i)*50,  i+1, 50  - out.left.get(i+1)*50 );
    line( i, 150 - out.right.get(i)*50, i+1, 150 - out.right.get(i+1)*50 );

  // draw the waveform we are using in the oscillator
  stroke( 128, 0, 0 );
  for( int i = 0; i < width-1; ++i )
    point( i, height/2 - (height*0.49) * wave.getWaveform().value( (float)i / width ) );

void mouseMoved()
  // usually when setting the amplitude and frequency of an Oscil
  // you will want to patch something to the amplitude and frequency inputs
  // but this is a quick and easy way to turn the screen into
  // an x-y control for them.
  float amp = map( mouseY, 0, height, 1, 0 );
  wave.setAmplitude( amp );
  float freq = map( mouseX, 0, width, 110, 880 );
  wave.setFrequency( freq );

void keyPressed()
  switch( key )
    case '1': 
      wave.setWaveform( Waves.SINE );
    case '2':
      wave.setWaveform( Waves.TRIANGLE );
    case '3':
      wave.setWaveform( Waves.SAW );
    case '4':
      wave.setWaveform( Waves.SQUARE );
    case '5':
      wave.setWaveform( Waves.QUARTERPULSE );
    default: break; 


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