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There's an urgent need for some newbie videos for Cypher 2.

I say 'urgent' - I'm being selfish!

Having just trialled and then bought Cypher 2 today, I am both awestruck at the quality of the presets and extremely keen to start designing my own. 

However, whilst there are now a few videos out there on the topic of Cypher 2, these do little more than demonstrate the presets. There are NONE that address how sound designers might go about making their own patches.

On top of that need, it has to be said that the detailed manual may well be epic as a technical description of what is available but it's badly lacking in terms of hand-holding to get us started. There are no examples of creating a patch in the manual (well, not that I've found).

Of course, it would be fair to reply that there are plenty patches included, so why not have a look at some and reverse engineer what they are doing. Imagine my surprise then that when I see a control moving, I find it is not a simple case of hovering over that control to establish which modulator is responsible.....

One - say - 30 minute video that takes us through the design of a two oscillator MPE patch with some modulation would be worth 20 of this kind of manual.  And, it would make me very happy!

Hows about it Roli? 

Best Answer

Hi Robert,

Thanks for weighing in, and that's a great idea.

Ask and ye shall receive:

Enjoy, and please feel free to share what you come up with!


Hi Robert,

Thanks for weighing in, and that's a great idea.

Ask and ye shall receive:

Enjoy, and please feel free to share what you come up with!

Wow! OK - Red, you blew me away. That was just perfect. It answered so many questions really quickly (from my point of view anyrate). Many thanks for being so responsive. These videos just reinforce my feeling that I made a great choice in shelling out for this software. Well done to all involved in this product. Regards

Well Red, Don't know if you were serious about sharing ........

I've made my first patch!

Having followed both your videos, I copied your work a coupe of times to better understand the Cypher 2 product  (there were one or two moves you made that you didn't telegraph - like when you took the LFO off sync mode, but didn't let on!). Easy to do that when you are so familiar with a product, I would guess.

So I basically grabbed your idea and made some minor adjustments. The attached 5D patch is pleasing on account of the levels of expression that can be wrung out of the Seabord keyboard. This patch can be played with a light touch and then taken to a different place with more aggressive playing followed up with a combination of pressure and slide to get some darker dimensions. Great fun. 

I'm please with getting this far in just 2 or 3 hours, but having got to base camp, I'm now ready to reach for the summit!     Awaiting more of your tutorials on Cypher 2, but meanwhile back to the manual.....

Thanks for your help.

PS There seems to be no board for Cypher 2 on the user forum at the FXpansion site. Does that mean that the only sharing forum for this product is on this Roli page???

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Hey Robert, 

Thanks for sharing – it sounds like you're off to a great start!

I should clarify that I didn't create these videos – our FXpansion team worked on them and coincidentally had just posted them when you asked about video tutorials.

We plan on offering more tutorials, and please feel free to share any more of your creations.


Hi Red, No worries - full marks for owning up!

You may have missed the PS on my last message - Are there any other forums for users to share their experience, or is this it?  Seems kinda quiet......


Hi Robert, indeed this is the Cypher2 forum – I expect things to pick up as more creators dig in to Cypher2 and have questions or things to share.

Red, I appreciate your conversation with Robert. And, I would love to see more on how to reverse engineer some of the patches etc. For me, that’s the easiest way to understand the programming is to look inside existing patches. Even after looking at the manual, there’s so much I don’t understand. The sequencer section in particular makes almost no sense to me. And, maybe I’m spoiled?

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Hey Mark, we'll be releasing some more videos in the coming months that cover various areas of Cypher2, including the TransMod system which is heavily linked to the way sounds are designed. Keep an eye out in the future!

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I too am utterly baffled and look forward to more tutorials. Videos are OK, but I much prefer old skool text. 

Hi all, we've just released a new 18-minute tutorial covering the sequencer in Cypher2. This coincides with our new Cypher2 Expander: Vivid Sequences.

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Hey guys,

This thread just made me reflect a bit about the nature of Cypher2.

I  have been working with analog (and later on, digital) synths for 39 years and this includes owning a fair share of the classics plus a rack of euro-modular. So my understanding of synthesis is rather well rooted.

These days I am all software and minimal hardware. I was looking for the perfect synth for my new love, Seaboard, and Cypher2 made me curious. 

The past week, I have quite obsessed with getting to know this little beast of a synth, spending many, many hours with it, and I can't recall when I have felt like this about a synth. 

In relation to this thread, I will have to say, that this is definitely not the average persons "beginner synth". 

If we make the classic car analogy, Cypher2 is way into super-car territory. Few people will advise you to learn to drive in a Bugatti Veyron, but on the other hand, it is absolutely doable. It is still just a car. 

So what I am trying to say is, if you want to learn synthesis with Cypher2, you need to give it full attention, be a bit stubborn, and read the relevant sections of the manual everytime you hit a bump in the road. 

You will be greatly rewarded, but it is not a journey that anybody would want to undertake.

It seems that most people these days, just want the easy fix, the 1000 presets they can browse. And yes, Cypher2 has a lot of presets, but in my view that is a bit like sitting in the Bugatti Veyron inside the garage, looking at videos of the Veyron being driven by expert drivers. (Perhaps a far fetched analogy, but I think it works somehow.)

So I will say: Learn to tame the beast, one step at a time.  

If you think Cypher2 looks inviting, then good. You will later learn that there is a huge (and slightly scary) underworld of modulation, that has a lot more in common with a mighty modular synth. 

If you think Cypher2 looks intimidating, you should either run away or be a very brave soldier. 

In any case: The rewards of taming this beast are huge. 

Well said Lars! Anyone keen on sound design should enjoy this instrument based on the extent of parameters exposed to the user. This doesn't make it easy of course and so your car analogy is spot on. Other favourites for me in similar mould are SERUM (XferRecords) and THOR (from Propeller heads).
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