Sound Rider Help pa3withbackground1
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The Basic Controls

  • To orient the camera the mouse must be over the 3D view window. Click and hold and drag the mouse to change the pitch and yaw orientation
  • Use the key presses to move the camera left and right. The default key presses are:
    • W - move forward
    • S - move backward
    • A - move left
    • D - move right
  • If you get lost press the Reset button in the top left corner of the controls area (below the 3D window)
  • To change values either:
    • Click on the value, hold the mouse button and drag up and down or
    • Click on the plus and minus buttons
    • Hold the CTRL key at t he same time to reduce movement to units

Note: Sound Rider is still Beta so please use at your own risk!

In Detail

Sound Rider is split into two main areas, the upper area showing the 3D view and the lower area with the controls:



The 3D Window

The Controls Area

Bug Reporting, Latest Release

The 3D Window


It takes a little bit of practice to control the camera if you are not familiar with this kind of system (think first-person shooter video games!). You click in the 3D window and holding the mouse button down move the mouse left or right altering Yaw or up and down altering pitch. If you find the controls too sensitive you can alter the sensitivity via the settings dialog.


The camera can be moved in two ways: either via key presses or via the values shown in the controls area (more on those later). You can alter which keys do what via the settings dialog but the default keys are the standard Quake keys (you can tell I used to be a games programmer!). These are:

  • W - move forward
  • S - move backward
  • A - move left
  • D - move right
  • Q - rotate left
  • E - rotate right

The Controls Area

The controls are is the area below the 3D window.


Reset, Lows, Highs, Back, Right and Above Buttons

These buttons all recall preset camera views and orientations. The reset button sets the view back to the default face on view showing the whole of the spectrogram. Lows shows the left hand part of the frequency range and highs the right hand part. Back gives a view from behind the wave (my favourite). Right shows the wave from the right and above is an aerial shot looking straight down on the view.


User 1,2,3,4 and + Buttons

On the next row down are buttons that you can use to store your favourite views. Once the camera is how you like it press the plus button next to one of the user buttons to store that view. Press the user button itself to recall the view. Initially the user buttons are greyed out but become active once you store a view.

Meter and Solid Buttons

These buttons are state buttons. What I mean by that is they can be in different states. The state they are in is shown by the text and the light bar. You will find a number of these on the interface. The Meter button is a simple on / off button. Pressing it shows a peak and RMS meter to the left in the 3D view (it does nothing in the 2D view). The other button has three states:

  • Solid - the default view where the 3D polygons are filled in.
  • Wireframe - in this view the polygon edges are shown but the polygons are not filled in
  • Points - this shows dots for the edges of the polygons and is dead cool (see below)!

Camera Position and Orientation Parameters

Continuing to the right there are a number of parameters. Parameters are always shown with a label, a value and plus and minus buttons. There are two ways parameters can be altered

  • If you click on the value, keep the mouse button down and drag up or down the value will increase or decrease in predefined intervals. This is the quickest and easiest way to alter a value.
  • Clicking the + increases the value and rather unsurprisingly clicking the - decreases the value.
  • If you hold down the CTRL key while doing either of the above the value increments in units only (good for precise control)

Some values have a minimum and maximum range. For example the camera position parameters x, y and z can range from -999 to +999 world units (call them metres if you like, or feet or anything really, its all relative!). Other values loop around, like the pitch and yaw which are measured in degrees and range from 0 to 359.

The parameters x, y and z set the camera position manually (an alternative to using the key controls in the 3D view) and pitch controls up and down orientation and yaw left and right orientation. I left roll out as that would just be crazy! The values can all be automated in your DAW. Simply set your DAW to record automation for the plugin and move around the world. On playback those movements will be reproduced (they are stored in the DAW track).

Axis Area

At the top right of the controls is the Axis area with a value, plus and minus buttons and an axis on / off button. The axis is very useful for reading measurements. It shows the frequency along the horizontal top with vertical lines and horizontally it shows the decibel values. The axis value controls the positioning of the axis. 0 is right up at the front of the 3D view and 100 is right at the back. Pressing the axis button toggles it on and off.

The Hz button toggles the front line of frequency labels on and off.


Freeze, Show Label, 2D View and Reset Stats buttons

Moving back to the left and down you will find this row of buttons.

Freeze does what is says and stops the 3D display from updating with new values.

Show Labels is a very useful feature. Turning it on will overlay frequency values on the waveform peaks. With fast music they may move too fast to be readable so I suggest using them in combination with the peaks and peak hold parameter. When peaks are not shown (more on these in a minute) labels track the current waveform but when peaks are enabled the labels automatically switch to following the peaks.

2D View switches to a traditional 2D visualiser view. This view also shows some statistics above it that can be useful when analysing your music. The Reset Stats button resets these statistics to start calculating again. Note the Reset Stats button does nothing in the 3D view.


Peak Hold area

In the bottom left corner there is a peak hold parameter with the normal value and increment and decrement buttons and next to it an on off switch. When you click the peaks button Sound Rider displays the peak amplitude per frequency in the 3D view via small red spheres. How long the peak stays in place before being reset is controlled by the peak hold value. This value is measured in milliseconds and ranges from 0 to 5000 (5 seconds). It can also be set to infinity (represented by the letters inf) where by the peaks never drop. Note the speed they drop is set via the settings dialog (described below).

User Peaks

To the right of the peak hold area are four buttons labelled A, B, C and D with a small plus beside them. These can be used to store peak values. Click on the plus when you want to remember the current peaks and on the letter to show or hide them in the 3D view. Each one is shown with different coloured spheres in the main window.



The average parameter can range from 0 (off basically) to 10 seconds. It can also be set to infinity. This control averages the amplitudes of the frequencies over the specified time. So if set to 5 second the 3D display will show the average values for the last 5 seconds.

Settings and Help


Clicking the settings button brings up a new dialog with a number of settings that can be er set for the plugin as a whole. These include

  • Which keys control camera movement. You can select pretty much any key on the keyboard.
  • 3D Range. Sets the range of values shown in the main view. Most visualisers show from 0 to about -120 and you can do the same with sound rider. However I find a value of about -60 gives a clearer picture.
  • Max FPS. The higher the frame rates per second the smoother the 3D view is updated. Sound rider uses interpolation to smooth the waves. Otherwise it would just be twiddling its thumbs waiting for new data from the host, better that it be smoothly interpolating to the new values. However a higher FPS is more taxing on your system so if you are unlucky enough not to have a massively overclocked ivy bridge PC with GTX 680 graphics card like the one I just got (still bragging about this!) you can lower this value to improve performance. Note that the actual frame rate may be limited by your monitor (often this is 60).
  • Ballistics. Controls how fast the peaks drop once they have passed their hold time
  • Smoothing. Further smoothing can be applied to the 3D view if you wish. The higher this value the less the smoothing and it can also be set to off.
  • Control Sens. Determines the sensitivity of the controls i.e. key presses and mouse movement

The close button applies the changes and closes the dialog. The apply button just applies the changed allowing you to see the effect in the main window behind.

The help button is how you got here!

Bug Reporting, Latest Release

It is a fact of programming that there will always be bugs in software. Hopefully the worst of these have been removed however if you find any please do let me know. Any comments of any sort, even critical ones!, if constructive are very useful! Best to use the message thread on KVR here:

Sound Rider has some debugging capabilities built in. Looking at the screenshot below: open setting and click on “Show Debug Pane in Editor”. This replaces the help text with some buttons and also turns on the frame rate counter in the top left of the screen. The most useful tool is to click on Show Log whereby the Sound Rider log is shown overlaid on the screen. Note the Generator button produces noise and sine waves, do make sure your speakers are way down before using this as it is at full volume!


Below are details of the latest release.

Note: Sound Rider is still Beta so please use at your own risk!

Please use the thread on KVR to report issues:

Version 0.6 Beta, November 4th 2012

  • Finalised all areas, prepared for KVR release DC release data of 5th November
  • Tested working in 64 bit in Reaper and Cubase
  • Tested working in 32 bit in Ableton Live 8
  • Many optimisations applied
  • Final interpolation working, tweaked default smoothing value as a result. May consider removing smoothing completely in the future.
  • Fixed some thread blocking issues

Known Issues

  • Save to host not yet fully working meaning settings are reset each time. Currently being worked on.
  • Occasional UI button misalignment
  • Some focus issues in Cubase
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 Copyright Keith Ditchburn 2012