How to Make a Desktop Synthesizer

It is easy to design DesktopX objects that perform sounds on command. One nice project that can be made from sound generating icons is a desktop synthesizer. The synthesizer can bring hours of desktop enjoyment.

The basic synthesizer will require one set of computer icons and one set of sound wav files. The icons can match with your current theme or can be a musical theme. The number of icons and sound files needed depends on the amount of music notes that you personally want. Someone that just wants to play around might need just a small number, where someone that wants it as a real music maker would need a much higher number in order to accommodate flats and sharps.

It is also valuable to plan in advance the placement of the icons. A rainbow arrangement seems to work best for larger projects, while a zigzag or level platform is more for the smaller ones. Still, the layout can be changed in the future if desired, but having a plan permits the creator to keep the project in an attainable perspective.

I recommend making layer objects out of the icons and placing them as desired on the screen before adding sounds. This is the project safety net. It is better to find out before doing hours of work that the project is bigger than you can use, or worse, that you don’t like the new look of your desktop. It might also be a good touch to label the object with the note name.

After laying out the objects, then you must right click on each icon and change the properties to activate rollover music notes. First, click on the states tab and add mouse over and mouse away states. For all objects, do not set sound files for mouse away states. For each separate object, add the wanted sound file to the mouse over states. Be sure to check no loop in the sound menu.

Some accessories that goes well with this project is percussion and other background play-along. Making these objects are slightly different. On the states tab, add the state of mouse click left. Add the chosen wav file and click apply. Add the state of mouse right click. Do not add a sound file and click apply. Do not pick mouse on or mouse away states.

When you are finished with the last object, your desktop synthesizer is complete and ready to boogey.

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