See "The Twonker - A Brief Introduction" for an overview.
Installing The Twonker involves copying the plugin into your VST directory, then allowing your digital audio workstation to load the plugin. Once loaded, The Twonker will be treated like a Synthesizer that does not generate audio; but reads and writes MIDI only.
In other words, it's a MIDI-only Synthesizer. You would add an actual Synthesizer after The Twonker to hear the generated overtones.
Some audio workstations will mute the MIDI-output of the plugin if The Twonker's Audio Output is not connected (even though it does not generate audio). To remedy this, connect a muted audio channel to the Twoner's Audio Output. This seems to be the recommended approach with MIDI-only VST plugins and may be tied to limitations in the VST2 specification.
The following terms are important in understanding how The Twonker works:
The Twonker defines three types of tones:
- Normal: This is a typical tone that you could play on a piano, which is unaffected by The Townker.
- Fundamental: These are special notes that are not heard when triggered. When the Fundamental is set in The Twonker, the piano is effectively retuned to a new Just Scale derived from the Fundamental.
- Twonked: These are tones that are modified by The Twonker and pitch-shifted to an overtone (according to the Alterations as described later).
This defines the MIDI channel that Fundamental tones are coming from. It can be "Omni" (for all channels) or a specific channel number.
This can be used to separate the Fundamental Range into a second instrument; leaving all the keys on the primary instrument available for sounding tones.
Fundamental Start & End
The Start and End tones define the range of tones that will be treated as Fundamentals (and not heard when keyed).
The Twonker will alter tones based on their interval with the Fundamental. For each of the eleven intervals (excluding the octave) there are either one or two possible overtones that can substitute for the Normal Tone.
The indicators show the player visually what the Twonker is doing to tones as they pass through. When a Normal Tone is let through unchanged, The Twonker lights the Note Indicator in Green. When The Twonker alters a tone the indicator lights up in Red, along with the cents sharp or flat from the standard pitch.
When The Twonker is engaged, the Twonk indicator will light up Red. The active Fundamental is displayed under the indicator (which in our example is C).
In our example above, The Twonker's Fundamental is set to C, and sounding an altered C Minor 7th chord (which I like to call "C Twonk Minor 7"). The C root note of the Minor 7th chord is unchanged and colored green.
The cents flat or sharp are figured by the interval between the Fundamental and the tone in question. There are three intervals in this example The Twonker is looking at (highlighted in yellow above):
- Minor 3rd: Between C and D♯/E♭. This flattens the D♯ by 2 cents.
- Perfect 5th: Between C and G. This sharpens the G by 2 cents.
- Minor 7th: Between C and A♯/B♭. This flattens the A♯/B♭ by 31 cents.