This article is here to help you understand the Wire interface. Most of the interface is very straightforward and easy to explore on your own, but there are a few nice tricks that we will teach here.
When you start Wire you will be warmly greeted by our welcome screen.
Under the Patches tab you can quickly jump into the latest patches you’ve worked on. Toggle between the clock and ABC symbol to display your last used patches or sort your collection alphabetically.
Click on the Tutorial tab to browse through an ever growing list of tutorials. These tutorials cover everything from the basics to generating nuclear launch codes.
The Examples tab hides a slew of fully documented patches that do awesome stuff. This is a nice tool for learning Wire or to pick up some inspiration.
The Templates tab holds a few templates that set Wire up for making a Source, Mixer or Effect.
At the left bottom you can toggle the Welcome pop-up on or off. The welcome screen can always be accessed from the View menu, because you, you are always welcome.
The patch screen can be traversed by holding down the spacebar and click-dragging across the screen. The cursor will change into a hand, indicating that you are ready to pan. Alternatively you can press and hold the middle mouse button to pan.
You can zoom in and out of your patch by scrolling the middle mouse button. Alternatively you can use the [CTRL, +] and [CTRL, -] shortcuts to zoom in and out. At the top right corner of the screen you will find a zoom level menu. Here you can jump to preset increments or fit the patch to the screen. The shortcut for fitting is [CTRL, 0]. The shortcut for resetting to 100% is [CTRL, 1].
Nodes can be created in three different ways. The first method is to right click on an empty space and find the node you need. The second method is to double click on an empty space. This opens up a search bar that lets you search for a node. Nodes found this way have a description and an example patch attached to them. The last method is to click on the library tab and either search or scroll to the desired patch, then drag it into the patch.
Nodes can be selected by clicking on them. Hold [CTRL] and click on another node to expand your selection. Click and drag on an empty space in the patch to draw a selection box to select multiple nodes.
Once a node is selected you can move it around by clicking and dragging the node. When you have selected multiple nodes you can right click them to align them to the left or the top.
Once a node is selected you can right click it and select duplicate to create a duplicate of the node. Alternatively you can press [CTRL, D] to create a duplicate, or hold [ALT] and drag out a duplicate.
Nodes can be copied, cutted and pasted in your patch or onto other patches. Right click the node and press copy, cut or paste. The shortcuts are [CTRL, C] for copy, [CTRL, X] for cut and [CTRL, V] for pasting.
You may notice the option “Copy For Sharing”. This is a way to share your patch with other people by means text. We’ll dive deeper into this feature in the Saving, Consolidating and Compiling article.
Another nifty trick is the Copy/Paste Settings function. This allows you to copy the settings from one node to another. Of Course the nodes have to be similar, but it is perfectly fine to copy the settings from a Sine Oscillator onto a Saw Oscillator.
You may want to rename your nodes at some point. You can do this by double clicking its name. Alternatively you can change the name in the node panel after you selected the patch.
Note that the names of input nodes will also be displayed in Resolume when using the patch. For this reason it is best practice to use standard English words if you want to share your patch with others.
Nodes can be connected by clicking on an outlet and connecting it to an inlet. Wire always works from left to right. In some cases, feedback loops can be created, but that is beyond the scope of this article.
You can take the connection to an inlet and move it to another inlet by clicking it.
To disconnect a connection, right click on the wire and select disconnect. Alternatively you can press [DEL] or [BACKSPACE] to remove the connection.
It is impossible to delete a node. Deleting nodes is not permanent enough. That’s why in Wire, you destroy nodes instead. Right click the node and click on destroy. Alternatively press [DEL] or [BACKSPACE] to initiate node destruction.
When you have made some terrible mistake you can always undo or redo your actions by clicking the curved arrows under the Wire tab. The shortcut for undo is [CTRL, Z]. The shortcuts for redo are [CTRL, SHIFT, Z] or [CTRL , Y].
In the bottom right corner of your screen you will find the monitor. By default this will show the output of the currently selected node. This allows you to preview every step in your signal without having to bypass nodes.
Below the monitor the name of the node will be displayed. This is the name of the node that is described in the library. Meaning that even though you might have renamed your node, the original name can always be found here.
Left of the name you’ll find the pin button. When in pinned mode the current node will be locked to the monitor. No matter what you do or where you click, this node will always be in the preview screen. A quick way to pin/unpin a node is by holding [ALT] while clicking it.
The Texture Out node is pinned to the preview screen.
The patch panels gives you all the information about your patch in general.
Here you can give your patch a name and a description. This is the name and description that Arena/Avenue will use. Category is an important one, here you select how Arena/Avenue should interpret your patch. You can choose between source, effect or mixer. If needed, you can adjust the resolution and texture bit depth of the patch.
Below that you can fill in your credentials. This will make sure you get famous.
Lastly there is your license information. This will be covered in more detail in the Saving, Consolidating and Compiling article.
After you select a node, the node panel will update to display the unique attributes of that node. Keep in mind that each node is unique and will have different settings in the panel
Here you can change the name of the node and adjust inlet values manually.
The color of the node can also be adjusted here.
Under attributes you can often adjust the data input and output types and change the amount of instances. Data types will be covered in the Data Types article and Instancing also has its own article.
At the bottom of the panel you will find a link to an example that explains the node in more detail.
The library is the collection of all the nodes in Wire. Here you can either search for the node you need. Create the node by either double clicking it or dragging it onto the patch.
Resources are external files used in your patch. These can be clips, images or ISF files. The resource tab is here to give you an overview of all resources used in your patch.
Clearing unused resources
If you have any resources that are not used in the patch, you can remove them manually in the Resources tab or go to the Wire tab and click “Clear Unused Resources”. This will get rid of all the files that are not being used.
When saving a patch that has resources, it might be useful to consolidate it instead. This will copy all the used resources to the folder where you patch is saved. For more information on consolidation check the Saving, Consolidating and Compiling article.
This is where all the error messages show up. A clear Log is a happy Log. You can also use the Print node to send information to the Log.
The Dashboard tab is the one-tab-stop for controlling all your inputs as well as ordering them as you see fit.
The order of the inputs is also the order that Arena/Avenue will pick up when you run your patch there. Inputs can be moved by dragging and dropping the name of the parameter.
Note that to create an organized and user-friendly patch you should always rename your inputs. You can rename nodes by either double clicking the name of the node (not in the dashboard, but the node self) or right clicking the node and selecting rename in the drop-down menu.