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Zwobot v1.3 User Guide

(work in progress)

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(Summary of all Zwobot modules)

• Make sure you have the latest version of Max for Live installed! Zwobot is not working with Max7.2.5 and below.

• Windows user should install the Spout package with the
Max package manager! (if you want to use this feature)

• Audio-buffer settings influences the fps of Zwobot. More is not always better. Change your audio-buffer settings in Ableton Live and try what's best for you to work with Zwobot & Ableton Live.
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Overview Features Zwobot

General functions

Adjust your sound sensitivity, and click X-Fade, and your A/B mixer will crossfade depending on your incoming audio.

Zwobot takes its beat directly from Ableton Live, it should be always on "one" (1/4 beat). If you just using Zwobot an Ableton Live as visuals-tool only and tap your beat in (tap bpm in Ableton Live), then it happens that your "one" is not 100% correct. To adjust that, just press the Zwobot logo.

Set your beat clock rate for the Zwobot Beat Function. You can set the clock rate up to 1/16th. If Beat is enabled, it will send a clock to Zwobot and all effects, and if available, you can set this clock to your dialers/effects. more info at the Beat Control section

Just drag'n'drop all your files (folders, mov, mpeg, png, jpg, animated gif etc.) from your system browser. Drag'n'drop from the Ableton Live browser supports only files, no folders.

Repeats your video clip depending on your dialer beat value and your Ableton Live bpm (independent from Beat Control). Just working if you press play in Ableton Live.

⑧ ⑨ Just mix your videos or images together. With the Fade-FX dialer you have different mixing effects.

You can put up to 12 effects in a row. The fx connector is working like a guitar foot pedal series connection. more info at the Connector section

BLOW (up) sets your main output window to fullscreen on your 2nd monitor/projector. F & B (floating & bind) binds your output window to Ableton live. If floating is set, your window is independent from Ableton Live. This is most important for Mac users.

• You can use Zwobot in midi and in audio channels.

• Do not use Zwobot twice in one Ableton Live set. Zwobot has different "rules" than a regular audio or effects plug-in.

• ON/OFF button (Device Activator)
has no effect at all Zwobot modules.

• Ableton Live and its audio playback is always on priority No.1! So if you load new effects or 3rd party plug-ins, Ableton Live always keeps playing, while Zwobot can get stuck for some milliseconds. This is a feature, not a bug!

• Zwobot will save all dialer/toggle/fx-connections/video and folder values within Ableton Live.


Outgoing frames per second from your Graphics. Less than 20fps = orange, less than 15fps = red. If you have less than 15fps, delete/pass some effects for better performance.

Enable Syphon (Mac) & Spout (Windows) OUTPUT for externeal video sharing.

Set your internal render resolution for your graphics.

Enable additional preview window.

Reset all dialer values on the Zwobot module. This has no effect on your actual video playback.

Enable corner mapping in your main window. If enabled just drag corners to any position you like.

Time-cache before auto disconnect FX. If you have huge load times, and write massive files to your hardsdisk/ssd, this prevents disconnecting FX while saving or loading huge (audio)-files with Ableton Live.

Cache size of given RAM in Gigabyte. If you have a lot of small files, this will help you. It doesn't make sense with huge files and just blow-up your RAM. Care should be taken when adjusting the size, if the frame cache exceeds the available memory, the application may crash. It doesn't have any effects for FX & Modules.

Drag'n'drop files & folders.

Empty cell path-information.

Send path-information to channel A or B. Watch on Youtube

Remote file transport of channel A or B. Watch on Youtube.

Live-record your main Zwobot window.

Setup resolution and frame-rate (frames per second) for live recording.

Drag'n'drop PNG files or folders. Don't use animated GIF-files with this extension, it could cause trouble.

Change transparency-filter from alpha-channel(png only) to white-filter.

• Extensions (EX) no need to connect to Zwobot. They work as they are. You can put them in any channel independent from Zwobot.

• Besides the Remote extension, do not use EX twice in one Ableton Live set!
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Connect Effect Modules

How-to connect Fx

• Click the FX icon to indicate the FX-module to Zwobot, and it will show up in the FX dropdown-menu in Zwobot. You can also press the Indicate-All-Button in Zwobot and Zwobot will show all open FX in the dropdown-menu. To reset all connections, just click reset .

• Pass your effects
if you temporary no need them. Effects may take CPU/GPU even if they are not connected.

• Disconnect your Zwobot connection

Video Routing

• Video-signal routing through FX-connector/router (). 1 is your first FX, then it goes through 2, then 3 etc. . 12 is the last in line. You can choose any drop-down list you want.

Your video source & is routing through:
Fade-FX FX-Connector/Router Saturation/Contrast/Brightness Zoom Mirror/Kaleidoscope output window.

EX ALPHA is not affected to any internal effects, it sends direct to output.
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Beat Control

This is your master Beat-Control knob. It takes the beat from Ableton Live (bpm), and (depending on your dialer) spreads it to Zwobot and modules.

All enabled Beat-Buttons takes the Beat-Control clock to the module dialers, and all enabled dialers will perform to the pre-adjusted beat. Beat function is always on the left lower dialer side except DUKE, EARL & ABC..

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Effect Modules

FISHEYE - Fisheye lens effect. Sphere and different shapes.

LINR - Colored line pattern depending on your input video. Change rows and colums.

PETRA - "Rutt Etra" style effect.

PLURAL - Video pattern duplication.

RGBEE - RGB offset split effect.

SCAN - Noisey scan lines.

VOLETT - Split style effect.

VHS - VHS sound-rective glitch effect.

OSSI - Sound-recative oscilloscope.

GRETA - Sound-reactive "Rutt Etra" style.

DUKE - Generative sound-reactive module.

EARL - Generative sound-reactive module.

ABC - Write and animate text in your output screen.

COULEUR - Video colorizer.

SPOUT - Spout video sharing input.(Windows)

SYPHON - Syphon video sharing input.(Mac)

CATCHR - Catch external inputs like a webcam.

REC - Recording module.

3IDE - Load external 3D files (obj/dae/3ds) Tons of free 3D files here.

FDBK - Oldschool video feedback.

RUN - Generative sound-reactive module.

STROBO - Simple stroboscope

TWST - Generative sound-reactive module.

PLURAL- Split/shift video pattern

• Effects/dialers with the (double tilde) sign need sound to work correctly.
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Questions and Answers

How can i record my visuals?

Zwobot has an integrated recorder module, and you can send/share your outgoing video to other apps who support Syphon (Mac) or Spout (Windows). Some of them will take a lot GPU/FPS.

The Zwobot recorder module records in h.264 with any frame-rate you like. Unfortunately it is not so high-powerful as other solutions.

We personally use
Syphon Recorder (free/MAC) or Screenflow to record all Zwobot stuff.
We can also recommend
OBS (free/WIN).

These 3 recording solutions record direct from your graphics card without huge performance loss.

How can i install Zwobot and modules?

Put Zwobot and modules in any folder you want. Add Folder in Ableton Browser. Thats it!

How does updates work?

If an update is pending, you will get an email with a download link. Just replace your old files with the new ones. Replacing your files with the new ones should not destroy your Zwobot stuff in your Ableton Live projects.

• Keep your main output-videoscreen/projector resolution low (720p for example, you really don't need more). If you're running higher resolutions, you'll have less fps.

We certainly do not recommend a framerate under 15fps! This may disconnect your effects, and in some cases it can cause a crash of Zwobot and/or Ableton Live!

Our suggestion for encoding your video-files is Handbrake.

Any other questions? Feel free to ask info@zwobotmax.com