Dubby – Dub Siren

Dubby - Dub Siren

Dubby is a free software virtual instrument for Mac and PC.  It’s an emulation of a ‘Dub Siren’, an instrument used commonly in dub reggae.  

It’s made for DJs who want to include that classic vintage sound into their sets.



  • 3 Synth noises to choose from: Saw, Square and Sine wave
  • LFO control to make fast wobbles or slow rises / drops
  • 3 built-in effects: Delay, Reverb & Fatness
  • Fatness control to beef up the sound
  • Control it with your iPad / iPhone (TouchOSC templates provided)
  • Tap in your BPM or sync to the BPM of your DJ software
  • Choose from various in-built presets



Why has it been made?

I wanted to find a way of adding additional effects in Traktor which could be controlled by an iPad / iPhone.  I also wanted these external effects to stay in time with Traktor’s BPM.  This is already possible through the use of a VST / AU Host such as Ableton Live, Cubase, Logic, etc and there are lots of really cool, free plugins available.  The problem is, the VST / AU host applications are very expensive (around £400) and come at a massive cost if all you want to do is to run some external effects.  There are free VST / AU hosts available which will run VST Plugins, but none offer more advanced functions like syncing to a MIDI clock signal (required if you want to match Traktor’s BPM automatically).  There are very few (if any) standalone FX apps which will sync to a MIDI clock and I felt that the DJs who want to add more to their sets through the use of external effects are missing out a little if they don’t already own an expensive sequencer.

Dubby is the first in what’s hoped to be a series of standalone DJ FX apps, controllable by a touchscreen and designed to run in sync with any DJ software that outputs a MIDI clock signal.

System Requirements

System Requirements:

  • Mac OSX
  • Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8


  • Soundflower (Mac) or Jack (PC / Mac) – Use this if you want to route Crescendo’s audio into other software, eg., Ableton Live, Maschine, etc.
  • TouchOSC – Required if you want to control Dubby with your iPad / iPhone. Templates are provided in the download.


Setup & Usage Instructions:

Windows Setup:

– Double click setup.msi. Once installed, double click the Dubby icon from desktop or Programs.

– Select an audio driver from the far right drop down menu (either MME or DirectSound).

– Press the ‘On’ switch (the sound is turned off by default – see ‘Known Issues / Bugs’ below).

– To uninstall, use Control Panel > Programs and Features > Uninstall.

OSX Setup:

– Double click setup.dmg and open drag Dubby icon into Applications folder.  Double click to start.

– Once loaded, press the ‘On’ switch (the sound is turned off by default – see ‘Known Issues / Bugs’ below).

– Delete the Dubby icon from Application folder to uninstall.

Setup with iPhone / iPad as a controller:

To control Dubby with an iPhone or iPad, you will need the latest version of TouchOSC available for £2.99 from iTunes. You will also need TouchOSC Editor and TouchOSC Bridge, available for free from the Hexler website: http://hexler.net/software/touchosc

– Buy and install TouchOSC for iPhone / iPad (£2.99 from iTunes).

– Ensure that your iPad / iPhone and PC / Mac are connected to the same network, either through a router or an Ad-Hoc network. An Ad-Hoc network is recommended for the best performance.

– Download, install and run TouchOSC Bridge. Open TouchOSC on your iPad / iPhone and go to Settings > MIDI Bridge. Ensure this is enabled and you should see the name of your computer appear. Press this to connect. If you don’t see your computer name here then there’s a problem somewhere with the network setup. Check that your iPad / iPhone and computer are both on the same network. There’s more info on connecting through TouchOSC Bridge on the Hexler website’s MIDI Bridge Connection page

– Open TouchOSC Editor and open the supplied template (make sure you choose the right layout for your device, either iPad or iPhone) then press the ‘Sync’ button. In TouchOSC, go to the Layout menu and press ‘Add’. The name of your computer should appear in the ‘Found Hosts’ section. Press your computer name to upload the template. There’s a commonly reported problem of people having trouble uploading templates though TouchOSC editor. If you’re having trouble, hexler.net recommend that you try uploading the template to your iPad using iTunes instead. Just connect to iTunes, select your iPad, click the ‘Apps’ tab, click on TouchOSC and drag and drop the template in.

– In Dubby, select ‘TouchOSC Bridge’ from the ‘CTRL In / Out’ drop-down menu. Ensure that you connect your iPad / iPhone to your computer before you open Dubby.


Select from one of three basic sounds. The sound’s pitch is modulated by the built in LFO. The amplitude (Range control), frequency (Speed control) and shape of the LFO can all be modified, as well as the overall pitch of the sound. Add delay and reverb to taste.

– Use the Presets to select from some pre-made settings.

– Press the space bar, click the Play button or press the large yellow button on the iPad / iPhone TouchOSC layout to play a sound.

Pitch controls the overall pitch of the sound

Range controls the LFO range, ie., the distance between the lowest and highest notes.

Speed controls the LFO speed, i.e., the speed at which the sound moves between the low and high notes.

Sound selects 1 of 3 basic sounds: square wave, saw wave and sine wave.

Start controls whether the sound starts low and moves higher or the opposite: starts high and moves lower.

LFO Shape controls whether the sound is modulated by a Sine LFO (for a smooth sweep between low and high notes) or a Square LFO (for an abrupt change between low and high notes).

Reverb controls the overall amount of reverb.

Fat ‘thickens up’ the sound by gradually detuning two parts of it.

Delay controls the overall amount of delay. The higher the value, the longer it takes for the delay to fade away.

Time controls the timing of the delay. You can choose from whole notes, 1/4 notes, 1/8 notes and 1/16 notes. You can also select 1/4 and 1/8 triplets and dotted notes. 1/4 triplets are recommended for the normal Dub feel.

– Press the ‘t’ key, click the Tap button or press the ‘BPM Tap’ button on the iPad to tap out a tempo (to which the delay will sync).You can also manually select a tempo by clicking and holding in the number box then moving the mouse up and down or by typing in a number.

– Tempo will automatically sync to Traktor’s BPM if Traktor is set up to do this (see below):

Syncing to Traktor’s BPM:

Windows Only: Ensure you have LoopBe1 and Bonjor services installed. Download them here: http://support.apple.com/kb/dl999 and http://nerds.de/data/setuploopbe1.exe

– Open Traktor, go to Preferences > MIDI Clock. Make sure that ‘Send MIDI Clock’ is ticked.

– Go to Preferences > Controller Manager > Add > Generic Midi

– Select ‘none’ for the In-Port and ‘to Dubby 1’ (OSX) or ‘LoopBe Internal MIDI’ (Win) for the Out-Port.

– Back on the main Traktor screen, click the Metronome icon (top left), then ‘Sync’. It should look like this:

Traktor MIDI Clock Sync

– On Dubby, select ‘to Dubby 1’ (Mac) or ‘LoopBe Internal MIDI’ (Win) from the drop down menu. Note that even if this is already selected, you’ll need to select it again (see ‘Known Issues / Bugs’ below).

– You should now see the BPM in Dubby changing in time with whatever’s playing in Traktor.


– Play in short bursts and let the Delay carry the note.

Demo Video

Demo Video:



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Download includes the software and TouchOSC & Lemur templates for iPad / iPhone.

Known Issues

Known issues / bugs:

Dubby is still in beta, so it’s possible that you may encounter some problems. Please report any bugs / issues on the forum.

– When using a square LFO, the ‘Phase Start’ settings will not work, ie., you cannot select whether to begin on the highest pitch of the sound or the lowest pitch (as you can with the LFO Shape set to ‘Sine’)

– Using the spacebar to play the sound whilst moving dials with the mouse sometimes causes the sound to ‘stick’. Pressing the play button again will ‘release’ the sound.

– Dubby should be set to ‘On’ by default and connect to Traktor’s MIDI clock automatically. At the moment though, you have to select these manually for them to work properly.