dexed: jump starting in Ableton, Studio One, and Logic Pro

In our previous episode, we installed and tried dexed, going for instant gratification by launching the standalone app after downloading. Colleagues have correctly pointed out that stand-alone is probably NOT the “instant gratification” that people want – they want to know how to get up and running in their DAW. Fair enough, and spot on. Below we will get into the steps of how to get dexed loaded and playing in a DAW – specifically, we’ll do step-by-step installation in Ableton, Studio One, and Logic Pro.

Using dexed in any of these DAWs can make a powerful combination. First, the FM synthesis available in dexed closely emulates what’s inside the hardware DX7, as I’ve mentioned before in my prepared rants on dexed. Adding dexed to the “infrastructure” of a DAW adds significant additional power to the setup by using the built-in DAW effect plug-ins, as well as MIDI and audio processing inside the workstation. Additionally, which we’ll get into in later posts, adding dexed to a DAW allows you to take advantage of MIDI controller routings that don’t exist in the standalone dexed and didn’t exist in the DX7 originally!

So, let’s start dropping dexed into our DAW and making noise. The process is DAW-specific and not generic, so each DAW has different steps to make it happen. We won’t get into how to record tracks, master them, and release them to a hungry audience waiting for your every note in this article, just connecting dexed to a track and sending it notes to hear. I’m also going to assume that you followed along on our previous post [link] that detailed downloading and installing dexed.


The “Plug-ins” category on the left-hand side of the workspace browser is the key to getting started with dexed. Select “Plug-ins”:

Search (Cmd-F) for “dexed”:

Select and double-click – the editor window for dexed should now open. Start thy righteous jam :).

Make sure that you can enter MIDI data for dexed to play – either by using a MIDI controller or drawing MIDI notes directly into the clip editor in Ableton. 

Studio One

In Studio One, using the browser on the right-hand side of the workspace, click on the magnifying glass and search for “dexed”

Select either the AU or VST version of the plugin and drag it across the workspace to create a new track. 

The dexed instrument window will open at that point. Fire away.

Logic Pro

In Logic Pro, create a new workspace or open an existing one. Create a new track with a Software Instrument. 

Click on the instrument selector, and towards the bottom of the list, navigate to AU Instruments -> Digital Suburban -> Dexed -> Stereo. 

The dexed editor should open at that point, and off you go.

There it is – instant gratification with dexed inside a DAW. Steps for every DAW in the market haven’t been offered, just those that we happen to have at SoundEngine. Note, however, that adding dexed to a track fundamentally shouldn’t be any different from adding any other VST to a track in your DAW of choice. The only caveat to that statement, and one that embarassingly caught me the first time I wanted to use dexed in Studio One is this: I didn’t search for “dexed”, I had “Vendor” selected in the instrument browser and couldn’t find it. I had no idea that the builder of dexed was named DIGITAL SUBURBAN, rather than dexed. Embarrassing.

Soon, in soon-to-be-written posts, we’ll add effects and dig into MIDI enhancements for dexed in a DAW environment. At a minimum, you should at this point, either by stand-alone or using a DAW, be able to get dexed up and running and making noise. If not, send us an email or chat with us on our system and we’ll figure something out. In the meantime – enjoy!

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