How To Do Spectral Morphing

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Syncretia
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How To Do Spectral Morphing

Post by Syncretia » Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:36 am

First check out Amon Tobin's stuff. Especially, the making of video on his website:

http://www.synthtopia.com/content/2011/ ... -for-isam/

What he has done is taken recordings of things and then played them on his keyboard. The keyboard is cool but not the focus of what I am asking here. I understand that he used Spectral Morphing to get a lot of the sounds he made for ISAM.

What I've been trying to do is take a recorded percussive sound (knitting needles) and morph it with a harmonic note from a synth. I've been trying to achieve this with Izotope's Spectron. I'm not having any luck. but, more importantly, that plugin doesn't exactly give me what I want. All that plugin does is takes a given track from the DAW, and morphs it with an audio file on the hard drive.

What I want to do is take a short audio sample (knitting needle) morph in some harmonic sound, and then be able to play those notes on my midi keyboard. Sounds complicated I know. Does anyone have any clues?
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ciw
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Re: How To Do Spectral Morphing

Post by ciw » Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:17 am

I've never been quite clear on what spectral morphing is. Try looking for some free vsts called shapee or xsynth - to my mind they both do something a bit like a phase vocoder with thousands of bands ... but is this spectral morphing?

spacecat
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Re: How To Do Spectral Morphing

Post by spacecat » Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:37 am

if been into looking for a great morphing tool for years... got out of that phase though...
the paca rana thing looked interesting for a while but i have no cash.. no matter as im not that desperately looking anymore..
its all in the head anyway...
try using a synth for your harmonic content and putting a gate on it.. automate faders.. cheap solution, i know, but whatever, eh?

have fun=)

edit: p.s. i have tried using fm4, alchemy and some cheap thing that i cant remember the name

p.p.s. what i would like to perfect is the technique of vocal morphing - hearing this or that word in the same sample.. but thats going very deep into the human psyche again and your audio perception and general disposition... *top secret stuff, eh? ;)

ian_halsall
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Re: How To Do Spectral Morphing

Post by ian_halsall » Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:15 am

Knitting needles???

I remember Roy Castle playing a bedstead like a trumpet - but knitting needles - really?

luddy
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Re: How To Do Spectral Morphing

Post by luddy » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:16 pm

What all the spectral morphing implementations do (whether Kyma or XSynth or whatever) is to
-do a spectral analysis of a sample(s), i.e., decompose the sample into a bunch of frequency envelopes, one for each of the prominent frequencies in the sample
-allow you to play this analysis back using a bank of sine wave oscillators, where you can vary the pitch of some or all of the oscillators. That's what lets you re-pitch the material.

Actually, morphing goes one step further; it works with two such analyses and lets you fade between those two as you play back, i.e., drive the oscillators either with one or the other or a blend.

I would be surprised if no one has done this in Max/MSP. The thing is that building an efficient bank of sine wave oscillators is hard work. It's a fairly heavyweight computation both to analyze and to play back.

The spectral analysis/playback part is very similar to what goes on in a vocoder. That's presumably why the XSynth offers both this kind of spectral manipulation and a good vocoder.

hth,

-Luddy

BlackMath
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Re: How To Do Spectral Morphing

Post by BlackMath » Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:36 pm

Gsm tools or something like that...at least thats what he used to use

glitchrock-buddha
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Re: How To Do Spectral Morphing

Post by glitchrock-buddha » Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:53 pm

Luddy pretty much summed up my idea of spectral morphing. A good tool for this is Alchemy (or other additive or spectral sample analysis synths). Here's an example from the site doing a whole bunch of additive and spectral playback:http://www2.camelaudio.com/music/Alchem ... Demo02.mp3

So with this kind of thing you can analyze a sample and have it be reconstructed from sine waves on top of each other, each with different envelopes as mentioned, so you could mix one sound with another, in a smooth fashion. Or play a sample with the keyboard. A vocoder does do something similar, in that you can play a microphone input (or other source) live with a kayboard, but in that case it is using the sounds eq signature and envelope to apply a filter on another sound, like a synth. So you hear the synth but with the characteristics of the sound source (words etc.). In the case of an additive synth like alchemy, it plays back a complete recreation of the sample, but sometimes sounds very much like the original, as you can hear in the example above. That whole entire thing is actually resynthesized audio recordings. Pretty cool.

It doesn't actually say in the video what Amon Tobin uses, but he does do some granular stuff as well so I wouldn't be surprised if he used Alchemy.

BlackMath, I'm guessing you mean GRM Tools - A suite of pro tools effects that do special audio mangling with filtering effects and scrubbing through the audio file and such. Do you know that that's all he uses for this kind of thing? I thought they were just effects, can you make playable instruments out of them as he is doing on his fingerboard?
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regretfullySaid
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Re: How To Do Spectral Morphing

Post by regretfullySaid » Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:01 pm

I don't think GRM Tools are exclusive to ProTools. I remember when I first dove into DAW's GRM was the first I checked out; DirectX only. Pretty sure they would've updated to VST. Makes me want to check em out actually, hoping it's cheap as hell now that they're so old...Holy canoli, not at all: http://store.dontcrack.com/product_info ... d02acdfa0e

Also Expert Sleepers has a Spectral Morphing plugin:

"The incoming signal is analysed via a FFT (Fast Fourier Transform), resulting in the familiar spectrum plot where the full audio spectrum is split into a number of narrow frequency bands. The outgoing audio is then regenerated by an Inverse FFT. The interesting bit is that the plug-in lets you modify the frequency spectrum in between.

Spectral Conquest allows you to modify the spectrum in two ways:

By setting a multiplier for each frequency band. You can simply draw out the multipliers in the GUI.
By applying a script to the spectrum. Some basic scripts are included with the plug-in to perform operations such as filtering and gating, but you can also write scripts yourself to do whatever you like.
"

It doesn't sound like the same thing, though. Maybe with scripting you can get the kinds of results you're looking for...
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Syncretia
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Re: How To Do Spectral Morphing

Post by Syncretia » Tue Jul 26, 2011 4:21 am

Yeah, I think Glitchrock and Luddy have really summed it.

The spectral analyser (from my understanding) should find the harmonic frequencies inside a sound, and manipulate those to change the pitch of the note played.

The concept sounds simple. It sounds very much like the idea behind vocoders.

But, I'm looking for a VST that will allow me to take a a percussive sample, morph it with something harmonic (like a subtractive synth), and then let me play that note on a keyboard.

I want to turn a sample in to something like a sound font.

Alchems LOOKS like it's spot on but still haven't found a video of it doing exactly what I want. And, it has a whole bunch of stuff I'm not interested in.
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BlackMath
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Re: How To Do Spectral Morphing

Post by BlackMath » Tue Jul 26, 2011 4:57 am

Yeah GRM Tools is what i was talking about..i read somewhere or saw a video around the time of Supermodified or maybe Foley room that he was using those plugins for manipulating field concrete stuff

The controller i saw him use was a Continuum (?) i believe ...nevermind just looked at op link

Theres a company called little endian that makes something called Spectroworx that might be of some interest

UnCL0NED
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Re: How To Do Spectral Morphing

Post by UnCL0NED » Tue Jul 26, 2011 7:50 am

I read in an article a while ago that Amon Tobin is a big fan of Kontakt.
In the latest version of Kontakt (which came out already before Isam) there is a very cool feature called Authentic Expression Technology (AET), and this might be something he's abusing this to morph his sounds... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwWkVpgi ... ure=relmfu
And as also mentioned before the GRM Tools can get you that Amon Tobin sound.
Camel Audio Alchemy can also do some nice morphing. I own it since about a month, and I notice it's quickly becoming my goto synth!
I haven't tried to morph a percussive sound with a pad/synth sound yet, but I'm sure it can be done with Alchemy. I'll try it out and get back to you if I get the chance...
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chapelier fou
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Re: How To Do Spectral Morphing

Post by chapelier fou » Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:27 am

plogue bidule, if i am not mistaken, can do this.
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luddy
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Re: How To Do Spectral Morphing

Post by luddy » Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:53 am

Another thing you might consider is convolving the percussive sound with some pitched material. I've had good luck turning percussive things into pitched instruments that way in the past. The result is much cleaner than with spectral resynthesis. I usually did the convolution offline (in Bias Peak) but you can do this kind of thing with real-time convolution algorithms too. I don't know offhand of a plug-in that gives you both the MIDI note capability and the convolution in a package though...

-Luddy

ciw
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Re: How To Do Spectral Morphing

Post by ciw » Tue Jul 26, 2011 9:19 am

Kruddler wrote:But, I'm looking for a VST that will allow me to take a a percussive sample, morph it with something harmonic (like a subtractive synth), and then let me play that note on a keyboard.
You can totally do that with an effect vst like xsynth or a vocoder. Just set up a channel to generate your percussive sample, a channel with your harmonic synth on, and route the midi to both at once. Send the chanel outs to a third channel containing the vocoder effect (or keep it all on 2 channels if the vocoder supports side chaining).

If you want to turn it into a soundfont, just resample & drop it into simpler.

ciw
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Re: How To Do Spectral Morphing

Post by ciw » Tue Jul 26, 2011 9:21 am

Good tip on Alchemy guys, it looks cool and I might have to try it out.

Not exactly what this thread is on about but some of you might be interested in dtblkfx, a free vst that does mad and very customisable stuff like spectral gating, limiting, blurring, stretching and so on. Bit of a learning curve but if you're reading this you can probably cope!

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