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 Post subject: Re: How To Do Spectral Morphing
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 10:08 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:50 pm
Posts: 7073
Thx for the info ciw, I'm gonna check it out. I haven't played around with spectral stuff though I did buy MashTactic a couple weeks ago mainly as a utility but it does have some transient shaping in it that could use some abuse. I reckon dtblkfx will be more extreme:)

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 Post subject: Re: How To Do Spectral Morphing
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:31 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:40 pm
Posts: 92
Location: South-Western United States
Kruddler wrote:
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.


I may be misunderstanding you, but it sounds like you want to take a sample of something then have that as the basis for your synth sound. You can do this with absynth or any other synth that let's you add a sample as your source for the oscillator.

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 Post subject: Re: How To Do Spectral Morphing
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:49 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:34 pm
Posts: 317
Location: Melbourne
Thanks to everyone who has posted here. It's been a wealth of information, and I will do my absolute bet to investigate all the stuff that has been posted, and report my findings. I downloaded Alchemy last night and will fire it up today at some point.

A big thanks to uncloned. I have Kontact, and up until now I had no idea how to use the thing. When I investigated, I found that it does have a spectral morphing filter. What's more, it looks exactly like what I am looking for. When you load a sample in Kontact, straight off the batt you can play it like an instrument, and there's even a tool which adds harmonics to percussive sounds without morphing. Alas, the spectral morphing interface is god damn clunky and I'm still trying to figure out how it works. If you are interested, you can view the thread on how to get it to work here:

http://www.native-instruments.com/forum ... p?t=144815

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 Post subject: Re: How To Do Spectral Morphing
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:43 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 1:16 am
Posts: 415
There are some great tutorials for Native instruments and 1specificaly for AET at macprovideo

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 Post subject: Re: How To Do Spectral Morphing
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:39 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 11:43 am
Posts: 306
Location: Latitude: 52° 4' 60 N, Longitude: 4° 17' 60 E
Glad to hear you found what you were looking for! Maybe I should also have a better look into Kontakt! But there are so many cool synths and samplers out there 8O
If you get the chance please upload the sound you now created... Obviously we're all curious what you made in the end ;-)

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 Post subject: Re: How To Do Spectral Morphing
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:48 am 

Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:34 pm
Posts: 317
Location: Melbourne
I have to give everyone a rundown on my findings so far. I've been looking at Kontakt and the Alchemy demo. Also, I've been listening to the Sonivox Twist demos. I have to say that both Alchemy and Kontakt both serve their functions well. But, Sonivox Twist just sounds awesome, and it actually sounds like Amon Tobin. The downside is that Twist doesn't have a demo plugin. Has anyone got this plugin? Can they say much about the spectral morphing capabilities?

Kontact
Kontact has what they call "spectral" morphing. However, some people seem to be skeptical of whether or not it does proper spectral morphing. Basically, you take two, or more more samples, and then you morph them together. However, it's so mind-blowingly complicated that I almost @#$@ my pants. In the end I had to get someone else to do it for me and I still couldn't figure out why it wasn't working for me. The end product worked though. I morphed a percussive sound with a cello. I could then play it with my keyboard. Kontact is clearly not designed to do what I'm looking for though. It's mainly designed for morphing between instrument articulations like morphinh pizzacato strings in to vibrato strings etc. The fact that you can morph two totally different instruments together is more of an afterthought and the manual makes this clear.

Alchemy
This certainly seems like a very decent synth out of the box. It seems to able to do a lot. Subtractive, additive, granular and spectral morphing resynthesis. It has a good approach in that you can source your sound from an oscillator (saw, sine etc.) or an audio file. Then once you load up the audio file, you can use spectral, or granular synthesis or both. I don't really understand the difference to tell you the truth. I got some good sounds this way. The downside of this plugin though, is that it doesn't seem like you can use it like a vocoder. I.e. I don't think you can send audio to it and then spectral morph that sound. I guess it probably needs to build the morph map beforehand. The other downside is that the knobs don't seem to be very effective. For example, I would have though that turning the stretch knob right down would make a big difference but it didn't. All the other knobs seem to only make very slight variations.

Izotope Spectron
This is a very interesting plugin. Unlike Alchemy, it allows something like a vocoder where you can take one channel of sound, apply the filter, and then morph in a sample. However, it's a very confusing interface and you have to adjust the frequency just right ,or it doesn't work at all. Also, The filter itself adds a lot to the sound before you even try to morph in the sample. This looks interesting but I still haven't figured out if it does what I want properly yet.

Please post any info you have about Sonivox Twist.

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 Post subject: Re: How To Do Spectral Morphing
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 1:06 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 11:43 am
Posts: 306
Location: Latitude: 52° 4' 60 N, Longitude: 4° 17' 60 E
Thanks for this summary...
Sonivox Twist looks interesting indeed. The sounds are nice but nothing spectacular in my opinion. Also it does seem a bit overpriced when I look at it's possibilities in comparison to for instance Alchemy. But if they release a demo, I will surely check it out.

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 Post subject: Re: How To Do Spectral Morphing
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:55 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:07 am
Posts: 1426
Quote:
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?


I finally read the original post through and watched the video, and this looks exactly like what you can do with Alchemy. I was just doing this very thing last night using a recorded sound of a spoke being plucked.

Alchemy is confusing to get your brain around at first, with all the import modes and ways to tweak stuff, but it will let you get the same kinds of variations that he's getting from his found sounds.


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 Post subject: Re: How To Do Spectral Morphing
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:37 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2005 1:29 am
Posts: 4369
Location: The Ableton Live Forum
Kruddler wrote:
Alchemy
This certainly seems like a very decent synth out of the box. It seems to able to do a lot. Subtractive, additive, granular and spectral morphing resynthesis. It has a good approach in that you can source your sound from an oscillator (saw, sine etc.) or an audio file. Then once you load up the audio file, you can use spectral, or granular synthesis or both. I don't really understand the difference to tell you the truth. I got some good sounds this way. The downside of this plugin though, is that it doesn't seem like you can use it like a vocoder. I.e. I don't think you can send audio to it and then spectral morph that sound. I guess it probably needs to build the morph map beforehand. The other downside is that the knobs don't seem to be very effective. For example, I would have though that turning the stretch knob right down would make a big difference but it didn't. All the other knobs seem to only make very slight variations.


True that it doesn't work like a vocoder, in that it doesn't take a signal in real time like from a microphone, but it's much more powerful. You can actually analyse and load a sample (or multi-sampled instrument) in each of the 4 sound sources. You can then morph between all 4. Even morph the harmonics, noise and amplitude information separately. Stick the morph on the XY pad and you can intuitively morph between all of them. And because you can analyze sounds by additive synthesis, you can alter the pitch in only certain parts of the sound, or take away entirely, and mix sound sources together that smoothly change from one to another (not cross-fading but it's actually always one sound).

You must be doing something wrong if you don't see much of a difference with the knobs. Are you sure you're using the right sound source. The stretch knob and the rest should have a big difference. You can stretch a sample to infinity to that it's frozen and modulate the position of the sound. Granular and spectral/additive is much different by the way. Granular chops the sound into tiny bits, but it's still playing those bits from the sample. Additive and spectral actualy recreate the sound from oscillators so that it becomes totally synthesized. And keep in mind that the resynthesis will sound very different depending on the settings used.

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 Post subject: Re: How To Do Spectral Morphing
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:44 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 2:54 pm
Posts: 188
another option, windows version discontinued though...
http://www.prosoniq.com/audio-plugins/prosoniq-morph/


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 Post subject: Re: How To Do Spectral Morphing
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:58 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:07 am
Posts: 1426
Quote:
You must be doing something wrong if you don't see much of a difference with the knobs. Are you sure you're using the right sound source. The stretch knob and the rest should have a big difference. You can stretch a sample to infinity to that it's frozen and modulate the position of the sound. Granular and spectral/additive is much different by the way. Granular chops the sound into tiny bits, but it's still playing those bits from the sample. Additive and spectral actualy recreate the sound from oscillators so that it becomes totally synthesized. And keep in mind that the resynthesis will sound very different depending on the settings used.


Some of the knobs definitely become useless depending on how you import the sample, and the fact that you can import it 4 different ways (each of which can cause different knobs to have zero effect) isn't really clear unless you've scoured the manual, and even then it may not necessarily connect.

If it was set to Sampler mode (rather than Granular or Additive/Add+Spec), I believe the Stretch knob would would have had no effect, since the sampler mode just repitches the audio by changing the playback speed.


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 Post subject: Re: How To Do Spectral Morphing
PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 1:14 am 

Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:34 pm
Posts: 317
Location: Melbourne
I'm so glad I started this thread. I've so much of a better understanding of all this stuff now.

Quote:
you want to take a sample of something then have that as the basis for your synth sound. You can do this with absynth or any other synth that let's you add a sample as your source for the oscillator.


That's fantastic because I have the Komplete package. I'd never even used Absynth with the exception of a couple of presets before. Now, I'm stunned. Not only can you morph samples with oscillators in Absynth, you can have multiple sources like Alchemy, and it comes with loads of samples out of the box. Thank's to this comment, I've learned something about an instrument I'd already bought. More info to come about Absynth. However, like Kontakt, my guess is that Absynth's morphing is not as advanced as Alchemy's. But we'll see.

Quote:
The stretch knob and the rest should have a big difference.


Quote:
Some of the knobs definitely become useless depending on how you import the sample, and the fact that you can import it 4 different ways (each of which can cause different knobs to have zero effect) isn't really clear unless you've scoured the manual


That probably explains it. I had a bit of trouble figuring out which option to import the file with.

The funny thing is that when I started this thread, a google search had only yielded 2 obscure VSTs for spectral morphing. Now I know of about 5 that all do it in different ways.

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 Post subject: Re: How To Do Spectral Morphing
PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 1:53 am 

Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2005 1:29 am
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Location: The Ableton Live Forum
Kruddler wrote:
However, like Kontakt, my guess is that Absynth's morphing is not as advanced as Alchemy's. But we'll see.


True. Absynth can not morph it's oscillators into one another. And it doesn't do resynthesis like Alchemy does. It does however do granular synthesis, like Alchemy.

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 Post subject: Re: How To Do Spectral Morphing
PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:15 am 

Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:34 pm
Posts: 317
Location: Melbourne
Yes. I noticed that in Absynth, you can either use "Sample" or "Granular". I don't really understand the difference. I know that granular means that Absynth breaks the sample up in to little pieces (grains), but what's the point of that if you have no control over what it is doing? In Alchemy, you have controls to tell Alchemy what to do with the grains. Absynth seems to lack that. Am I right?

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 Post subject: Re: How To Do Spectral Morphing
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:35 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:34 pm
Posts: 317
Location: Melbourne
Some more findings:

Kontakt, Absynth, Alchemy, Sampler (yes-sampler) - Morphing

These tools all seem to do some kind of additive or spectral morphing but some don't make it clear which of these algorithms they use.

I stumbled upon a Sampler video in the Ableton website last night that has a tut on how to do exactly what I have been talking about. You can take a portion of a sample and loop it backwards, forwards or both. If I'm not mistaken, this is the granular part. Then you can click on the oscillator tab and add an AM or FM modulator.

Kontakt also does have a convolusion reverb which does produce some interesting stuff.

All these tools seems to work in similar ways.

Xsynth/GRM Tools
XSynth is a Reason only plugin, and GRM Tools seems to be RTAS only.

FM4
Will look in to this. Is this the Reaktor plugin? Anyone got experience with this?

The bad news

I haven't been able to create a single useful sound. I've tried morphing all kinds of things. Loads of orchestral sounds with oscillators and so on. They all sound like crap, and they are all unusable except for a few songs where I might want some really wierd stuff that sounds like crap. But, this is probably just me because I know that other people have created cool sounds doing this stuff. The Acoustic Refractions bundle of sounds is a collection of Absynthy sounds bundled in to Kore. The problem is that I don't have Kore (I only have player) - so I can't actually get under the hood of Kore to see how these sounds were constructed. What I really need is a good tutorial on how sounds like these are created.

But, even the acoustic refractions sounds don't sound like Amon.

The really bad news...
Someone else touched on it. It seems that the Amon Tobin sound comes from Kyma which is basically a kind of modular synth. Hooked up with the Haken Continuum it basically sounds exactly like Amon. The downside is that it costs thousands because you need to buy hardware (Pacarana) with it. This is an example that really is similar to Amon Tobin's stuff:

http://www.symbolicsound.com/cgi-bin/bi ... SoundClips

A Rant
Tieing a piece of software to a piece of hardware is a @#$#ed up thing to do. I'm very angry at NI for doing it with Maschine but at least they are offering a tactile, useful device. The people above are only offering a stupid box that does not other than process the audio for the software. The hardware it boasts is just standard stuff. There's absolutely no need for them to tie these things together apart from the fact that if they don't, they will find it hard to make money off a lowly VST. To top it off, they have patents pending on these tools which guarantees that they will be sole vendors of the "Amon Tobin Sound".

I hope I'm not right about this stuff but it makes me angry to think that new synthesis techniques can be hoarded away from us mere mortals and kept guarded by the elite synthofiles who have enough money to buy this stuff. This is not a dig at Amon. If I had the money, I would buy this stuff along with the Haken Continuum. However, I just hope that time forces companies like Symbolic Sound to release the IP behind their techniques, or at least make it affordable for other people.

There's not much point in creating new synthesis techniques if other people cannot use them, open the up and play with them, find new uses for them, and help them evolve.

Rant over

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