Sample to FM synths? Expanded to Resynthesis

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Stromkraft
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Sample to FM synths? Expanded to Resynthesis

Post by Stromkraft » Mon May 23, 2016 9:56 am

More than a decade ago I remember some synth that did Frequency Modulation (FM) recreation of samples. Unfortunately I don't remember the name. Are there still any contenders for this feature around?
Last edited by Stromkraft on Wed May 25, 2016 8:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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tdmusic_
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Re: Sample to FM synths?

Post by tdmusic_ » Wed May 25, 2016 10:47 am

You thinking of the resynthesis engine of the Hartmann Neuron? There was actually a vst of that which got made freeware a while back but no support for newer machines IIRC. Anyway, another synth which did something similar was Camel Alchemy but Apple bought them and made it part of Logic so you'll need to find a non official source for that...!

Stromkraft
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Re: Sample to FM synths?

Post by Stromkraft » Wed May 25, 2016 1:07 pm

tdmusic_ wrote:You thinking of the resynthesis engine of the Hartmann Neuron? There was actually a vst of that which got made freeware a while back but no support for newer machines IIRC. Anyway, another synth which did something similar was Camel Alchemy but Apple bought them and made it part of Logic so you'll need to find a non official source for that...!
This would be before these instruments, in the late nighties probably, but I'm not completely sure. The Neuron is 16 years ago, so could be but it didn't use FM, right?

It could even have been a feature of a DAW back then. I guess it didn't make much of a mark.

Alchemy is probably enough reason to get Logic, but in this case FM would be more suitable than AS.
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Angstrom
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Re: Sample to FM synths?

Post by Angstrom » Wed May 25, 2016 2:01 pm

I wonder if you are mis-remembering this old synthesizer, because it seems to me that resynthesis of even a single static one-cycle waveform via FM would be very difficult . It would be much easier via additive synthesis (which may then have a little FM applied).

I'm not a DSP guru by any stretch of the imagination, but I know my way around synthesis and this seems a crazy way to get an outcome when the alternative is simply to run the source through an FFT and spew it back out as partials via iFFT. If you imagine how FM creates complex waves you'd need to calculate how many modulators / how many carriers, the matrix of all of those (!), the ratios and the phase differences for each, AND that's assuming the modulators and carriers are all sines

And that's just to get a static one cycle wave.

In fact I do this all the time in Operator, but I don't use the FM features when I'm recreating (for instance) a bass guitar, instead I look at the harmonics of the source in Spectrum and then recreate it using Operators Additive method. I then use each Operator oscillator to supply groups of partials of the eventual outcome and use the envelopes of for each oscillator to handle the "cut-off" envelopes of the partial groupings. Real instruments don't just LPF, the partials actually fade out in odd ways so I use amplitude on the partials directly to emulate that.

stringtapper
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Re: Sample to FM synths?

Post by stringtapper » Wed May 25, 2016 4:53 pm

Stromkraft wrote:More than a decade ago I remember some synth that did Frequency Modulation (FM) recreation of samples. Unfortunately I don't remember the name. Are there still any contenders for this feature around?
Hey SK, can you explain in more detail what the synth did? "FM recreation of samples" isn't totally clear to me. Thanks.
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Stromkraft
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Re: Sample to FM synths?

Post by Stromkraft » Wed May 25, 2016 5:03 pm

Angstrom wrote:I wonder if you are mis-remembering this old synthesizer, because it seems to me that resynthesis of even a single static one-cycle waveform via FM would be very difficult
I'm with you, but I don't think I'm misremembering though it's a possibility of course. As I remember it AS was not on the map really at the time.

When I described this it may sound like something it never was. As I remember it this was never viewed as something to faithfully reproduce a sample, but as a fun way to get started on an FM patch with other characteristics than what you would have otherwise. I'm pretty certain this must have been in a commercial package and thusly not free.

But let's say I'm wrong on the FM part, what other early resyntesis packages have there been on the Mac platform in the last 15-16 years?
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Stromkraft
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Re: Sample to FM synths?

Post by Stromkraft » Wed May 25, 2016 5:08 pm

stringtapper wrote:
Stromkraft wrote:More than a decade ago I remember some synth that did Frequency Modulation (FM) recreation of samples. Unfortunately I don't remember the name. Are there still any contenders for this feature around?
Hey SK, can you explain in more detail what the synth did? "FM recreation of samples" isn't totally clear to me. Thanks.
All I remember right now is that it analysed a sample and spit out a patch — I believe it was FM but I could be wrong on that though AS would have stuck in my mind as that has been my dream synthesis since before it was economically possible for a mass audience —that was more or less reminiscent of the sample. Probably quite a lot being dependent on the sample itself if the result was usable at all to work on.
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Stromkraft
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Re: Sample to FM synths?

Post by Stromkraft » Wed May 25, 2016 5:17 pm

Stromkraft wrote:
tdmusic_ wrote:You thinking of the resynthesis engine of the Hartmann Neuron? There was actually a vst of that which got made freeware a while back but no support for newer machines IIRC. Anyway, another synth which did something similar was Camel Alchemy but Apple bought them and made it part of Logic so you'll need to find a non official source for that...!
This would be before these instruments, in the late nighties probably, but I'm not completely sure.
it must have been before 2005 anyway, but probably closer to 2000 than later. I don't think there were a lot of softsynths before 2000? Of course a resynthesis package could have worked with hardware synths, though I'd think I would remember that detail.
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stringtapper
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Re: Sample to FM synths?

Post by stringtapper » Wed May 25, 2016 5:54 pm

Stromkraft wrote:
stringtapper wrote:
Stromkraft wrote:More than a decade ago I remember some synth that did Frequency Modulation (FM) recreation of samples. Unfortunately I don't remember the name. Are there still any contenders for this feature around?
Hey SK, can you explain in more detail what the synth did? "FM recreation of samples" isn't totally clear to me. Thanks.
All I remember right now is that it analysed a sample and spit out a patch — I believe it was FM but I could be wrong on that though AS would have stuck in my mind as that has been my dream synthesis since before it was economically possible for a mass audience —that was more or less reminiscent of the sample. Probably quite a lot being dependent on the sample itself if the result was usable at all to work on.
Hmm. Metasynth?
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stringtapper
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Re: Sample to FM synths?

Post by stringtapper » Wed May 25, 2016 6:01 pm

Whatever it was there was definitely some FFT analysis going on at the front end.

I'm with Angstrom in that FM is a bit too unpredictable and complex a procedure to create an algorithm that uses it to resynthesize an audio file, but who knows.

Additive synthesis through a large bank of oscillators corresponding to the spectral profile of the FFT analyzed audio sounds like a more feasible approach, and I'm pretty sure that's how Metasynth does its resynthesis.
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Stromkraft
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Re: Sample to FM synths?

Post by Stromkraft » Wed May 25, 2016 6:12 pm

stringtapper wrote:
Hmm. Metasynth?
Well, at least Metasynth sounds familiar. I'm checking it out. Coming to think of it I might even have it in some form on some quite old CDs. Thanks! :D

I know that converting to FM sounds a bit out there, but that's why it stuck in my mind I think. It could be memory transfer of course if I learned about this synth, which ever it is, in connection to FM. Sometimes this happens.
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Stromkraft
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Re: Sample to FM synths? Expanded to Resynthesis

Post by Stromkraft » Wed May 25, 2016 8:05 pm

Could it be that this was something the Synclavier has been believed to do? I found this quote for instance at 500sound.com:
"The later model Synclavier PSMT, does normally include stereo FM voices (as opposed to the early mono FM voices), and is fully capable of FM resynthesis just as the early machines were."
On the other hand the same site has some Synclavier material and in the document "Resynthesis Made Easy" it's clearly indicated that:
"Note: FM - Frequency Modulation, is not used at all in the Resynthesis process"
I have never encountered a Synclavier though, but if this is an old mixup that keeps getting repeated in connection to Resynthesis it could explain why I thought I remembered this. I found multiple Resynthesis packages, so this was fruitful anyway. Harmor seems interesting for instance.

Thanks everyone! If you have more tips for resynthesis keep them coming.
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Stromkraft
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Re: Sample to FM synths? Expanded to Resynthesis

Post by Stromkraft » Wed May 25, 2016 8:11 pm

BTW, Arturia just released a software Synclavier. Without resynthesis for now it seems.

It also seems there was a PowerPC version (!) as late as in 2009 called SynclavierX made by Synclavier themselves, later released OS X natively in 2012 and is now revamped as synclavier3 and if that isn't enough there will be a WebClavier very soon. Damn.
I assume all of these are without the resynthesis. I see no sign of this functionality, but I'll ask.
Last edited by Stromkraft on Wed May 25, 2016 8:28 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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stringtapper
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Re: Sample to FM synths? Expanded to Resynthesis

Post by stringtapper » Wed May 25, 2016 8:17 pm

Stromkraft wrote:Harmor seems interesting for instance.
Interesting. Looks like a more modern/user friendly copy of Metasynth.

Windows only though. :x

You might also look into Iris 2 for a very intuitive way of doing spectral processing of samples (not really resynthesis though). It's basically iZotope's RX engine rolled into a sampler.
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Stromkraft
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Re: Sample to FM synths? Expanded to Resynthesis

Post by Stromkraft » Wed May 25, 2016 8:24 pm

stringtapper wrote:
Stromkraft wrote:Harmor seems interesting for instance.
Interesting. Looks like a more modern/user friendly copy of Metasynth.

Windows only though. :x

You might also look into Iris 2 for a very intuitive way of doing spectral processing of samples (not really resynthesis though). It's basically iZotope's RX engine rolled into a sampler.
I have a Windows box for stuff like that, but with AS there seems to be a few candidates that maybe can rival Alchemy for this task. Or not, but fun to learn once in a while.
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