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xoxos releases Caprice Spectral Enhancer for Windows VST

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

xoxos has released Caprice, a VST effect plugin for Windows that will enable you to achieve new creative effects with spectral resynthesis. Caprice includes several discrete processes that transform [Read More]

LinPlug updates Spectral to v1.3

Sunday, September 27th, 2015

LinPlug has released Spectral 1.3.0 Includes: A few LFO bug fixes. Faster updating of user interface. Chorus seldom crackle fixed. Adds support for the new sound library: [Read More]

Want new sounds? Come explore spectral resynthesis

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015


Theoretically, digital sound can sound like anything.

And I do mean anything: at the frontier of what is conceptually possible, digital representations can produce any sound. Despite this, so many of the sounds we hear, well, the same.

Dealing with that kind of generative freedom is no minor challenge. And that could explain the cult-like dedication of some sonic explorers to the sound environment Kyma. Kyma isn’t the only tool that can do spectral analysis and resynthesis. But it has a special history of working with data in this way, both as one of the first tools to do so and one of the environments uniquely refined in its approach to the task now.

Of course, finding people who know about such things is a bit like a hunt for a very special form of sound design druid. In other words — well, exactly our sort of people. NeverEngine Labs, aka Cristian Vogel and Gustav Scholda, are building on the Kyma 7 environment to make a suite of libraries to deal with these sounds. They’re making their tools your tools, in other words.

Yesterday, they launched their new Spectral Lab product. You get sounds and source material you can use freely, custom-designed techniques and prototypes, and via subscription, access to updates and chat, plus a nice Cristian Vogel album / “mist” tape. There’s also a volume of 33 modules for spectral work, a set of algorithms that you can turn into templates for your own sound design processes.

Now, to me, this is interesting both for its application to Kyma, but also more generally to understanding what this technique is about and why Cristian uses it. So I spoke to Cristian for a chance to understand more.

Don’t miss a trip to the site for the product to hear what all this stuff sounds like — there are some wild, fresh timbres:

KYMA 7: SPECTRAL LAB [cristianvogel.com / NeverEngine Labs]

CDM: Can you maybe say something about what spectral resynthesis is?

Cristian: Spectral analysis and resynthesis are the terms used for two important technologies in digital signal processing. The spectral analysis stage uses special filters to generate a stream of snapshots that describe amplitudes and frequencies and how they change over time. Essentially, a spectral analysis reverse engineers a data description of an audio signal, like an architectural blueprint. Using sufficient sine waves, a pure resynthesis can rebuild the sound from this blueprint.


How is it different working in Kyma 7? Do you have a sense of the equivalent state of tools in other environments / do you know people applying these techniques in other environments?

I have been studying Kyma since 2005. It is the cornerstone of my sound and musical thinking and I use the system with great admiration and respect. Kyma is built on different core values to other music software, which I think stem from the personalities of the creators, Carla Scaletti and Kurt Hebel at Symbolic Sound.

It is not an ‘easy’ Max/MSP or anything like Reaktor. It does contain a dialect of SmallTalk, like SuperCollider, but outdates all the other systems currently available as being one of the first visual signal flow realtime audio systems. In fact the first public demo of Kyma was at ICMC 1987!

How are you using this in your own music?

Many would agree that spectral analysis and resynthesis has always been one of the most compelling reasons for using Kyma. As one of the earliest systems capable of realtime resynthesis from spectral data, the maturity and refinement of Kyma’s native spectral manipulation capabilities cannot be under-estimated. I use Spectral composition in my music a lot, especially manipulations of the ‘blueprints’ , the analysis data, before they get resynthesised which always creates fresh approaches to sound design. I also use spectral analysis to compose rhythmic and harmonic structures such as in Black Swan (2009).

Black Swan, 2009 [Bandcamp album]

What does that look like in your performances?

Here is a solo experimental show I performed using some of the NeverEngine Labs sounds in combination with my Eurorack modules.

Ed.: Not terrific sound here, sadly, but you get the idea! It sounds a bit like wandering through an alien ship as it breaks apart inside a wormhole…

Why a subscription model for NeverEngine Labs?

The NeverEngine Labs is where myself and co-developer Gustav Scholda, are developing a suite of libraries that extend Kyma in the spirit of the core values of Symbolic Sound. As Kyma is an incredibly precise and demanding development environment, we have created a business model to support us during our first year of sustained development.

After that, the Libraries will be available for sale at a fixed price, with clearly written documentation for the future of Kyma (which we hope is a very long one!) . Our subscription model is one which considers the participants as being both crowd-funders and highly creative people. The experience of NeverEngine Labs is designed to feel educational, deep and rewarding at the same time – like Kyma itself.

More on Kyma:

The post Want new sounds? Come explore spectral resynthesis appeared first on Create Digital Music.


Sinevibes releases Hologram – Spectral re-Synthesizer

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

Sinevibes has released Hologram, an effect processor that re-synthesizes sound in real time. It does this by splitting the input signal into multiple frequency bands, analyzing their dynamics, [Read More]

Free Audacity Audio Editor Gets Spectral Edits, Live Plug-ins

Monday, March 30th, 2015


Dedicated wave editor Audacity has found enduring popularity, as a free and open source tool for working with sound. It runs on Linux, Windows, and OS X — with support for older Mac operating systems, which these days is sometimes tough to find. But just being free and open isn’t reason enough to use something, particularly when a lot of DAWs do a pretty decent job of wave editing.

This latest version of Audacity, 2.1.0, comes with some additions that might make it worth revisiting.

First, there’s spectral editing. In most software, audio editing is performed by time only. Here, you can drag over particular frequency ranges to select just those portions, for audio repair or simply highlighting certain portions of sonic content. That’s been available in some commercial tools, but it’s not normally found in DAWs and now you get it for free. See the spectral selection additions to the manual.

Second, you can now preview VST and Audio Unit effects (plus the open LADSPA format) in real-time. That’s useful for making Audacity an effect host, and can combine nicely with chains and batch processing. That is, you can preview effects live to adjust them (as you can do in a DAW) and then batch-process a bunch of sound (which your DAW can’t do easily). Plug-in hosting in general is improved, including the ability to work with multiple VST and add any effects to chains.

There’s also a new Noise Reduction effect.

Audacity still isn’t the prettiest software ever (ahem), but I know it’s an important tool, especially for musicians on a budget. And this version is worth adding to your toolset.

Check out the Audacity download page:

(Manual links there are broken as I write this, so you can use my links above for that.)

The post Free Audacity Audio Editor Gets Spectral Edits, Live Plug-ins appeared first on Create Digital Music.


LinPlug updates SaxLab to v2.2 and Spectral to v1.2.3

Saturday, February 28th, 2015

LinPlug has released updates for SaxLab and Spectral. SaxLab 2.2.0: User interface in different sizes and supporting Retina display. Fixed sound incompatibilities at different sample-rates. No [Read More]

LinPlug updates Spectral to v1.2 and releases “warm n deep” sound expansion from Himalaya

Friday, December 5th, 2014

LinPlug has updated Spectral to version 1.2 fixing a few bugs and introducing new features: Sound Rating System. MIDI Controller assignment editing. Option to either save to “my sounds” or last [Read More]

LinPlug updates Spectral to v1.1

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

LinPlug has updated Spectral to version 1.1. Changes: Many more FX parameter can be modulated (66 new ones in total). Additional LP+ Filter now also with 6, 12 and 24 db/Oct. Matrix now with 24 slots. [Read More]

VirSyn releases 64-bit versions of Tera – Synthesis Workstation and Cube – Spectral Morphing Resynthesizer

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

VirSyn has updated Tera – Synthesis Workstation and Cube – Spectral Morphing Resynthesizer. Both products are now available for 32/64-bit Mac OS X and Windows 7/8. The upgrade to the 64-bit versions i [Read More]

#KVRDC14 Entry: Virtual Analogy Paraphrasis Spectral Resynthesis Synthesizer for Mac and Win (updated to v1.0.1)

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

With the download and voting stage of the KVR Developer Challenge 2014 in full swing we’re posting a series of news items highlighting each release. You can download the entries for free and make a do [Read More]