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Same Day Music

3 October 2005

CHRONOStream timestretching application

Filed under: Music software at 5:41 pm (1 comment)

CHRONOStream is a timestretching and pitch correction application from Japanese software house PSoft. Its interface allows you to independently vary the pitch and tempo of a track while it is playing. You can also shift the formant of a vocal track to change the character of a voice — for example, male to female.

The selling point seems to be their algorithms, which they say are faster and better than other techniques. Their website has more details on this, and also seems to demonstrate the current state of machine translation technology. They say: “CHRONOStream is the software which has outstanding quality of time-stretching and pitch-shifting. It makes it possible to scale time and pitch of audio data without any incompatibility. It means that the software allows you to shifting pitch without time lengths changes, and to controlling time lengths without sound files edits.

CHRONOStream is well designed to be used by every user. Even professional musicians, for example, may need CHRONOStream to get high quality results with it. Moreover, there may be some use it to edit instrumental performances, and some use it to arrange mastering data.”

The demo is certainly fun to play with, though I’m not sure how easy it would be to integrate it with other sound tools. It does sound pretty good though. Apart from music use, they suggest you could use it for a meeting. “Record the workshop or conference scene by voice recorder, and play the recorded sound by CHRONOStream on your PC. Fast-forward if you like. You can change the speech of blue streak to speaker in a slow way.” I couln’t have said it better myself.

1 October 2005

Applied Acoustics String Studio review — Keyboard

Filed under: Music software at 11:48 am (no comments)

Keyboard magazine reviews the String Studio VST instrument from Applied Acoustics Systems. This is a physical modelling (or modeling, if you prefer) synth that lets you customize and tweak sounds to a great level of detail. They say it’s a bit on the esoteric side, and not exactly cheap, but on the other had it can take you to the “land of magical weirdness” so it’s got to be worth investigating.

The interface is dedicated to letting you control every parameter of the string model, which gives you a lot of power and a lot of room to mess up. This is probably a good thing if you’re looking for unusual sounds. “While the string parameters are the focus of the program, AAS doesn’t stop there. Parameters can be controlled via MIDI or your host automation, which adds another layer of expressiveness. The Arpeggiator isn’t earth-shattering; there are only four choices of note orders and 16 steps. But arpeggiators seem particularly enamored of short, percussive sounds, and String Studio delivers those in spades.”

They say that AAS have succeeded in their aim of producing “a synthesizer capable of realistic emulation of individual string instruments but also a creative tool for unusual textures and sounds from other-worldly instruments.”

In the end they say that String Studio is not for everyone, but if you can handle it there’s nothing else like it: “This is no program for newbies, and is clearly more for pros and sound designers. As such, the cost may not be a problem for those in quest of new sounds — it’s worth it. … Being able to create the kind of unique sounds String Studio produces will more than justify the bucks to people who like the sonic equivalent of white-water rafting. I give a lot of points to software capable of creating sounds that cause heads to turn.”