Our mission is to provide creative artists with tools that encourage discovery and liberate them from the constraints of traditional software and techniques. Our applications provide environments that nourish creativity and exploration by providing both paradigm-breaking functionality and aesthetically-inspiring user-interfaces that are themselves works of art.
Whether you are interested in music, graphics or video, you are sure to find something of interest at U&I Software.
I've owned this since around 2008, but hadn't used it for a while until the current updated version appeared.
I won't repeat the features, as you can read all about those in the specs listing. But what I will say is that if you're a genuinely experimental musician - if you want to enter into a musical environment that will generate unexpected and startlingly fresh results, and trigger new ideas and directions to go in - then this is for you. If you only want to make music that sounds like other music then you might struggle.
I previously used Metasynth mainly as a secret weapon, to augment sounds I'd made as part of conventional tracks in Logic etc. The Effects Room is an excellent suite of tools for doing this.
Getting back into it now though, I'm startled by the sheer density of what's on offer. Each of the 'rooms' is stuffed to the gills with features and unexpected parameters. I've only just begun to scratch the surface, and thinking about the potential for creativity is dizzying. And it's all organised and easy to use: the UI is excellent.
I will reiterate that it's not a platform to come to if you aren't willing to be surprised, and aren't open-minded or of an exploratory nature, but if you are there's riches here to keep you going for years.
Metasynth is a truly unique application. Chances are good that you've heard of its claim to fame: the odd 90's era IDM gimmick of converting pictures into sound and embedding the resulting unearthly noise in music. Can it do that? Yes! But that's far from its only value. Metasynth is a rich, complex audio development environment with many layers of rich functionality and a distinct personality.
The Image Synth alone -- Metasynth's best-known asset -- is worth the price of entry by itself. The fact that it can convert an image to sound is due to the incredible flexibility of its visual to audio mapping. If you think about it, the piano roll in every DAW is also an image-to-sound engine in a way! The great insight of Metasynth's developers is that there is no qualitative difference between a piano roll and a spectrograph; both are ways of mapping vertical space into pitch and horizontal space to time.
Fundamentally the Image Synth converts a grid of pixels via a mapping into sound, using a choice of any of several synthesis methods. The fact that the vertical mapping can represent anything from a whole-tone scale to the finest-grained microtonal scale, or anything in between, including user-defined mappings, makes the image room a tool that lends itself equally well to crafting musical phrases, synthesizing new instruments, and developing previously unheard soundscapes - and blurring the line between all of these.
Metasynth's functionality has also grown and evolved over the years: the Effects tool provides a number of sound editing and mangling options, from simple delays and reverbs to complex granular and spectral weirdness, all integrated with a unique envelope editing system unlike anything I've seen in another audio app. The Image Filter uses the same image-to-audio mapping used for composition and synthesis in the Image Synth tool to implement an incredibly complex time-varying multi-band filter. The Spectrum tool (which could easily be marketed as a separate app worthy of investigation by itself) provides a way to break down and recombine the spectrum of a given sound and use it for creative re-synthesis. And the Montage and Sequencer tools provide just enough multi-track editing / mixdown and bread-and-butter note sequencing functionality, respectively, that you can write whole tracks end to end in Metasynth without ever reaching for a separate DAW, if your heart so desires.
That isn't to say that Metasynth is the right choice for everyone: its design is idiosyncratic, absolutely the brainchild of a specific vision integrating the visual and audio realms in a unique way. Some basic UI affordances most of us take for granted, like multi-level undo and ubiquitous context menus, are missing, and some parts of the app like the Montage room, although handy, are a little underdeveloped. Most importantly, although you can get good (and very weird) results without so much as cracking the startup guide, truly mastering the app and adapting to its quirky personality takes a significant investment of time and mental energy. But for the musician or sound engineer committed to exploration, it is an investment well worth making, and will pay off for years to come.
The new MetaSynth CTX is compatible with the latest MacOS 10.15 (Catalina) and 11 (Big Sur), and it has all the cool features and possibilities that we got used to in the previous versions of MetaSynth. It's even more powerful now, and we can import or create 16-bit graphics in the Image Synth (where graphic shapes are transformed to audio). When exporting the resulting audio file, you can create a 44,1 or 48 kHz AIFF or WAV in 16 or 24-bit, or even a Core Audio Float 32-bit file. For sound designers and music artists that want to create their own unique sound, sound effects, musical loops or just some sounds never heard before, I can't think of a better tool.
I have found no other program quite like this.. and the inbuilt potential of simultaneous sound and image-animation.
is such an intriguing quest and challenge that the program allows endless exploration of ..I like combining and contrasting the machinic and traditional animation and editing applications. the following are two examples of experiments using the program to respond to sound and to actually generate sound and animation ...
Dis Hop by Tatonic. uses sound responsive animation systems in Artmatic-edited and recomposed with traditional editing softwares.