Virtual instrument for macOS capable of image resynthesis?

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
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herewardcarrington
KVRer
15 posts since 20 May, 2020

Post Fri May 22, 2020 3:49 am

I'm looking for virtual instrument capable of image resynthesis on macOS. I already use Alchemy in Logic as well as Harmor via FL Studio as a plug-in for this task (cumbersome). For using it in several DAWs I would like to have a a dedicated virtual instrument (HiDPI is a must so no Iris 2). I know Serum is capable of creating wavetables from images, but still like to hear if there are other spectral based synthesizers out I don't know yet.

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Michael L
KVRAF
3123 posts since 25 Jan, 2014 from The End of The World as We Knowit

Re: Virtual instrument for macOS capable of image resynthesis?

Post Fri May 22, 2020 3:51 am

Photosounder, MetaSynth, Kaleidoscope
MuLab goes with The Flows...

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herewardcarrington
KVRer
15 posts since 20 May, 2020

Re: Virtual instrument for macOS capable of image resynthesis?

Post Fri May 22, 2020 4:25 am

Michael L wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 3:51 am
Photosounder, MetaSynth, Kaleidoscope
Thanks but if I'm not mistaken,
Photosounder: no virtual instrument, no HiDPI
MetaSynth: no virtual instrument, no HiDPI
Kaleidoscope: no virtual instrument, no HiDPI

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Forgotten
KVRAF
11472 posts since 15 Apr, 2019 from Nowhere

Re: Virtual instrument for macOS capable of image resynthesis?

Post Fri May 22, 2020 5:16 am

Not sure if there are really any other options. Is it possible you can alter your workflow to accommodate one of the above?

If you're looking to process the output live, maybe you could look at using Soundflower or something similar to get it into Logic?

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Sampleconstruct
KVRAF
15163 posts since 12 Oct, 2008 from Here and there

Re: Virtual instrument for macOS capable of image resynthesis?

Post Fri May 22, 2020 5:18 am

UVI Falcon's wavetable oscillator, just drag and drop images into the oscillator.
----
EDIT
...and Iris does not re-synthesize images, it let's you draw/select frequencies from a given sample.

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herewardcarrington
KVRer
15 posts since 20 May, 2020

Re: Virtual instrument for macOS capable of image resynthesis?

Post Fri May 22, 2020 5:59 am

Sampleconstruct wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 5:18 am
UVI Falcon's wavetable oscillator, just drag and drop images into the oscillator.
----
EDIT
...and Iris does not re-synthesize images, it let's you draw/select frequencies from a given sample.
Thanks a lot! UVI Falcon wasn't on my screen for that task.

As you offer patches for Serum as well as Falcon, which one would you recommend purely (no interest in any other capabilities of the synths) for the creation of wavetables out of images including further tweaking them to a finished patch?

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VariKusBrainZ
KVRAF
9023 posts since 16 Dec, 2002

Re: Virtual instrument for macOS capable of image resynthesis?

Post Fri May 22, 2020 6:14 am

Voltage Modular with the 3rd party Imagillator module.

Dont know about HiDPI but it has a scalable interface.

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muki
KVRist
276 posts since 14 Jul, 2018

Re: Virtual instrument for macOS capable of image resynthesis?

Post Fri May 22, 2020 6:19 am

i *think* (not 100% sure though) discodsp vertigo has bitmap/image import possibility

"WAV PCM analysis and bitmap import"

https://www.discodsp.com/vertigo/

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herewardcarrington
KVRer
15 posts since 20 May, 2020

Re: Virtual instrument for macOS capable of image resynthesis?

Post Fri May 22, 2020 6:30 am

Forgotten wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 5:16 am
Not sure if there are really any other options. Is it possible you can alter your workflow to accommodate one of the above?

If you're looking to process the output live, maybe you could look at using Soundflower or something similar to get it into Logic?
To be honest I already use FL Studio as plug-in purely for the use of Harmor and Vocodex. But there are latencies, automation doesn't work the way it should and its simply not elegant.
I'm even faster when working with FL Studio standalone and then reimport audio files into my main DAW (Bitwig or Logic). But I'm very tired of the constant DAW hopping.

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Sampleconstruct
KVRAF
15163 posts since 12 Oct, 2008 from Here and there

Re: Virtual instrument for macOS capable of image resynthesis?

Post Fri May 22, 2020 7:09 am

herewardcarrington wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 5:59 am
Sampleconstruct wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 5:18 am
UVI Falcon's wavetable oscillator, just drag and drop images into the oscillator.
----
EDIT
...and Iris does not re-synthesize images, it let's you draw/select frequencies from a given sample.
Thanks a lot! UVI Falcon wasn't on my screen for that task.

As you offer patches for Serum as well as Falcon, which one would you recommend purely (no interest in any other capabilities of the synths) for the creation of wavetables out of images including further tweaking them to a finished patch?
Probably Falcon because of its extended modulation system, all the FX and the possibility to layer things ad ultimo. If you format the pngs according to Falcon's resolution (height = 128 px/width = 2048 px), you'll get better results. On the other hand Serum's WT editor is pretty slick so you can tweak the resulting tables in numerous ways, Falcon doesn't have a WT editor at all.

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Sampleconstruct
KVRAF
15163 posts since 12 Oct, 2008 from Here and there

Re: Virtual instrument for macOS capable of image resynthesis?

Post Fri May 22, 2020 7:20 am

Here is a little video demonstration of the image resynthesis in Falcon which I made some years ago:

https://youtu.be/_Lvv7Q0HO08

EDIT
Meanwhile the WT oscillator has evolved a lot including FM, an extended interface and other things.

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herewardcarrington
KVRer
15 posts since 20 May, 2020

Re: Virtual instrument for macOS capable of image resynthesis?

Post Fri May 22, 2020 9:59 am

Thank you all for your suggestions!
Am I right that there still isn't a demo version of Falcon?

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Sampleconstruct
KVRAF
15163 posts since 12 Oct, 2008 from Here and there

Re: Virtual instrument for macOS capable of image resynthesis?

Post Fri May 22, 2020 10:45 am

herewardcarrington wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 9:59 am
Thank you all for your suggestions!
Am I right that there still isn't a demo version of Falcon?
Correct.

cron
KVRAF
3340 posts since 27 Dec, 2002 from North East England

Re: Virtual instrument for macOS capable of image resynthesis?

Post Fri May 22, 2020 5:06 pm

Sadly nothing can really touch Harmor when it comes to image synthesis in the 'in-DAW' space. I'm not aware of anything that even comes close.

For what it's worth, once you start really digging deep into image synthesis, you'll be using a separate image editor to process your images and/or sounds you've converted to image synthesis mode. Harmor makes this very easy with one-click copy/paste image from clipboard. "You'll soon be using at least two programs, so might as well make it three!" is hardly a gem of motivational wisdom, but I guess the point is more that you're not going to get the best out of image synthesis with only a DAW. Leaving your primary DAW is going to be an unavoidable part of any workflow that involves editing or processing images.

The Serum/Falcon wavetable thing can create very interesting sounds, but it's worth bearing in mind that it's a very different thing to what the likes of Harmor does. It's not 'spectral' at all. It forms the wavetable by slicing your image into one-pixel 'strips', each wave in the table being one of these strips with the brightness of each pixel in the strip being interpreted as the sample value. Pure time domain stuff where the sonic result doesn't really have any (intuitive) correlation with the visual input. While I haven't used Falcon, I expect Sampleconstruct is absolutely right in suggesting it'll be a better choice for this. Serum's oscillators don't interpolate between wavetable frames, so they don't cope with complex wavetables particularly well. I assume that Falcon interpolates wavetable frames, as I would any other wavetable synth. Serum strikes me as being an extraordinary outlier here.

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herewardcarrington
KVRer
15 posts since 20 May, 2020

Re: Virtual instrument for macOS capable of image resynthesis?

Post Sat May 23, 2020 9:23 am

cron wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 5:06 pm
Sadly nothing can really touch Harmor when it comes to image synthesis in the 'in-DAW' space. I'm not aware of anything that even comes close.

For what it's worth, once you start really digging deep into image synthesis, you'll be using a separate image editor to process your images and/or sounds you've converted to image synthesis mode. Harmor makes this very easy with one-click copy/paste image from clipboard. "You'll soon be using at least two programs, so might as well make it three!" is hardly a gem of motivational wisdom, but I guess the point is more that you're not going to get the best out of image synthesis with only a DAW. Leaving your primary DAW is going to be an unavoidable part of any workflow that involves editing or processing images.

The Serum/Falcon wavetable thing can create very interesting sounds, but it's worth bearing in mind that it's a very different thing to what the likes of Harmor does. It's not 'spectral' at all. It forms the wavetable by slicing your image into one-pixel 'strips', each wave in the table being one of these strips with the brightness of each pixel in the strip being interpreted as the sample value. Pure time domain stuff where the sonic result doesn't really have any (intuitive) correlation with the visual input. While I haven't used Falcon, I expect Sampleconstruct is absolutely right in suggesting it'll be a better choice for this. Serum's oscillators don't interpolate between wavetable frames, so they don't cope with complex wavetables particularly well. I assume that Falcon interpolates wavetable frames, as I would any other wavetable synth. Serum strikes me as being an extraordinary outlier here.
Many thanks for the valuable input.

As already admitted I use FL Studio purely for Vocodex and Harmor at the moment but I’m quite rusty in using it.

The current update of FL Studio finally compensates latency for automation and overall a lot has happened since FL Studio was officially released for macOS. So I’m happily rediscovering the extraordinary possibilities of FL Studio.

As a multiple DAW user and primarily classical trained musician, I have to admit that I’m one of those who deep in the back of their mind, still classifies FL Studio somehow just as pastime for video game nerds (even worse than a tracker, haha). No offense I’m just being honest here. On the other hand, FL Studio can do things that Pro Tools or Logic for example can only dream about.

The concept and possibilities of Edison alone are simply insane! What DAW has such a powerful sample editor that's so easy to use?

Back to the subject, I think I'll probably continue to use FL Studio to prepare Harmor tracks. So I'm going to expand my skills with FL Studio. There is simply nothing comparable to Harmor (as a completely self-contained instrument). Vertigo from discoDSP goes in that direction, but in comparison, it’s way behind of course. It also took a long time (at that time still on PC) until I really understood Harmor (pretty comprehensive, still learning). I do not want to throw the knowledge overboard unnecessarily.

Nevertheless, there were some interesting suggestions.

Even though I feel that I own every virtual instrument, it is precisely Serum and Falcon that I have not considered necessary so far.

The missing demo of Falcon is a pity, even though I have been using UVI libraries for many years.

Let's see how all this develops. Many thanks to all of you!

Edit: typo
Last edited by herewardcarrington on Sat May 23, 2020 12:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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