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Madrona Labs releases Sumu Softsynth - additive resynthesis with FM and vector field spatialization

Madrona Labs

Madrona Labs has announced that Sumu, a new software synthesizer that "breaks new ground in software synthesis, combining additive resynthesis with FM and vector field spatialization", is now available for macOS and Windows.

In Sumu, sampled sounds are represented as collections of up to 64 bandwidth-enhanced partials, each with a frequency, volume, and noisiness that can change over time. This representation of sound makes all kinds of creative changes possible, from natural-sounding time stretching to exotic timbral manipulations.

Users of Madrona Labs' other software synthesizers—Aalto, Kaivo, and Virta—will find Sumu's design very familiar, with its fully resizable, vector-based user interface. Every control is on a single page, a design decision intended to support creative flow. Sumu's ten modules include PARTIALS, for analyzed sound playback, PULSES, for generating musical pulse trains and modulation, SPACE, for spatializing each oscillator pair, and RES, with analog-modeled filters based on the classic four-pole ladder design. The modules are designed around a central multi-channel patcher that makes it possible to create complex patches quickly and easily, with connections that can never obscure other controls.

Using the patcher, each partial in a sound can be manipulated independently in a way that is designed to feel more like playing than programming. While the patcher keeps things simple on the surface, each patch cord has 64 independent channels in it. To view all this data, many of the modules have real-time visualization tools in them. For example, the space module presents a 3d view that shows the location of each partial of each voice, updated up to 60 times a second. According to Madrona Labs, these visualizations are not merely visual fluff, but precise: what you see is what you hear.

"Sumu" is Finnish for "fog," which Madrona Labs says is evocative of the sonic spaces it can create.

A free companion app, Vutu, lets you make Sumu partials files out of your own sounds. Setting up the analysis parameters involves some creative choices and Vutu gives you access to all the controls needed. It's available now for both Mac and Windows.

Pricing & Availability

Sumu is available now to purchase at the Madrona Labs website. For a limited time, full licenses of Sumu are available at an introductory price of $129.00. Purchasing the Early Access release gets users a perpetual license for the 1.0 version and any future 1.x versions. Beyond Early Access, Sumu will be available to purchase at the full price of $179.

Sumu is available in AU and VST3 formats for Mac OS and in VST3 format for Windows.

Free demo versions are available for download.

System requirements: Mac versions of Sumu require OS X 10.14 (Mojave) or higher. Sumu runs natively on both Intel-compatible and Apple Silicon processors. Windows versions require Windows 10 or higher (Older Windows versions may work but are not officially supported).




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