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Sound Design Composition Sequencing by U&I Software
MetaSynth - Image Synth
MetaSynth - Spectrum Synth MetaSynth - Image Filter MetaSynth - Effects MetaSynth - Sequencer MetaSynth - Montage MetaSynth MetaSynth MetaSynth
MetaSynth by U&I Software is a Software Application for macOS. It functions as a Standalone Application.
CTX 1.4
macOS (AppKit 10.15, 11, 12, 13, and later, backward compatible to 10.12). Version CTX 1.4 runs natively on Intel and Apple processors.
Copy Protection
Serial Number
Important Note
My KVR - Groups, Versions, & More
44 KVR members have added MetaSynth to 9 My KVR groups 55 times.
Not In Your MY KVR Groups
(or group limitation prevents versioning)
+9 in private groups

KVR Rank

Overall: 119   94

30-Day: 24; 7-Day: 77; Yesterday: 96

MetaSynth is a full-fledged award-winning electronic music and sound design laboratory. Each of its six tools, provide a unique take on music and sound sculpting. It features an uncluttered user interface that is engaging, serious, and fun to use. It invites the user to explore and think outside the box to discover new sounds and textures:

  • The Effects Room provides standard and non-standard DSP effects with a unique envelope-oriented approach to parameter control.
  • The Image Synth is considered by many to be the heart of MetaSynth. With infinitely customizable microtonality, the Image Synth allows you to paint sound. Color and luminance are translated to loudness and spatial orientation, which allows for the creation of everything from lush spacious sounds to caustic tweeter-burners. NEW: Jam live by selecting sections of an an image.
  • The Image Filter Room applies a similar graphic approach to creating dynamic audio filters and EQ.
  • The Spectrum Synth provides a spectral granular synthesis that allows you to analyze and re-sequence a source sound's harmonics.
  • The Image Sequencer Room is a sequencing environment for creating phrases and patterns for the Montage Room, the Image Synth, and Xx [Image to MIDI/MIDI to Image].
  • The MIDI Sequencer Xx is a separate application for auto-generating sequences, chords, patterns, and phrases, or playing MetaSynth instruments via MIDI then converting to Images for more sonic control.
  • The Montage Room Mixer is a 24-track mixing and recording room with a streamlined easy-to-use interface that ties all of MetaSynth's rooms together.
  • The MetaSynth Instruments are a library of Synths and Samplers playable via Pixels (Image Synth) or MIDI (Xx application sold separately). Expansion packs are also available.

MetaSynth is a multi-faceted application that is used by composers, musicians, and sound designers alike. It is used by electronica composers, film composers, and professional sound designers looking for unique sounds not possible with other synthesis tools.

It has played a prominent role in the sound design of many Academy Award-nominated (and winning) motion pictures, such as DUNE (2021), No Time to Die, Matrix Resurrections, Inception, Black Hawk Down, The Dark Knight, The Da Vinci Code Trilogy, King Kong, Hannibal, The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded, Run Lola Run, Dante01, An Mil, The Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and in Star Wars games.

It has been used on albums by Aphex Twin, Junkie XL, VNV Nation, Die Form, Audio Terrorist, El Silencio Blanco, Zohreh, Homeless Balloon, and many others.

Videos: See it in action on our videos page.

Latest User Reviews

Average user rating of 4.67 from 3 reviews

Reviewed By Editmsm [all]
March 16th, 2021
Version reviewed: CTX 1.1 on Mac

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.

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Reviewed By alienistcog [all]
March 2nd, 2021
Version reviewed: CTX 1.1 on Mac

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.

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Reviewed By hkrabye [all]
February 25th, 2021
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Mac

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.

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Comments & Discussion for U&I Software MetaSynth

Discussion: Active
U&I Software
U&I Software
23 April 2023 at 12:35am

Version CTX 1.4 has been released adding Universal 2 native code no matter which processor you are running.

"MIDI only has note on and note off. Envelope information is carried separately with the instruments and controllers. In the Image Synth the luminance codes the envelope during the duration of the note which allows for very subtle musical control. The RGB color also controls stereo placement for each note, so you can have a note starting left and moving right while fading out which would be very hard to do in MIDI unless you code that behavior in the synth, but then every note would behave like that. I like to view the Image Synth as a very complete notation system which includes envelope and pan control in the same representation." – Eric Wenger.


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