OS X MACHINA – Always on the search for new audio plug-ins & FX, I took special notice when composer/friend Eve Beglarian sent out a tip about some excellent ones that she has been using. These are SoundMagic Spectral, a freeware suite of 23 Audio Unit (AU) plug-ins created by New Zealand composer Michael Norris. I decided to check them out and I can see why Eve was so excited to let other people know about Norris’ work.
SoundMagic Spectral implements real-time spectral processing of sound, whether from static audio files or live audio streams. Every parameter is controllable and/or recordable while your audio is playing. This means huge, organic washes of sound that seem to live and breathe right before your very ears. I was amazed how, through some tweaking and experimentation, I was able to get such variety from the same audio file. Simple acoustic riffs became vast landscapes of slowly shifting harmonics that alternately hung in the air or spun into self-similar whirlpools like the visuals seen when smoke is blown in the path of a video projector. OK, so much for my attempt at descriptive writing.
Check it out yourself. The SoundMagic Spectral page has plenty of examples where you can hear how this suite of plug-ins can transform an audio file. SoundMagic Spectral is highly recommend for musicians and sound designers of all genres.
Mac OS X 10.4 and a G4, G5 processor or Intel Mac.
Works with: Ableton Live (4.0 or higher), Amadeus, Apple GarageBand, Apple Logic Pro (or Emagic Logic 5.5.1 or higher), Apple Logic Express, Apple Soundtrack (version 1.10 or later), Apple Soundtrack Pro, Arizona AudioXplorer, Audiofile Engineering Wave Editor, BIAS Peak, Peak LE, and Peak DV 4.0 or higher, and Peak Pro, Celemony Melodyne 2.0 or higher, DSP-quattro 1.2 or higher, Freeverse Sound Studio 3.0 or higher, IllposedOuroboros (free beta), Intuem (2.0.1 or higher), Max/MSP (using au~ external available from my website), Metro (6.0 or higher), MOTU Digital Performer (version 4.1 or higher; best with 4.52 or higher), Numerology (version 1.2 or higher), Plogue Bidule, Rax (free beta), Rogue Amoeba Audio Hijack Pro, Freeverse SoundStudio3, SynthTest, TC|Works Spark XL and Spark LE (2.8 or higher), or WaveBurner.