NAMM: Melodyne - Radical Software

Friendly People      05/02/01

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One of the more ground breaking products of the show, it also had one of the biggest buzzes. (Hans Zimmer was there when we arrived)

The company Celemony was formed just to come over to NAMM. Previously shown only at universities and other institutions to other boffins, this was Melodynes' first proper outing. Fronted by the husband and wife team of Hildegard and Peter and demoed by very effectively by Karsten we had a preview of what may well be the future of music sequencing. It's hard to explain but very impressive to see and hear in action. Imagine being able to see the notes of your monophonic audio recording represented in a grid like (editor - eg: each note is aligned with its corresponding note on the keyboard.)
Now drag the location, duration, pitch, amplitude or vibrato of each or any note and hear the results in real time.
Now pinch yourself and remember that this is AUDIO we're talking about! For starters, we haven't seen anything that does pitch analysis as well as this let alone the other complex functions such as:
  • Pitch, Timing and amplitude shifting
  • Formant shifting
  • Pitch detection and midi export of the data. One of the most interesting uses can be editing a performance to the way you'd like it. Shifting notes and timing is a breeze. It will also allow you to work on up to 20 tracks simultaneously f(depending on CPU) Melodyne supports ASIO2 and is expected to be released for Mac OS 8.6 to X in March 2001. The Windows version is planned to be available in the late summer. Both require a processor with 300 MHz and 128 MB of main memory. Melodyne supports many audio formats (WAV, AIFF, SD2, etc) and can be integrated into most recording environments. Expect the possibility of certain aspects of this technology to be licensed to some of the big boys - this basically does what the Roland VP 9000 attempts but with greater elegance. Indeed, Antares (the makers of the astonishing AutoTune) were hanging about while we were there. As previously stated, this only handles monophonic files but they are working on a full polyphonic version right now along with VST/DirectX and TDM compatibility. V1.0 will be a stand alone only release, expected to retail at around $1000 and be available around spring/summer this year. In the mean time, we suggest you go to the website and check out the examples: Watchout for a review coming soon....
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