You know, its not often we can be credited with any kind of influence over the direction cutting edge software instruments take, but in this case, the Sonic TALK podcast had a small part to play. In Sonic TALK 192 regular panelist Dave Spiers (GForce Software) suggested that iZotope RX2, the audio restoration tool suite, would make an awesome synth, to which the panel wholeheartedly agreed - and the idea was galvanised.
Dave then pitched the idea to the boffins at iZotope, who to their credit, agreed that it would indeed be an awesome instrument. From there, iZotope hired the GForce team to mentor the project and see it through to final release.
For those who don’t know what iZotope IRIS is, it’s Spectral Synthesis instrument, which gives you the real-time power of creating unique waves from spectral analysis tools found in their much admired RX2 restoration package. These waves are then playable with various looping features as sounds across a keyboard - kind of like a regular sampler, but so much more.
With up to four elements per sound - three sample waves and a sub - a preset synth waveform to give you a pitched element, it’s capable of some extremely different sounds.
It has been likened to the Photoshop of synthesis, because you can select and drag harmonic elements or selections of the spectrogram of a wave file (AIFF or WAV), with tools like magic wand, brush and lasso to create extremely complex collections of frequencies within a given wave.
Bear in mind that you have up to three waves and a sub (preset standard oscillator wave). From there you have envelopes and LFOs, plus four effects. The result is then playable over a keyboard like a sampler - in real time.
As you can imagine, the possibilities are somewhat endless and a sound designers dream.
We had a visit from Dave Spiers who took us through some of the elements of IRIS to give us an overview of this unique new instrument.
IRIS is available now in:
Standalone, RTAS/Audiosuite, VST and AudioUnits formats
Priced at $149 ($249 after May 4th) and comes with a 4GB sound library with contributions from some of the most interesting names in synthesis.
There is also a +2 edition which comes with extra Glass and Wood libraries for $199 ($299 after My 4th).
A fully functional 10-day demo is available from their website.