CellSynth by Living Memory
CellSynth is a revolutionary new real-time music tool developed by the British software company, Living Memory.
CellSynth addresses several of the main areas in computer music, notably audio synthesis, audio sequencing, sample manipulation, audio processing and event sequencing. Unlike many of the more conventional software synthesisers on the market, it is compact and easy to use, and does not require detailed synthesis knowledge. Its efficient design means that all functions operate in real-time with low latency, allowing it to be used in a live environment with MIDI keyboards or other MIDI sources. The audio quality is switchable between 44khz and 22khz, in order to accommodate slower systems. All output can be recorded to disk for use in other software such as Cubase VST.
CellSynth is unusual in catering for both musical beginner and expert alike. Whilst the program is easy and intuitive to use, with an excellent manual and on-line tutorial, those with prior knowledge of synthesis are not left frustrated at technical limitations. Analog, FM and harmonic synthesis are all possible, along with as many new forms as you can think of! Synthesis experts will be immediately at home and able to create new sounds quicker than ever. Modelling classic analog and digital synthesisers has never been so easy, with the results sounding exactly like the real thing.
CellSynth has a distinctive and attractive appearance. The main window is round, and contains the cell matrix, a 6x6 grid where each sound or song is created. Each square on the grid can contain a cell - there are several different types available. Creation of matrices can be achieved quickly and easily by dragging and dropping cells from the cell menus at the top and bottom of the window. Matrices can be easily merged, and a comprehensive library of commonly used cell arrangements is included to make common composing chores quicker and easier.
The grid design of CellSynth makes it easy to route audio and modulation information around the matrix, from cell to cell. Audio routing can be displayed as blue lines joining cells, modulation routing is shown in red. The ease of routing is a major strength of CellSynth - all routing can be controlled and viewed without leaving the main window.
The cell types currently available in CellSynth fall broadly into two categories: Generator cells and DSP cells. Generator cells do not take audio input, but can take modulation input. There are sine, square, sawtooth, triangle and harmonic oscillators, a sample player and a random number/noise generator.
DSP cells take both audio and modulation input. There are low-pass/band pass filters, comb filters, mixers, panners, black boxes (multi-effects), delays, reverbs and envelopes.
One further cell type is available - the event sequencer, which allows MIDI note and controller information to be edited and played back. This can be used to achieve high levels of automation in song playback.
As mentioned above, latency is kept low to allow real-time playback of synthesised sounds via MIDI. Many cells such as audio samples, oscillators, envelopes and delays can be synchronised to an external MIDI clock. Most cell parameters and their tear-off sliders can be assigned to MIDI controllers with an absolute minimum of effort - one click!
Although CellSynth is a serious musical tool, it is intuitive to use and is attractive to musical beginners. A comprehensive tutorial is provided which takes the user through dozens of examples which introduce the different cell types available.
The hundreds of presets supplied demonstrate the wide range and power of the software. They include a wide range of special effects, MIDI keyboard sounds and complete songs. The band Zion Train have contributed 128 high quality matrix files - which defy description and have to be heard to be believed!
CellSynths management and control of samples is unparalleled in the software synthesiser market. Not only does it have features that are not found anywhere else (such as using modulation to control the start point of a sample), these features are not included at the expense of ease-of-use. It only takes a drag and a couple of mouse clicks to add a sample and loop it in perfect time with your composition. Easy access to sample modulation and total control of playback frequency makes it easy to tune loops to tempo. Samples can be queued and sequenced, with the only limitation being your imagination.
- Unique, powerful, friendly and intuitive user interface. Easy and fun to use even if you're not familiar with making computer based music.
- 100s of preset sounds and sound files.
- Unparalleled implementation of sample looping, modulation and multiple sample loops. Synchronised playback of up to 36 audio samples, with the ability to instantly tune loops to tempo. Literally drag a sound file into CellSynth and with 2 or 3 mouse clicks it can be looping or playing in time with your composition.
- Unique sample modulation function.
- Powerful DSP effects including any combination of reverb, delays, envelopes and resonant filters.
- Faithfully recreate the sound of classic analog and digital synthesisers.
- All the features of a large modular analog synthesiser, up to 36 LFOs, oscillators, filters, envelopes (ADSR), noise generators, random (sample and hold) generators and mixing modules.
- Audio samples, oscillators, envelopes, 'sample and hold' generators and delays can be synchronised to internal or external (MIDI) beat clock.
- Harmonic additive oscillators with up to 32 user specified harmonics.
- Versatile arpeggiator with many different modes.
- Full real time MIDI control of virtually all parameters. MIDI controllers can be assigned with just one click of the mouse.
- Self-contained event sequencer allows you to compose songs and automate controllers entirely within CellSynth.
- CD Quality playback and real time recording to hard disk.
- Audio input allows you to record CD quality samples and also to apply powerful DSP effects to external audio.
- Can be used 'live' as a synth with simultaneous playback and real time mixing of sample loops.
- Works with your favourite sequencer.
- Everything self contained in one application, sampling, analog/FM/harmonic synthesis and sequencer. CellSynth can and has been used to create entire compositions.
- Excellent manual and extensive online help.