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  • Writer's pictureJoe Chris

Fascinating Rhythm: A look at Interesting & Cutting Edge Music Technology Part I

Welcome to the first part of a new series where I explore cutting edge music technology that may or may not shake up the scoring tech world. If nothing else, it’s cool to be aware of what’s out there, even if it never gets widespread mass adoption. There will be some things here that may not be super recent, but may just be featured because they are super cool and sort of niche at the moment. Anything is possible here. If there is anything you’d like to see me cover, please shoot me a message at Joe@ScoringTech.net


Synthesizer V


Source: Dreamtronics.com


This is the first piece of technology that really blew my mind recently. It is an AI Vocaloid that allows you to type in lyrics and adjust the performance with different “vocalists” and parameters. Though it takes quite a while to master (like any other sample library), it gives quite an interesting perspective on where the industry can likely be heading in terms of AI, sample modeling, and synthesis. Not only that, the performances are actually quite good, and in a variety of vocal contexts.


Synthesizer V offers performances in English, Japanese, & Chinese. Personally, I’ve used it to demo songs before hiring an actual singer to re-record. But it even can be utilized to provide some backing harmonies and more. There are even methods to controlpitch fluctuation/vibrato, simulate breaths, & more. This is a super powerful tool for both mock-ups and performance and I am really excited to see where this goes in the future, and there will definitely be more posts about AI and this synth in particular soon too!



DAWProject



The headaches caused by transferring projects between daws may soon be a thing of the past. Bitwig and Presonus announced the release of a new open “DAWProject” format. The idea is to create a single project format file that can be interchanged between all DAWs. It contains all information related to timing, tracks & channels, as well as note and automation data. Audio & MIDI are both supported, and it even carries over plug in settings.

This can be a game changer for collaborators working in different locations with different DAWs. This is an open standard with the specs and documentation available on GitHub so it is possible other DAWs may adopt it in the future.



Mi Mu Gloves



Artist Imogen Heap’s creative brainchild of a wearable device for modulation has been one of the most fascinating (and hard to find!) pieces of musical technology of the last decade. Heap started developing these gloves in 2010, over 13 years ago. These gloves are worn by the user and can manipulate a variety of musical parameters via movement. They can be used for expression, composition, and performance. It is a fascinating combination of movement, expression, and performance that makes these so fascinating. Movement becomes an inherent part of the performance and composition process. This video shows just some of the creative potential with these gloves. These may not have widespread adoption, but even giant pop artists like Ariana Grande have experimented with them in the studio and on tour.



CLAP


source: https://u-he.com/


CLAP, or Clever Audio Plugin, is another attempt by Bitwig to create an open standard in the music industry. This plugin format was created in collaboration with U-he to offer a cutting-edge plugin format for modern computers. There are a myriad of problems with current formats that this format attempts to solve. CLAP offers a greater variety of modulation options for plugin parameters, done in a nondestructive manner (unlike automation). With CLAP, you even have access to per note or polyphonic modulation. This is similar to MPE but offers much greater flexibility. There is the ability for plugin manufacturers to add their own layers of proprietary extensions to add even more functionality, and it is open source.

CLAP offers native support for host controlled multi-threading, which leads to significant improvements in CPU usage. In addition, this format offers a new metadata storage system which makes plugin scanning much faster and has an extension which allows plugin data to be saved directly to the project file.


The current popular plugin formats are VST (Owned by Steinberg), Audio Units (Apple), and AAX (Avid). An open source and cross platform plugin format that is more powerful than these proprietary formats can be an absolute game changer in the field.



Midinous



Part game, part sequencer – Midinous is a fun new way to generate midi data and musical ideas. Available on Steam, this musical software is an innovative new way to come up with generative musical ideas from the comfort of your DAW. Typically, this type of work is far more suited to be done on a modular system or in a software enviornment such as Max or VCV rack, but with Midinous you can now generate a bunch of asynchronous midi loops with random variables and more directly inside your DAW and using sounds you already own. I will personally be using this in my December Sonic Tasting event raising money for the American Cancer Society.


Official site: https://midinous.com/


This was the first post in the series, please be sure to send any tech you come across that might be worth checking out!

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