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MetaSynth 5

Electronic music studio and sound designer's dream tool for Mac OS X

  • MetaSynth's Rooms
  • What is MetaSynth?
  • Try it Out! Get the Demo!
  • Resources
  • MIDI & MetaSynth

Version 5.4 is compatible with OS X.6 and later. If you own MetaSynth, retrieve the download info here.

MetaSynth is an award-winning electronic music and sound design studio for OS X. Its six "rooms" provide six unique environments for creating and manipulating sound. There is much more to MetaSynth than creating sound from pictures. See and hear it in action on our videos page. Take the Room Tour.

Image Synth. The Image Synth is our paradigm-smashing composition environment where you paint sound. With a host of available synthesis methods and nearly infinitely customizable microtonality, the Image Synth makes possible the sounds of your dreams. Take a quick Image Synth tour now.

Example 1. More Info.Additive sine wave synthesis with microtonal tuning

Example 2. More InfoImage Synth preset that uses a vocal multisampler instrument

Image Filter Room. The filtering counterpart of the Image Synth. Precise dynamic stereo filters that can create a limitless range of effects from the conventional to the otherworldly. Watch our introduction to the Image Filter. The examples were all created from the same source: Image Synth Example 2.

Morphing. InfoSource sound filtered through an image created with MetaSynth's Analyze Spectrum to Picture capability    Rhythmic FX. More infoImage Filters can be used to create interesting rhythmic material even from non-rhythmic sources.

Chorus Effects. More infoImage Filters can be used to easily create unique chorusing and flanging effects.

Spectrum Synth. The Spectrum Synth analyzes sounds and creates events that capture the original's harmonics which you can manipulate, filter and re-arrange to invent new sounds.

Example 1. More Info. Three sounds are heard in sequence: 1) a Spectrum Synth re-arrangement of an acoustic guitar loop, 2) a mix of the original guitar and the spectrum sequence, 3) the original guitar loop.

Example 2. More Info. Neil Goldstein's Sunday Morning turns a 16 second guitar phrase into 3 minutes of lush sound.

Effects Room. The effects room provides a new approach to sound effects. We provide both traditional effects like delay, reverb and chorus and a wealth of unusual effects like our granular synthesis-based Grain and Shuffler. Our unique graphic envelopes make it easy to turn "standard effects" into something special.

Example 1: Convolution. More Info 14 seconds of Mozart's Requiem convolved with an Image Synth drum loop.

Example 2: Grain. More Info A short conventional sounding orchestral sound cue is turned into a 20 minute ambient exploration using Grain. Learn more at Edward's Grains page.

Sequencer Room. This is a lightweight non-MIDI sequencer where you can compose musical phrases and rhythm loops that you can render to disk, import into the Image Synth or add to your Montage Room compositions.

Sequencer Room Example

Montage Room. 24-track mixing environment. Use this room to mix down full-length compositions or to layer and composite the sounds you create in the other rooms. The Montage Room's single-window, modeless operation makes it a snap to use. Even if you use another digital audio workstation, you may find yourself using the Montage Room for quick assembly of your MetaSynth-created components.

Montage Room example. More Info This composition was fully-realized in MetaSynth and is included with the demo download. It makes use of sounds created in each of MetaSynth's six rooms.

MetaSynth is an electronic music studio for Mac OS X where you create, compose, design and transform music and sound in a unique environment that invites exploration. Our users include Academy award-nominated sound designers and composers, popular electronica artists, avant-garde explorers, successful record producers, academics, students and amateurs all of whom share a desire to explore new sonic realms. Whether you want to create slamming grooves, haunting ambiences, or aural sculpture, MetaSynth has something to offer.

You can compose and mix full-length compositions in MetaSynth or use it to create or process elements that you use inside the DAW of your choice. Try it now to discover why it is the secret weapon in the arsenal of so many cutting-edge pros.

MetaSynth is not a soft-synth or plug-in. It is a complete sound design and electronic music composition environment with six rooms that you can use to create and process sounds in a variety of paradigm-smashing ways.

Words don't do MetaSynth justice. To really get a sense of what it will do for you, you need to try it for yourself. Download the demo version -- it does everything that the full-version does except save files to disk.

VIDEO TUTORIALS AND DEMONSTRATIONS: See MetaSynth in action and learn some great tricks as well. If you aren't familiar with MetaSynth, it might help to see it in action on our video tutorials page.


Below are links of interest to anyone that wants to get more out of MetaSynth.


MetaEssentials have created some excellent (and inexpensive) assistant programs to facilitate note and rhythm entry for those that prefer either MIDI entry or BeatBox-style programming. They also have some terrific tutorials. MSMidiPix enables realtime MIDI-to-Image Synth translation so that you can enter notes from any MIDI device. It also provides MIDI file to MetaSynth translation. MSBeatBox is a great BeatBox style rhythm program for creating grooves with a BeatBox-style interface. MSBeatBox also includes some killer instruments. MetaCycle converts REX files into MetaSynth presets and instruments. EQ helps you make Image Filter gradients and patterns for the Image Filter Room.

Galbanum has created some great collections of MetaSynth resources. Their Architecture Volume One DVD is an essential collection of Image Synth, Image Filter, instrument and waveform libraries. Abstraction 01 MS is a premium format loop collection for MetaSynth. Architecture MS Waveforms is a collection of over 1,800 meticulously designed wavetables for MetaSynth.


Homeless Balloon

Composer Helge Krabye has created a web site with great music and some terrific (and free) MetaSynth resources. His MetaSynth page provides a nice overview. The Tips page includes his great One Drop (is enough) tutorial. Some great (free) presets are available on his presets page. At, you will also find a great list of MetaSynth resources and articles and a MetaSynth music station.


Other Links of Interest

While MetaSynth does not take MIDI input, there are some great apps that can record or import MIDI and export the results to MetaSynth.

XX, our algorithmic composition app and MetaSynth companion, is a great lightweight MIDI sequencer that can export to MetaSynth. Use it to record MIDI tracks that you can export to MetaSynth or import MIDI files and export them to MetaSynth. Check it out!


MSMidiPix from MetaEssentials that allows you to capture live MIDI input and transfer it to the Image Synth. It can even convert MIDI files to Image Synth format.

Their MSBeatBox has a grid-style "Beat Box" interface that makes programming drum and rhythm parts a breeze.


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Featured lesson:Fun With Rhythm Loops


MetaSynth resource libraries from Galbanum: Abstraction 01 and AV-1

Keep track of all the great audio you create in MetaSynth with AudioFinder from our friends at Iced Audio.

Essential tools for MetaSynthesists: !

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