MetaSynth 5

6 Unique Environments for Music Creation and Sound Sculpting

  • Image Synth
  • Image Filter
  • Effects Room
  • Spectrum Synth
  • Sequencer
  • Montage Room

The Image Synth


Paint sound! The Image Synth is a unique composition and sound-design environment favored by cutting-edge artists. Work in the visual domain to create sounds, effects and music that would be be virtually impossible to create with conventional methods. Simple graphics transforms can create rich expressive sound allowing you to manipulate spatial dynamics, harmonics, rhythms, notes and envelopes in ways you never imagined.

Whether you are a composer, synthesist, producer or sound designer and no matter what style you are working in, MetaSynth has something to offer. Its unique approach will enable you to create amazing new sounds that are all your own.

Use it to create music, design sounds or create samples for your samplers and multisamplers. Then use your creations on MetaSynth's Montage Room or with the DAW of your choice.

Play the Sound Collage to hear the breathtaking range of sounds possible. Visit the sound gallery to hear compositions that demonstrate the variety of sound and music you can create.

Microtunings. The Image Synth is the tool of choice for exploring microtonality. The Image Synth and Image Filter Rooms can use an almost infinite variety of microtunings. Use any of the thousands that are supplied, or invent your own! Tunings can have up to 1024 user-definable steps.

What is it? The Image Synth is a composition and sound design environment where you paint music and sound. The canvas area can be thought of as the score, a super-sonogram, or a twisted version of a piano-roll style sequencer. Each pixel is a synthesizer activated as the playhead passes over it. Color is interpreted as stereo placement. Brightness is loudness. And you can define any tuning space you can imagine. The Image Synth provides a wealth of synthesis methods that include additive, FM, phase distortion, pulse width modulated, and sample-based synths. You can create slamming beats, abstract washes of sound and anything in-between. It is not MIDI plug-in. You can use your creations in MetaSynth's Montage Room or export your results as audio files.

The presentations on this page will introduce you to Image Synth "Basics" as well as demonstrate some of the extraordinary sounds that the Image Synth makes possible.


Image Synth Basics - This video explains the very basics of Image Synthesis and presents a variety of sounds to give you an idea of the Image Synth's range. The sound collage plays automatically at the end of the presentation.

Sound Collage - Hear a montage of Image Synth sounds while watching the images with which they were created. At the collage's conclusion, you can explore the "sound pictures" in more detail.

COMING SOON - Extended video demonstrations of the Image Synth in action.Follow us on Twitter to be notified when the new videos are posted.

The Image Filter Room

The Image Filter Room provides a revolutionary approach to audio filtering that can create everything from conventional EQ effects to a host of dramatic effects you might not associate with filters: convolution/vocoding effects, stereo re-spatialization, filter sweeps, chorusing and flanging effects, rhythmic effects and much more.

Each pixel (dot) of an image filter is treated as an ultra-precise tunable stereo bandpass filter. PIxel color determines the stereo position. Pixel brightness determines the filter gain. The frequency is determined by the customizable tuning and reference pitch. The Image Filter allows the power and concepts of Image Synthesis to be applied to audio filtering. All of the Image Synth's award-winning tools and microtuning capabilities are available to create Image Filters.

Watch the introduction to the Image Filter, and see it in action.

Audio Examples. These are just a few of the many types of effects that you can create. The first three examples were all created by applying image filters to this source sound (created in the Image Synth). We recommend watching the introduction video to get a deeper appreciation.

Morphing/Vocoding . The source sound filtered through an image filter created from a spoken word sample with MetaSynth's Analyze Spectrum to Picture capability. Watch our vocoding video tutorial to see how easy it is to create dramatic effects like these.

Rhythmic Effects . Image Filters can be used to create interesting rhythmic material even from non-rhythmic sources. There are quite a few ways to create effects like these. One technique for creating rhythmic effects is demonstrated in our vocoding video tutorial.

Chorus Effects . Image Filters can be used to easily create unique chorusing and flanging effects. Watch the introduction to the Image Filter to see how easy it is to create unique chorus effects like this one

Example - Transformed Noise. Image Filters can turn even a blast of white noise into something cool.


  • Image Filter Introduction - introduction to the Image Filter Room that demonstrates both its unique effects and its awesome precision. (Length: 4 minutes 20 seconds.)
  • Image Filter Vocoding, Part 1 - this video demonstrates how to create vocoding effects in the Image Filter Room and how to turn a vocoding preset into a filter for creating unique rhythmic effects. (Length: 4 minutes 30 seconds.)
  • Image Filter Vocoding, Part 2, Examples - this video shows several additional examples of Image Filters created with the techniques demonstrated in Part 1. Filters derived from speech and singing are applied to drums. And filters derived from singing are applied to string sounds. These include rhythmic filters that might not obviously have been based on a sampled sound. (Length: 2 minutes 22 seconds.)


Effects Room

From the subtle to the extreme, the Effects Room provides a sound-sculping environment like no other. It provides unique FFT and granular synthesis-based effects as well as traditional effects like delay, chorus, reverb and pitch/time modulation. The unique graphic-driven envelopes allow you to achieve unconventional results from even ordinary effects. Our unique effects, like Grain, Harmonics, Inertia and Shuffler, are secret weapons in the toolboxes of cutting-edge pros.

Here are just a few examples.

Convolution . 14 seconds of Mozart's Requiem convolved with an Image Synth drum loop.

Grain . A short conventional sounding orchestral sound cue is turned into a 20 minute ambient exploration using Grain. Listen to the source. Learn more at Edward's Grains page.

Shuffler . A short speech sample is treated with Inertia and a tiny bit of stereo pitch-shifting before being sent to the Shuffler. Shuffler is a favorite of remixers because it can so easily create variations of a basic groove. For example, this groove sequence was created from this source in just a couple of minutes. Check out the Shuffler 101 Tutorial to hear and learn more.

Inertia / Grain / Spectrum Synth. The source sound   (from Richard Devine's great Pulse sample library) was analyzed into the Spectrum Synth then treated with MetaSynth's Inertia and Grain effects in the Effects Room.

Get the demo version and try it for yourself

Spectrum Synth Room

Spectrum Synthesis is one of MetaSynth's most powerful and unique features. It combines granular synthesis techniques and high resolution harmonic analysis to contruct a series of events that reproduce a source sound's harmonic spectrum that you can manipulate and re-arrange to create new sounds. A wide variety of sounds can be created: intriguing grooves, mysterious abstract sounds, invented sounds for samplers and multisamplers, and much more. Watch a short video introduction to video introduction to spectrum synthesis.

Listen to the audio examples and watch the videos to get an idea of some of the great sounds that you can create in the Spectrum Synth Room.


Audio Examples

  • Example 1. Acoustic guitar transformed into synth-like groove. The audio features three sounds 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. Neil Goldstein's Sunday Morning turns a 16 second guitar phrase into 3 minutes of lush sound. (Copyright Neil Goldstein.)
  • Example 3. A speech sample given the Spectrum Synth treatment. Learn how to create sounds like this in the video: Spectrum Synth Basics, part 1
  • Example 4. A single sampled piano note is turned into a groove. Learn how to create sounds like this in the video: Spectrum Piano Groove

Video Demonstrations and Tutorials

  • Spectrum Synth Introduction - brief introduction to the spectrum synth. (Length: 1 minute 30 seconds.)
  • Spectrum Synth Basics, part 1 - in-depth look at the basics of creating and editing spectrum sequences. (Length: 6 minutes.)
  • Spectrum Piano Groove - a step-by-step tutorial on building the piano-based groove heard in the Spectrum Synth Introduction. It also shows how to use formant filters and the filter brush to spice things up. (Length: 3 mintues 31 seconds).

Sequencer Room

The 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. Originally designed to make note entry easier for the Image Synth, it has proven to be a great place to create phrases and grooves in its own right.

Example 1. Sequencer Room sequence using a MultiWave Synth.

Example 2. This example is a single Sequencer Room sequence mixed (in the Montage Room) with a drone/pad created in the Spectrum Synth Room. The sequence's instrument is a multisampler whose samples were created in the Specrum Synth Room from a vocal source (which was also the source of the drone/pad).

The Sequencer Room and the Image Synth

The Sequencer Room is often used for quick entry of material that will be further developed in the Image Synth. All of these examples use the same multisampler instrument.

The Sequencer Room sequence used in Example 2 above.

Here is the sequence as it sounds after being exported to the Image Synth where it has been subtly spatialized by applying color filters. You may want to listen with headphones to get the full effect.

Here is an Image Synth variation modified by applying motion blur.

Another Image Synth variation created by applying the Image Synth's Add Harmonics command and setting the reference pitch one octave lower than the original.


Montage Room

The Montage Room is an easy-to-use 24-track mixing environment that ties together all of MetaSynth's rooms. 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 1. 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. (Music by Eric Wenger. Copyright 2009)

Montage Room example 2. This montage features acoustic and electric guitar recorded in the Montage Room backed by Spectrum Synth events derived from the guitar parts. (Music by Edward Spiegel. Copyright 2008)

Visit the sound gallery for more compositions created in the Montage Room. You will find Montage Room music in every style from avant-garde soundscapes to neo-classical to techno and more.

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