VirSyn have announced one of the nicest effects I’ve seen yet on a mobile platform in the form of iVoxel, a vocoder for iPhone/iPod touch and iPad. On the handhelds, it looks like something you could easily hold up to your mouth and rest atop a synth; on iPad, you get a nicely-sized touchable keyboard for control. And they’re clearly hinting at more work to come.
iVoxel isn’t available yet, but it is coming. So, how does this compare to your laptop? You can get VirSyn’s full-blown MATRIX 2 vocoder for EUR119 on sale now, run it on a computer, and get all the advantages of hosting in your existing production software along with more advanced features (which you have to give up on the iPad). That laptop rig is the same one Kraftwerk used, in conjunction with Cubase 4 and a Sony laptop. iVoxel uses the same, superb sound engine – an impressive feat. My guess is – irrespective of iOS, Android, or whatever OS – these devices will really excel once they’re able to provide the same sorts of workflows that the laptop do. The appeal of touch input and the form factor is clear.
Open source pitch correction?
Poor man’s Android AutoTune, anyone?
MicDroid by Ethan Chen is a pitch-correction app for Android. Aside from enabling I Am T-Pain-style effects without iOS, pitch matching could lead to lots of other creative applications – pitch to MIDI, vocally-controlled synths, and more. The code is mostly available under an MIT license.
You can also grab MicDroid from the Android Market, with features like a shiny UI, sharing, recording to SMS, and encoding – and it’s still only in “alpha” state.
The underlying library on MicDroid is called AutoTalent by Tom Baran, and if you’re not terribly (or exclusively) interested in Android, that library is available under GPL2 on any platform. That gives you the ability to create all sorts of creative voice input applications on various platforms. Check out both from GitHub, and if you’ve got an Android, you can give MicDroid a try whether you’re a developer or not:
http://web.mit.edu/tbaran/www/autotalent.html [MIT research page]
AutoTalent free plug-in downloads for LADSPA, Mac AU and VST, and Windows VST – stability may vary
Tom describes Autotalent “as the result of a week of recreational signal processing.” And yes, if you’re a PhD candidate at MIT’s DSP group, “recreational” and “signal processing” can actually go together.
I’m excited to mess with these plug-ins, though, because to me the generic pop music effects you hear all the time are just the tip of the iceberg. Experimental vocals, ho!
Updated: Via comments, Paul Davis points us to a more up-to-date “fork” of AutoTalent, Talented Hack. It features improved detection, MIDI input (for greater control of pitch correction), MIDI output (so you can use this as a pitch-to-MIDI plug), and generally cleaned-up code. It also runs as an LV2 plug-in, which is far more convenient on Linux. But even just having cleaner code alone means it’s probably a smart candidate for swapping into the Android tool (cough, cough).