Digital signal processing is some futuristic stuff. It may not be able literally to let you traverse space and time as relative dimensions, but it can treat time and frequency separately and mash them back together. And that’s already freaky enough.

Now, Eventide – the folks you know probably for their classic hardware and reverbs – are pushing that notion right into their marketing, dubbing their approach “structural audio.” Structural audio sounds a bit like a panel presentation you went to at an Audio Engineering Society conference that sounded fascinating but completely lost you and then you went looking for a coffee. (Hey, coffee.) But the basic idea is dividing up a sound for processing into different components, and not just by using a sidechain or a multiband filter.

Here, it’s more radical. The first effect from Eventide to use this approach is called Fission, and it can separate “tonal” (frequency) materials from “transient.”

fission-gui

Now we’re talking. So you could separate the pitched, resonant components of a tom and separate it from the hit, or take fret noise out of a guitar sound, or mangle new sounds entirely.

The key is that you can not only divide up the sound into these bits, but put them back together.

Huh? Well, if that didn’t make sense, check out the video below.

What’s included:

Split (via four separate controls) and separately solo Tonal and Transient components, modify, then reassemble.

Real-time waveform view.

Transient effects: Delay, Tap Delay, Dynamics, Phaser, Reverb, Gate + EQ

Tonal effects: Delay, Compressor, Pitch, Chorus, Reverb, Tremolo, EQ

I’m keen to get my hands on this. Eventide are clearly trying to pitch this to a more traditional studio audience who, you know, want their drums and guitars to sound like drums and guitars. I’m the weirdo who wants strange new things coming out of the food replicator / transporter. So I’ll be curious to play with it.

Synth lovers, though, they do have a nice array of people contributing artist presets who definitely aren’t so vanilla, including Richard Devine (well, of course), Chris Carter, Suzanne Ciani, Joe Chiccarelli, John Agnello, Stewart Lerman, Steve Rosenthal, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Sasha, and Colin Newman.

More:

https://www.eventideaudio.com/products/plugins/structural-effect/fission

macOS 10.7 or later; Windows 7 or later.

AAX, AU, VST, no iLok dongle needed.

US$97 intro price through 17 April. Or $179 thereafter. Also available as part of an Eventide subscription.

Stay tuned for more on this one.

  • Robin Parmar

    Looks like a nice easy-to-use application of transient modelling, but more subtle than crazy. Would like to see this built in Reaktor. 🙂

  • Heinrich Zwahlen

    Impressive and very useful sound design tool. Having owned the original H3000 i’ve always been a fan of that company as they’ve traditionally gone where no one went before.

  • squirrel squirrel squirrel

    I haven’t had time to try the demo yet, but you could probably do something similar yourself with say, an Effect Rack with two chains, each with a transient shaper, one set to sustain, the other set to attack. Then in each chain, process at will.

    • This might give you one signal with emphasized transients, and one with suppressed transients, but not really a clear separation of the two, as there would be clear overlap in the steady state. The other problem is that many real signals (polyphonic signals for instance) have tonal and transient components at the same time and even at the same frequency. The trick is to separate these cleanly.

      (Full Disclosure: I’m one of the people who worked on this)

      • squirrel squirrel squirrel

        Awesome! Thanks for the insight =)

  • m.ess

    Wondering how this compares to Melda mtransient or other transient processors… Seems like this is not a new thing, separating the transient from the tonal.

  • Martin Stimming

    very interesting! I suppose its a bit like ts from ircam lab but in a plug-in… will definitely try it soon.

  • Herewithyou

    Cool that it’s now a plug-in, but this isn’t new. Soundhack did this back when it ran on the Power PC.

    • Exactly, I think what they’ve done is largely to do with how to message this and how to design the interface – though that continues to matter in our business!

  • Kosmik Ray

    wants.

  • nate

    In regards to both utilitarian tasks and creative ones, would I have similar control using something like Melodyne?