The wait is over – and rumors that Melodyne’s bleeding-edge technologies to allow direct access to notes in polyphonic audio had failed to come to fruition turn out to be false. (I was skeptical about those rumors in April.) Melodyne DNA did take longer than expected to ship, but then, that isn’t exactly news in the software business. And now you can try this “note access” concept for yourself and see what you think (well, provided you’re an existing customer). Coupled with time-based manipulation of audio in the form of updated tools in Ableton Live 8, Cakewalk SONAR 8.5, Propellerhead Record, Logic Studio 9, and others, with Melodyne handling the pitch, audio today could be more fluid than ever.

Celemony Melodyne
(Note, since you are a bleeding-edge type — the software is also considered compatible with Snow Leopard, though host-by-host certification is still forthcoming.)

What Melodyne’s editor enables:

  • Harmonies are accessible, note by note.
  • Pitch, position, duration, and loudness and softness can be modified.
  • Formant spectra, vibrato, and pitch drift are accessible.
  • Pitch, amplitude, and formant transitions between notes can be edited.

Now, all of this is in a plug-in, but that plug-in is more capable than previous versions, with better multi-threading, an adjustable window size (sigh of relief), and the ability to audition and scrub as you edit. That’s not quite as good as having this functionality in your host, but it’s more than good enough to make this usable.

I’m especially interested in what unusual sound design possibilities can be harnessed using this technology – abusing it rather than using it as intended.

Here’s how to get it:
Registered Melodyne customers are able to participate in the beta.
Launch is planned for early November at US$349 / EUR349.

I’m testing a copy now, so if you’re not a Melodyne user, I will get to report back.

More videos:

(Part 3 of 3 appears to be temporarily missing; I’ll add it once it is re-posted!)