Soft synth maker Max For Cats has two new Ableton Live packs out today, Noland, and CatStretch.
Noland (video, top) consists of two Max for Live devices: the Noland Synthesizer and the NolandFX audio effect. The Noland synthesizer is a unique instrument, controlled using individual, automatable X-Y pads instead of sliders or knobs. Each X-Y pad controls two or more parameters at the same time. On the filter X-Y pad for example, the X-axis controls the cutoff while the Y-axis controls the resonance.
The other Max For Live instrument, CatStretch, (below), is a six-voice, polyphonic, time-stretching sample playback instrument. It allows the user to ‘freeze’ a sonic character at a specified position, and play it back chromatically with MIDI notes. The position of a sample can be adjusted with the ‘Scrub’ dial. It uses a phase vocoder to achieve time stretching up to total time freeze.
Developer Christian Kleine explains:
“The phase vocoder is a tool used to perform time-stretching and pitch-shifting on recorded sounds. Its name derives from the early “vocoders” (contraction from “voice encoder”), which used a set of bandpass filters in parallel over many frequency bands, to crudely analyze and reconstruct speech. The infamous hardware vocoders of the 1960s and 1970s were based on this technology, and allowed the spectrum of one sound to be controlled by that of another, e.g. a voice. Pitch-correcting software like Auto-Tune, by now widely used in commercial music production, is based on the phase vocoder principle. And one other thing: Catstretch performs currently in Mono mode. There’ll be a free update for true stereo operation.”