March 20, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Insane, Starship-Dashboard Synthesizer Morphs Sound in 3D: COSMOSƒ


The following is a guest post from Peter Kirn of CreateDigitalMusic, which focuses on music apps for creating sounds. It’s a bit outside of our usual scope, but this software looks pretty far-out. Thanks, Peter. 

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: manipulating sound presets should be as intuitive and powerful as regulating plasma coolant flow to the antimatter injector on a warp drive nacelle.

I mean, knobs? How quaint.

COSMOSƒ (Mac/Windows) is a graphical morphing engine for sound, a standalone synthesizer with a wild, sci-fi interface. You can actually set up polar coordinates and navigate sounds through a sphere, in three dimensions. The sound engine is all internal, but looks like a lot of fun. (For more of this sort of thing, see the excellent, free and open source IanniX, which can route events to other apps. Each is unique – and, I suspect, we’ll see more and more designs take on visual interfaces in new ways.)

Watch a demo with some very wild sounds:

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Just reading the product description is trippy:

“Stochastic morphing with distribution range for altering the morphing position, speed and interpolation control. Built-in mathematical functions to automatically and precisely move the morphing pointer in the space. Precise audio rate parameter update with the possibility of reaching amazing morphing speeds (44100times a second!) turns Cosmosƒ into a super oscillator by accumulating up to 4 different presets in heterogeneous micro event mixing mode prior to the morphing phase. It delivers an unheard medium by reaching the untouched points of the sonic universe.”

The software is the work of Sinan Bökesoy, built in OpenFrameworks (C++ creative coding environment) for OS X and Windows.

The synth costs $115, but a free demo version is available (it adds five seconds of noise every 60 seconds and doesn’t let you save presets or use the oscillator, but is otherwise unlimited).