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Topic: Melodyne/SAGE technology

  1. #1

    Melodyne/SAGE technology

    I love the GPO and am taking baby steps enjoying every second of it. I will buy the Big Band module the day it's released.

    But have you guys checked out the Melodyne 2.5 demo. It put me on the floor. This thing is dangerous now, I can't imagine 4.0. The first external software to use Celemony's technology is Liquid Sax (due this month) and I'm drooling.

    I understand Melodyne 1 was a mess, but if you haven't checked this out it's definitely worth a look even if orchestral sampling is all you're interested in.

    The big hit at Musikmesse was Stylus RMX (drum sampler) with Spectrasonics' new SAGE technology which promises to do what Melodyne's already doing but with a "chaos" function that ad libs infinitum.

    It doesn't come out until September, so we only have eye-witness accounts to go by. But from what I've read and what I've seen Melodyne do, the essence of sampling has radically changed already.

    I bring this up here, because the GPO is the first sample collection I ever bought and it's fantastic. No doubt classical orchestral sampling will present many more challenges than drums or vocals for that matter.

    But it's already made me "hit the brakes" about other orchestral packages I've been looking at. The worst thing that could happen is that Spectrasonics comes up with an orchestral package about the size of the GPO and it's $2500 (I love Spectrasonics, but they don't exactly throw their arms around you as you join the family - it's expensive and you get zero price breaks on their products).

    My question is, for those of you that have either wrapped your head around this new technology, how feasible do you think it currently is in terms of classical instruments?

    Currently Melodyne can only handle certain elements of polyphony well - it has to be percussive (I guess in an orchestral sense staccato/pizzicato), but it just seems to me the handwriting's on the wall.

    Soon that limitation will change. The SAGE technology purportedly is more sophisticated, but you can bet it will remain proprietary moreso than any product attempting to challenge it.

    This stuff is science-fiction to me. The algorithyms are way beyond my conception, but I can already see the day when MIDI is essentially dead. Those of us that play live will be essentially creating our own samples.

    Sorry to start my first thread here (I think) about this, but Melodyne's definitely not vaporware and I don't believe Spectrasonics messes around at all - if anything they're way too deliberate.

    I am curious to see what people think here. The GPO is revolutionary to me, and I fully intend to show loyalty and support for what Gary's already done for us.

    But from a conceptual standpoint I think the future's already here. The prospect of loading a solo violin or sax that "reads" what's already there and ad libs in pitch and time is blood-curdling.

    If this new technology makes composers nauseous, I do understand. Speaking as a rock'n'roll guy this could truly be heaven. And it's an idea machine of sorts - you just delete what you don't like.

    I'm surprised at the lack of "buzz" on every forum, but I chose to post here because from what I've seen/read orchestral samples would be the ultimate test - if not the sax definitely would be. And this is happening now.

  2. #2

    Smile Re: Melodyne/SAGE technology

    Hey Declan...Welcome to Northernsounds!

    Great questions all around!

    The simple answer to your questions is this:

    Different technologies are developed for different musical applications....there's really no such thing as one technology or approach that renders all others obsolete.

    All the things you are mentioning are actually specificly designed to handle different types of musical material, and none of them can handle every type of material.

    GPO uses multisampling technology with disc streaming, which is excellent for reproducing playable instrument sounds. It's not the best technology for working with phrases or grooves though, but for an orchestral library of playable multisamples....this is absolutely the right approach.

    The real-time pitch/formant/time stretching technology behind software like Melodyne, Roland's Variphrase and IK Multimedia's STRETCH specializes in the manipulation of monophonic audio phrases....it can work very well for things like solo voice phrases, and solo instrument licks and phrases like in the Liquid Sax instrument. What it currently doesn't do well are any playable multisamples, audio phrases based on polyphonic material, and audio with natural ambience. It is also quite limited in working with grooves too.

    Our upcoming SAGE technology is specifically designed to be the ultimate control of percussive grooves and rhythm sounds and patterns. It handles this with much more flexibility and with much better sound quality than standard samplers or stretching technologies. However, it wouldn't work well at all for orchestral sounds like a traditional sampler would....and Melodyne's stretching technology would give much better results for manipulating a vocal lick or solo instrument phrase.

    So the good news is that all of these great technologies work together, and you can mix and match these tools to create the best result for the job at hand.

    I'm confused about what you meant by your comment on our policy of "non-inclusiveness" in getting involved in the new SAGE technology?

    We have a killer deal for our existing Stylus users...its going to be only $99 to upgrade to Stylus RMX. For new Stylus customers in 2004, they are getting Stylus RMX for FREE!

    Also, any of our long time users of our many Groove Control sample libraries get all the benefits of SAGE technology for FREE on all the libraries they already own! Once they have Stylus RMX, they can automatically use all their Spectrasonics Groove Control libraries in Stylus RMX with all of the new functionality....and there's no extra charge or formats to buy, cross-grades, etc.

    So I think you may have gotten the wrong impression about our new SAGE technology and Stylus RMX...it is in fact the complete opposite, where we are giving tremendous free benefits and rewards to our faithful longtime customers. That's always been something that's really important to us at Spectrasonics.

    Hope that info is helpful! :-)

    All the best,

    (aka: EP from Spectrasonics)

  3. #3

    Re: Melodyne/SAGE technology

    Thanks for the detailed reply Erik. I reread my post, and I sounded snide, which was completely against intent. Ever since I bought Atmosphere I've wanted just about everything you guys have to offer, so if I sounded like I was complaining I should have made the irony a lot clearer.

    You have cleared up a few questions I had running around my head and I appreciate it. I"m really looking forward to September.

  4. #4

    Re: Melodyne/SAGE technology

    Declan if you were wanting to buy a few Spectrasonics products at once, your local distributor should offer you a discount.

    Mine did here in Australia.
    - SCA - Sound Studios -

  5. #5

    Re: Melodyne/SAGE technology

    Hi Declan,

    I second that from Scott. I don't know if you're in North America or not but, if you are, contact Ilio. Mark and Shelley are great people and will do their best to help you out I'm sure. Keep in mind, that Spectrasonics make quality products and are priced accordingly IMHO. Eric & Co. really make sure that whatever they release is quality. Each library may not be for everyone (we all have different needs right?), but each library is full of quality.


  6. #6

    Smile Re: Melodyne/SAGE technology

    Thanks guys. I do agree Spectrasonics products are priced according to quality. And I'm in the US, I'll check around about the discounts. I definitely want Stylus, Trilogy and the Symphony of Voices ASAP, of course it will take awhile to come up with the money :-).

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