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Digidesign Releases Synchronic Loop Manipulation Tool


October 13, 2004

Digidesign announced that it is shipping Synchronic, a new plug-in for Pro Tools that can modify looped audio on the fly. Designed with spontaneous composition and improvisation in mind, Synchronic offers performing electronic musicians and DJs the ability to sculpt loops and create tempo-based effects in a live setting in real time. Synchronic enables musicians to easily create rhythmic modifications and in-tempo effects with individual beats and beat subdivisions within a loop.

When combined with a MIDI controller, all of its parameters can be manipulated in real time, and individual presets within Synchronic's modules can be recalled simply by triggering a MIDI key. In addition to its ability to run multiple instances within the same Pro Tools LE or TDM session, Synchronic can work alongside other music software products such as Ableton Live and Propellerhead Reason.

Synchronic features five main sections or modules, each of which can be edited, stored, and recalled through presets accessible via the plug-in's interface:

  • Sound module — The Sound module can load up to twelve different mono or stereo audio files of any bit depth and sample rate. After importing a file, the loop can be sliced up to play in synchronization with the Pro Tools MIDI Beat Clock. Any two sounds (A and B sources) can be played back simultaneously.
  • Playback module — The Playback module manipulates the output of the Sound module. Various aspects of sound playback — such as speed, order, duration and direction, as well as modes such as “Stab,” “Spin,” and “Smear” — are synchronized with the Pro Tools MIDI Beat Clock.
  • Effect module — This module processes the output of the Playback module and can be synced to the Pro Tools MIDI Beat Clock to introduce any combination of four concurrent in-tempo effects: Gain, Noise, Filter, and Delay.
  • XFade module — Synchronic's XFade (crossfade) module mixes the A and B sounds after they have been processed by the Sound, Playback and Effect modules. The crossfade between the A and B sounds can be controlled by either a Synchronic preset or through a mixer's crossfader. The XFade module presets can also be synced to the Pro Tools MIDI Beat Clock for in-tempo crossfading.
  • MIDI module — Synchronic's MIDI module enables users to assign and trigger combinations of sounds and module presets using MIDI. They can also freely map MIDI controllers to Synchronic controls.

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Once audio loops are loaded into Synchronic, they can be controlled using Synchronic's user interface, Pro Tools MIDI tracks, an external MIDI controller, a qualified Digidesign control surface such as Command|8, and/or Pro Tools plug-in automation.

Unlike other beat and looping software products, Synchronic synchronizes to the Pro Tools MIDI Beat Clock directly. It is fully capable of performing complex beat manipulations, effects, and cross-modulations while remaining tightly synced to the MIDI Beat Clock. These effects are not limited to being applied only to loops in their entirety but also to individual beats within the loop, allowing musicians to create complex soundscapes that are still tied to anunderlying pulse from the MIDI Beat Clock.

200 MB of royalty-free loops contributed by Digidesign Development Partners ship with Synchronic (boxed version only). In addition to sample-rate support up to 96 kHz, SD II, WAV, and AIFF files are fully supported and can be easily imported.

Synchronic is compatible with Digidesign-approved Pro Tools|HD, HD Accel, MIX, Digi 002, Digi 002 Rack, Mbox, and Digi 001 systems running on Windows XP or Mac OS X. An iLok USB Smart Key and iLok.com account are required for authorization.

For more information, visit their web site at www.digidesign.com

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