Static (instrument) formants?

So in the MI lineup we have a ton of exciters (plaits, tides, kinks etc) two amazing resonators (rings & elements) but no formant/body simulator.
Émilie, have you reflected on this before? I personally love these uncanny acoustic-ish sounds (even attempted to learn how to code to write an alternate firmware for rings containing instrument body IRs within its structure knob before realizing that im years away from that kind of proficiency) and i think a module like this would compliment the current range extremely well.
In the meantime, to get my formants, i use rings itself (with occasionally stunning results), a serge resEQ (mixed results, more of a general soundshaper) or a few very short delays.
What are you all using? Any Secret weapons?
I also like the mangroves approach of triggering a fixed-length envelope to get static formants…

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Frames plus Shelves is pretty marvellous, and will give you much of what you want, if you are seeking instrument (eg cello) formants, with voltage control. Shelves just makes everything sound gorgeous — it is much under-appreciated, imho.

If you are after a human vocal formants filter, then Warps would be a good hardware substrate, and the vocoder app would be the place to start hacking, I dare say.

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Never actually tried shelves, thanks for the suggestion! Thought it had too few bands to get results in this fashion. Youre setting frames up to control frequencies of the two peaks and the levels of low and high shelf in this context, i guess?
Im after instrument formants, vowels are cool but i tend to not be able to fit them into my music.
I tried some spectral transfer using the vocoder app, worked very well! By hijacking you mean replacing the envelope following on the input with some preset envelope shapes taken from different instruments?

I never picked up any programming knowledge and at this point im so intimidated by the amount there is to know, i dont even see where to start :stuck_out_tongue:

Yes, using the 4 Frames outputs to control frequency and/or resonance of the 4 filters in Shelves. Two resonant BPFs plus the upper and lower shelves gives some very acoustic-sounding instrumental timbres with the right input (I use two Braids or two Tides mk1 as a chorusing pair). The smooth interpolation in Frames lets you transition imperceptibly between “scenes”. A second frames controlling the VCOs timbral characteristics (timbre and colour on Braids, wave shape and smothing on Tides) is even better, and use the X and Y outputs of a joystick to control both Frames. Very nice! And shelves overdrives beautifully, adding extra warmth. And you don’t need to use the fixed internal voltage source in Frames, you can feed offset LFO signals etc through it to modulate the Shelves cut-offs and resonances for some added organic feel.

Yes, some fixed profile of the vocoder filter bank in Warps was what I had in mind. But I doubt it would sound as nice as putting the signal through Shelves.

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Damn this sounds like a very nice patch!
Fwiw ill try to freeze some impulse responses into warps tomorrow and see if it sounds any good :stuck_out_tongue:
Now i just gotta see where i can borrow a shelves haha

For this to work, freeze white noise processed through those IRs.

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Thats the plan! In this case, formant shifting would work a bit like controlling the size of the cavity, no?


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this is brilliant, playing for a few hours, I am getting exactly what i wanted:
Formants that dont sound quite like the real thing but COULD be produced by something acoustic.
FWIW, ive also been running white noise through my resEQ, using that instead of the convolution sound and its quite amazing how much you can do with just that, a saw wave at the input and the formant shift control.
especially woodwinds seem to come really easy. Now i just gotta find some EQ curves and so some frequency matching.
i never really got on with the vocoders in warps, they were too quiet and im not into robot voices all that much but this patch just finally made me see whats so cool about spectral transfer.

This sounds really interesting - are there any sound example / videos of what you have been discussing? :slight_smile:

Hey Mark - yet another reason for you to get Frames :slight_smile:

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Indeed! - and Shelves in another which has escaped my attention to date, hence the interest :slight_smile:

Shelves is also awesome - it really should get more attention !


Frames is fab (I have three). That said, I keep thinking that an O&C app that implements some of the capabilities of Frames, but focusses on very precise highly repeatable sequences of voltage outputs would be very useful, and not hard to write. Yeah, basically a 4 channel version of the Sequins app in O&C, minus the trappings of musical notes, but with lots of options for sliding and interpolating between “frames” of 4 voltages.

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One feature i really miss is the ability to assign per note frames.
I cant seem to set frames close enough for them to change within a semitone for example.
Really like that about the old serge touch keyboard :slight_smile:

I agree about Frames - so good for adding structure to generative noodlings (only got one but have another on the way - I definitely see how you ended up with three!) An o_c app would be cool! However, I really like the tactile frames interface :slight_smile: I do tend to mostly use it as a cv source though so the app would be neat…

+1 for that!

Actually, just a straight-up Frames copy would be great.