Flavor of the Week: U&I Software MetaSynth 5 — Virtual Instrument & Sound Design Workstation

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When I first learned about MetaSynth in 1998, it seemed like an appropriate example of the famous Arthur C. Clarke quote: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

MetaSynth began as an incredibly innovative graphically-based synthesizer, featuring various methods for deriving sounds from images. In the decade plus that has passed since MetaSynth’s inception, the curtain has been pulled back a bit from the software’s mystique, so the new MetaSynth 5 may not invoke sheer amazement, but it’s still a sight to behold.

MetaSynth 5's Image Synth let's you "paint" sound.

MetaSynth 5's Image Synth let's you "paint" sound.

After so many years of development, MetaSynth 5 has evolved greatly. The Image Synth of its origin is now just one “Room” (as U&I calls it) in a six-room production house. The Image Synth lets you “paint” sound, and you also get the Image Filter Room, the Spectrum Synth, an Effects Room, Sequencer Room and Montage Room — a 24-track mixing environment, so you can complete full compositions entirely within MetaSynth 5.

Be sure to check out the audio examples at U&I’s MetaSynth 5 page.

MetaSynth 5, currently available only as a download for Mac OS X, costs $599; kind of steep, but can you really put a price on magic? OK, so you can, and you still want a bargain. In that case, check out Galbanum’s MetaSynth 5 Bundle, which throws in a ton of additional Galbanum-produced MetaSynth content along with MetaSynth 5 for a price of $599.95.

-Markkus Rovito

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