Draw Your Music

HighC graphical music creation software aims to provide easy access to advanced audio synthesis      22/05/08

Draw Your Music


Buying Choices
Thomas Baudel has announced the availability of HighC (version 2.2), a new graphical music creation tool. In HighC, users draw sounds on a continuous time-frequency diagram that looks like a musical score. They use purely graphical operations (such as move-resize, copy-paste, group...) to produce rapidly complex audio effects or full compositions.
Unlike other image-to-sound software, HighC uses a vector-based representation: sounds remain individual objects that can be edited, transformed and composed with each other at will. In simple words, says Thomas, HighC is to MetaSynth what Microsoft PowerPoint is to Adobe Photoshop.
Here’s the rest of what Thomas has to say…
HighC draws on 20 years of a world class user interface design experience to provide immediate usability. Complete novices and children understand its base features in a matter of minutes. For instance, novices have used it to create original and unique ringtones and fun "audio pictures".
HighC is foremost a tool of choice for musicians who look for new sound effects or for an alternative approach to music composition. Its integrated interface encompasses the role of synthesizer, sequencer and mixer. The simple and unified synthesis model underpinning HighC gives access to the most common sound synthesis techniques in a graphical, intuitive and uniform framework: Additive synthesis, Waveshape, various noise-based models, but also FM synthesis, Ring modulation and granular synthesis.
With HighC, musicians are rid of the complex panels of knobs, dials and connectors, whose effects become rapidly unpredictable. Instead, all audio parameters are continuous curves placed on the time line, augmented with visual cues that depict their function and influence on the auditory experience. Thanks to its structuring functionalities: tags, patterns and libraries, HighC has the potential power of a music programming language, while not requiring mastering abstract programming concepts.
A free entry-level version is targeted at educational uses: playback is limited to 22 KHz. The pro versionallows professionals to use higher quality playback rates and to export their production to standard file formats for editing and remixing using their tools of choice. Registration also provides a year of free updates.
HighC is in continuous development. A new update is published approximately each month. Registered users are invited to contribute to feature and enhancement requests, to fuel a user-centric development model. The current version has already been used for production work. Some of its users are using HighC as a part of their music production workflow, including a full experimental album entirely made in HighC.
Future versions are planned within a 2 years time frame, to add some major functionality that is still missing: importing sound samples, VST or Rewire interfacing, subtractive synthesis, full spatialization, real-time control... The goal is to provide a complete, novel, and original composition environment for audio synthesis, fully integrated in the conventional audio production chain.
About Thomas Baudel:
Thomas Baudel is a researcher in Computer Science and Human Computer Interaction working for a leading French software publisher. He has an extensive scientific publication track in areas related to information visualization and user interfaces for creative users (3D graphics, paint systems...). In his youth, he's had the chance of using one of the early 80's UPIC systems created by Iannis Xenakis and his team. The synesthetic possibilities of the instrument and the challenge they raise kept fascinating him. Turning this instrument into an easy to use and popular tool for music creation has been a long haul side-project carried over the past 15 years. This project is now coming to fruition with HighC. Full Biography: here Pricing and Availability:
29.99 Euros More information:
  • highc.org

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