U&I Software MetaSynth 5 Review (Bonus Material)

Given its huge popularity and maturity, it''s not surprising that U&I Software MetaSynth has become somewhat of a cottage industry for independent software developers. Two companies in particular market products that provide add-ons or enhancement to MetaSynth''s capabilities.
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Even More Meta

Given its huge popularity and maturity, it''s not surprising that U&I Software MetaSynth has become somewhat of a cottage industry for independent software developers. Two companies in particular market products that provide add-ons or enhancement to MetaSynth''s capabilities. MetaEssentials offers a tool called MetaCycle ($34.95) that will convert the samples from a REX file into a MetaSynth multisampler. It can perform a batch convert on an entire folder of files and includes options for randomizing and quantizing your data.

MetaEssentials also offers MSMidiPix ($19.95), another tool that you may find useful, especially while U&I reworks its Xx MIDI software. MSMidiPix will read a standard MIDI file or capture a MIDI data stream in real time as you play and convert it to an image that you can use anywhere in MetaSynth. You can download these and some other commercial utilities at the MetaEssentials Website, where you''ll also find some free software, a large number of MetaSynth instruments and presets, and some specially priced bundles.

Galbanum sells several libraries of resources for MetaSynth, including a collection called Architecture One ($149.95, also available in a bundle with MetaSynth 5 for $599.95). This set contains more than 2,000 image synth presets, even more image filter presets, thousands of wavetables, samples, custom scales and more than 500 instrument presets. It''s a tremendous resource that will take you many, many hours to explore. Galbanum also has two other products for use in MetaSynth: Architecture MS Waveforms ($24.95), which includes nearly 2,000 single cycle wavetables, and Abstract 01 MS ($49.95), which is packed with single samples, loops, hits and construction kits. Generous demos of each collection are available at the Galbanum site.

Of course, you could also think of Photoshop as a supporting resource for MetaSynth—any image on your hard drive could become either a synth preset or a filter, and you could generate a score for your MetaSynth synths simply by doing a screengrab of the piano-roll view in your favorite sequencer and importing that image. It''s great to see this market developing, and I hope other new and innovate products will appear soon.