Overview

SW SpectrumWorx is a modular effect processor that works exclusively in the frequency domain. Two things make SpectrumWorx vastly different from other effects processors:

  • Ability to manipulate the frequency domain, and
  • Modularity.

spectrumworx_gui_numbered

1. Main Window 2. Module Bank 3. Settings Window 4. Presets Window

Working in the frequency domain lets us reach the very heart of the sound. Every single frequency is available for examination and modification. When we say "modular", we mean modules – individual small, simple (and not so simple!) self-contained boxes (effects), which we can combine, arrange and re-arrange in so many ways – and of course, every arrangement gives us a new and totally different sound. With over fifty modules, there is a nearly infinite number of combinations available. Once the modules are set up – the game isn't over. Every module has a number of its own controls which can easily be twisted and turned until the last drop of sonic power is squeezed from the input sample. When at last sonic perfection has been achieved, users can save their masterwork as a SpectrumWorx preset file for future use and even share it with friends.

This combination of versatility, usability and, of course user creativity, is just perfect for anything from cinematic sound design and exploratory experimentation to original compositions and game music – or anything that fits in between.


"Gamma Shift" – SpectrumWorx 50-preset signature bank – Demo by Martin Walker.

Attractive user interface

A lot of musicians tremble with trepidation when they hear the term “modular”. It brings to mind towering monolithic synthesizers festooned with hundreds of knobs, patch points and obscured by dozens of dangling cables. Fortunately, the SpectrumWorx GUI is a study in user-friendliness. Everything you need at any given moment is right in front of you, and there are only a few (and rarely needed) bits tucked away where they won't interfere with your work until you need them.

Main window

Four distinctive sections of the GUI enable everything a user needs to easilly control and monitor the plugin.

In-Out-Mix section

The input knob is used to control the signal level coming into SpectrumWorx, while the output knob adjusts the gain of the outgoing signal. The mix knob controls the ratio of the dry and processed signal output. A value of 0% produces an entirely unprocessed signal, while %100 will allow us to hear only the processed audio. A 100% wet signal is desired when SpectrumWorx is used on a mixer's auxiliary “send”, though you can certainly crank it up to full-blast whenever you like!

Info section

Provides information on the currently selected control and module. Continuously updated with each user selection or mouse-over reaction.

Gain, wetness and frequency range

Below the info section, there are three controls shared among all modules: Gain, Dry/Wet and Frequency Range. These three controls are availalbe for every module. They are shown only if a module is selected. The Gain knob controls the gain applied to the signal at module output, the Wet knob specifies how module input and output signals are to be mixed, and the Frequency range specifies exactly what the name says: the frequency range inside which module operates – outside the range, the signal stay unchanged. All four parameters – gain, wetness, start frequency, and stop frequency – are controllable by the LFO too.

LFO section

Informs the user on the LFO status of the currently selected control. Each knob in each module can be modulated independently by the SpectrumWorx's LFOs – just tick the blue LED button.  LFOs are fully configurable; period, waveform, and range can all be set by the user. There are two ways to adjust LFO’s period, the “free” mode and the “tempo-synchronized” mode.

External Audio section

Allows for selection of external audio. Many modules can use or even require the presence of a side channel signal to do their magic. This can either be provided by the host or through SpectrumWorx itself with an externaly selectable audio sample. SpectrumWorx supports raw audio formats (wav, AIFF), as well as compressed (MP3) audio.

Module Bank

Over 50 modules

There are over fifty individual modules to choose from and as many as five may be loaded into SpectrumWorx's Module Bank at any time.

Endless possibilities

Users can arrange and rearrange the modules in countless ways, and all without interrupting the signal being processed. Using an attractive, intuitive interface, it allows users to decide which processing modules should be installed at a given time and how they should be arranged. As simple as insert or drag&drop!

The modules

Each module is a sophisticated audio processor in and of itself, with its own, unique selection of adjustable parameters. Most of these can be modulated automatically using independent SpectrumWorx LFOs.

Featured module — "Pitch Magnet"

PitchMagnetFor sure Nikola Tesla would love this one. In short, Pitch Magnet continuously changes the pitch of the input audio – the pitch is "pulled" i.e. attracted to a desired frequency and with desired "speed".

The two knobs completely define the module behaviour: Target and Strength. Target [Hz] determines the final target pitch, and goes from 20 Hz to 2000 Hz. Strength [‘/s] determines the "speed" at wich the input signal pitch will be changed, and goes from 0 to 60 semitones per second. Both knobs can be controled by the LFO.

PMSAs soon as a knob is selected, its current value is printed in the Main window, thus giving the user clear information on the control's current status.

How does it work? As a first step, the input audio is analyzed and its pitch is estimated. In the next step, parameters are examined and the target pitch is calculated. In the last step, the input audio is pitch-shifted to the target frequency, though not instantly but smoothly (as determined by the Strength knob). At the end, a nice and highly configurable pitch sliding effect is achieved.

A very interesting and exotic constant pitch-chase effect can be achieved by puting the Target frequency knob under LFO control.

Enjoy! And don't forget: there are over 50 more different modules included with SpectrumWorx!

Presets Window

A clear and clean Preset browser enables easy preset manipulation. Classic Save and Delete buttons are available. Also, after browsing through presets the Revert button enables users to go back to the setup before the preset browser was launched. Below the preset list there is a space for a custom preset comment – another SpectrumWorx goodie! SpectrumWorx SW doesn't forget anything.

Rich Preset Library

The SpectrumWorx installation contains a rich preset library of over 150 presets!

Settings Window

The Settings window contains four tabs: Engine, GUI, Registration, and About. The Engine tab lets the user customize the audio engine. The GUI tab enables the user to easilly customize some of the GUI features available. Registraton holds the registration and licensing info. About is a classical about page with credits.

The science behind

SpectrumWorx uses advanced spectral analysis algorithms that make it possible to twist and reshape the input signals into something entirely new. From subtle pitch-shifting to bizarre and unearthly tones, SpectrumWorx can get you there.

Audio engine

SpectrumWorx works exclusively in the frequency domain. Setting new standards for professional audio effects, SpectrumWorx is powered by a robust, high-quality audio engine which transforms input audio signal into the frequency domain and back. The engine sets the foundation for SpectrumWorx's quality, performance, and stability.

Engine features

  • Frame size from 128 samples to 8192 samples, enables different time and frequency resolutions.
  • Overlap factor from no overlap to factor 7 overlap (85%), enables smooth signal transitions from one frame to the other, and no signal loss at boundaries.
  • Window choice, enables subtle control of spectral leakage.

Phase Vocoder Domain

Instead of only classical frequency domain representation, where the signal is decomposed into magnitudes and phases, SpectrumWorx is also capable of transforming signal into the so-called Phase-Vocoder domain, where signal is represented with magnitudes and "true" frequencies. The new domain opens up a whole new frontier for effect creation.

What's next?

You've already got standard effects by the truckload?

You want something new and different?

Download the free trial and start SpectrumWorking now!

SW