Acousmodules

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S P A T I A L   M A S S

Il y a deux types de plugins consacrés au traitement de la masse spatiale : ceux qui opérent directement au niveau des canaux, et ceux qui se basent sur une représentation symbolique ou métaphorique de l'espace pour traiter les amplitudes.

Les premiers sont généralement faciles à utiliser et procurent une grande clarté spatiale, les seconds peuvent nécessiter une préparation et des réglages délicats mais permettent d'obtenir des résultats plus nuancés, notamment en ce qui concerne les animations. La dimension graphique de ces plugins aide également à se représenter les actions que l'on a sur l'espace, sachant que ce que l'on entend réellement est toujours assez différent...

There are two types of plugins dedicated to spatial mass processing : those who operate directly at the channel level, and those who rely on a symbolic representation of space to process amplitudes.

The former are generally easy to use and provide great spatial clarity, the latter may require preparation and delicate settings but allow to obtain more nuanced results, especially with regard to animations. The graphic dimension of these plugins also helps to represent the actions we have on space, knowing that what we hear really is always quite different...

 Windows Spatial Bundle - 2020 May
(AnimaSpat, DisPatcher, DisOrganizer, FocusMass, MassInFaders, MassLayers, ScaleLine, ScaleMass, SimpleSend, SpatLayers,
SpaceScaler, SpaceXplorer, Spat3D, SpatKeys, SpatLayers, SpatLine, SpatMass, SpatSteps, TetraMass, TheDetour
)


MacOS Spatial Bundle - 2020 May
(AnimaSpat, DisPatcher, DisOrganizer, FocusMass, MassInFaders, MassLayers, ScaleMass, SimpleSend, SpatLayers,
SpaceScaler, SpaceXplorer, Spat3D, SpatKeysLE, SpatLayers, SpatLineLE, SpatMass, SpatSteps, TetraMass)

(note about the bundles : they are made to avoid to spend too much time by downloading and installing every plugin, but they may not contain the most recent versions, look at the Current build dates)

"3D", Layers or Direct Channels, which one is better ?
The "3D" spatial organization in these plugins means that the amplitude of each control channel, normally connected to a specific loudspeaker, is calculated in regard to its free position in the three dimensions. The Layers based organization follows the common spatial speakers arrangements in two, three or four height layers and matches well how our hearing works.
The Direct Channel method needs a further stage to make the channels correspond to spatial points.
- Direct Channels : + uses less CPU, better sound clarity
- Layers : + best balance for spatial masses with height, supports periphonic arrangements with inside phantom masses / - needs channel patching , uses a little more CPU
- "3D" : + easier to , well adapted for meshed networks speakers arrangements and regular, can use Polar coordinates controllers  / - can be difficult to set
To resume, you can use :
- Layers for periphonic only speakers arrangements (cinema and domes), and everything else too...
- "3D" for regular meshed arrangements and when it is important to have the spatial mass Area extended equally in the three dimensions
- Direct Channels when a specific spatial position is not important, when you want discontinuous spatial masses or when you need to keep the best spatial accuracy and clarity

 
Spat Series
 

S p a t 3 D   2 1 8 X  /  2 3 6 X  /  2 6 4 X

 

 

They can represent some alternative to existing multichannel panners like Reaper's ReaSurround as effective "space brushes" :
- mono / stereo input
- only one screen to view and edit all the parameters at once
- two 2D views (front and top) for easy and precise 3D placement of "speakers" (use the Ctrl/Cmd key)
- big numbered balls, easy for the eyes ;-) 
- show/hide what you want and choose the balls' color to match the height levels or other aspects
- Area settings for every output to adapt to irregular layouts, with distance bars (1st input view only in 36 channels and up versions)
- Center Compensation parameter for "hollow" periphonic speakers arrangements like a circle or a sphere
- Area Shape : variable amplitude curve, from sharp to flat
- Area Volume : dynamically change the spatial volume of the sound, while the Volume Compensation parameter allows a constant level if you prefer to
- parametric Symmetry Modes for Left/Right inputs links
- Polar Controller (azimut/elevation) for circular and spherical layouts
- integrated K-20 pink noise test signal
(note about the 280X version : the outputs above 64 cannot be used in Reaper)
Video presentation (french)

 

Known issue : the Polar Controller can be jerky.
Current build date : 21/05/2020
Status :

 2 x 18 / 36 / 64

FR   EN 

Windows

MacOS

 

 

S p a t L a y e r s   2 4 8 - 3  /  2 6 4 - 3  /  2 6 4 - 4

 

 

Instead of a continuous position of the speakers in the vertical axis like in the "3D" versions, this plugin uses the same layers principle as most of the 32 bits ones, but here with a free channels mapping.
By processing in a different way the horizontal and the vertical dimensions, this technique can be better adapted to real life situations, where there is more speakers in the horizontal plane than in the vertical one and reflects our difference in listening ability on these two axis.
On the tools side, it also solves most of the difficulties that we encounter with "real" 3D methods such as DBAP and VBAP (not to speak of ambisonics !) to manage accurate elevation while playing with horizontal spreading.
- up to 64 outputs (100 will be possible)
- up to 4 height layers with up to 25 outputs each
- the layers can also be associated to get other combinations like two 50 channels layers, or one 50 and two 25, or even only one with 64 channels (can be useful for some domes)
- Layer Based Amplitude Control : uses a 2D version of the "Distance Based Amplitude Control" algorithm within each layer combined with a traditional "Constant Power" method to move among them
- Area Volume and Area Shape are independant for each layer, plus a Master Area control
- independant "Center Compensation" parameters for each layer (for periphonic only arrangements like a dome)
- very wide Area range plus separate output offsets
- an "unused" layer can serve as a kind of "multichannel" send for external processing
Three versions : 4 Layers / 25 points, 3 Layers / 25 points, 3 Layers / 16 points (all the plugins are in the same archive).

 

Current build date : 21/05/2020
Status :

2 x 64

FR   

Windows  

MacOS  

 

 

S p a t 3 D   8 3 6 X  /  1 6 6 4 X

 

 

Same principle as the regular Spat3D but here with up to eight or sixteen inputs.
It can be tedious to automate one by one 24 or even 48 parameters (XYZ x 8/16) ! but it is sometimes the only way to obtain precisely controlled spatial evolutions.
These plugins can also be considered as "modular spatial engines" to be used with an external controller plugin like the ShapeControl 3DX, the SphereControl 3DX or any of the 32 bits MIDI Acousmodules (on Windows).
The 1664 version can also work as a 16 channels converter to adapt compositions into larger loudspeakers systems (see the SpaceConverters for more).

 

 

To do : choose which input channel to show in the distance visualisations bars.
Current build date : 22/12/2018
Status :

 8 x 36 / 16 x 64

FR 

Windows  

MacOS  

 

 


Mass Series
 

 

S p a t M a s s   8 1 8 X  /  1 6 3 6 X  /  1 6 6 4 X

 

 

The up to sixteen inputs are put together according to several shapes based on a sphere,  a cube, lines and planes.
Since their parameters can be combined like you want, it is possible to obtain complex 2D or 3D shapes with only a few controls, which can be of course automated.
In spite of their "nice" mini pseudo-3D view which doesn't show any speaker, these plugins will have little meaning with periphonic loudspeakers arrangements and will on the contrary relay on 2D or 3D tangible arrays.
At the difference with all other SpatMass plugins, the 818X version has also a set of four modulators that can be connected to the important parameters, making this plugin a kind of "light" AnimaSpat version.
Video presentation (french) 

 

Known issue : automation works only when the plugin's UI is visible; audio drop outs may occur when automating several shapes at once in the 64 channels version.
Current build dates : 16/06/2020, 818X 28/04/2020
Status :

8 / 16 x 18 / 36 / 64

 

Windows  

MacOS  

 

 

M a s s L a y e r s   8 4 8 X  /  8 6 4 X

 

 

Like the SpatLayers versus the Spat3D, this plugin uses the alternate "layers" method to deal with the elevation. It has the same advantage to make irregular 3D speakers arrangements easier to set and more precise, but is a little more restricting for the channels mapping.
- up to three (four) layers each with up to 16 (24) channels
- the layers can be combined if you need more channels / less layers...
- fast channels mapping with automatic layer colouring
- the 8 inputs are grouped under the same basic Shapes that can be mixed like in the SpatMass (see above)
- the pseudo 3D view is here more necessary than in other "mass" plugins ;-)

 

To do : 4 Layers / 64 channels version
Current build date : 28/04/2020
Status :

8 x 48 / 64

 

Windows  

MacOS  

 

 

M u l t i M a s s   6 4 X

 

 

How to organize a 64 channels sound inside a 64 channels space without having to place each point one by one ?
At this level of complexity, it is necessary to find some simplicity...
Among a full hand of valuable solutions, this one consists on a division of the 64 inputs (every other number can be automatically distributed) into four 16 channels groups that can be set independantly with the same easy shape tools than the SpatMass, and then combined into bigger ones if needed.
It can also be used like four different SpatMass combined into a single view, making it easier to place several sounds together.
Even if it can be used (cautiously !) with automations for interesting spatial morphing, it is more dedicated for static processing since above a dozen simultaneous moving channels it becomes very difficult to hear what is happening !
In this case, despite its long loading time, it uses very little power. That is alas no more true if you want to change several shapes at once, for instance with the Macro slider or by the mean of MIDI controllers ...

 

Known issue : multiple automations at once have to be slow...
Current build date : 23/05/2020
Status :

1 > 64 x 64

 

Windows   

MacOS   

 

 

F o c u s M a s s   3 6 X  /  6 4 X

 

 

Quite the opposite of a "spatial brush" like the Spat3D, it is a variable sized "spherical window" or "spot" that lets passing through or "illuminate" some part of the multichannel sound, from a single pin point to nearly its full size.
Note that the disc's size doesn't represent the real focus window nor how the sound is fading from its center.
Among its possible uses it can be placed after a KaleidoSpat (or a 32 bits KaleidoPlayer) and gives excellent results to process a "demixed" sound like thoses produced by NMFDemix.
It can also be used at the end of a chain composed by the other Focus plugins (see the Effects page).
Video presentation (french) 

 

To do : add a Polar Controller.
Current build date : 22/05/2020
Status :  

 36 x 36 / 64 x 64

 FR 

Windows  

MacOS  

 

 

S c a l e M a s s   8 6 4 X  /  2 4 3 6 X  /  1 6 6 4 X  /  3 2 6 4 X

 

 

Above a certain number of inputs it becomes difficult to control and to automate each spatial parameter. At the same time, what we perceive becomes a global shape or area where individual elements still exist but are less and less distinct.
Unlike the SpatMass series, the ScaleMass needs you to place each input individually, but when it is done they are considered as a group.
- Position : move all the points in the X, Y or Z plane
- Scale : reduce the groups' size to a point, align or invert it, expand it even outside the space, with progressive fade out based on the Areas settings
- Flocking : add organic movements and smoothness (not in the 32 inputs version)
- Wide Mode : make the sound go outside the space... and disappear
Some compromises between functionalities and efficiency are alas actually needed in these plugins :
- 864X and 2436X : automation also works when the plugin's GUI is not visible; in 1664X and 3264X it must be opened
- 2436X and 3264X : no "Flocking" feature 
- 1664X : better efficiency

 

Known issues : automation may work only when the plugin's UI is visible (see the note above).
Current build date : 30/04/2020
Status : /

24 x 36 / 8 - 16 - 32 x 64

 

Windows   

MacOS  

 

 

S p a c e S c a l e r   6 4 L

 

 

Resize, move, invert any space constituted of up to 24 channels upon three height layers inside a 64 channels space.
- the inputs/outputs connexions to the Layers are done with the mean of a wired patch
- Shifter and Scaler controls independant for each layer
- Master Shift and Scale
There is no scaling between the layers.

 

Known issues : you may experience some irregularities during fast automations.
Current build date : 01/05/2020
Status :

64 x 64

 

Windows  

MacOS  

 

 

S c a l e L i n e   8 6 4 X  /  1 8 6 4 X  /  6 4 1 8 X

 

 

These two plugins can be considered as "true multichannel panners" since they behave only in a 1D space !
Their purpose is to place / adapt / schrink / distribute a series of inputs among a line of speakers, be it real or logical.
They works well with spiral / spherical based speakers arrangements, but also with segments of other ones where it can bring an alternative spatialization method to the SpatMass or the DisOrganizer.
- up to 64 inputs to 18 outputs or 8 / 18 inputs to 64 outputs
- Scale (including Reverse), Invert, Curve, Chaos global settings to drive all the inputs at once
- global Size and Shape settings to isolate or to overlap the points
- 18 i/o versions' the slow refresh rate make them not convenient for realtime scaling variations !
- inertia setting in the 864 version
- see also the ScaleLine 64X in the Utilities page
Windows only.

 

Current build date : 02/02/2020 (864 : 10/04/2020)
Status : 

8 / 18 x 64 / 64 x 18

 

Windows  

 

 

 

M a s s K e y s   8 6 4 X

 

 

It is quite the opposite of the previous one : instead of making "spatial melodies" you make "space chords" !
- each "chord" shares the same 8 audio inputs
- 8 outputs among 64 can be selected for each one
- 12 MIDI keys with independant ADSR and volume control can play the "chords"
simultaneously

 

To do : respond to note pressure
Current build date : 15/01/2019
Status :

8 x 64

 

Windows  

MacOS  

 

 

M a s s B l e n d e r   6 4 X

 

 

3D distance based interpolator where each of its 12 nodes can send the sound to up to 8 outputs choosen among 64. They can correspond to loudspeakers "clusters" or on the contrary to combinations making some kind of spatial masses that would be otherwise very difficult to obtain. This something that is easy to do with separate individual faders but difficult to control, especially when you want to blend between several complete sets.
Each node can have a different Influence shape, making fades more efficient according to the distance between them.
The spatial position of the nodes has no relationship with the speakers system, but it is of course possible (and advisable) to place them in accordance to the spatial purpose.
Video presentation (french) 

 

 

Current build date : 19/03/2020
Status :

6 x 64

 

Windows  

MacOS  

 

 

M a s s I n F a d e r s   8 6 4 X  /  3 2 6 4 X

 

 

This plugin uses the simplest, and perhaps the oldest method to shape complexe spatial masses into up to 64 speakers channels.
All you have at your disposal is 32 faders that can each send their input to up to 4 different speakers.
Fortunately, you may have also a full range of hardware faders, or better, you can use one of the controller plugins to control them with much efficient gestures.
The MIDI CC 1 to 32 are allocated by default, but they will work only in the AU version. With the VST3 you will have to do it yourself (reminder : NOT thanks to Steinberg).
The simpler 8 inputs version is in the same archive.

 

Current build date : 15/09/2019
Status :

1 / 8 / 32 x 64

 

Windows  

MacOS  

 

 


Spatial Animations
 

 

A n i m a S p a t 3 D   6 4 X  /  4 8 L

 

 

It is an optimized version of the AnimaSpat 864X (below) dedicated to mono/stereo inputs.
Of course, the 8 inputs channels version can do the same job if you don't use the Shapes, but this one will take less resources (and also less screen space) and the Center Compensation parameter can help with periphonic loudspeakers arrangements.
- Path Animator with three independant LFOs for free shape lines
- Zigzag generator
- Sphere Controler for circles and spirals
- two sub modulators with open wired patch system to modulate every spatial parameters and the Path rates
- OneShot Trigger to synchronize simple paths with audio events
The 48L version is based on the "layers" approach to control the elevation, thus is more appropriated for irregular and periphonic only speakers arrangements.

 

Known issues : the internal animations, the MIDI controls and the host automations work ONLY when the plugin UI is visible ; some values are reinitialized when connecting / deconnecting a patch wire ; the spherical visual animation can be not accurate.
Current build date : 14/08/2019 - 48L : 11/03/2020
Status :

 2 x 48 / 64

 

Windows  

MacOS  

 

 

A n i m a S p a t   8 3 6 X  /  8 6 4 X  /  8 4 8 L

 

 

They add to the Shapes mode of the SpatMass a wide range of spatial animations :
- Shapes : the eight inputs are put together following several basic shapes (Cube, Sphere, Lines, Rings and Chaos), that can be individually set and merged (static SpatMass like mode)
- Animate : the input positions are animated according to :
- three independant LFOs
- a Zigzags paths generator
- a Pulse modulator with Input amplitude follower
- a Morph Modulator that can combine several deformations at once, do bounces
- a Jumper for instant simple movements that can be synced to the host tempo
- three sub modulators with open wired patch system to make complex evolutions (the Patch system can be hidden)
The eight inputs can follow a Trail that is set with a progressive Delay and Inertia, allowing to do either organic or geometric figures.
It can be used with an octophonic audio file input or combined with a processing plugin like the KaleidoSpat or the SpectraSplitter 8X.
Note that the SpatMass 818X above has some of the modulation abilities of the AnimaSpat and can be usefull with its 16 inputs... if you don't need more than 18 outputs.
Video presentation (french)  

 

Known issues : the internal animations and the MIDI/host automations work ONLY when the plugin UI is visible ; some values are reinitialized when connecting / deconnecting a patch wire ; the spherical visual animation can be not accurate.
Current build date : 01/04/2020 - 848L : 11/03/2020
Status :  

 8 x 36 / 48 / 64

 FR   EN 

Windows  

MacOS  

 

 

S p a t L i n e   6 4 X  /  L E

 

 

The plugin that has given me the desire to make my own ones in 2003 was Krosipan, a 10 channels / one dimension panner. I recognize that I prefer a two or three dimensions one, giving more spatial possibilities and variations, but there is some cases such as when you want to make only lines that this method can be faster or more precise.
This is also more than a panner since you can stack several points at the same line position to make some complex fan-shapes or double and triple lines in a simple way. The Span slider together with the Area Shaping can be thought as a "super pan-law", allowing to extend all of them up to the total length of the line with the fade you want. If you need, the vertical position of the points determines their level (depending on the Span value too).
You can move the sound along the line either by hand, by the mean of an envelope or/and a LFO, or following a MIDI keyboard notes. The 8 points LineShaper can transform the movement to make complex trajectories with accelerations and so on.
Mac version (LE) : no keyboard view and control, no Shaper.
Video presentation (french)

 

Known issues : no reset function for the Line Shaper points ; the internal animations, the MIDI control and the automation work ONLY when the plugin is visible.
Current build date : 20/05/2020
Status :  

 1 x 64

 FR 

Windows  

MacOS  

 

 

S p a t S t e p s 3 D   3 6 X  /  6 4 X

 

 

In the 32 bits Acousmodules "Steps" is one of the three animation modes of the AnimaSpat 2D and the AnimaSampler 16, together with the "Curve" and the "Draw" modes. The Curve is now a part of the AnimaSpat 836X/864X but the Draw mode is not yet possible.
Basically, it is a Spat3D plugin where the "sound position", instead of following the user's hand or a virtuel line like in the SpatLine, jumps along a series of steps put in the 3D space.
Its first purpose is to make jumps where nearly all the other tools are focused on continuity, but depending on the Inertia value it is also possible to obtain a more continuous movement.
There are several possibilities to go through the steps that can be used together :
- manually : you grab the time pointer (or you control it with a MIDI controller) and the input follows the steps consequently...
- Trigger : the movement follow an ADR, with variable acceleration curve
- Cycler : variable shape and speed loop
- Stepper : one step at a time, by hand (or foot ?) or automatically by following the audio input peaks or the host tempo

 

Known issues : the automatic Stepper doesn't work well.
To do : tap tempo input to the Stepper ; try to find different Inertia behaviours ; option to limit the Stepper range.
Current build date : 27/05/2019
Status : 

 1 x 36 / 64

FR 

Windows  

MacOS  

 

 

S p a t S E Q   6 4 X

 

 

Simple implementation of a step sequencer to send a mono input sequentially to up to 64 ouputs. Its is currently limited to 16 steps...
- Tempo based or Rate based
- dual spatial view to help to choose the output channels
- alpha version and Windows only !

 

Known issues : to be continued ...
To do : user's define steps number ; steps durations.
Current build date : 15/04/2020
Status :

 1 x 64

 

Windows  

 

 

 


Discreet Spaces
 

 

D i s P a t c h e r   6 4 X

 

 

NTSC = Never Twice the Same Connection !
Carefully made spatial masses can sound of course very well, but I am often surprised how they can sound sometimes better when, by accident or on purpose, I arrange their channels in some ways that are not spatially logical...
With each pressure on this big button, whatever the number of inputs they go randomly to the selected outputs. Depending on the start and range values, they can be compressed or expanded and all moved together.
You can also use the inputs' peak level to automatically trigger the jumps !

 

Known issues : possible switching noise. 
Current build date : 22/12/2018
Status :

64 x 64

 

Windows  

MacOS  

 

 

D i s O r g a n i z e r   6 4 X

 

 

Like the DisPatcher it works at the channel level, making it both light on the resources and sure that it will not touch to other aspects of the sound.
You can organize, or dis-organize, any multichannel flow up to 64 inputs/outputs through a global mapping visualization in the following ways :
- compress all the inputs up to a single output
- contract or expand them according to a variable curve and waves
- scatter the inputs with random values
- inverse the mapping
Note that the unused inputs/outputs are simply ignored.
Its main place is after a multichannel instrument like the KaleidoSynth, or before a SpatMass or a MultiMass.
If you need something similar but with amplitude interpolations, look at the ScaleLine plugins.

 

Known issues : possible switching noises if automating. 
Current build date : 04/02/2019
Status :

64 x 64

 

Windows  

MacOS  

 

 

S i m p l e S e n d   2 6 4 X  /  8 6 4 X  /  1 6 6 4 X

 

 

Even if it cannot be considered as a "true" spatial mass processor, it represents an alternative to the panners when you need only to allocate the sound on certain loudspeakers points. It is a kind of minimal router that can send up to 16 inputs to up to 64 outputs : just select the channels numbers !
In a similar way, and for more input channels, you can use the "patches" plugins that are on the Utilities page.
The three versions are in the same archive. 

 

Current build date : 27/03/2020
Status :

2 / 8 / 16 x 64

 

Windows   

MacOS  

 

 

 
Miscellaneous
 

 

S p a t K e y s   6 4 X  /  L E

 

 

It was one of my first plugins in 2003 (with only 8 outputs) !
The idea is not especially original, but the SpatKeys can do things that panners and other Acousmodules cannot even dream of, by the mean of this simple principle : each MIDI Note message sends the input sound to an output, controlled by an ADSR, allowing as well both long fades or small fragments.
It is of course "polyphonic" and since a key can trig several outputs you can play 1-finger-chords, or consider the plugin like a light console where each key is a scene (a combination of active outputs) and the envelope a transition time.
The "automation" can be recorded as MIDI notes sequences, that opens interesting kinds of processing and editing.
How to :
- choose the keys relative to the outputs you have (the blue numbers), the same keys can be used for several outputs (but an output can be linked to only one key)
- adjust the ADSR and control the global Time, for example with a foot controller
- adjust the Velocity Amp and Time sliders as you whish
- try the arpeggiator ? Control its rate with another pedal ?
- play !
Note that it can be very interesting to use a 2D control surface instead of a piano keyboard since you can organize the keys in a spatial way that matches the speakers arrangement.
Mac version (LE) : no keyboard view and no arpeggiator.
Video presentation (french)

 

Current build date : 20/05/2020
Status :  /

1 x 64

 FR 

Windows  

MacOS  

 

 

S p a c e X p l o r e r   3 2 8 X  /  3 2 1 6 X

 

 

It is the contrary of a spatialization tool : you can explore a 3D virtual space, where you have disposed up to 32 sources, with an up to 16 virtual microphones ensemble connected to 8 / 16 outputs.
The inputs can be a multichannel sound provided by a recording or a previous processing, but it works the best with a collection of mono files.
The "microphones" positions are controlled in a similar manner than the inputs in the SpatMass according to basic shapes (Cube, Circle, Line etc) that can be combined and moved with Trails and Inertia.
The outputs can be used directly but they are mostly destined to be spatially processed with other plugins.
The SpaceXplorer can also be used as some kind of "6DOF" binaural mixer when followed by a plugin like the free INA-GRM SpaceVR or even an ambisonics encoder.

 

Current build date : 28/12/2018
Status :

32 x 8 / 16

 

Windows  

MacOS