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Exploring Tomofon by Klevgrand - A Fresh Take On Additive Synthesis

Plugin Check | Dec 16, 2022

In this video, polarity talks about Tomofon, a plugin by Klevgrand. It is an additive synthesis plugin which dissects samples into harmonics and saves these harmonic values into tables. It can be used to extract harmonics from samples, voices, and instruments for ambient music.

You can watch the Video on Youtube
Get Tomofon here: https://bit.ly/3FAAATj


If you don't want to watch the Video, or search for a specific topic, here is the transcription of the video with links to video markers:

[00:00.000] Hey folks, welcome back to another video.
[00:03.000] Today it's about Tomophonia, this little plugin by Clefgrant.
[00:08.320] And when something comes out on the market for BST plugins, it's usually a subjective
[00:13.960] synth in the form of a wavetable synthesizer because people love wavetable synthesis.
[00:19.600] I don't know why, because for me it's just a short sample player and a subjective synth
[00:27.360] attached in the form of having multiple filters and effect sections and you know the deal.
[00:36.200] Or you get maybe a sampler with a fancy GUI and it's called instrument then, but it's
[00:43.040] really a sampler.
[00:44.360] But this one here is really a nice fresh or first take at all at additive synthesis.
[00:53.680] And on the website itself they describe it in a different way that is they talk about
[00:59.340] waves and wavetables and having an audio model and something like this.
[01:06.960] But I think it's just marketing speak to get people or surround people with familiar terms.
[01:13.760] Because what it really does it's I think dissecting samples you drag in into harmonics and then
[01:21.520] save these harmonic values into tables.
[01:26.200] And you can have multiple tables for each pitch or key or pitch zone.
[01:32.960] So you can see at the bottom you have different little columns.
[01:39.600] And each of these columns basically represent in the speak of the website wavetables.
[01:46.340] And you can move through these wavetables, you can change the wavetable position for
[01:50.080] each of these tables of course.
[01:52.480] So when I play a key here you can see the dot moving up or down.
[01:57.920] We basically play this wavetable here and change the position.
[02:04.160] And we can change this here with the tab depth.
[02:07.920] So this is the loop section here.
[02:09.600] So we can change this.
[02:11.160] When I hold the key it just loops this portion here or insert here a new dot.
[02:24.040] When I play a different key I play a completely different wavetable.
[02:35.680] Which makes it kind of interesting because it looks like it's a multi-sample sampler.
[02:46.560] But it's described as a multi-wavetable subtractive synth.
[02:52.960] But in my opinion it's more like an additive synth where we have for each of these tables
[02:59.640] here basically values for each harmonic or data for each of these harmonics.
[03:06.080] Because you can interpolate between different points or data points without having actually
[03:11.080] information about these harmonics.
[03:14.440] So you can change here the pitch.
[03:18.800] Let's track this down.
[03:21.680] You can see we're moving up here in pitch.
[03:29.800] We can move across these tables basically and change each of the harmonics and fundamental
[03:36.920] frequencies continuously without having actually data for that.
[03:42.340] So it's interpolating between these data points.
[03:45.800] I guess that's how it works.
[03:47.920] It's just my interpretation of that.
[03:50.720] And you can also drag in your own samples of course.
[03:55.360] So I did here some presets.
[03:57.760] This is here basically my voice.
[04:00.800] I just load this preset here.
[04:04.560] I guess I have to just...
[04:06.040] Yeah the interface is not very polished.
[04:09.320] Also you can also resize here the plugin itself.
[04:13.800] It's just this size here and that's it.
[04:16.920] So you can see I've dragged in basically my vocals I just sung in and it analyzes the
[04:24.280] sample or these multiple samples and puts them into different tables.
[04:29.880] And you can also have here an editor open and change each of these tables.
[04:35.720] So you can drag audio in here right.
[04:38.080] And then when you have all these harmonics sorted into tables you can play them.
[05:06.200] To me it doesn't sound like samples that are pitched.
[05:10.360] It really sounds like multiple oscillators playing harmonics coming from these data points
[05:18.880] here and then interpolating between these tables and data points.
[05:24.480] Which makes it highly organic and makes it also highly playable in my opinion.
[05:31.800] And this brings me also to some of the drawbacks of this synthesizer here.
[05:37.480] It doesn't support MPE which is something I can't understand because this is a perfect
[05:44.360] synthesizer for MPE controllers.
[05:47.520] To change the wavetable position here with the sliding on the keys right and so on.
[05:53.960] So it's a perfect synthesizer for MPE.
[05:55.680] So this should be something that's addressed in another update in my opinion.
[06:01.080] So the interface needs to be resizable here.
[06:04.320] And when you drag in samples here in the editor.
[06:09.120] Let's say I have here multiple piano samples.
[06:13.960] Just some different pitches here.
[06:18.240] And you drag these in.
[06:21.840] It says something like this.
[06:22.840] A multiple fires drop will use.
[06:25.560] I can't read that because it's cut off.
[06:28.760] That uses here some weird information.
[06:34.120] New sorted clears the current audio model and creates a new one with all extracted.
[06:41.280] It's pretty small.
[06:42.280] So you drag this in.
[06:44.240] And then I have just one sample here.
[06:46.580] It looks like one sample.
[06:50.560] And when I use your multiple of these.
[06:53.240] Just drag in one for one.
[06:56.800] So let's save new sorted and merge.
[06:59.120] You can see we get more tables now.
[07:06.480] And you can go to each of these tables here and look what's going on there.
[07:11.560] I drag this one in.
[07:17.720] So you get more and more information and overtones or harmonic information in there.
[07:24.080] By the way I just installed this.
[07:25.440] I have no idea what I'm talking about.
[07:27.240] So I use this for five minutes.
[07:30.320] So this is not a tutorial.
[07:31.960] It's just kind of an overview I want to show you that something like this exists at the
[07:37.480] moment.
[07:38.480] I haven't even bought this.
[07:39.480] This is just a demo version.
[07:41.440] So this is now we have all the information.
[07:46.000] So we can also go into the tables here, normalize the stuff and edit it until it sounds nice.
[07:53.340] Save it as a model.
[07:57.400] Maybe save it as a piano model.
[08:01.280] Then go back to the synthesizer and try to play it.
[08:11.400] Maybe a slight pitch in the loop.
[08:29.120] This is basically piano sound harmonics weirdly played back with an added synthesizer.
[08:38.400] So we can start also your different positions in the wavetable at the end.
[08:48.980] Then we can increase here the voices.
[08:50.700] We have four voices now playing.
[08:52.640] So it's the same sound but you know pan to the left and the right and you can also change
[08:57.660] a bit of the pitch for each voice.
[09:07.900] Harmonize it.
[09:08.900] Normalize it.
[09:09.900] Make up gain.
[09:10.900] Everything is there.
[09:11.900] Apron is down.
[09:12.900] We have also your reverb in there which I probably never gonna use.
[09:24.220] I use supermassive as you all know it.
[09:41.340] So this is a perfect synthesizer for extracting harmonics from sounds, from samples, from
[10:00.600] your voice, from instruments, from whatever.
[10:04.000] And then make it highly organic and playable.
[10:07.780] And if you do ambient or you need some pad sounds this is basically heaven because pad
[10:12.860] sounds it's all about having the right harmonics and having a nice reverb at the end.
[10:22.100] And then yeah make it highly playable.
[10:25.020] So my idea for this would be make the GUI better, resizable and implement MPE.
[10:34.240] Maybe it's possible here to get in some MPE information with control one and control two.
[10:43.220] But I'm not really sure if this is actually possible.
[10:47.980] But yeah it's a nice fresh take on a synthesizer I want to highlight in a video.
[10:54.020] So maybe try it out.
[10:55.220] The link is in the description.
[10:57.300] Demo version is also possible to download.
[10:59.540] It makes just mutes the sound every few minutes.
[11:03.700] And besides from that it works just the normal version.
[11:08.380] Okay that's it for today.
[11:10.220] Thanks for watching guys.
[11:11.220] See you in the next video and bye.