Manic Media Productions has launched STONA audio analysis software. Using a new 100% accurate Fourier Transform algorithm (patent pending), this software tool is aimed for the professional audio engineering world. The product's uses are twofold: firstly as a tool for mastering, and secondly as a tool for setting up room acoustics. This has come about after revolutionary theory into aural perception of sound and the cochlea's ability to act as a parallel synthesiser, by Martin Simpson of GADideas. This theory has been developed into a tangible signal processing system, and creates new possibilities for parallel processing.
By playing any audio signal, be it a sampled drum beat, a 200 piece orchestra or a fully mastered track, this software enables producers and engineers to identify:
The secondary function of the product is that it can be used as a tool to achieve optimum acoustic dynamics from any sound system in any room. This is done by placing a microphone in the room relative to where the listener will be and running the mic's output through the software, whilst playing a sine test sweep through the audio system. The flatter the response, the better the performance.
The software analyses any given audio signal, input by microphone or soundcard, and then plots a scrolling 3D landscape of amplitude and frequency against time. This is drawn in real time, as is the corresponding re-synthesis display. This allows the user to 'see' the sounds as the human brain hears them. The user can navigate around the 3D environment, viewing from any angle and zooming in to areas of interest.
Currently, this is a standalone software product for PC; however there are plans to develop it as a plug-in to all the major suites (Steinberg, Logic etc.) and to convert to Mac.
The advantages of the new Simpson Transform over existing Fourier Transform methods currently used in competitive products are:
Other alternatives to this technology only output in 2D and cannot achieve the same level of clarity or data processing. They generally start from around six times the price. Stona is priced at only £39.95, making it accessible to producers and engineers at all levels.