Sensel has released a brand new instrument for Max For Live by Cycling ’74.
Spectral Shiatsu is an unique instrument that utilizes Sensel’s Morph multi-touch controller’s ability to detect touch and pressure to create an entirely new kind of sound interaction.
Those without a Morph can also explore Spectral Shiatsu with their mouse or touchpad.
When you load a sound file (or picture) into Spectral Shiatsu, it analyzes it and creates a map of all the frequencies and their volumes over time. This sonograph is then mapped to the Sensel Morph, where you can touch and press on the surface to “reveal” and play the sound’s components from any time in the recording.
You can then quite literally massage your way around a sound, pressing harder to uncover more of it, or caressing lightly to gently play a small part.
“Computers have millions of ways to manipulate sounds. Spectral Shiatsu and the Sensel Morph lets us explore some of these with our hands,” said Sensel Product Strategist and Morph Frontman Peter Nyboer. “Artists and designers are all quite familiar with ‘massaging’ and ‘teasing’ their work, so we found a way to make this metaphor literal. You will definitely uncover some really unusual sonic textures, possibly even learning something about the nature of time and sound.”
To experience Spectral Shiatsu, simply download the Max For Live device, install it in your Ableton library, then add it to a MIDI Track. Then, drag sound files from your Live Browser, Clip Grid, or file system onto the device to play them with your fingers on the Morph.
Spectral Shiatsu is an “experimental release”. There are some quirks and complex calculations involved, so it can be heavy on the CPU. A full tutorial can be found on Sensel’s Youtube channel.
More information: Sensel