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A Masterpiece from Image-Line

Harmor by dmbaer

Top of the Charts with a Bullet Image-Line's recently introduced software-synth, Harmor, is nothing short of a triumph. Within an hour of installation it had taken its place, along with Alchemy and Zebra, in my short list of personal favorite synths. The sounds are stunning and subtly different from the sounds I've heard produced by any other synth (except maybe Harmor's predecessor Harmless).

Maybe that can be best answered by taking a look back at Harmless, the predecessor to Harmor, where much of the creative inspiration for this new instrument incubated. Harmless? Really?

In other words, a typical additive synth adds sine wave partials together and passes the result on to subsequent processing as a single wave form. While working with the original array of sine wave generators the synth would be operating in the frequency domain. Upon summing the sine waves into a single wave, the processing transitions from the frequency domain to what Image-line calls the time domain. Harmless differed from typical additive synths in that processing remained in the frequency domain for a good deal longer, applying filtering, phasing and other types of sound manipulations directly to the array of individual sine wave partials.

I've had Harmless sitting on my DAW machine for some time, always meaning to get around to learning it a little more deeply when I had the opportunity. In what little time I had experimented with it I always felt it Harmor does have one major flaw, but had great potential. I get the feeling it never caught on much in the market thankfully one that's correctible. The place; the evidence being a dearth of documentation is way too light. Harmor's approach to generating third-party preset collections. sound is different enough from anything else you're likely to be But if Harmless went under most familiar with that it begs a more musicians' radar, it was nevertheless comprehensive explanation. a rather striking piece of innovation. Fortunately, I've gathered from things The basic idea is as follows: Harmless offered a single oscillator wave form read on the KVR forum that ImageLine will be correcting this deficiency with subsequent filtering, phase when time permits. shifting, etc., much the same as a conventional subtractive synth. What Harmor is an additive synth at heart. made it very different was that the Take filtering for example. Operating An obvious question to ask up front is: audio creation stayed in what Imageon an array of sine wave amplitudes, Line calls the frequency domain for why did Image-Line produce another one can create any kind of filter additive synth when they already had long beyond the initial wave output imaginable. Want an infinite-dB per being created. one in Morphine? Morphine is a fine octave slope with no artifacts? No instrument in its own right that problem. Want multiple resonance performs additive sound creation. points or a resonance an octave above


December 2011

December 2011  
December 2011  

WSM Dec 2011