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MYTH reviewed: A dream for cinematic sound designers and composers

3 minute read

The latest Dawesome synthesiser, MYTH, takes dynamic sound to the next level.

MYTH is a new approach to sound synthesis packaged in a 24-voice modular microtonality capable plugin with a powerful sample re-synthesising engine based on advanced machine learning. With MYTH you can create two such re-synthesised 4-tone generators and cycle through their 500-segment envelopes for rich and dynamic sounds. In addition, MYTH enables you to freeze edits so you can experiment using existing filters, effects and modulation from that point onwards without disturbing your previous edits. You can even select a number of existing patches and “breed” a new one from those.

Analogue synths contain imperfections and non-linearity, giving them a unique signature sound we’ve come to appreciate so much that some of them have become famous in their own right. MYTH’s entire sound engine is based on translating that imperfection and non-linearity into digital processing, and the result is that you can create “living” sounds with it.

 

MYTH’s tools

MYTH lets you bridge the divide between analogue sounds — be it human voice, music instrument or everyday sounds — and synthetic sound by re-synthesising a sound sample as an “IRIS”. Each of the two IRISes incorporate four tone generators using one analogue sound sample — roughly 100 come with the synth — wrapped in a multi-segment envelope generator (MSEG) with 500 segments, visualised as coloured lines radiating outwards from the centre. By adding an envelope and/or a LFO (low-frequency oscillator) you can cycle through the entire range of sounds available from the IRIS once or repeatedly.

The approach implies that MYTH’s two IRISes aren’t static like traditional oscillators are, which means that even used pure, the sound they produce is lively. A second level to energise the IRISes are MYTH’s Transformers — knobs for FM and harmonics, knobs to skew towards saw or square wave, to add more string- or brass-like character, add noise, etc.

With the Transformers you can blend and transform the IRIS’s four tones along its 500 MSEG segments. As you can modulate pretty much everything in MYTH with an added capacity to create an unlimited array of modulators, the inherent motion of the IRISes multiplied by Transformer modulation enables you to produce dynamic sounds with a unique character.

But MYTH doesn’t stop there. The synth also comes with a large number of filters and effects of which some have been modelled on existing analogue pedals and modules, while others are brand new. The Orbit filter, for example, is based on planetary motion. And as the modulation system can be entirely customised and made dynamic itself, you can easily avoid the repetitive character of traditional synthesiser sound.

A dream for cinematic sound design

I tested MYTH by feeding it samples ranging from spoken voice to a few notes played on a cello, violin, trombone, tuba, an ocarina, harp, timpani, and piano. The results were astonishingly original, never boring or even repetitive. Except for its new approach to tone generation, MYTH has a lot of filters — including some you won’t find in any other digital synth. It has one oscillator section (OSC) per IRIS — in addition to one arpeggiator, one global filter, and two global effects sections. As each section can be used to daisy-chain up to six filters, distortion or other effects, the number of possible sound effecting combinations is pretty much unlimited.

The OSC section in particular lets you further refine the sound of each IRIS independently, expanding the number of possible unique sounds you can create beyond the IRISes on their own. In addition, the section’s RAW module enables blending in traditional sound waves with those of the corresponding IRIS while you can modulate its Mix knob to create a pulsing motion between the IRIS sound and WAVE’s. Yet more flexibility and power comes from ROUTE, a module that splits the OSC chain in two parallel effect chains. All of this lets you create truly unique sounds with MYTH.

Verdict

MYTH is a dream for cinematic sound designers and composers. While its sample re-synthesis algorithm allows for a much bigger pool of unique sounds to begin with, the dynamic nature of the IRIS model permeates the entire signal chain, enabling you to create sound that is much more alive than with traditional digital synthesisers.

This is further amplified by the ability to use and modulate filters, effects and utilities such as gain and equalisation in multiple sections, so that modifiers can be applied per IRIS as well as on a global scale. The combination with the IRIS’s dynamism can result in a much richer, fatter, more vibrant sound than what you can achieve with most other synth plugins.

MYTH is available for a regular retail price of $179, but for the time being you can have the synth for $125. I highly recommend you at least try MYTH in its 90-day unlimited trial version. I’m pretty confident you’ll want to convert that into the full deal.

 

Tags: Audio Featured Review

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