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Easy Formants for Renoise 2.8 [English]



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Since I’ve deleted by mistake the Bit_Arts initial work that showed it was possible to build a native formant filter in Renoise, I had high hopes to rebuild another similar one from the start. I’ve read some interesting articles for that.

So for example, this demo is once again based on this S.o.S webpage :

Formants can be seen as a set of 3 parallel bandpass filters ; 5 voyels are emulated by defining specific bandpass frequencies in 3 mixed BP filters.

The input sound should be « pulse-modulated » / distorded (shift model) or (why not) Lofimatized (Bitcrushed) for better results.

The 3 Frequencies are defined in a 3×5 matrix :

  •      « ee » sounds like « leap » F1=270Hz F2=2300Hz F3=3000Hz
  •      « oo » sounds like « loop » F1=300 F2=870Hz F3=2250Hz
  •      « i » sounds like « lip » F1=400 F2=2000Hz F3=2550Hz
  •      « e » sounds like « let » F1=530 F2=1850Hz F3=2500Hz
  •      « u » sounds like « lug » F1=640 F2=1200Hz F3=2400Hz
  •      « a » sounds like « lap » F1=660 F2=1700Hz F3=2400Hz

If you define for any LFO an amplitude of 50% and an Offset of 42.30% then you can convert the previous values like that :

  • « ee » sounds like « leap » F1=0% F2=70.755% F3=81.509%
  • « oo » sounds like « loop » F1=2.222% F2=34.34% F3=70%
  • « i » sounds like « lip »  F1=9.811% F2=65.283% F3=70%
  • « e » sounds like « let » F1=18.113% F2=62.264% F3=74.151%
  • « u » sounds like « lug » F1=23.962% F2=46.038% F3=72.453%
  • « a » sounds like « lap » F2=25.094% F2=59.057% F3=72.45%

The problem was to « store » somewhere this 3×5 frequencies matrix. The solution came from Ragnar Aambø (TheBellows) that created a nice piece of random tune called « Invisible Melodies« . In this tune some notes are stored in custom LFOs with « points » and those custom LFOs points are triggered (one shot mode) with the modulated « Reset » button.

So following this example, Renoise can store the 15 specific frequencies (corr. to each vowel) in 3 custom LFOs and the frequency selection has to be made with a Hydra device pointing to the « Reset » of the LFOs.

Concerning the 3 filters, they can be found in the new Renoise « MultiTap » device that has « filtered » delay features. If you simply block delays, you can just use the filterings there without using routings or send tracks anymore (as show in previous techniques).

It makes the installation & setup of the Formants Filter Mechanism EASY to INSTALL and to TWEAK, you’ll just have to copypaste the chain contained in FMTS CTRL in any track you want, the track does all the job by itself.

Note that if you link the LFOs containing formant values, directly to the MultiTap Filters, then you’ll encounter a small problem of Robotized output, because transitions between formants are not sweet enough. That’s where kraken/gore comes 🙂 and brought us the « Inertial Slider » Secret *Formula Device Trick. If you check closely the chain you’ll see that I’ve inserted the Inertial Slider between the Filters and the Custom LFOs, so that transitions are more sweet and human. Since it sounds like the Intertia parameter found in the *Filter DSP device, I’ve renamed it Inertia directly but it’s a pure copypaste of kraken/gore’s work.

Concerning the values’ storage, in the LFOs, I’ve used the new « External Editor » to adjust precisely the point values : a PITA(!) but that hopefully worked.


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At first, SAVE the chain contained in the FMTS CTRL track. Give it the name you want. The file extension must be .XRNT.

Then IF you need a Formant Filter in your own module, THEN LOAD this previously saved chain in the desired track. It can be a standard track or a SEND track, it works too.

The Formant control is EASY and SIMPLE.

MODULATE the 3 parameters there :
(1) Formants – self explicit.
(2) Bandwidth – increase/decrease formant filters
(3) Humanize – human/robotic vocal transitions

Modifying Formants With the dedicated slider:

0 % ======================================>> 100 %
« ee » =====> « oo » =====> « i » =====> « e » =====> « u » =====> « a »

BTW : you can AUTOMATE the Formants slider as you wish, with lfos, with automation envelopes, with a key-tracker, anything works.


  •  Bit_Arts – showed that doing it in renoise was possible – many thanx for removing your links, it truely pushed me to move my ass and understand the whole mechanism by myself
  •  Sound On Sound – the BIBLE of hi-tech music recording industry
  •  The BellowsInvisible Melodies
  •  kraken/goreInertial Sliders (Secret *Formula Device Powered) Trick

Final Notes :

Thanx for reading
have fun with Renoise !


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