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Creating powerful audio plugins

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November 18, 2007

Version 1.3.0 released.

This release contains many bug fixes:

- Many VST bugs were fixed
- Popup menu fixed in carbon views
- VST presets
- Default AU preset
- Color panel alpha fix
- New display module
- Fixed crash related to points presets

Download SonicBirth v1.3.0 (Universal binary)

Develop SonicBirth - fix bugs / add features.

March 18, 2007

Version 1.2.0 released.

SonicBirth is now freeware, and open source (GPL). We are looking for developer to further work on and enhance SonicBirth. Work for the major version of SonicBirth is starting. This next version will be a complete rewrite and a commercial product.

What is SonicBirth?

General overview SonicBirth Application Logo

SonicBirth is an AudioUnit designing application. The first in its category, it allows users to build their own AudioUnit plugins, either by working with existing circuits or by creating circuits completely from scratch. SonicBirth is also a free AudioUnits package, as it comes bundled with a set of plugins designed for standalone use as plugins as well as pre-constructed circuits to modify or build upon for creating new plugins. Whether you're looking for traditional eqs, compressors, and reverbs, or softsynths, distortion, and filters, etc., SonicBirth allows you unprecedented freedom and creativity over your sound.

SonicBirth is based on a powerful, flexible engine. Every plugin can be used in 32 bits or 64 bits for added precision. Since all plugins share this engine, any improvement in speed will benefit all of them.

Take a look at the visual tour to see how simple and powerful SonicBirth is.

SonicBirth got a special mention in the Apple Design Awards 2005.

Custom interfaces

SonicBirth allows you to easily create custom interfaces to your plugins. You can use images to create the background, and even your own knobs, faders, buttons, pads, etc, simply by drag & dropping an image file.

In host design
In host design

With SonicBirth, you can also create audio effects and instruments directly in the host, saving you time and allowing you to work directly in your usual environment. You can also use it to modify the behavior of third party AudioUnits by automatically modifying its parameters or by adding processing elements on its inputs or outputs.

The prebuilt plugins Plugin icon

These are the currently available, free and fully working, prebuilt plugins. New ones will be added over time.

  • Convolution reverb: Reverb using impulse responses.
  • Graphic equalizer: Linear phase convolving graphic equalizer.
  • Plugin interface
    Flying Monkey Synth: A powerful, flexible soft synt. Requires an AU host capable of loading cocoa guis.
  • Plugin interface
    Multiband Scraper: Degrades the bit depth and sample rate of the signal independantly over and under a user selectable frequency.
  • Plugin interface
    Simple Reverb: A simple reverb based on Jezar's Freeverb, with the the addition of a feedback delay line and selectable filter.
  • Plugin interface
    Multiband Freeverb: Jezar's Freeverb with a twist!
  • Plugin interface
    MIDI Filter: A MIDI controllable, lowpass/highpass selectable filter. Frequency is set by the note pressed.
  • Plugin interface
    Bassdrum: A bassdrum synthesizer, with variable slope, punch and distortion.
  • Plugin interface
    Rainy synth: A simple synth showing a filter used in an unusual way to create a new sound.
  • Plugin interface
    5 Band Eq: A five band, with variable center frequency, Q and gain, completely MIDI controllable.
  • Plugin interface
    20 Band Eq: Simply a basic twenty band eq.
  • Plugin interface
    Width Enhancer: Stereo width enhancer/nullifier.
  • Plugin interface
    Limiter: a seven stages, 2 ms look-ahead limiter.
  • Plugin interface
    Compressor: Audio compression with variable attack, release, threshold, and knee softness.
  • Plugin interface
    Gate: Audio gate with variable attack, release.
  • Plugin interface
    Valve Warmer: A warm valve distortion simulator.
  • Swamp Buffer: Record and replay live audio.
  • Funky repeater: Repeats parts of the signal depending on the envelope.
  • DC Blocker: Removes DC offset.
  • Hum remover: Removes 50 or 60 Hz hum.
  • Buff rice: Plugin created by Uli Reuter. Cyclic, hypnotic audio chop and replay (try it!).
  • More to come!

Developing and sharing your own plugin
Circuit design

SonicBirth allows you to modify the prebuilt plugins and create new ones from scratch. For example, you might want to take the Multiband Scraper, and make the frequency controllable via a MIDI keyboard instead of an on-screen slider.

You could take two circuits (elements patched together), and mix them in an original way! SonicBirth allows you to create and modify a plugin while it is playing, so you get immediate results.

Best of all, you can share the results with everyone! (If you wish, you may also submit your plugins for them to be bundled with the main application.)

Try it out!

Hop on to our download page and try the last version.

System Requirements

SonicBirth requires MacOS 10.3.9, QuickTime 7, and any host application that supports the AudioUnit or VST plugin format.

The first prototype of SonicBirth has been development as part of a university project at École Polytechnique de Montréal. It has since been developped as a full product.