Download Cognitone Synfire – software for music at a high level of abstraction
Experience a groundbreaking new technology that is able to understand and interpret music at a high level of abstraction. Following an entirely new approach, Synfire helps you put new ideas to life.
The following videos show why composing music is a challenge and how Synfire helps you develop new musical ideas. The second video provides an overview of the technology and features of Synfire:
Suppose you are working on a song or an orchestral work. In part, it’s already recorded in a DAW or set in a notation program and sounds quite ok. Somehow something is still missing, however. To be honest, there’s quite a lot that’s missing. Variety, for instance. It could need parts with different harmonies and instruments. Secondary voices, more depth. And as we are at it, those harmonies also seem a bit boring.
Now, where do you get different harmonies from? And once you’ve found them, how much work is involved to re-record all instruments to match the change? What if this still doesn’t cut it? Will you start over from scratch and repeat all this again and again? How many times a day can you go this roundturn before it’s getting cumbersome and demotivating? How much creative freedom can you live out this way in the first place?
In case you’re not a virtuoso instrumentalist, who’s playing all this for you in those countless variations?
In case you’re composing for orchestra, how cumbersome is it to edit all parts individually, in order to change the overall harmonic narrative across multiple measures?
Composing With Synfire
With Synfire, things are much easier: Imagine you’re simply clicking on harmonies on a colorful palette and your entire song follows your instructions. All instruments together, without a delay and across all keys!
You can drop figures on an instrument and Synfire will play something completely different, yet always fitting the song.
Imagine having hundreds of these figures and phrases and being able to insert them into any song at any place. And you can distort them, stretch, transpose, divide, combine, mirror, reverse, you name it. The same figure renders different music depending on where you place it. This way you can easily build up motifs and musically meaningful variations.
With Synfire you can even invent your own system of harmony and your song will happily follow it.
That’s Music Prototyping. That’s what you can do with Synfire!
Download link for Cognitone Synfire:
With Synfire you can judge your work from a comfortable distance. Focus on creative decisions, instead of getting lost in painstaking details and losing sight of your goal.
Synfire is an inexhaustible source of inspiration. Users that have worked with Synfire for a while can’t imagine how they would ever be able to do without it.
Creating Musical Substance
No, Synfire is not a Smash-Hit-At-Your-Fingertips entertainment gadget. It is powerful and deep enough to put you in full control over the details of your music, no matter if simple or complex. It works for all musical styles. There’s no canned music, stereotypes or genre limitations inside, that would constrain your creativity. It’s unlikely that anyone would guess you have used Synfire.
Synfire helps you build intellectual property: a composition. A composition is independent of the sounds and effects you use. It’s the musical substance that makes your work recognizable and original. It’s also what composers and songwriters get paid for.
Integration With Your Studio
Synfire is a comprehensive and powerful standalone application that hosts virtual instruments (VST/AudioUnits) and synchronizes with (almost) all popular DAWs at sample-precision. You have the option of working with your DAW at the same time, export to the DAW later, or compose entirely in Synfire. External hardware instruments are supported.
Synfire exports composed music immeditaley to the DAW via Drag & Drop, or writes MIDI files or notation formats (MusicXML, LilyPond).
The arrange window features four main areas: The Library (left, hidden most of the time), the Structure View (top, a tree of nested containers), the Instrument Sheet (middle) and the Parameter Area (right), where all parameters can be set per instrument. A musical score is composed of building blocks (containers), each of which contains playing instructions for any number of instruments. As these instructions (parameters) are inherited downwards the tree structure, changing a parameter at the top of the tree can have dramatic effects (e.g. replacing harmony).
The intelligent pattern recognition capabilities of Synfire support the most powerful MIDI import facility ever realized. It creates a symbolic model of the musical expressions contained in a file. This model can then be re-interpeted in any musical context. This means Synfire can actually understand music, which is a revolutionary achievement. You won’t find this anywhere else.
Other than Harmony Navigator, Synfire is not based on preset phrases or “styles” (although we will be providing some, in order to encourage beginners). Synfire fully supports your creativity and encourages original, personal work. Collect your own repository of motifs, themes and phrases – whether imported, sketched or recorded – in a library. Importing existing scores and adding their themes to your collection is a good idea to get started. In a typical situation, you will want to place a library window next the arrangement and drag phrases to and from your composition.
Phrases are the basic building blocks of an arrangement. They resemble playing instructions for “virtual musicians” who will translate them to real notes depending on the musical context. The same phrase creates different interpretations when moved to other locations in the score. It works in any environment, automatically cooperating with other instruments that are playing at the same time.
Sketching phrases is intuitive and easy. Their graphical appearance roughly resembles what a musician might have in his mind when improvising “live”. You will quickly forget about technical details in favor of your big picture. However, you propbably don’t want to sketch too many phrases by hand, because it’s rather easy to refine and optimize phrases you ave recorded “live” or imported from MIDI files.
(BTW: If you want to listen to the piano phrase above, look here under “Separation of Form and Content”)
Synfire supports Standard MIDI Files (SMF), MusicXML and LilyPond. MusicXML is ideal for being imported into third party notation software like Finale and Sibelius. A plug-in for that purpose is available from Recordare. This picture below illustrates how beautiful the LilyPond formatter renders scores.
LilyPond is free GNU software. Synfire seamlessly works together with your local installation of LilyPond, so you can have a look at your compositions without the need to always do the full export/import dance.
Harmony Made Easy
An instance of Harmony Navigator is included and fully integrated with Synfire. You can copy and paste progressions to your arrangement, or drag the around in part or as a whole. The screen shots are essentially the same (although more current and polished today) as for the standalone product Harmony Navigator. Screen shots of Harmony Navigator can be found here.
Helps you extract harmonic progressions interactively from arbitrary musical material (MIDI), whether recoprded, imported or sketched. You may even change the harmony of existing portions of your composition to follow an individual instrument.
Sounds And Instruments
Register your MIDI equipment with Synfire and it will automatically re-compose and adapt musical phrases to perfectly suit the sounds and their instrument characteristics as available in your studio.
System requirements for Synfire Pro:
Mac OS X 10.8 or later
Intel Mac with 2 CPU Cores @ 2 GHz
2 CPU Cores @ 2 GHz
4 GB RAM
2 GB Free disk space
1 MIDI Interface
1 USB Port, adapter or hub
1 USB Key PACE iLok 2 or 3
When working with audio plug-ins and sample libraries, 4 CPU cores and 8 GB RAM are recommended. Optional synchronization with a DAW and the use of Drones requires the DAW to support ReWire and plug-in standards VST, AudioUnits or AAX.
Internet connection is required for authorization and updates only.