Sensel, the creators of the Morph multi-touch controller, today introduced Spectral Shiatsu, a free instrument for Max For Live that lets you ‘massage’ sounds.

Spectral Shiatsu uses the Morph’s ability to detect touch and pressure to give you a new way to interact with sounds. If you don’t have a Morph, you can use Spectral Shiatsu with a mouse or touchpad.

Here’s how it works:

When you load a sound file (or picture) into Spectral Shiatsu, it analyses it and creates a map of all the frequencies and their volumes over time.

This sonograph is then mapped to the Sensel Morph, so you can ‘massage’ the sound, pressing softly to play a small part or harder to play more of it.

“Artists and designers are all quite familiar with ‘massaging’ and ‘teasing’ their work,” says Sensel’s Peter Nyboer, “so we found a way to make this metaphor literal. You will definitely uncover some really unusual sonic textures, possibly even learning something about the nature of time and sound.”

Here are some examples of Spectral Shiatsu in action:

Pricing and Availability

Spectral Shiatsu is available now as a free download. Source code is available via Github.

Audio Synthtopia