Recreating that Paulstretch/Timefreezer sound

Mar 4, 2012 at 8:26am

Recreating that Paulstretch/Timefreezer sound

I’ve been trying to solve this problem for ages, but I just can’t get there. I tried a bunch of granular solutions, but none of them really worked out or sounded anything like what I wanted to achieve.

I’m pretty sure what I want to do is take a single, really long FFT window, and then hold that spectral envelope. I’m lost at sea when it comes to fft though. Is there some way to trigger a “recording” of a single window with a bang, then taking that list and just holding it as is?

Basically, I want to take some audio in (of any kind) then hit a button and just make the sound “stop” and stay as it is.

Mar 4, 2012 at 9:32am

take a look at this from Jean-François Charles

There’s a bunch of patches that you can download by him as well including various freezes (link on the blog, but they’re here anyway

Mar 4, 2012 at 11:30am

Huzzah! Thanks!

Mar 4, 2012 at 11:56am

There are different ways to achieve a freeze effect.
A granular freeze can work really well in my opinion.
A fft freeze is also an option. You might want to look into this tutorial too:–-part-i/
But there’s also the option of a reverb freeze,
or a delay freeze, which is just a bank of delays with infinite feedback.
I think the last one is most CPU friendly, but it gives you less parameters to control.

Mar 5, 2012 at 10:56am

Hmm, I hadn’t thought about a delay freeze to be honest… can’t believe I hadn’t. Granular stuff always ended up sounding really machine like, just sort of like gears grinding. That can obviously be a lot of fun, and useful but not for what I mainly have in mind.

Thanks for the input! I might give the freeverb + freeze a go too, but I think I’m liking the idea of a spectral freeze the most cause it means I can get right in there and tweak the amplitude on the frequency bands.

Mar 5, 2012 at 12:01pm

I always get this machine-like sound with spectral techniques.
But actually with all of them. It’s just a matter of taste and it depends on what you want I guess.
You can look at my attempt at a granular freeze effect.
This version is just monophonic, but I usually make it polyphonic.

(Btw. that Paulstretch plug-in is badass.)

Mar 5, 2012 at 12:22pm

Here it is.

Mar 5, 2012 at 1:01pm

if you’re looking for an alternate freeze that sounds a bit more like what paulsstretch is doing, than you can check out vb.freezer~ (osx), which you can find here:

some time ago i’ve also done an emulation of the stretching engine of paulsstretch as a max external, plus a few additional features.
if there is interest, i can put it online.

Mar 5, 2012 at 1:49pm
Mar 5, 2012 at 5:01pm

I would be interested in that external Volker!

Mar 5, 2012 at 6:55pm

I would also be interested in that, Volker!


Mar 5, 2012 at 8:15pm

Pd topic sibling … more sources

Mar 5, 2012 at 8:19pm

volker, me too :-)
paul stretches max…that would be sweet.

Mar 5, 2012 at 9:32pm

+1 paul stretches external

Mar 5, 2012 at 9:33pm


grain.freeze by monolake does a great granular freeze of realtime audio that lets you scrub about in it, and it’s easily hackable for external control.

And I prefer using the M4L.vdelay~ abstraction that comes with the m4l install to do freeze things, since you can glitch in it at will. It’s handy, and sounds good with crossfades and such.

Mar 6, 2012 at 8:46pm

The “core” of paulstretch is actually pretty simple. It’s just a (big) FFT with the phase spectrum replaced by random values.

At least that was the case with the first release. I haven’t checked out the latest release yet…

Mar 6, 2012 at 10:03pm

ok, you can find the external (osx) here:

please note, it’s based on the same idea as paulstretch but it’s not the same source code, so it doesn’t sound exactly the same (but pretty similar), and has a different feature set.

let me know if you run into problems, it’s not heavily tested.

Mar 6, 2012 at 10:36pm

Thanks Volker!!

Mar 7, 2012 at 7:59am

Sounds great Volker!

Mar 7, 2012 at 9:37am

vielen dank volker, sounds really nice and has its own character.

Mar 7, 2012 at 12:58pm

mudang! Big thanks, I knew there was something more than just holding a spectral window going on. I tried just adding some chorus to fatten up my results bit didn’t really work out like expected.


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