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Recreating that Paulstretch/Timefreezer sound

March 4, 2012 | 8:26 am

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.

March 4, 2012 | 9:32 am

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

March 4, 2012 | 11:30 am

Huzzah! Thanks!

March 4, 2012 | 11:56 am

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.

March 5, 2012 | 10:56 am

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.

March 5, 2012 | 12:01 pm

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.)

March 5, 2012 | 12:22 pm

Here it is.

March 5, 2012 | 1:01 pm

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.

March 5, 2012 | 5:01 pm

I would be interested in that external Volker!

March 5, 2012 | 6:55 pm

I would also be interested in that, Volker!

March 5, 2012 | 8:15 pm

Pd topic sibling … more sources

March 5, 2012 | 8:19 pm

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

March 5, 2012 | 9:32 pm

+1 paul stretches external

March 5, 2012 | 9:33 pm


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.

March 6, 2012 | 8:46 pm

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…

March 6, 2012 | 10:03 pm

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.

March 6, 2012 | 10:36 pm

Thanks Volker!!

March 7, 2012 | 7:59 am

Sounds great Volker!

March 7, 2012 | 9:37 am

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

March 7, 2012 | 12:58 pm

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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Forums > MaxMSP