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Future developments of Sound Particles - Nuno Fonseca - 05-28-2016

What is your opinion regarding future developments of "Sound Particles"?
What should be our priority?

- A Windows version?
- A AAX plug-in for ProTools?
- Ability to import CGI scenes from CGI software (Maya, Blender, etc.)?
- Improving the Mac version?
- Game engine support (e.g. Wwise, FMOD)?
- Object Audio (e.g. full Dolby Atmos support)?
- A simple Doppler AAX plug-in?


RE: Future developments of Sound Particles - davidmortara - 05-30-2016

Hello Nuno,

Let me first say that Sound Particles is a fantastic concept and piece of software, which I discovered by it being featured for a week on the Apple App Store a couple of months ago.

What do I like about it?

Well, I like that your software automatically adjusts calculations, depending on the numbers of particles, so that the resultant output never clips and yet full dynamic range is preserved. I like that your software can deal with input sample sounds of different sample rates, transparently. I also like that you have managed to keep CPU overheads relatively low, considering that your software can use up to millions (what’s the limit?) of particles to generate an output. That is important when using a laptop, which doesn’t have the headroom of a dedicated workstation.

Judging by your poll answers, perhaps I am not your typical or target potential customer?

I presume most customers will be working in sound design for moving pictures: films, cartoons and gaming?

Rather, I am a performing musician working with one-shot percussion samples triggered using hand percussion pads (Roland Handsonic HPD-20), which I use in live performance. I have downloaded your demo software and I have been experimenting with this to “thicken up” mono one-shot percussion samples and spread them across a stereo sound-field. I also use it to create swirly, dense percussion effects, like hoof rattles and rain-sticks.

For doing this, Sound Particles is fantastic!

Personally, predictability of results is an issue when using “randomness” to model sound as it occurs in complex sound fields — so, I really appreciate the recent addition of more templates with example outcomes, such as those for producing doppler and other movement effects and for faking reverberation. This has made Sound Particles much easier to use.

So, what could be useful future generation improvements for me?

Anything that cuts down on: mouse clicks; opening and closing windows; key presses; and iterations; getting me to the sound or effect I want faster – what I understand as the “speeding up of workflow” – has got to be a way to go.

Examples?

It would be great to be able to set parameters (such as delay or detune, say) using sliders, to get into roughly the right “ball park”, and thereafter fine-tune. Clicking and typing in lots of parameter numbers from the get-go is a chore.

The way sample sounds are chosen could be tightened and speeded up. At the moment, Sound Particles does not remember the folder in which the last sound sample was chosen, meaning that one has to go back in at the root and drill down each time one loads a sample. That is a huge chore.

I am a Mac user, so I am not particularly interested in a Windows version of Sound Particles.

Because I am not working with moving pictures, developing plug-ins is not important to me – I am quite happy that Sound Particles is a standalone product, although I can see that being able to access Sound Particles as a plug-in within a host piece of software, like Pro Tools or Media Composer, or within the Adobe Creative Cloud suite, might be an in-demand capability from sound designers who are working to moving pictures.

I would say this. If you do go down the plug-in route you might find that this “cheapens” how your Sound Particles software is perceived by customers. For instance, correcting camera shake in digital photos used to require quite expensive standalone software. Now, it is a incorporated as a plug-in within Adobe Photoshop at no extra cost.

That brings me to price.

As I say, I am a performing musician and working on a very limited budget. Film studios, and the sound designers who work for them, won’t even think twice about the list price of purchasing your software or upon the hardware on which it runs. For me, it’s a different proposition and the £229 charged in the UK is a lot of money for me to pay for any software.

If you were to offer the sound design portions of your software without the sound-to-picture capabilities, which I don’t use, at a cheaper price then that would be very welcome.

Again, looking forward, if you have protected the intellectual assets underpinning your software, then companies will surely approach you either to licence the technology or to buy you out (if they haven’t already)?

About this, I offer you a cautionary tale. I worked very briefly for Sibelius, the company that produced preeminent software used for music notation, which was originally developed and owned privately by twin brothers Ben and Jonathan Finn and heralded as a sensation, having a loyal band of staunch users. The Finn brothers subsequently sold Sibelius to what they thought was a “safe pair of hands” market leading company who they thought would invest in developing the software further…

The story of what happened next is well documented on the Internet and I am sure you will find it to be interesting reading and food for your thought!

I hope that you find the above information valuable and useful?


RE: Future developments of Sound Particles - Sassota - 05-31-2016

Just bought Sound Particles and my primary use is to position sound objects on 360 videos. Very intuitive and saves me a lot of time. To me, I think the position system could be more complete, for example, my workflow consists in 2 views, one is the movie and the other is top view (allowing me to change distance from viewer), one thing that I miss is the possibility to change the path that the particle will take using control points. I think that if the path and keyframes of selected particle were visible on Top View, I could have more control over trajectory, like creating circular and random paths.

Tks again Nuno, it is an impressive software.


Daniel Sasso


RE: Future developments of Sound Particles - rene_coronado - 05-31-2016

Hi Nuno,

in my opinion, the best place to focus your energy at the moment is to continue stabilizing and refining the current mac version. I was able to crash the initial release version in all kinds of fun and interesting ways. I haven't gotten to really work the latest update through its paces yet, so hopefully much of what I was experiencing has been resolved, but the software really does have to keep up with quite a lot and I'm sure that you've got to do some creative coding to keep it from spinning out of control when a lot is asked of it.

So my vote is to continue to refine and polish the mac version. I'm sure you're getting tons of feature requests, and I'll bet that just working on that and bugs can occupy you for quite a while before expanding out into other areas.