German software developer Celemony is famed for its Melodyne application that offers an exceptionally musical — not to mention magical approach — to audio editing by accomplishing much more than previously thought possible: polyphonic note separation. Saying that, Melodyne inventor Peter Neubäcker is on record as saying, “Why no one had ever accomplished polyphonic note separation in this way before is something that even I don’t know. There’s no trick to it.” Be that as it may, Ultravox vocalist Midge Ure called it “…black magic!”
Melodyne, in fact, identifies notes and the relationships between them so users can modify each note to directly influence intonation, phrasing, and dynamics — not only with vocals and monophonic instruments, but also with polyphonic instruments such as pianos and guitars. In reality, it’s like being able to ask a pianist to play a specific note in a chord softer long after the recording session is over, yet retain its natural feel after editing it. Magic, indeed!
Little wonder, then, that in 2012 Celemony was awarded a Technical Grammy for “…contributions of outstanding technical significance to the recording field…” for Melodyne.
Celemony is not a ‘one-hit wonder’, with another application, Capstan, to its award-winning name. The appropriately-named Capston is capable of removing wow and flutter from recorded music — whether on tape, compact cassette, shellac, vinyl, or even wax cylinder, and has been used on many renowned restoration projects with remarkable results! Remarkably, this technological marvel runs on Mac or PC without any additional hardware.