New to the Sensel Morph touchpad’s control applications, Spectral Shatsu for Max For Live by Cycling ’74 is ‘a unique instrument that utilises the Morph’s ability to detect touch and pressure to change your perspective on the very nature of time and sound’.

Sensel Spectral ShatsuWhen a sound file (or picture) is loaded into Spectral Shiatsu, the software analyses it and creates a map of all frequencies and their volumes over time. This sonograph is then mapped to the Sensel Morph, where touching and pressing on the surface ‘revelas’ and plays the sound's components from any time in the recording – ‘you can then quite literally massage your way around a sound, pressing harder to uncover more of it, or caressing lightly to gently play a small part’.

‘Computers have millions of ways to manipulate sounds. Spectral Shiatsu and the Sensel Morph lets us explore some of these with our hands,’ says Sensel Product Strategist and Morph frontman. Peter Nyboer. ‘Artists and designers are all quite familiar with ‘massaging’ and ‘teasing’ their work, 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.’

Spectral Shiatsu requires downloading the Max For Live device, install it in an Ableton library, then adding it to a Midi Track. Then, sound files from can be dragged from the Live Browser, Clip Grid or file system onto the device and played with fingers on the Morph.

Those without a Morph can also explore Spectral Shiatsu with their mouse or touchpad.

Spectral Shiatsu is presently an ‘experimental release’; Sensel admits that there are ‘some quirks and complex calculations involved’, so it can be heavy on CPU power. A full tutorial can be found on Sensel’s YouTube channel.


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