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Synfire 2.0 Preview

Autor andre

Although there's still a long way to go, I will begin sharing the first sneak previews into what's going on behind the scenes, starting this weekend. So be sure to check out this thread the next days ;-)


Sa., 12.09.2020 - 11:46 Permalink

Ooooo, super. Thanks Andre. Synfire Pro 1.10.10 Build #1 (Mac) is latest version 29.05.2020. But I know that 29.07.2020 version is here before. What is going on ? İs it any problem so that you changed ? 

Sa., 12.09.2020 - 14:48 Permalink

There is a new build 1.10.11 for the Mac listed under 'Patches' in user accounts, but that's not really an official release. We merely fixed slow graphics output on very large screens.

So., 13.09.2020 - 19:08 Permalink

I must admit this is taking longer than expected, but here's a first look already into the revamped Audio & MIDI Setup. Many of the changes here are indicative of a lot of things to expect next.

To throw in a few other details, Audio Engine 4.0 adds support for VST3 and, among other things, there will be an additional MIDI Effects Drone that loads into your DAW to feed it with MIDI streamed from Synfire directly (to play Logic X internal instruments, for example). 

In the next video I will show some of the new Library, which will take a very prominent role in version 2 (hint: it's also generating phrases). In the third video to come, we'll get a first look at the new arrange window.


Mo., 14.09.2020 - 20:02 Permalink

 like the midi plugin approach, I almost sent a feature request for that very thing.  Being able to operating on instruments in Logic while just using Synfire as essentially a giant complex midi plugin, rather then hosting instruments inside Synfire, etc..is a preferable mode of operation for me.  Kudos on that.  Looking forward to hearing more about future release.

Di., 15.09.2020 - 02:09 Permalink

Thank you Andre!

Love the new interface and easyness of sound selection!  



Mo., 21.09.2020 - 19:55 Permalink

Right in this moment, I'm in the final steps of refining exciting stuff with KIM Factories that I can't wait to show you. This is work still red hot in the making, but I hope to get it presentable in 1-2 days. This generative stuff is so groovy and fun, I often find myself jumping out of the seat without noticing. That's probably a good sign ;-)

Do., 24.09.2020 - 21:32 Permalink

Still working on the video. Crashes still pop up often and lead into a rabbit hole of code changes that are difficult to predict.

Here's a few screenshots for today, at least, so you can have a quick look already and imagine what's to come.

The images are listed below (full resolution).

Do., 24.09.2020 - 22:17 Permalink

Finally... I have been waiting for this for a long time. I feel you have even more so. True AI style phrase building from the looks of things.

Will we be able to do this with our own pre existing phrase libraries?

I have an extensive collection i have built up over the years

Very excited for what now will be possible. Will this work with classical and film style orchestrations?

Can't wait to hop into the drivers seat!


"Loving your work, Cowboy!"  (quoting Ilya Kuryachin's character to Han Solo in the Man from U.N.C.L.E. movie) 

Fr., 25.09.2020 - 08:05 Permalink

Will this work with classical and film style orchestrations?

Yes. The idea is to generate rhythmically consistent fragments that you can drag & drop from your generated libraries into a counterpoint arrangement to compose build-ups and other parts. Most pop/rock/dance users have little grasp of ostinato, crescendo, accelerando, staccato, legato, etc. but might embrace these terms once they see a strong use case ;-)

I have an experimental feature that extracts rules from existing phrases. Nothing perfect, though. What you can do is re-use the rhythm of any phrase and generate different melodies based on that.

Eventually it might make sense to expose the new KIM language to end users, so everyone can write their own factories, but at this time there is no time to even think of writing another 600 page manual ...

Fr., 25.09.2020 - 08:56 Permalink

Thanks Andre. I think ıt is so excited. I don’t believe manual is useful. Maybe a brief video about synfire pro for all parts more useful . May I ask a question? I use synfire pro as a songwriter. So that I need vocal wav with synfire pro. Can we import wav in synfire pro 2. I know Synfire pro is a midi processor software. Maybe There is a way Only

to import audio files. If import wav is possible on synfire pro we don’t need to use DAW. Thanks for great support.

Fr., 25.09.2020 - 09:20 Permalink

Rather than writing a 600 page manual, you're better of using the wiki on this site Andre, and adding to that over time, I'd suggest.

Fr., 25.09.2020 - 16:21 Permalink

KIM is a full-blown rules based programming language, not unlike Prolog. No chance anyone learns this without proper instruction and documentation. I'll need some raw documentation myself, or in a year or so I'll be unable to write factories. But there are more obstacles to exposing a development environment in Synfire with syntax coloring, parser, compiler, debugger, etc. I'm glad it works for now.

The 2.0 user manual will be online, based on a DITA database, so it can be maintained and extended as needed.

Sorry, no WAV tracks yet. Mostly because the Audio Engine has no GUI for that yet.

Fr., 25.09.2020 - 16:53 Permalink

I read the word "online" in one sentence of your last posting in a place I rather not want to see this word.

Please make it so that Synfire 2 runs without an Internet connection.

Fr., 25.09.2020 - 18:07 Permalink

The GUI looks modern, I like it.

Will SF 2 bring any changes to voice leading rules? And maybe a simplification of horizontal/vertical scales? Even after years with (on and ... mostly off times) I finde it hard to understand and the results often lack of convincing voice leading....

Sa., 26.09.2020 - 01:56 Permalink

KIM sounds extremely interesting to me.  I am retired software engineer and will look forward very much to being able to use something like that.  Please PM me if there is anything I can do to help during development.

Di., 29.09.2020 - 08:59 Permalink

Eventually it might make sense to expose the new KIM language to end users, so everyone can write their own factories...

I fully support this idea. That's exactly what I dream about! By the way, why "KIM"? Is it an acronym?

Fr., 09.10.2020 - 23:42 Permalink

My brother. One audio track is essential. We really need to be able to chord a melody while listening to the vocal. While this is practical on my home setup, it's not really practical on a laptop when I am traveling. I REALLY don't want to sync it to another DAW while I am on a laptop. That really sucks.


Fr., 23.10.2020 - 20:54 Permalink

I'm late to the party, but this is all very exciting.

V2 looks great.

Hopefully the upgrade is free. hehe. If not, I'll still pay. It's worth it.

Synfire is so unique and powerful. Sometimes it's too powerful.  I have designed great sounding, seemingly reasonable tunes that I coudn't play on guitar within a reasonable amount of time. I have learned to temper my approach and consider my personal limitations as a musician.  That's how powerful this software is! You literally need to be careful to not burst a musician's ego and go beyond their capabilities. A great problem to have!

Not an issue for pure in-the-box / electronic compositions or top tier virtuosso musicians, but sadly, I'm in neither camp. 

Keep up the great work. I can't wait to get my grubby hands on the next release.


Mi., 02.12.2020 - 12:46 Permalink

Hi Andre,

I do not want to be one of those people obsessed with updates always asking for the next one, but is there a place where we can check the roadmap and see a timeline of expected 2.0 arrival?

Kind Regards,


Fr., 04.12.2020 - 18:32 Permalink

I'm sorry you still have to wait. Just wanted to let you know things are going extremely well here. During the past several weeks, I went down a number of rabbit holes, many more than anticipated, along endless fractal lines, entering into a wonderland that is beyond my original imagination. This will be HUGE. I don't have a penchant for hyperbole, but this really works out so well, so musically sound, I'm sure it will knock your socks off!

Cognitone took a big risk investing in uncharted territory that is unpredictably costly to explore. The KIM language had only vague contours at first, and it could not be evaluated without actually implementing it to 90%. We put all eggs in one basket, for more than three years now, so it is a big relief that my intuition finally proved right.

As always, the last 5% take the most time, but we're almost there now. There is a lot of room for future enhancement, but I think it is important to make a cut at some point and let real world users get their hands dirty. Can't wait to see all of you extract a hell of fresh music out of it ;-)

We're getting closer by the day ...

Fr., 04.12.2020 - 19:07 Permalink

What are you not telling us Andre? Is KIM sentient? Will it just take over my music, or my toaster and TV as well? Should I get my EMF pulse ready?

Fr., 04.12.2020 - 20:00 Permalink

As i may believe it all , then Synfire is now becoming revolutionary and not from this world. 

Sa., 19.12.2020 - 14:29 Permalink

Hi Andre, with the VST 3 support, will a single device be able to address multiple ports of the VST 3 instruments. Current limitation with VST 2 of course is one port and 16 channels. Thanks in advance.

Mi., 23.12.2020 - 23:22 Permalink

Ok, I could no longer wait. Had to make this short 5 minutes preview for you right now. It's really only a quick glance for first impressions. No voice over yet, because it's late here already and I really have to get a break ;-)

At the beginning, I demonstrate how rhythm is generated, which is the basis of phrase synthesis. After a brief look into generating harmony, I do a few quick clicks through different phrases that are 100% KIM output. I'll go into more detail in a follow-up video later.

A KIM Factory basically works like a modular synth, only that it generates phrases instead of sound. After a while you get used to the controls and operate them much like ADSR, MOD, WAVEFORM etc. Once you have a setting that generates a good phrase, you can expect every 3rd to 5th click to produce a wonderful variant of it full of surprises and inspiration. After a hundred clicks or so, your head starts spinning and it begins to dawn on you that you are about to get lost in music. That's when the "Keep Only Favorites" function comes in handy. It deletes everything but the phrases you liked. A big relief that not only frees up megabytes of memory, but also hands you a collection of unique phrases that have never seen this planet before ...

Happy Holidays!

Do., 24.12.2020 - 03:18 Permalink

Looks incredible Andre. Truly amazing work. Enjoy your break & Happy Holidays to you! 


Do., 24.12.2020 - 03:40 Permalink

I always knew you would bring Synfire and us to this place! Congratulations on what you have accomplished with 2.o. Truly amazing how the possibilities for endless creative inspiration open up! Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!

Do., 24.12.2020 - 15:57 Permalink

Hello Andre,

you can be really very satisfied with what you showed us. I am already very excited about what you will be able to show us more.

Do you plan to be able to determine settings for the variation of the velocity when creating rhythms?

So., 27.12.2020 - 10:56 Permalink

I'd be very surprised if the new version does much more parallel processing than before. It isn't something you can just add to a program, like another feature.

So., 27.12.2020 - 17:41 Permalink

Synfire does parallel computing already, albeit not on separate CPU cores. KIM doesn't need it. Smalltalk is an extremely fine-grained and huge network of objects. It isn't well suited for parallel number crunching. Since literally everything is an object, including classes, compilers and code (Oh, and nil is an instance of class UndefinedObject, so in Smalltalk even the null pointer responds to messages), you would have to deal with very complex synchronization challenges. Aside from bulk import of MIDI files, there is little use for multi-core. That the Audio Engine runs on a separate core is already very helpful.

Smalltalk's strengths are with knowledge representation, inferencing, huge network-like data structures, generic algorithms, non-local returns (backtracking), and building compilers/interpreters for new languages like KIM. Stuff other languages do not support. Much of this extreme dynamism would even be slower if implemented in C++ due to its memory management.

(sorry for the technical gobbledygook, but as some of you are IT pros, everyone else please forgive me)

Do you plan to be able to determine settings for the variation of the velocity when creating rhythms?

Yes, that's already done. Velocity has huge influence on a phrase.

with the VST 3 support, will a single device be able to address multiple ports of the VST 3 instruments

Good point, I'll have to check that.

So., 27.12.2020 - 19:01 Permalink

If I put AI constraints aside, for programming language limitations, I run multiple instances of the same app in the terminal, which converse with the main application (like Engine and Synfire). This also has many advantages on the RAM side, because I kill the instances as soon as I no longer need them ...

Do., 31.12.2020 - 17:54 Permalink

I run multiple instances of the same app

Absolutely. That could be one way of doing long running heavy-duty work like mass MIDI file import. It's still a challenge to do right.

Ok, so now this will be the last preview video this year:

There's one mistake in it that bugs me: Of course, if you want a basso ostinato, you'll choose blue (horizontal) symbols and push them to lower playing range. In the video, I left it with bass symbols, which however follow the chord progression.

As we are at it, for lack of a better term, Ostinato is used very broadly here, meaning the repeated occurrence of the same pitch. Although, depending on symbol type, this will not always lead to the same pitch.

Hopefully everyone of us will have a better 2021. I'm certainly looking forward!

Do., 31.12.2020 - 21:27 Permalink

Thanks Andre

I see a lot of use potential for the re-use drag and drop parameters.

I think with this sort of approach, automation will be important. It should be possible to programmatically access the functions, to reduce clickage.

Have a well deserved happy new year when it comes!

Di., 05.01.2021 - 14:16 Permalink

Man, I can't wait. Synfire has made me an incredibly good composer. It wouldn't have happened without Synfire. Thank you for all your hard work.