StringPort from Keith McMillen Instruments (KMI) has opened up a world of synthesis for string players previously inhabited only by keyboardists, and is now shipping to progressive violinists internationally. StringPort is a polyphonic string-to-USB 2.0 converter – not a MIDI converter – with a unique, powerful, and extensible software suite that greatly expands the synthesis and processing palette of violinists.
“String players have been non-entities and not allowed into the computer music world because usable tools were not available to them,” states Keith McMillen, founder of KMI. “The low amount of latency and large bandwidth of StringPort allows string players to capture all aspects of their performance, including such details as bow noise and brightness. And each string can be recording to its own audio track for future editing and processing.”
StringPort’s sophisticated analog front-end combined with 24bit converters and software drivers specifically designed for low latency allows the audio from each of the instrument’s strings to be accurately conveyed to the host computer. A vast suite of software provides violinists with serious tools that supply polyphonic processing, detailed analysis, and refined synthesis control. StringPort can also output accurate notation or tablature suitable for use with standard scoring programs.
This product is differentiated from other interfaces by not only its affordable price and tiny footprint, but that the industry standard D13 connector is used for audio interface. StringPort maintains the emotional content of stringed instruments by avoiding the limits of MIDI and transferring polyphonic audio directly to the computer. Comprehensive methods of analysis then provide continuous pitch, loudness, brightness, noise content, even/odd harmonic ratio, and other powerful acoustic descriptors for control of software synthesis. Advanced polyphonic signal processing includes a phase driven wave table synth, a VST wall as well as an advanced DSP modifier per string.
Future StringPort software releases will support guitars, bass, and other stringed instruments. The StringPort hardware is the same for all instruments.
McMillen opened up the world of electronic music to string players when he started Zeta Music and built what has become the “gold standard” for electric string instruments. Since then he has invented the first programmable mixer for Akai; lead the research and development department at Gibson and Oberheim; he produced the popular Volume Logic multiband processing plug-in for iTunes and brought over 100 cutting edge products to market. Since its inception in 2005, KMI has created K-Bow Bluetooth Sensor Bow and Batt-O-Meter, the first battery tester for musicians. Touring with clunky gear lead McMillen to the KMI mission of freeing musicians to focus on their performance, not their technology.
Explore the depths of the StringPort software by downloading free demo software from www.keithmcmillen.com/products/stringport.
StringPort is currently sold direct to violinists from KMI’s website, www.keithmcmillen.com, at $499 US, a price less than most audio interfaces.