ForumsNews ← Vutu: Sound analysis for Sumu.


*** updated with latest Mac and Windows links ***

I've just posted a public beta of Vutu for MacOS (edit: and now for WIndows!). Vutu is the sound analysis program for the upcoming Sumu synthesizer.



A Vutu quickstart video is also online now. I haven't had a chance to write any better documentation yet, and I"m not sure I will before I get the Sumu beta out. However, Vutu in its current form is pretty simple anyway, and most of what you need to know you can find out by fooling around with the dials and listening and looking.

Vutu analyzes sounds using Loris, developed by Kelly Fitz and Lippold Haken at the CERL Sound Group. A detailed intro to Loris is available on Current Research in Real-time Sound Morphing More publications are also linked from the CERL Sound Group Loris page. Loris is distributed under the GNU General Public License (GPL) and thus, Vutu is also. Vutu's source is available on Github.

Vutu is built on a cross-platform GUI framework I developed called mlvg. Compiling it for Windows and Linux should therefore be a reasonably easy task, but I know there will be a bunch of details to iron out, so I'm not taking that on until after I can make a Sumu beta.

That was a lot of info and links. Why would you want to play with Vutu right now? Some reasons might be:

  • You want to get started making your own sound bank for Sumu.
  • You have to try out the newest audio software, whatever it is, and this was just released today.
  • You enjoy looking at bandwidth-enhanced partials and hearing odd noises.

Each voice of Sumu will be able to play back 64 bandwidth-enhanced partials simultaneously. A bandwidth-enhanced partial is basically a single sine wave, modulated with noise. So at any given instant of time, in addition to frequency, amplitude and phase, it also has a bandwidth, or noisiness. Making sounds out of such partials is a very powerful technique, and I think it's pretty easy to grasp. What's been difficult about additive synthesis is the large amount of control data that's needed. How do you generate it all? My answer in Sumu is to use the familiar patchable interface, but extended so that each patch cord carries separate signals for each partial. This allows sound design in a playful, exploratory way that should be familiar to any modular user. Honestly I think it will be fun as hell.

Thanks to Kelly Fitz and Lippold Haken for creating and sharing Loris. Thanks also to Greg Wuller for helping me get going with the Loris source code, and for utu, which became Vutu. Utu is a Finnish word for "mist" or "fog", like Sumu. Vutu is short for visual utu.

Vutu requirements

A Metal-capable Mac running MacOS 10.14 (Mojave) or greater.
Vutu is native for Intel and Apple Silicon.
Since it's an analyzer and not a real-time program (except for playing the results), CPU doesn't really matter.

"Hi Zef, I didn't see this until now—release in December." December 2024 ?

Same as last year. It's ok. But dont get your hopes up.

Software is ready when it's ready--but Sumu came extraordinarily far in 2023 and I suspect we'll see it soon. Happy New Year!

Hello Randy is the Windows version of VUTU finalized. I could beta test it while waiting for Sumu??
Warm regards

Hi, Vutu on Windows is not ready either, they will come out at the same time.

Is sumu still a thing ?
I recall hearing it was maybe out end of the year :)
How close are we to release


just got SUMU was happily playing around, it sounds amazing, and launched vutu and was messing w/some partials.. then went back to logic to mess with SUMU some more.. imported partials. all worked well. took a break, came back and all sound was dead on laptop.. couldn't figure it out. quit out of everything and forgot VUTU was in the background. VUTU had taken over all sound on the laptop. took priority. once i quit it all was fine. just an FYI in case someone else has the experience. VUTU wants priority of audio and will killed audio to everything else on M1, Sonoma.

Just got SUMU too its amazing !!! Finally.
It would be amazing if it was possible to drop file rather than import manually. Small hassle but heh

Anyway if its never implemented its ok! Amazing tools

Thanks for the nice feedback :-)

You can't drag and drop because there are so many controls that affect the way a sound is analyzed, it's not possible to do as an automatic process.

And also for legal reasons!

Trying to import partials, and the mythical "..." in the "upper right corner" of the VST is missing on the windows version. What am I missing? It isn't there in the manual "An Annotated Map of Sumu" either, is it?

Trying to import partials, and the mythical "..." in the "upper right corner" of the VST is missing on the windows version.

In this case it's in the upper right corner of the partials module you need. There's a [...] there that brings up a popup menu with one choice in it: "import folder..."

Sorry if the manual had it wrong.

OK - the manual had it right. So where is the '...' in the tuning module? The one for settings like midi channels?

"MIDI CCs (continuous control) you selected in the hidden settings (available by clicking the three dots in the corner of the module)."

And a random recommendation - set the polyphony to 4 for all presets, and let the user add as needed. Having so many patches crackle and pop is a downer - I could go through every preset and re-save with a setting appropriate for my computer (which is a decent PC), but I think that running out of polyphony is a subtle less-offensive problem by comparison.

Imported audio files are played back too fast in VUTU on my system (Mac Mini M1, Sonoma), no matter what resolution they are. What am I overlooking?

EDIT: problem solved, should have downloaded the installer with the last given link...

And a random recommendation - set the polyphony to 4 for all presets, and let the user add as needed.

Thanks, that's the idea. I just missed a few when I was getting Early Access out.

So where is the '...' in the tuning module? The one for settings like midi channels?

The manual has this wrong, sorry. It didn't get implemented for the first release.

Apparently it works fine under Monterey (Mac OS X 12.7.5.) _

Hi all, just starting out with Vutu. Last imports I've done the sound was played back slower/pitch was lowered. The first ones I imported this didn't happen.
for example I imported sone piano samples and the pitches were all correct but the love supreme bass motif was lowered by a semi tone (from Bb to A) and slower.
Is this normal? It happens with the .wav file before analysing or re synthesis

Vutu 0.99 on a Mac M1 Monterey 12

When you do the analysis in Vutu, you need to manually set the fundamental pitch for the sample. This is done with the "fundamental" dial at right. You can use "Fund. volume" to hear a test tone at that frequency.

I see what you're saying about before analysing though so I hear you had that covered. I'll leave it here in case it helps anyone else.

I'm guessing it's a sample rate problem where Vutu is not doing the right thing. a semitone is suspiciously close to 48000/44100. (1.06 vs. 1.08) Maybe your system is at 44100, the sample is at 48000 and it's not doing the right thing. Just a guess. Let me know if this seems to be the issue, for example if resampling the source before using Vutu fixes the problem.

yeah, randy. that did the trick. I just have been doing something right in the beginning without knowing it.


edit: on further analysis, it did not. don't know what happened when it worked, but trying again n a recorded piano piece the same one tone lower happens with recording either at 48K or 44.1K (running the sustem at 48K as usual).

I'm wondering if it wouldn't be possible to have vutu pick out the fundamental for tuning purposes itself? Just pick the dominant frequency. I guess that might fail when there isn't one... or if the sample is a multi-note phrase. Would be really cool if it would pick the dominant note out, and sumu could map it to the closest keyboard note, and do this for a 'multi-note phrase', so that you could play/scrub anywhere within the sample and have it keep the same note. Just dreaming of sumu 2.0

I can add this to Vutu sooner!

Randy - I imagine you could just sort your list in the .utu file by peak intensity and pick out the dominant root notes. Could probably just take the 'hottest' partial and use its frequency for any times where there isn't any dominant note (silence, noise, transients). Vutu is very cool, BTW!

Yeah this should be straightforward. Thanks for the good words!