'Shepard Designer’: Inouï Samples’ Concept of Creating Shepard Effect for Ultimate Expressiveness in Your Track

Make your sound original by transforming it into famous Shepard tone with various controls in easy.

The Music Telegraph | Text 2020/04/10 [12:03]

'Shepard Designer’: Inouï Samples’ Concept of Creating Shepard Effect for Ultimate Expressiveness in Your Track

Make your sound original by transforming it into famous Shepard tone with various controls in easy.

The Music Telegraph| 입력 : 2020/04/10 [12:03]


 ‘Shepard Designer’ main control panel     

© Inouï Samples

A ‘Shepard tone’, named after American cognitive scientist Roger Shepard, creates auditory illusion of the tone that continually ascends or descends in pitch, yet which ultimately seems to get no higher or lower. Inouï Samples' ‘Shepard Designer’ allows you to instantly and incredibly easily create the Shepard effect on your sounds. ‘Shepard Designer’ comes with 144 varied exclusive instrumental sources, and it also works with user’s own making sounds. 




‘Shepard Designer’ is a virtual instrument running under the full version of Kontakt 5.8.1 or higher. ‘Shepard Designer’ allows users to instantly and easily create famous Shepard tones from its internal audio instrumental sources or external audio samples. With the help of real-time controls, users can change tonal quality of sources instantly resulting in various auditory illusion effects based on the Shepard effect. 




The Engine of Shepard Designer

‘Shepard Designer’ is designed to generate sounds under monophonic synthesis based on 9 layers of samples. There are 144 varied instrumental sources and each of these provides a different technique such as sustain, tremolo, and repetitions, etc. Besides these internal sound presets ‘Shepard Designer’ also provides users with the ability to import their own sound sources. Users can change the slope direction and speed of Shepard tones in real time and the slope can be automated through MIDI or the built-in LFO control. By changing the width of Bell curve users can get improved results in tonal quality and illusion effects of Shepard tones. In addition, the engine provides Attack and Release time controls for more detailed tonal controls.




Controls Over Shepard Tones

The interface of ‘Shepard Designer’ is made up of 3 control zones - the main settings on the left, the speed knob in the middle, and the speed knob settings on the right side. The controls are easy and intuitive as each of the zones works in real-time and guarantees seamless workflows to users. However, we need to briefly explore the functions and controls of ‘Shepard Designer’ in order to get better results from the Inouï’s Shepard effects mechanism.



▲ Sound Source Selection Menu in the Main Settings 

At the top-left corner of the interface, there are wide variety of selection of musical instruments such as woodwinds, brass, plucked strings and keys, strings, and amplified instruments. In addition, users can choose personal sound sources as main sound source.



▲ Bell Width, Attack and Release controls

The ‘Bell Width’ control for a Shepard tone allows users to set the frequency range from narrow to wide while the Shepard tone is moving upward or downward. The smaller the ‘Bell Width’ value, the source tone sounds more precise and detailed, the bigger the ‘Bell Width’ value, the source tone sounds less precise but works better for the illusionary effect of Shepard tone. The ‘Attack’ and ‘Release’ controls come from a classic ADSR envelope and are used for tonal changes of a Shepard tone.




▲ LFO and Settings

The LFO(Low Frequency Oscillator) button allows users to enable a LFO on the Speed knob. User can set the limit of LFO and change the LFO speed with the Speed knob. In addition, users can choose between 5 waveforms for the LFO movement.




▲ The Speed knob

The ‘Speed knob’ allows users to set the slope speed and direction of the Shepard tone. The ‘Speed knob’ provides users with the information of the slope direction and speed of the slope in bars per octave or seconds per octave. The slope of a Shepard tone falls faster as it moves on the left, and it rises faster as it moves on the right side of the ‘Speed knob’.



▲ ‘Speed Unit’ and ‘Speed Factor’ parameters

The ‘Speed Unit’ at the top-right corner of the interface provides a button to synchronize the Speed knob with the tempo of users’ project in bars per octave or in second per octave. Users can also nudge the Speed knob to whole number values depending on the users’ selection of bars or seconds. In the ‘Speed Factor’ users can choose between three speed factors for each unit - fast, medium, and slow. This lets users access to a wide speed range with great precision while setting the Speed knob.





The Sound from ‘Shepard Designer’

To make dramatic sound effects with ‘Shepard Designer’ users should use the ‘Speed knob’ and 'Bell width’ appropriately. The Speed knob determines the direction and speed of a Shepard tone and the Bell width determines the area of the Shepard tone to be processed with the Speed knob. With these two controls, users can set the level of precision in the effect processing applied to the area defined by Bell width value. The sound can back and forth from a precise sound to a large effect and vice versa depending on the user’s setting of the two controls. 


The ‘Shepard Designer’ creates not only long lasting effects but also fragments of sound such as clicks or pops. In addition, users can create impressive texture very quickly by launching two instances of ‘Shepard Designer’ with different settings of speed or direction. In fact, you can use ‘Shepard Designer’ as a tonal instrument to create unheard stress or relaxation effects so far.






With ‘Shepard Designer’ You can do:

- Create Shepard tones

- Instantly and easily create the Shepard effect

- Make your own sound effects

- Edit sound sources in real time

- and more.






€80 EUR



*You can purchase ‘Shepard Designer’: here 





Inouï Samples Inouï samples was created to offer composers, producers, and sound-designers unheard sounds with strong musical potential. Whether the object of novelty is about the instrument, the sound pickup or processing, each of the virtual instruments produced by inouï samples is designed to fit naturally into your compositions. All acoustics experiments, physical and digital sound research we undertake are made with the aim of pushing forward artistic creations.





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