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The Swarm Updated, Ported to Windows

Mar 7, 2011

Since the initial release of The Swarm, just five days ago, we’ve seen an extremely positive user response. For an obscure type of synth, not playable by traditional (keyboard-controlled) means, the number of downloads has been surprisingly high. And those download numbers have only come from OS X users… until now!

We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of The Swarm for Windows. Get your free copy here.

On both Mac and Windows systems, we are now up to version 0.3.1. Please see below for full details on what has changed along the way.

There’s a few things we’d like to impart about The Swarm, before we go and leave you to your downloading.

The first is an explanation of the basic workings of The Swarm, so you understand what makes it special: The Swarm is built around a bank of eight oscillators that start out tuned in unison. Using the Span knob, you can continuously stretch out that cluster of notes from unison to, at the widest setting, evenly spaced harmonic multiples. Along the way, all kinds of dissonant tones and beat frequencies are created, sounds that you simply could not get from a synth using standard tuning.

We’d also like to emphasize that The Swarm can be played by anyone with a Mac or Windows computer. Since it is a standalone application, you don’t need a host application (like Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase, etc) to run it. And no special hardware is required to control it, either - all functions are accessible from the onscreen controls (although MIDI control may be added if you wish).

For you studio heads: The Swarm is not available as a plug-in at this time, but the audio output of the The Swarm may be sent to ReWire-compatible host applications.

Lastly, we would like to thank Leon Dewan of Dewanatron, makers of the Swarmatron hardware synth, for his brilliant invention, his blessing of our software project, and for generously answering our questions about the Swarmatron’s workings.

The Swarm Changelog:

Version 0.2

- Fixed oscillator initializer routine at startup
- Added Hints
- Added pitch wheel control, mappable to Base Pitch or Span

Version 0.3

- Fixed window size and layout to allow use on smaller laptop screens
- Added Pitch Center control
- Added Waveform control
- Added all-on/all-off oscillator switching (by Shift-clicking)
- Improved preset system

Version 0.3.1

- Fixed a glitch with the MIDI mapping for the fine control of the Span