Enter the ordered, organised and accounted world of the Sassy Audio Spreadsheet – it Excels (!) as a virtual modular synthesizer and actually sounds really good.
A synthesizer in a spreadsheet is an easy thing to poke fun at but that’s only because of our narrow preconceptions about the power of rows and column. Synthesis is just maths expressed as voltages and converted into sound so a spreadsheet is a perfect place to get into the heart of what’s going on inside a modular synthesizer.
On the other hand, many of us prefer the experience of moving a knob and feeling our way through sound generation rather than dealing with the actual numbers. It takes all sorts and the oddly named Sassy is one for those who enjoy the thrill of watching numbers move.
It is more than numbers. You can add functions that produce sliders and buttons, graphs and displays so the interaction can get quite graphical. You can generate waveforms, connect up envelopes, modulate one thing from another, run through filters and find that it works in a very familiar synthesizer kind of way. But the strength is in the functions where you can apply all sorts of maths to cells or ranges of cells in order to achieve interesting and usable results.
If you think about Spreadsheets and how interconnected the cells can be then you’ll see how to take modulation from one place and send it to every other cell, or have a cascade of cells generating forever changing modulations routed to all sorts of other spaces. It’s an immensely powerful place.
Sassy sounds great! The programming isn’t complicated and anyone with a simple working knowledge of Spreadsheets will be comfortable creating and using functions. All the functions are listed in a handy guide.
The video below will take you through it and it’s quite an eye-opener. Doesn’t really appeal to me in any imaginable sense but it is fascinating.
Sassy was developed by sol_hsa and is currently in beta and you can download it for a “Name-your-own-price” deal from the website.
- Sassy website.