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Meet the programmers: Zynaptiq

We chat to CEO Denis Goekdag

Denis Goekdag is CEO of Zynaqtiq, the company behind remarkable reverb removal tool UNVEIL and polyphonic pitch processor PITCHMAP.

What's your background as both a musician and DSP programmer? Which came first for you?

"Zynaptiq is a team effort - Stephan M. Bernsee does the DSP magic, and I come up with what the software should do and how to interact with it.

"Originally a mastering engineer and musician, Stephan started researching and implementing advanced DSP technologies as far back as the 1980s, and later founded Prosoniq and The DSP Dimension.

"I started out as a music producer, releasing the first of 100+ records and remixes when I was 15. As I used a lot of analogue and digital modular systems, I grew into sound and effects processor design.

"Working with audio and creating tools for that have always been two sides of the same thing for us both."

Your plugins seem focused on fixing/correcting things. Could such tools encourage less-than-great recording practices?

"Doing it right in the first place is often not an option, whether you're an amateur and have limited resources, or whether you're a seasoned pro and operating within practical, time-related or budgetary constraints.

"Quite often you just have to work with what you have, and our tools help with that - not only by fixing what's broken but also by improving already fine recordings, saving a lot of time in the process. I think our tools are helping people to make even better audio."

What are some of the creative uses for your plugins?

"As we intentionally design the 'abuse option' right into the core of our products, there are many creative uses. You can use Pitchmap to enforce specific chords onto any sound, automate Unveil's reverb/direct balance to create tension in musical arrangements, or remove corpus resonances from a sound and apply different ones with Unfilter."

Your plugins seem to be moving us ever closer to the Holy Grail of the 'Unmixer' plugin that can decompose a mix into its constituent parts. Do you think something like this is feasible? How well would it work? And what would be the artistic and legal implication of its uses?

"It seems increasingly likely that something like this can be realised in the not too distant future. Would the unmixed elements sound exactly like before they were mixed? Most likely not - magic isn't our business. Would such a process give results usable in a professional context? Absolutely, otherwise there'd be no point in releasing such a process.

"As to artistic and legal implications, we'd just be supplying the tools - what they'd be used for would lie in the hands of the users, so that's very hard to foresee without entering the realms of pure speculation. But they'll be exciting times, for sure!"

What's next for Zynaptiq?

"Nothing much except for making tons more great software that does impossible things. We've only just gotten started!"


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