Frequently Asked Questions


Varantic Introduction

All the funnest fundamentals about Varantic.

What is Varantic?

Varantic is a new product developed by Gigantic Software to create variations on your existing sound effect recordings.

You provide Varantic with a few takes of your existing sound effects, and Varantic will generate endless variations of those sound effects.

How does Varantic work?

All the sounds you hear in your everyday life are linear.  Sounds have a beginning, a middle, and an end.

When you provide Varantic a set of related takes of a sound effect, Varantic creates a non-linear, probabilistic model of that sound.

To Varantic, a sound is not just a sound.  It’s a set of frequency likelihoods over time.

For each set of sounds you provide it, Varantic models an abstract sound synthesizer, that could have generated all of the sounds that you provided as input.

Does Varantic run on the Macintosh?

Yes! By very popular demand, both the PC as well as the Macintosh are now first-class platforms for us.

What are Varantic’s hardware and system requirements?

PC requirements

  • Windows 10 or later Windows operating system
  • 32-bit (x86) processor required, 64-bit (x64) highly recommended
  • Minimum of 2 GB of RAM, 4 GB recommended
  • 1 GB of free disk space (for output file generation)

Macintosh requirements

  • Mac OS 10.9 (Mavericks) or later operating system required
  • Intel core processor (x64) 64-bit processor required
  • Minimum of 2 GB of RAM required, 4 GB recommended
  • 1 GB of free disk space (for output file generation)
What kinds of sounds can I synthesize with Varantic?

Varantic works great for many kinds of sounds, but it works dazzlingly well for sounds with a lot of natural noise or randomness in them — waves, fire, impact sounds, breaking glass, and other noises with a lot of random frequency content. For bullet impact sounds, and explosions and the like, Varantic offers an easy and awesome way to synthesize exactly the sound you need.

What kind of name is Varantic?

We let our product name itself.

In the earliest prototype of Varantic, we provided as input a bunch of words that described what the tool did.

Then we let it generate random names.

This one was our favorite, so we just went with it.

Hey it’s not perfect, but we thought it was pretty well-spoken for a one-day old.

What can I do if something isn’t working right?

We hope that our resident bug catchers got everything, but if not, we are here to help. Please contact us by clicking HERE, and tell us what’s going wrong. Really, that’s what were here for!

Can a Varantic license be used by several developers?

Yeah no, please don’t do that to us.  We worked really hard to make Varantic something cool and useful for you.  If multiple seats in your studio need access to Varantic, then contact us, please.

What is the revenue limit for Varantic Indie and Varantic Pro?

We wanted to make versions of Varantic available to everybody, with lighter versions of the product for students and others working on a shoestring, and full-featured versions for the triple-A projects that need perfection.  So, we have a tiered pricing and product model, based on the scope of the project you’re working on.

If you’re working solo on an indie project, then Varantic Indie is for you.  Varantic Indie can be used on projects with a budget of under $100k.

If you’re a one-person audio production team, then Varantic Pro is for you.   Varantic Pro has a few more features for content creators to work even more quickly.  Varantic Pro can be used on projects with a budget of under $250k.

If you’re working on a team or for a game studio, then Varantic Studio is right for you.  Varantic Studio can be automated to churn through millions of sound effects.  There’s no revenue limit to Varantic Studio.

 

Does Varantic use pitch-shifting or time-stretching?

What is this, 1990?  No, those technologies have been around since your parents were doing sound design.

Pitch-shifting is something Alvin and the Chipmunks used to get that chipmunk type sound.  You want chipmunks on your super high-class audio project?  No, you don’t.   At least you probably don’t.  Maybe you’re doing a chipmunk project, who knows.  But real-life sounds never sound chipmunky!   In fact, one of the key reasons why we made Varantic in the first place is because that all the previous ways of automatically changing a sound effect were so lame.

Varantic doesn’t represent sound as a linear set of frequencies.  It represents sounds as likelihoods of frequencies over time.  This allows for many, many dimensions of variation in one sound effect.

We have nothing against chipmunks personally, you understand.

Can I try Varantic before I buy?

Yes. Click here for your 30 day free trial.

Authentication

Let's keep it real, people.

I bought a copy of Varantic. How and where do I enter the license key?

If you’re installing the PC version, you’ll have a chance to enter that license key while Varantic is being installed.

Alternatively, on the PC or Macintosh, you can use the About… command to enter the license key.  On the PC, the About command is in the Varantic menu.  On the Macintosh, the About command is in the Apple menu.

Then, click on the Authorize button and enter your product key.  Your product will be validated here at the Varantic laboratories, and you’re off and running!

Can I install my copy of Varantic on more than one machine?

Not for simultaneous use.  However, you can instantly deauthorize one machine for use, and authorize another.  Just go into the About… command, which is in the Varantic menu on the PC and on the Apple menu on the Macintosh.

On the currently authorized machine, click on the Deauthorize button to deauthorize that machine for Varantic use.

On the machine you want to authorize, click on the Authorize button and re-enter your product key.

Do you support dongles for copy protection? I love dongles.

No you don’t.  Nobody loves those things.  They’re expensive and they’re unreliable and they are a royal pain in the butt and they just get in the way of honest users.

You’ll enter your license key once and Things Should Just Work™.

Pro Tips

To defeat the Cyberdemon, shoot at it until it dies.

How many sounds do I need to get good results out of Varantic?

As a general rule, give Varantic at least four or more, takes of the sound effect you wish to replicate.  As an experiment, you can try three or fewer, but in general the more natural variation in the source takes, the happier Varantic will be.  And the happier you will be as well.  It’s a mutual happy thing.

What kinds of sounds work well with Varantic?

So we asked this question to one of our customers, and they gave us an answer like this: “Varantic is all about the shifty live kind of sounds.  You know, where you have like five things and there is some grunge in there, and you don’t think you need any ring but you put a little ring in there, and that is when Varantic busts it out and makes gold and you are like where have you been.”

Okay, so we didn’t understand that either.  But here is what we think:

Varantic does best if you give it natural sounds with a little bit of noise in them.  Think clothing sounds, footsteps, scuffs, debris sounds, weather sounds, impacts, punches.

When you give Varantic inputs, the more the merrier, but you should probably have at least three or four sounds as input examples.

Varantic does not do its best when presented with synthesized or tonal sounds.  If you have highly regular sound effects, like musical instruments or highly stylized synthesized sounds, then Varantic may not be your tool of choice.

Varantic does not do music.  Or maybe, we should say Varantic generates an output which has all the statistical properties of the original music.  In other words, if you put in Western music clips into Varantic, expect some kind of bizarre Franco-Russian musique concrète thing to come out.  You can try to dance to it, but you will probably fail.

How do I get all my sounds to be a specific length?

Both the Pro and the Studio versions of Varantic let you specify an exact length of sound that you desire.

Varantic usually does a pretty good job with a target time length within, say, 20% or so of the original length.  Varantic can generate a lot longer or shorter variations, depending on the type of content you provide it.  In general, the more variations you provide as input, the better Varantic can be at generating the sounds you want at the lengths you want.

Can the Varantic process be scripted?

Oh you clever person.  Why yes, Varantic can be scripted to run from the command line in both Windows as well as the Macintosh.

So you can script Varantic to run through many folders of source content, to generate vast content libraries of related sound effects.

If you make content libraries for a living, your customers will thank you for having as many different takes of sound effects as possible to choose from.

Command-line functionality is only present in the Varantic Studio version.

I put a sound of a chainsaw and the sound of a kitten into Varantic and it didn’t give me the sound of a kitten with chainsaw arms. Can you fix this?

No.  Really, just no.

Varantic does not mix sound effects!  You will probably hear the sound of a kitten 50% of the time, and the sound of a chainsaw 50% of the time.  Since Varantic will be unable to find any frequency content common to both sound effects, Varantic will probably generate something resembling round-robin behavior on the inputs.

Please put in the sounds of several kittens.  OR put in the sounds of chainsaws.  Once you get a ton of kittens and a ton of chainsaws out of Varantic, you can build as many chainsaw-armed kittens as your project needs.  And what project doesn’t need a ton of chainsaw-armed kittens?

Services

We create great tools, but we can help you one-on-one if you need it.

I need some highly specific audio technology for my project, can you help?

Most likely, yes, we can.  Please get in touch with us so that we can help you build something the world has never seen before.

What should I do if I have some other random question that should be on this FAQ, but isn’t on this FAQ?

Heck yes please give us a shout.  We would love to help you out. Please contact us with your question and we will reply to you within one business day (and we’ll get your question onto this FAQ, so others can be helped out as well).

Where are you located?

We are located in southern California, where all the people are beautiful and camera-ready, and all the software is fresh and tasty.  It is just like you see on television!  Except with a little more traffic.

Here’s our address:

Gigantic Software
2321 E 4th Street
Suite C #429
Santa Ana, CA  92705