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 Enso by Audio Damage is a Virtual Effect Audio Plugin and a Mobile Audio App. It functions as a VST Plugin, an Audio Units Plugin, a VST 3 Plugin and an AAX Plugin.
Enso
Product Enso
Developer Audio Damage
Price (MSRP)
$79 (Mac / PC) or $7.99 (iOS)
Type / Tags Looper
Plug-in, App & Soundware Format(s)
Effect(s)    
Operating System Availability
Operating
System
Latest
Version
Download Released
 
1.0
 
Downloads Released
 
1.0
 
Downloads Released
 
1.0
 
- Released
Max. 6 items
Latest Version Changes [view all]

An architecturally unique and sonically characterful looping toolkit for producers and live performers, inspired by both modern looper pedals and vintage tape-based setups, Enso combines elegant and intuitive UI design with a deep but accessible feature set and stellar sound quality.

Enso's operation will be immediately familiar to users of hardware looper pedals or plugins such as Ableton Live's bundled Looper. Start playback of the host DAW, hit Enso's record button and capture your instrumental performance into a loop of whatever length you like, up to ten minutes (five minutes on iOS). Then, without stopping playback, overdub further passes to create layered grooves, complex harmonic textures, or dense, evolving soundscapes.

Beyond those basics, though, Enso takes software looping into new territory. Two Overdub modes configure the plugin for conventional looper pedal behaviour or Frippertronics-style 'dual tape deck' manoeuvres, affecting the handling of the Feedback parameter for an endless range of layering possibilities; and up to four Sectors can be effortlessly defined, each with its own start and end points, for on-the-fly rearrangement of the loop.

With Enso, time and motion become truly fluid, as speed and direction are handled completely independently for playback and recording, the 'through-zero' bipolar Speed controls smoothly transitioning from forwards to backwards, and vice versa, in real time. Want to record forwards at half speed, while simultaneously playing the buffered loop in reverse at 1.25x?

Onboard tape-style saturation, filtering and chorus effects bring dirt, frequency-shaping and stereo thickening to the party; and a comprehensive MIDI assignment system makes it a snap to set your MIDI pedal or button controller up for operation of all Enso's buttons and switches. With its animated play and record heads, meanwhile, the looping waveform display provides a clean, clear visual representation of the potentially mind-bending temporal acrobatics taking place, letting you get a handle on exactly what's happening at a glance.

{See video at top of page}

YouTube.com/watch?v=3hWjP4PqeXA

Latest User Reviews Average user rating of 3.00 from 1 review

Reviewed By zerocrossing
April 12, 2019

So, take this review with a little bit of a grain of salt. That salt is, I've been waiting for someone to release a good 64-bit looper VST for Windows for a long time... and in many ways Enso is really good, but in others it seems either weak or not quite finished. I'm not going to explain what looping is so if you want to know more, look up "Frippertronics" or "live looping" on the web. There are tons of resources. .

Enso uses your DAWs clock to create a "tape loop" of your specified length. Unlike other loopers like Mobius, it's non volatile, meaning when you have a cool loop going and you save and quit your DAW, that loop will still be there, just as if it were a magnetic tape. Also tape like, it will allow for the changing of the speed of the tape... but here's where it gets really trippy. You can change the speed of the record head and the playback head to be different rates. The results can be totally psychedelic, in a very good way, but also glitchy. Not surprising when you're messing with the fabric of time-space. You can choose to have your "tape" pure, like a good digital copy, or you can let it run though what Audio Damage calls "FX and Levels." This include tape attributes including saturation and hiss, a low and highpass filter, and a chorus effect with rate and depth controls. I would really have liked to see some extra tape destressing features here, like tape crinkle, cross talk, wow and flutter. That said, I got some very dreamy "Frippertronics" style sounds out of it just using the low pass filter, saturation at about 30% with a schmidge of hiss. Oh, I think I used some chorus to fake a little warble. Make sure you keep the feedback under 100% or you can get in trouble. The results can be really mesmerizing.

Enso does not allow for multiple loops, but it has a thing called "sectors" that let you break a loop up into up to 4 sectors and cross fade between them by a user specified amount. You can get some kind of interesting things going on this way by breaking up a loop, overdubbing on some sectors, not on others. Great for a lot of creative "happy accidents." If you want a more RC or EDP style looper, go to Mobius though. There's no real good way to do verse/chorus/bridge type compositions in a non clumsy way. I see why they did this, as Mobius is free, but in all honesty, I think they should include those types of things in a future update just so Enso seems a bit more "feature complete."

Other things I'd like to see is better MIDI implementation. It only responds to CC, and for some odd reason, things like feedback can't be continuously controlled. (you can via your DAW) Other odd things like not being able to use CC at all to change the play and record speed feel like pure omissions. Enso is definitely a performance looper, but it seems like a lot of what would make it great in that respect has been left out.

So, I'd highly recommend getting this plugin. Like all Audio Damage plugins, there is a lot to love and they make it easy to find ways to be creative, and this one is no different. My only complaint is that they didn't cover enough of the "nuts and bolts" types of things one would expect from an audio looper. That's a shame, but it's still a plugin that's well worth having for what it is.

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Enso

Average user rating of 3.00 from 1 review

Audio Damage
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