I decided to write my first review on a product that truly stands out, something I use all the time yet it is offered completely free of charge. If any product deserves a review, its dblue glitch.
dblue.glitch is a machine that was probably designed to do insane beat chopping FX with just a few mouse clicks. If you listened to Venetian Snares, Aphex Twin, Squarepusher and stuff like that, you'll be interested in glitch for its abilities to turn anything you feed into it into sliced and mangled, organized chaos. Maybe this is not your thing, but I'm pretty sure you encountered the situation where you want to make a nice fill, or add just a little unpredictability to your music. Thats the point where you will be loving glitch too. All producers I worked with have used this baby in at least one of their tracks, some in an obvious way, some for more subtle effects.
Glitch has 9 completely different sounding effects built in that are triggered on and off in a programmed sequence. Among these effects you can find ringmodulator, timestretcher, reverser and bitcrusher, and each of them has their own parameters.
Sounds like a really complicated and sophisticated machine doesn't it? But actually, it is without doubt the most intuitive glitchmachine I ever encountered. Right when you start it up, it starts mangling your sound in a random, yet rythmic way. How is that possible? Well, in the upper middle of the plugin window you can find the heart: the sequence in which your effects are enabled, up to a length of 4 bars. You can choose to trigger just one effect, or you can tell the program to enable a randomly picked effect. To top it off you can even randomize the pattern. No sequence will ever sound the same, and if things get too weird, you can always use one of the presets which will bring a certain rythm to the pattern. So I guess it is fair to say that glitch has completely changed the workflow for creating rythmic sequences of effects. Programming them is no longer a pain in the rear, and thanks to the randomizer buttons, being lazy can lead to quick success as well.
Then you can tweak your FX one by one. Glitch is 9 FX in one and each of them sounds great, yet completely different from the others. I often find myself using just one of the FX in solo mode. When you tweak the settings, each of these FX can produce whole new results. For example the shuffler set to length 4 with maximum "repeat" brings my drums an instant techno-like 1/4 bar loop character, or if I turn the reverser interval to its minimum, I get basically a granular tone. Alone these 2 FX, my favourites along with the ringmodulator, would be worth spending money on. And each of the FX has a few important parameters that can be randomized again. Dblue concentrated on parameters that drastically change the character of an FX here, and that was a great decision, it keeps the GUI (which is a masterpiece in usability I might add) focused on the most important things. Finally, you can look at the top of the plugin window, where you can control the overall random amount of glitch. This parameter is great for those who want to add a bit of subtle randomness to their track. You have a knob for removing unwanted artifacts, a master envelope, distortion and filter, again proving that almost everything about this machine is extremely well thought out.
Last words: The greatest advantage of glitch is the organization of chaos. There are quite a few "glitch" plugins that bring utter chaos to your sound, but it does not sound rythmic at all. Glitch is the first one to organize that chaos for you. This baby is recommended to any producer, especially the more experimental ones, but also those who want to add a little spice to their tracks with subtle randomness. I mean, how can you ever regret a 500kb download? The user interface is one of the best I've ever encountered, the documentation is good, the stability is awesome, CPU usage is low, and the sound of it is original and quality. Awesome plugin!
This is what I wrote to the developers. I bought the plugin.
probably you think that most of your customers don't know electronic music, and this is very bad. Even if they can use your preset randomly to make some noise in the dance hall, I find that your plugs are nice and could be used in serious composition too. So WHY YOU DONT WRITE PARAMETERS EXPLICATIONS IN THE GLITCH MANUAL? For example, in the Granular time stretch you call "stretcher", what does GM series of control means?
Thanks for some serious support, Alessandro Ratoci.
P.S. seems that you are missing the step duration, and steps are forced to be 16th note. Pretty big limitation, is it?
I do agree that detailed descriptions of each effect are missing from the manual. I will try to add these in the near future, to better explain what everything does.
I have tried to put tool tips on almost every part of the plugin, so you can hover your mouse cursor over something for a few moments to get a basic description.
In the Stretcher effect, "GM" is "grain modulation". There is an envelope follower which follows the amplitude of the input signal, and then you can optionally modulate the grain size in sync with this. It can help to give some interesting dynamic variations in tone and character on the stretching effect. Hopefully this becomes somewhat obvious when simply playing around with the parameters for a few moments.
Either way, you should simply play around with the effects, tweak some parameters, and see what happens. If it sounds cool, then it's all good. This is an experimental glitch plugin after all, not a perfectly accurate scientific tool. It's intended that you should experiment and have fun :)