Speaking as someone who has been 'chopping up beats' since the early nineties starting on the Amiga, and that has spent many hours painstakingly sifting through the peaks and troughs looking for the perfect splice point, Glitch is a freeware godsend propelling the art of glitchy beats into new territory.
What this thing does is chop incoming audio (often drums/breakbeats, but frequently just about anything these days) into 16ths or similarly musical divisions and apply high quality mangling FX to each one based on both user controlled sequencing and random probability.
Whilst this thing does mean that anyone can create funky fills, effect windows and IDM-isms with little to no talent, it also affords glitch enthusiasts and those looking for creative FX use a head start, by providing the most popular effects used for classical beat mangling - retriggering, timestretching, delays, modulation, bitcrushery, etc can all be added to any part of an audio stream with ease, with lots of parameters for each effect, and multimode filters are EVERYWHERE in the signal path, such as on every single effect path, the master section etc..
Personally, I do generally prefer the hands-on approach to editing takes in a wave editor, but I will often use Glitch to provide either an initial pushing-off point for creativity, or for a final layer of subtle complexity (or complex subtlety). If you're going to let Glitch do the work, don't give up your dayjob as you'll sound like anyone else who can download and install Glitch, but it provides the basis for many interesting experiments.
By soloing an effect such as the stretcher and selecting 1/8th or 1/4 sections of audio, you can mass produce a bunch of crazy samples or drum edits, record it all, and sift through it later to provide food for drum/glitch sequences. This to me is where Glitch gets the most use. Once I loaded 10 instances of glitch and manually set each channel up to do an effect I like, set up the random probabilities to my liking and played a drum loop through it for ten minutes. I got some priceless material that way.
Another way to use Glitch involves using it as a send effect to add subtle repeats, chorusing, and 'ghosting' of parts under the main mix. Whilst Glitch represents the ultimate in banal automated washed out IDM crap, it also represents the ultimate in audio experimentation, ease of creativity and imagination empowerment. Truly, Glitch is limited only by your own imagination - use it wisely!
DOWNSIDES - This is freeware, and as I've said, an EXTREMELY generous giveaway, but I missed the following things:
1 - support for non 4/4 based time sigs (though if you use it for sampling this doesn't matter)
2 - I really wanted a way to randomize the effect parameters every bar or 8 bars or something, to add even more variation. But what the hell, you can automate it, so it's no biggie. It just felt like this feature should be there, given all the other features it has along a similar line.
Apart from these details, a perfect piece of software.
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 :)