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Replicant is a delay-based effect in the "beat slicer/looper" vein, with some tricks of its own that separate it from the herd. From a simple delay or panning effect, on up to massive random beat mangling, Replicant is a capable plugin well in line with today's modern electronic music styles. Stuttering buffers and filter drops are easy to program, and the comprehensive randomization features give it a mind of its own, if so desired.
Replicant is one of my all time favourite FSU plugs.
What is FSU? I believe it stands for "Fuck Shit Up". FSU plugs usually process a stream of audio and then rearrange it, stutter it or apply a sequence of different effects.
You can use Replicant to make live glitch or possibly breakcore. But there are many other applications. For example: 1) you are jamming over a drum loop and it's getting boring as hell. Add replicant and you have a randomized, semi-intelligent drum pattern. 2) You want to create an interesting drum pattern but you're struggling with ideas. Use replicant to randomize parts of the loop and record the output. Keep the best parts and use them in your track. Or possibly recreate the best parts entirely - either way, you have something you would not have come up with yourself.
Replicant uses a circular track which I find very intuitive - other FSU tend to use a straight line. The pan, filter, and reverse effects are exceptionally well designed. Not sure why AD didn't apply similar principles to the bit reduction feature. It's very crude and typically sounds way too loud. There are limitations to the length and repeat settings, but I usually find I can work around that by stacking one or more Replicants in series - you may want to set Replicants with larger "lengths" before other Replicants using smaller "lengths".
Replicant 1.5 adds a live MIDI chop feature. This feels a bit "tacked on, and contrasts somewhat with the rest of the plug. However it works well and if you are running a randomized drum pattern you now have the option of mashing the keyboard with your hand every now and then (to create stutters).
There's also an option to randomize every variable in case you suddenly want to make some real garbage. I've just been trying to figure out what the "hold" button does but I really can't notice anything. Maybe this version has a bug or something with the hold?
I have one SIGNIFICANT CRITICISM of this plug - it doesn't handle tranisents at all well. My guess is that it does a fairly severe crossfade at the edges of the audio chunks. This means that you never get ugly sounds at the edges of the audio. However if you are running a pattern with sharp transients (at the start of the chunks) then these become much quieter than they should be. To some extent you can compensate by turning the effect volume up. But it would be SO MUCH BETTER if the plug had a crossfade variable from 0-20ms or thereabouts. Can we please see this for the next Replicant release? Please.