Zplane Elastique Pitch 2 Review – Real Time Pitch Shifting Just Got Better

In our Elastique Pitch v.1 review, back in 2010, we praised the innovative features and quality of this software. The developer, zplane, has just released a new version, and we couldn’t help but put it through its paces.

For those who missed it
Elastique Pitch 2 is a real time pitch shifting VST, AU, RTAS and AAX plugin featuring the latest Elastique Pro algorithm, licensed and implemented in Ableton Live, Cubase, FL Studio, Reaper and others. Elastique Pitch 2 can shift both pitch and formants linked or independently. It maintains phase coherence and is suited to all kinds of source material: the pitch shifting itself is generally quite smooth and natural sounding, with multi-channel support for up to 8 audio channels (surround sound) in real-time.

How does it work?
The x-axis, Timbre, represents formant shift, whereas the y-axis, Pitch, represents the relative pitch shift processing that is occurring (Pitch and Timbre are linked by default). Pitch and formant shifting range ±
one octave (manipulating formant independently of pitch can potentially yield more natural sounding results, and help one avoid the “chipmunk effect” when pitching vocals). One can adjust these values by moving the node around the XY-pad (after Pitch and Timbre are unlinked in the bottom left), by dragging the sliders on the bottom and right side of the XY-pad, or by typing in the value manually. You can change the value scale to a percentage by clicking the musical note icon next to the value box (yielding a range of 50% to 200%).
Presets are available for various film conversion uses (e.g., 25.00 -> 24.00 fps).
MIDI control is available for this plugin as well, making it all the more usable in performance situations (note however that the plugin’s latency at 48kHz is 150ms).
Three different views are now available: Simple, a stripped-down interface with minimal pitch-shifting controls; Normal, adding the XY-pad with Timbre and Pitch; and Advanced, boasting additional features including the Voicing slider, Input Freeze, Delay, Feedback, and Dry/Wet.

Now even more useful
I found the Voicing parameter (bottom-center) to be highly useful in tailoring the plugin’s processing to the source material. Especially with respect to shifting the human voice, I was able to radically decrease distortion, artifacts, and unwanted tonalities by tuning this slider to taste.
The Input Freeze option offers an interesting effect: it attempts to freeze/warp the incoming audio in time, creating wild, spacey sounding effects, as Elastique Pitch 2 catches portions of pitch signal and repeating them. Delay can be synced to the host or timed to mere milliseconds, and Feedback alters the extent to which the delay repeats (I.e., its feedback loop).
The Dry/Wet parameter allows one to mix both the dry and wet signals to taste, which is incredibly useful for creating harmonies or interesting pitched delays layered with the original, dry signal.

$199 (v.1 owners can upgrade for $70).

Overall, Elastique Pitch 2 packs a whole lot of punch (though it isn’t cheap).
It’s become my go-to real time pitch shifting plugin, and with the additional V2 advanced view effect features, it will get a lot of use as a delay or harmonizer as well. The combination of immense utility and incredible sound quality makes it hard to beat.

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