Sinevibes is an indie plugin company hailing from the Ukraine. Founded in 2006 by Artemiy Pavlov, they make creative and fun sound manipulation plugins for use within DAWs. I got the chance to play with 3 of their latest releases, and here are my thoughts.
Shift is a frequency shifter that takes different components of the audio frequency and shifts them, using a 32 step sequencer to modulate the shifts. There are 8 separate envelopes to shape the modulations. The shapes include square, pulse, saw and triangle variants.
As with all Sinevibes plugins, the GUI is simple and effective. It’s very clear what’s happening. You can choose the length of the steps from 1 to 32. You can change the rate from one shift a bar to every 1/64th beat.
The frequency shift is portrayed as sliders. If you raise the slider, a plus sign appears, and the pitch is shifted up; downward shift shows a minus sign, and it’s shifted down.
Shift uses the Bode Frequency Shift algorithm. Unlike a regular pitch shifter, it moves all the harmonic elements of a tone equally – which changes the relation between them. A pitch shifter multiplies the relation between harmonies, keeping the harmonic relation the same. So the tonal character of sounds coming out of Shift are always changing. Instead of the pitch moving, it sounds more like a dirty ring modulation, or frequency modulation.
There is a swing slider, and essentially a dry/wet slider, enabling the sound that emanates to change from a subtle phasing to crazy tweets and bleeps.
sequential is a 32-step sequenced multi-effect machine. There are a total of 16 effects that you can apply one of to each step. Each effect has one slider to change an element of the effect. The effects include: Sine oscillator, low pass filter, FM oscillator, noise, freq shift, saturation, etc. and you can change the cutoff of the lowpass filter, for example. I like how the parameters are slightly limiting – it means you don’t get ensnared in fine tuning every element of the plugin, but are having fun experimenting within those limits.
The top line of steps is the dry signal. A simple click on the grid of the step you want, and the effect you want, will apply the effect for that step. You can change the rate of the steps, swing and dry/wet balance of the effects. You can also change the length of the steps to less than 32 if you wish.
This plugin is a ton of fun. just clicking away can really mess with your loops or samples. The sounds are perfect for glitchy type percussive loops, and other percussive stuff. Again, as with other Sinevibes plugins, the GUI is totally simple, and you’re up and running within seconds, creating complex glitches and loops. Using the dry/wet slider, you can again choose how subtle you want the effect to be.
Switch is a 32step gate sequencer. You can really play with the rhythm of the sounds you’re using with this plugin, creating rhythmic interest to previously static or boring sounds. The interface is again intuitive and creative. You can create 8 patterns of up to 32 steps, and you can choose to either play or mute each step. You can save up to 8 different patterns for the gating, and automate the pattern choice. The potential for differing rhythm is almost limitless! You can choose how sharp you want the gating, with intensity and gate time sliders, to change the rhythm from a gentle pulse to sharp percussive loops. You can change the swing amount, and the step rate with simple sliders, also.
Here’s a track I whipped up, using Switch on the bass, shift and sequential on the pad and drums.
Conclusion These are fine plugins from Sinevibes. I would recommend them as super fun sound manipulation tools that get you messing with your music immediately, with zero learning curve. Start clicking, and sounds start changing in a musical way. There are a couple of elements that I found myself looking for. Namely, I think it would be excellent if there were presets available on the plugins. After messing around, and creating patterns, I found myself wanting to store and reuse them. *EDIT – after chatting with Artemiy, he told me that you can store presets via the DAW. So you can have presets! However, it would be nice to have them directly within the plugin for us lazy music makers!! Another element that I found myself wishing for was a way to use patterns at different step rates. For example, have one pattern running at a step rate of 1/16th, and then have the next one at 1/32nd. This would have been very useful for fills, or builds. It’s easy to work around this, by just loading up two instances of the CPU light plugins on the channel, but it would be great if this was a feature of the plugin itself. Most of the features of the plugins are automatable, which is excellent. I did find a couple of small bugs, which could well have been just the recently released version of Live 9, but if not, I’m sure will be ironed out in upcoming updates.
Price between $19 and $39, although there’s a 50% discount if you purchase all 16 available plugins
…super fun sound manipulation tools that get you messing with your music immediately, with zero learning curve…
These are fun plugins, although fairly bare bones. If you’re wanting to get into deep sound manipulation, these prob aren’t for you. If you like small plugs that can add something interesting to your instruments, these are well worth checking out
Audiounit only. Sorry VST fiends
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About The Author
Composer/Producer, and keyboard player. He has written and recorded soundtracks for a wide variety of media and co-owns DOsounds.com with Jake Owen, a music production company that gives him an excuse to buy more analog gear.
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