Devious Machine’s first plugin, Texture, is a fresh and creative angle for an audio effect, combining sound design with envelope following. Texture contains a library of around 350 various sonic textures. The incoming track audio triggers the sound in the library, which layers with the original audio. From this basic foundation, there is a myriad of different ways you can treat the audio with the plugin. I’ll go through some of them later.
Devious Machines Texture – Let’s Dig In
Firstly, the layout. Thought has gone into the design of GUI of this plugin. It’s the first one from Devious Machines, which bodes well if they intend on developing more. The main window in the GUI shows a scrolling waveform of incoming audio, with the Texture library audio shown as a highlit outline over the top of the waveform.
The left hand of the interface is the drop-down menu for the textural sound library. The sounds are varied, with a wide range of digital and (sampled, obvs) analog noise to get you started, vinyl sounds, loads of instrument sounds (hihats, cymbals, percussion, synths, drones, orchestral sounds) through to more experimental sound fx, such as seashores, crowd walla, vocal whispers, paper rustling, etc.
When you initially run the plugin, the library sound triggers full-whack over the incoming audio. You then shape the overlaid sound with a variety of controls. Firstly, each texture sound has 1-3 sonic parameters, such as pitch, density, colour, that all affect the tone and timbre of the audio. You can then gate and limit the sound, so it triggers less, or more. There are an envelope and filter that further shape the sound when it’s triggered. Finally, two EQ’s – one for the library sound, and one for the outgoing audio provide more shaping options to the sound.
There’s an excellent sidechain filter that enables you to focus the frequency range that triggers the audio. Here’s a quick video showing a simple 808 kick and snare triggering a couple different sounds. At the end, I move the side chain filter around so it triggers either the snare or the Kick.
This gives loads of opportunities to shape the transients of the sound, as well as change the tone and timbre of sound very simply. There is a modulation section that uses an LFO and envelope to alter cutoff, colour, and pitch of the added sound. If you’ve got a leaden sound, this can add life with constant subtle timbral movement within the sound. All of this is automatable, giving you control over modulation of the sound in use from within the DAW.
Devious Machines Texture In Use
I really liked the transient addition qualities of the plugin. I also liked being able to add groove elements to loops. Adding a hihat or shaker that fits rhythmically almost instantaneously is an awesome tool to have. I equally loved grunging up a drum loops – adding in electrical noise, or cool vinyl elements that made a clean boring loop immediately more interesting. Where I had the most fun however was with more intricate complex sounds: My ear is drawn to organic ‘found sound’ rhythm beds. I love a hard beat, with subtle clicks crackles and shuffling going on all around that beat. This plugin works fantastically in creating those sound beds.
Here are some examples, using the foley within the plugin:
This took about 1 minute to make, the speed and efficiency of which lends itself to the creative process. I love that.
Devious Machines Texture Review – Conclusion
Love this tool. Devious Machines Texture is very versatile – you can put the effect to use in very different ways. The highlight to me is the way you can insert various noise beds to add life to percussive loops. Here’s another vid of a quick piece showing ways texture can be used on different instruments.
A couple of things I would be over the moon about if they were added are:
An option to add to the library of textural sound – there’s so much already there, but I’d love to be able to put in my own sounds, and see how they worked. (EDITOR UPDATE: Sample upload is coming in the next update of Texture!)
Pitch tracking – I would love to see what this added when working with more tonal material – having a pitch tracked sub oscillator on the bass line for a more standard example.
All in all though, for the price, this is a fantastic creative tool that you’ll reach for again and again to bring life to your music. Highly recommended!
Texture is £79. You can learn more about it here and buy it using the buttons on this page.