A quirky-yet-inspiring 3-track looper named Small Winters that actually comes out in the Summer? Check. The latest Puremagnetik little wonder is, in their words, an idiosyncratic looper inspired by tape collage and microsound. The plugin was created in collaboration with ambient maestro Taylor Deupree (who used it to record an album called Small Winters, available here), and it indeed does what it says on the tin.
Small Winters loops up to 12 seconds of incoming audio that you can record onto 3 separate tracks. Each track can have independent modulating loop points that travel across the recording’s duration, producing creative phrases and textures that can take on a life of their own.
Beyond recording modulations, each track in Small Winters can be pitch-shifted and bussed to a tape-age effect or routed to a granular dissection effect with spectral blurring. The device also allows overdubbing on each track so you can build more than three phrases that dynamically interact.
If you’re familiar with Puremagnetik’s catalog, Small Winters won’t be a surprise. The developer, Micah Frank, is a master when it comes to these unique, ‘happy-accidents making’ devices.
Small Winters is super-easy to use, even if you’ve never had a looper in your life. The 3 tracks provide plenty of creative possibilities, and the tape and granular features help you further shape your sound.
If you’re currently experiencing a creative block, this is one of those tools that I would definitely recommend. It won’t make music for you, but its sound collages will probably take you out of the cage.
I had great fun feeding Small Winters with both stock Logic plugins (the electric piano, Alchemy, etc.) and hidden gems like PluginBoutique’s Radio (a must-have, if you ask me). You’ll probably just need a reverb or a delay after Small Winters, and you’re set. I love the fact that you can print (render) an audio file with the outcome of the plugin, so you can easily import that in your DAW and keep working.
Like in all the other Puremagnetik plugins, you won’t find tons of options in Small Winters, but I actually prefer this approach. Also, in my test with Logic Pro X, the plugin worked flawlessly (even on an old 2012 Mac Mini!), which is not always a given with other looper plugins I’ve tried in the past.
Small Winters makes me wish it also existed in a hardware form, or at least on iOS. I’m not a fan of the mouse when using such ‘hands-on’ plugins. I know, I could MIDI map everything here, but often I’m lazy at that, my bad.
Small Winters is a little miracle, but I would have a general request for Puremagnetik: please, make your plugins resizable! Some of us are getting old now, and our eyes struggle a bit with some of your plugins. I mean, we’re not even close to Kontakt’s UI fiasco, but still, I would appreciate an update.
File Under No-Brainer
If you’re into experimental, ambient, ‘leftfield’ music, Small Winters is heaps of fun, and also a no-brainer. You can learn more about the plugin here, and get both the album and the plug-in (included in the album download) for $3, or name-your-price. This way, you can get the plugin, some lovely ambient music to listen to, AND start saving for one of those expensive, influencer-friendly boutique pedals (Chase Bliss, etc.). How cool is that?
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About The Author
Founder & main editor here at ANR, 'non-musician' and music-tinkerer. His first keyboard was a cheesy Yamaha PSS-270. He still loves it.
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