Sugar Bytes Looperator – Gearjunkies review

For review today, we have Sugar Bytes Looperator. Sugar Bytes is a German company, well known for their plugins Effectrix, Wow2, Turnado & many more.

Looperator is a very creative tool that gives you the option to slice material through its effects. A 16 step sequencer is at the heart of the plugin. You can fill all the steps with different fx per category, which is a quick and surefire way to spice up loops and audio sequences for instance. Also, each of the 16 steps can be filled with stutter fx, that way you can totally re-arrange the feel of a particular groove and this is just one of the possibilties on offer.

Loaded with a ton of presets and the cool randomization features we know from for instance WOW2, Sugar Bytes has the focus firmly on fast workflow and sparking your creativity.

Looperator’s filter can alter the filtered frequency per step and for the left and right channel independently.
Thats a very cool way to make stereo-panned filter fx. You can set this up in the user fx of which 4 units are available.

Filter options are:
High, Band, Low, Comb along with 12db & 24db LP, HP, BR and BP. Plenty to play with.
Also you can select if you want to use the normal filter or a vowel filter. It’s the vowel filter especially that sugar bytes are well known for and it’s very nice.

Global random
Looperator has 6 different global randomizing functions which are located in the upper right corner of the GUI.
01 Smart: creates a balanced fx sequence
02 Space: creates Reverb and Delay fx only.
03 Single: limits each track to a single fx setting.
04 Randolf: Fills the sequencer with random effect steps with each cycle.
05 Tieland: creates random fx tied across multiple steps.
06 Track random: uses the settings established with the track random controls.

Lastly there is an option for Monophonic Mode: Each vertical column can only contain one active step.

The Effects Sequencer
6 different rows of effects sequences can be utilized. The way Looperator works is inputting an audio channel and on the top row of the field, you’ll see the incoming signal in the aptly named input field.

This is the row where the slices are selected by number and then can be changed in order of playing. Look at the waveform and see if there is audio info on the step you select, if not, you will trigger a blank step.
The best way to use this is with audio that has a lot of variations already, so you can really cut up the events and make a totally different groove.

The looper repeats the audio in a variety of ways. It’s filled with self explainatory little icons that represent the different fx. The numbered icons in this category stand for the number of repeat triggers. You also have the option to make 4 user fx. When you use the tie button, you can tie steps together to make the effects last longer.

This is the row where you can make fx based on envelope shapes. The envelope shapes the volume of the sound. Many options are available. In the user fx, you can crush (which is a clipping mode), change the sample rate (with a very cool absurd mode that you should try out), along with panning and mix according to the icon you choose.
Also, the tie function is on board and you can use the cross icon to erase an effect.

Delay, Tape stop, Distortion and Tonal delay are on offer for this row. This is where you can get really crazy with your effects. Definately a favourite of mine. For a small tip, try to use this on vocal phrases and let the fun begin.

Reverb, Vinyl, Stretch and Phaser occupy this row. Vinyl can make cool scratching fx and stretch can alter time and pitch differently. Again very nice additions to the package.

For both FX1 & FX2 the user fx are the same:
Delay, Reverb, Distortion, Grain (A Grain effect giving control over grain size, timing and pitch), Tonalizer (The Tonalizer is a special delay that uses short delay times and high feedback to create tuned delay tails),  Phaser,  Vinyl (The stereo Vinyl Effect emulates the stopping and scratching of a vinyl record), Chaossynth, Reverb2, and Ringmodulator.

Every section has many ways to manipulate the fx. The well written manual is a great source of info on that. My advice however is just to start tweaking the user parameters and see what happy accidents can occur.

Extensive options are available for the global mix balance:

  • Linear. A linear mix in the center position provides 50% dry and 50% processed signal.
  • Equal. The crossfade is shaped according to the ìEqual Power Lawî, which leads to some signal
    attenuation at 50/50 mix.
  • Wet. The dry signal is mixed with the wet signal, and the Mix parameter becomes a volume
    control for the wet signal.
  • Dry. The dry signal is mixed with the effect signal, and the Mix parameter becomes a volume
    control for the dry signal.
  • Wet (Only). Only the effect signal is audible and the Mix parameter becomes a volume control.
  • Wet Pan. Only the effect signal is audible and the Mix parameter becomes a pan control.
  • Wet Pan2. The dry signal is mixed with the wet signal and the Mix parameter becomes a pan

Sugar Bytes does it again. Another very cool and creative tool that’s easy to use and fun to work with. Having the dice mode in every effect row also makes it easy to whip up changes quickly. Also that init is available per row or for all and undo/redo on board is smart thinking. The quality of the effects is very good, so don’t hesitate to try Looperator out now.

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