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Sugar Bytes Turnado Review At Music Tech

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Following a string of innovative and fun performance-based instrument and effect plug-ins, German company Sugar Bytes has become a name that’s synonymous with live sound-mangling and glitch effects – specifically, its plug-ins Artillery 2, which enables users to rhythmically bring in effects using the keyboard, and Effectrix, which features a grid in which you can sequence multiple effects and parameters. Not content with resting on those laurels, the team has combined the best bits from these two plug-ins and thrown in a load of new tricks to create the latest release, Turnado.

 

Tone Twister

 

The plug-in works as a standalone or as a VST/AU from within your host DAW, and you can feed it audio via the sidechain input. Instead of Artillery 2’s keyboard control, here you can assign any of the 24 effects to eight MIDI-controllable knobs. The idea is that you simply turn up the knob to trigger the effect, turn it further to adjust parameters and apply modulations, then turn it down to switch the effect off again. The effects range from standard phaser, reverb, chorus, bit-crush and filters to some off-the-wall loopers, ring mods, vocoders and granulation tricks.

By clicking on a specific edit button on the gloriously intuitive interface you’re taken to an edit page, from where you can control four main parameters that change depending on the effect type. Each of these, including an additional wet/dry knob, can be further modulated by two LFO/step sequencers and an envelope follower. What’s more, you can choose from different ramps that affect how each parameter interacts with the main effect knob. All of this adds up to an incredibly deep editing system that offers a huge range of possibilities, as amply demonstrated by the large number of presets included for each different effect type.

 

Fit To Glitch

 

The MIDI performance input of each effect block can also be quantised to trigger on the beat, making live beat-manipulation an absolute joy. The Slice Arranger is our personal favourite – after just a few seconds of tweaking we were able to come up with countless variations on drum grooves, bass lines and vocal hooks.

As there are multiple patterns built-in to this single effect it can sometimes be tricky to re-create the same glitches with just one MIDI knob. However, careful programming on the edit page enables you to narrow down the options to enable more repeatable results. The eight effects can either be routed in series or dynamically, so that each effect is added as you turn it on.

When using all of the effects at once, the order can make a huge difference to the output, but switching effects around is simply a matter of dragging one on top of another. What takes this excellent concept and shoots it through the sky, though, is the Dictator function.

The Dictator is essentially a ninth knob that can be sequenced via keyframes to control the other eight, and can be used to create incredibly complex effect transitions. This can prove invaluable in a live setup as you can use a single plug-in to do the work of many, all controlled by a single MIDI knob or slider. To add to the fun there are also Randomise buttons for both the main effects and their modulations.

 

Storming Performance

 

If you already have a good range of effect/glitch plug-ins then Turnado may seem a little overpriced and unnecessary, but if you spend even a small amount of time experimenting with it you can find an endless amount of fun, inspiring and often unexpected sounds that you would probably never have come up with otherwise. Given such comprehensive editing possibilities, Turnado isn’t just a live performance tool, it’s a serious instrument of sound destruction!

 

Why Buy

 

  • Superb, intuitive GUI
  • Deep editing possibilities
  • Great fun to perform with
  • Outputs varied, inspiring sounds

 

Walk On By

 

  • Occasionally hard to repeat certain effects live
  • A little pricey if you already own Artillery 2 and Effectrix

 

Verdict

 

A well thought-out live effects toy that’s both inspiring and a joy to use thanks to its intuitive GUI.

 

Rating: 9/10

 

Original Source - Music Tech

Try before you buy

Download Turnado trial version for free!

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