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Sinevibes - Hexonator Review at Resident Advisor

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Since 2006, Sinevibes have built up a reputation for innovative products that explore fresh sonic territories. The company's plug-ins are distinguished by their clean, stylish interfaces, extremely reasonable pricing and by the fact that they're written exclusively for Apple's Audio Unit format. Sinevibes' product line currently boasts 16 plug-ins, and Hexonator, a six-voice resonator, is one of the latest.

Hexonator's sequencer runs up to 32 steps, with each step playing one of the eight available chords. The duration of the entire sequence can be set between one and eight bars. Balancing the number of steps against the duration of the sequence, then, determines the note length of each step. For example, for a 32-step sequence lasting two bars, each step will equal 1/16th-note. If the same sequence is set to last eight bars, each step will be a quarter-note. The sequencer can either use normal or triplet timing; selecting the latter reduces the maximum number of steps to 24. Timing can also be adjusted with the shuffle control, which introduces a swing effect. Finally, the sequencer features a transition control for introducing a glide/portamento effect between different chords. The Output section is, of course, last, and it includes a stereo control that places the resonator voices across the stereo field, plus a useful Dry/Wet control.
I tested Hexonator using a range of material including noise, drums, speech, pad chords and piano riffs. My best results came using unpitched material—noise, speech and drums —as this allows the resonator voicings to really come through. In this sense, Hexonator behaves similarly to a vocoder, but with a sonic edge all of its own. It has huge potential for vocal and rhythmic effects. With piano or pad chords, I found the voicings could battle uncomfortably with the notes of the incoming signal. Hexonator can also make powerful rhythmic contribution via its modulators and sequencer, which are very flexible with a great range of timing options. Without a bit of care in this area, though, it's easy to produce a confusing mess of sound, particularly when the input signal also has a strong rhythmic element. (Of course, this might be exactly what the user is going for.)
After a period of time making sense of the voicing, chord and sequencer controls, I found Hexonator very rewarding and capable of some really interesting and varied results. It's a lot of fun to use, with some nice extra features like the transition, chaos and stereo controls. I can see this software being useful as a way of generating inspiration or adding distinctive character to a track. As we've come to expect from Sinevibes, it's a plug-in that's unusual, fun, powerful and inexpensive.


Cost - 5/5
Versatility - 4/5
Sound - 4/5
Ease of use 3/5
Rating - 4/5
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