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Output Movement Review at Gearslutz

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INTRO

Movement by Output is a revolutionary multi-FX rhythmic filtering plugin.

GETTING STARTED

The purchase, download, and activation process is easy, but requires an extra step or two to install and authorize. An email arrives with instructions and links:

There is a special installer application called, “Connect.” No dongles required!

The product key needs to be entered twice, once during download (followed by a short install):

. . . and again upon first launch to activate plugin.

WHAT’S THE BUZZ?

The marketing video and promotional info on this plugin has created quite a buzz. Online forum threads have been sizzling. Over the years, the world of virtual instruments and effects has been filled with an abundance of cool plugins. Nowadays, it takes something really special to get users excited; they are excited about Movement. Let’s see why . . . 

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

Wow! The GUI is fantastic. I actually smiled upon initial launch.

The Interface is modern and features shades of gray and dark metallic brown. It looks like a shiny coat of a racehorse after winning the triple crown. The interface is neatly arranged into extremely inviting sections.

Top center has an input level with a dry to wet slider beneath it.

Bottom center has an output level with a wave spectrograph inside.

Dead center has a cool-looking X/Y pad.

The modulation is split into these two groups, A and B, and then combined back together on the way out. Speaking of which, the module on the left side houses rhythm 1 and 2.

The right side houses rhythm 3 and 4.

The two rhythms generators within each group share a few common controls (volume, pan, and bypass). The individual rhythm gens feature a traditional LFO (with bypass) and a three-part filter section. Each filter parameters can be activated via drag-n-drop from the LFO. Each engine contains four FX slots that may be filled with any of the six offerings: Compression, Delay, Distortion, EQ, Filter, and Reverb. Clicking on any loaded FX slot will present additional control options. Patches can be assembled by assigning each engine to a particular effect, i.e. delay, filter, etc. The effect of each generator is processed individually and later combined on the way out.

Compressor

Warmth; Threshold; Ratio; Attack; Release; Makeup.

Delay

Types include: Straight, Triplet, Dotted; Time; Feedback; Spread; HP; LP; Output. The Dry/Wet ratio can be controlled via knob or with a Y slider to adjust the knob range and rhythm amount range. I don’t understand the advantage of having a Y slider here, but I wasn't sure what the reason is for it, so I contacted Tech Support. They quickly replied with insight, "On the particular preset that you're using in this instance, delay w/d is macro assigned. To assign any parameter to the XY macro controller, simply right click on the parameter and select 'assign to macro.' Then you'll see the XY icon over floating above the parameter, which you can click to access the Macro menu and dial in the way the Macro behaves."

Distortion

Crunch, HP, LP, Dry/Wet mix, and Output.

EQ

Width, Freq 1, Gain 1, Freq 2, Gain 2, Dry/Wet mix, and Output.

There are two types: Parametric and Shelving, each with a two adjustable points.

Filter

Types include: Low, Band, and High in 2Pole and 4Pole configurations. Filter Cutoff can be controlled via knob or with a Y slider to adjust the knob range and rhythm amount range.

Reverb

Pre Delay, Size, HP, LP, Dry/Wet mix, and output. The reverb is high quality, but I would say it’s the weakest out of the six effects. The tone is extremely digital, and the tails are a little muddy at times. I view this kind of reverb as a add-on reference. Who doesn’t have a go-to reverb plugin? If you don’t, there are several good Gearslutz threads and user reviews to help guide you to your next purchase. ;-)

IN ACTION

I see three main workflow options:

1. FAST AND EASY WORKFLOW: Start with a preset and tweak as needed, i.e., adjust delay time — 1/8, 1/4, etc. I’m not usually a fan of most bank and preset names, but I dig many of these: Cosmic Radio, Trippy Trem, Boxy Shapeshifter, etc. The preset collection is comprehensive and flexible. There are many options for bass, drones, drums, guitar, vocals, etc.

2. CONTROL-ISSUES WORKFLOW: Adjust each Rhythm generator to achieve desired results. Lots of creative control — Flux, Sidechain, etc. Lots of power — 38 parameters of simultaneous control via four autonomous engines that are linked into two identical pairs that each has a dedicated rhythm generators that can modulate any of the loaded effect parameter. To assign a rhythm simply click, drag-n-drop the number indicator icon onto the parameter knob you want to modulate, and then adjust via the corresponding rhythm slider. There are three components to the rhythm gen section: LFO, Step Sequencer, Sidechain (external).

Step Sequencer features 32 steps with different envelope options. Steps can be programed in both + and -. There are even regular, dotted and triplet resolutions for timing, as well as Step Shapes. A Swing knob is included to add human feel, and there is a really cool Random button to create the unexpected and/or unblock the rhythmically challenged. The rate knob can be fluctuated by the other rhythms when Flux is engaged.

LFO Generator features twelve LFO wave shapes.

Each shape can be further tweaked by rate, chaos, and flux controls. The Chaos knob adds random amplitude variations on the wave per cycle, while flux uses one rhythm to modulate the rate of another.

Sidechain enables users to create a modulation curve that follows an external signal coming from a DAW. Using the sidechain input as a modulation source is actually quite unique for multi-effects plugins. There’s a handy little link built into the interface to help users set up this feature in their DAW:

3. CHAOTIC WORKFLOW: Go crazy on the X/Y pad dial! More than 150 parameters may be manipulated in vivo. The pad is responsive and fun to use via the horizontal and vertical sliders or freeform by grabbing and dragging the wheel around. According to Molten Music Technology, “[The X/Y pad] is essentially a macro controller. You assign whatever knobs you like to it, as many as you like, and then you just fiddle all over the place.” All in all, this provides users with a creative way to manipulate the two sets of Rhythm groups. 

The type of workflow chosen probably depends on two factors, the type of person/user you are and the type of track you are working on.

ANALOGY

I like dancing, but I don’t like following dance steps — it destroys what I like about moving my body — feeling free to express myself and making delightful mistakes.

Weeee — I feel the same about using this FX, which is very Instrument-like. It’s more fun to toss the wheel around the X/Y pad to see what kind of rhythmic mess (I mean sound) I can create!

WHO IS THIS FOR?

Anyone looking for something more inspiring and more rhythmically significant than an ordinary effects unit. Movement will shine in the studio and in live performances. In addition to being suitable for musicians and producers, it’s a perfect fit for DJs. There are times when control and precision is needed; however, there are also times when introducing a little chaos and randomness can transform a boring track into POW! Enter Movement!

WHO IS THIS NOT FOR?

Unplugged acoustic performances and producers who don’t appreciate the rhythmic modulation of motion.

GUITARISTS BEWARE!

This could make it to the top of your favorites list and quite possibly redefine your sound. Question: What should The Edge, David Gilmore, and Johnny Marr have in common? Answer: This plugin.

AMBIENT ALLERT!

Imagine what this could do to a drone.

GOOD THINGS

  • Looks great; Sounds great
  • Fun to use; Easy to use
  • Musical (instrument-like)
  • Inspiring; Innovative
  • Excellent presets
  • Super sound-shaping capability
  • Decent manual, but not needed
  • Cool developer

FEATURE REQUESTS

  • Fully functioning demo
  • Improved stability (a couple online forum users have cited bugs and crashes, but I have not)
  • More efficient Low CPU Mode
  • Standalone version
  • Scalable IU
  • Cross modulation
  • Wetter analog filter

SUMMARY

In a heavily saturated audio software market, Output has created a unique plugin that is intuitive, inspiring, and powerful. Movement delivers beyond its namesake. It’s more than a effects plugin; it’s an creative rhythmic modulation instrument that takes production creativity to a new level. The presets are fabulous and provide instant satisfaction, and there is plenty of sound-sculpting features on board for custom control. I’m especially excited about this plugin because it could very well replace my all-time favorite plugin for guitars, AdrenaLinn Sync, which is defunct. This is only v1.01. After a few updates, I wouldn’t be surprised it this makes it to the top of those “Best of 2016” lists. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Movement finds its way onto many upcoming tracks — widespread like AutoTune, but more subtle. I’m keeping this plugin! I give Movement two gyrating thumbs up. Note: This is their first multi-effect processor — impressive!

SCORING

  • Sound Quality — 5/5: Crisp, clear algorithms.
  • Ease of Use — 5/5: Once set-up, it couldn’t be easier.
  • Features — 4/5: Simple, yet effective, flexible, and powerful. Additional control, FX, and presets aren’t necessary, but welcome.
  • Bang for the Buck — 3/5: There really isn’t anything out there for a direct comparison; yet, SugarBytes, iZotope, d16 Group, Dmitry Sches, Loomer, Eventide, etc. have created some really cool delay mod multi-effects plugins. Movement is priced fairly, but it would be even more attractive on sale.

You can also check out the review at Gearslutz.

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