Russian developer Vasily Makarov (who gave us the Marazmator synthesizer last year) has announced the release of Brandulator, a tempo-synced arpeggiator/resonator effect that distributes the input along three lanes of parallel comb filters that behave in accordance with harmonic laws specified by a large number of musical scales and chord formulas archived within the plugin.
Version 1.0 was significantly buggy, but Vasily has already fixed a few things, such as a massive gain spike upon startup, posing a substantial threat to your monitors… and your hearing. There are still a few minor issues with the GUI, but if you can look beyond that, Brandulator is a wonderfully musical effect that springs to life once you trigger your DAW’s sequencer and process sounds though it. Drum loops, synth leads, even pads and ambient soundscapes suddenly take on a whole new rhythmic and harmonic context when processed through Brandulator’s sound engine.
The “Rand” button will re-tune each of the sixteen steps in all three channels in accordance with the selected scale. You can also determine the root pitch of the scale and the octave range with a small handful of controls at the bottom of the interface, along with additional controls for output level, depth (which is actually controlling the feedback filter), glide/portamento, and detuning of the comb filters.
I’m really impressed by the vast assortment of musical scales available in the drop-down menu below the “Rand” button. Brandulator might not be very flexible in terms of its overall sound, even though you can create flanger effects by increasing the level of glide and detuning, but it’s enormously flexible musically!
So far, I’ve had a blast feeding sounds through Brandulator in tandem with Alex Hilton’s A1TriggerGate, another great freebie which will add a bit of “pizazz” to Branulator’s output. Aside from a few minor bugs, I personally feel that Brandulator is one of the best free plugins of 2016!
Brandular is available for free download via KVR Audio (32-bit version 802 KB download size, 64-bit version 1.6 MB download size, ZIP archive, 32 & 64-bit VST plugin format for Windows).