Regroover is an intelligent multi-band beat slicer virtual instrument for PC and Mac, developed by Accusonus. The software is available in two different versions – Pro ($159 instead of the regular $199 until December 31st) and Essential ($99). A free trial is also available for download from the developer’s website.
Unlike traditional beat slicing tools which only cut a loop into time-based slices, Regroover can actually split an audio loop into a group of up to six layers, each consisting of a different rhythmic element. Applied to a fully mixed stereo drum loop, at least in theory, Regroover can convert it into kick, snare, hi-hat, and tom layers. The automatic splitting process is not buttery smooth every time, but it can be tweaked, almost to perfection, with a bit of manual parameter adjustment.
Once a loop is loaded into Regroover (both WAV and AIFF file formats are supported), it will automatically analyze the material at hand and split it into four layers by default. Once split, these can be soloed or muted, processed with the built-in equalizer, or event sent to individual outputs for additional processing with 3rd party plugins. The plugin also reacts to MIDI input, so that the user can play back the different layers using a MIDI keyboard or the piano roll. Regroover will also stretch the loop to fit the host application’s BPM setting, although this option can also be turned off if required.
When it comes to fine-tuning the automatic splitting process, Regroover can be instructed to use up to six layers instead of four, which is particularly useful for splitting more complex loop. The Activity slider can be used to automatically shorten the transients on the active layer, or to make them longer instead. The most important tool, though, is the Annotation tool which makes it possible to mark different sections of a certain layer and use Regroover’s analysis engine to distribute them to a different layer. The automatic splitting process sometimes splits the same snare or a kick drum across multiple channels (usually the bottom and top end are split to different layers), and the Annotation tool makes it possible to join them simply by selecting them and repeating the Scan process.
Located in the bottom-right corner of the user interface is 16-pad drum bank which can be used to isolate certain parts of each layer. You can load it up with individual kick and snare hits, or longer sequences which are then triggered via MIDI. Both the pads and the layers can be exported to WAV format using the Export menu located at the top of the user interface.
Having tested Regroover on a variety of drum loops ranging from drum machine beats to noisy vintage breaks, I’ve found that the results of the automatic slicing process depend largely on the sound quality of the original loop. The cleaner the mix, the better job Regroover will do of automatically recognizing the right drum hits and splitting them into layers. In certain cases, the plugin managed to separate a loop into kick, snare, hi-hat and percussion tracks almost perfectly. A few times, it even managed to split the room sounds and background noise to a separate track. On the other hand, for busier loops or vintage loops with a fair amount of noise and hiss, the automatic slicing process often needs to be adjusted manually in order to get the best possible result.
What impressed me the most, though, is the amount of stuff that can actually be done once a loop is split into layers. The most obvious thing you can do is to remix a loop by splitting it into layers and then re-sequencing its parts via MIDI. However, Regroover can also be used for more subtle tweaks such as readjusting the balance of a rendered drum sequence or even applying subtle EQ tweaks to individual drum hits such as a bass drum or a crash cymbal. In this regard, Regroover works sort of like a multi-band compressor on steroids, giving the user direct access to individual parts of a mix.
The only difference between the Pro and Essential versions of Regroover is that the latter can’t be used to create and edit expansion kits, nor save them for later use. Speaking of which, Accusonus has released the first expansion kit for Regroover and it is available as a completely free download from their website.
Regroover is unique beat slicing tool that combines some pretty advanced features with a surprisingly quick and easy workflow. A quick look at a few short tutorial videos that are available on the developer’s YouTube channel is all that it takes to master the plugin. The results can be quite impressive, especially if you take the time to tweak the automatic splitting process.
More info: Regroover (the Pro version is on sale until December 31st)
Accusonus Regroover Review
Regroover is unique beat slicing tool that combines some pretty advanced features with a surprisingly quick and easy workflow. The results can be quite impressive, especially if you take the time to tweak the automatic splitting process.