Tor-Helge Skei has introduced fx_cutter, a freeware loop mangling utility in 32-bit VST plugin format for Windows based host applications.
The effect started out as a Cockos Jesusonic plugin (the format natively supported in Cockos Reaper), however the developer Tor-Helge Skei decided to convert all of his JS creations to VST plugin format and fx_cutter was the first tool to get the VST treatment. This of course is very fortunate for us non-Reaper users, since we’re getting a really cool beat mangling effect for free.
The plugin is currently available for 32-bit Windows plugin hosts only, but it seems that a 64-bit version will also be published after the developer irons out certain stability issues (there’s more info about the potential 64-bit release on the product page linked below). I’ve tested the VST plugin version of fx_cutter in MuTools MuLab (32-bit) and it worked without any issues whatsoever.
We haven’t seen a cool freeware loop slicer in quite a while (Loophole by de la Mancha was re-released last year, but it’s an old plugin actually) and for this reason I was quite eager to put fx_cutter on a little test run. The plugin is really fun to use and it can lead to some very unexpected and very cool sounding results. It’s one of those probability-based effects which you’ll probably want to leave running for a while, recording the output and then picking out the best parts for use in your project.
fx_cutter continually records the incoming audio signal into a buffer, allowing the user to select the bar length and the number of slices. The beat re-arranging occurs automatically, however it’s possible to manually tweak the slicing probability and adjust other stuff like the slowdown or speed boost of the sliced chunks of audio. Obviously, fx_cutter is pretty hard to tame, but that’s actually the whole idea behind these kinds of tools. Pass a synth sequence or a drum loop through it and who knows what will come out on the other end!
Check out the fx_cutter demo video:
fx_cutter is available for free download via Tor-Helge Skei’s website (332 KB download size, DLL file, 32-bit VST plugin format for Windows, 64-bit version could be released soon).