Photo by: Output

A plugin for “less random bloops and bleeps and more creative music making.”

LA-based plugin studio Output has released a lot of unusual plugins over its five-year lifespan – including a reverse instrument suite, pulse engine and hybrid string instrument – but its latest takes on something more well established: granular synthesis.

Portal is what Output calls an “accessible” take on granular synthesis, a method that breaks source sounds into tiny grains and reorganizes them into new ones. This often results in extreme deviations from the source sound, but Output says that Portal’s results are “more closely related to the original input”.

Portal’s interface is divided into three main screens: a main page that features an XY control for easy access to a few macros, an advanced section that allows you to mess around with modulation shapes, grain controls, delay and stretch parameters, and a preset browser with categories like “glitchy”, “rhythmic” and “sound design”.

Output’s last major release was last year’s Arcade, a subscription-based sample instrument updated regularly with fresh content. In 2017 it launched its own studio desk called Platform.

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