(aha ha ha ha I am so funny – beet slicer – Haaa ha ha ha etc)
So it seems I am suddenly inundated with beat slicers.
I remember back at the start of 2012 when Nanostudio got note slicing I thought “That sounds useful”, later that year I bought BeatMaker2 (so much regret) purely on the back of a video where someone was slicing up a sample to pads, which seemed useful to me as I slice up my vocal samples up into small sections across a lot of pads… but I never used BM2 because I found the workflow awkward. Now suddenly it seems that there are beat slicers/samplers everywhere… ironically now I have all this beat slicing functionality I trim all of my samples by hand in Nanostudio still because I find the interface there the absolute best for zooming into the wave and finding a good transient free start/end position. I also now find I seldom use beat slicing anyway as, vocal samples apart, I use very few samples apart from single shop drum hits. Anyway here is a quick roundup of the ones I own..
Nanostudio note slicer – I have only used this once or twice and really this isn’t a beat slicer per se – but it does allow you to take a sample and split it into even parts (up to 64) which it then spreads over the keyboard, so if you have a well quantized sample this can allow you to perform beat-slicer type functionality. No option to change the start/end positions of the samples.
iMPC-Pro – great functionality to split up a sample into (up to) 64 parts and map to impc pads. non destructive editing and tweaking. I have played about with this extensively if not productively and it is a great tool. You can move your start/end points easily for each ‘slice’ of your sample. Try with the TurboDuck compressor to remove a lot of the noise and crap from the slices too. My big complaint about this one is the lack of audio paste, I know I know, it has itunes/music library import and IAA but when it comes to samples I like to move tidily trimmed snippets around in and out of loopy etc and having to record and trim them again in iMPC Pro is a right pain. First World Problems eh?
Yellofier – a surprisingly excellent beatslicer that I have used on a number of occasions. Really this one is very good despite it’s simplicity and limitations – you can slice up a sample into 8 parts adjusting the start/end position of each and then sequence the resulting slices applying a sizable array of effects to each step. If this allowed more slices and some tweaking of the FX this would be a powerhouse, as it is it is very good.
Korg Gadget – Abu Dhabi. Fully functional beat slicing gadget, splits your sample up into 16 parts, you can tweak start/end positions for each slice, apply FX etc. Thankfully this one does support Audiopaste so I will probably use it more than iMPC Pro. My main complaint is that I wish I could zoom the gadget up to sceen size for editing/playing – it is all a bit little… or maybe it is just my poor old knackered eyes.
Sector – this one even contains the word “Stochastic” in it’s description and so has obviously been absorbed into my workflow as easily as the TV remote control is absorbed into the rolls of belly fat of one of those ultra obese people offa the telly. Unless I am missing something you cannot change the start end positions of the slices – so really this is best suited to highly quantized and trimmed samples – I imagine if you drop in loops recorded from old motown records you will find the vagaries of human timing make for a rather poor result. However once you have your tidy loops in Sector the app is a pure joy to work with allowing you to build in anything from a little glitching or groove variation to full on chaos, and of course you have up to 4 morphs/glitch FX that you can add to each step too. Loveliness.
Samplr – this one took me by surprise, I never used to get on with Samplr at all but I saw a tutorial video not long back that opened my eyes to it’s potential coolness – one aspect of which is the ability to slice up your loaded sample into 4/8/16/32 parts (the start and end positions of which are moveable) and then play those slices – this works especially well when you play the loop with the random button switched on and results in sector like madness.
There are other beat/loop slicers I have not used, Beat Twirl (?) for instance, probably some of the DJ apps I own but never opened, LoopMash (which I got a refund for because I thought it was useless)… anyone know of any others?