Image-Line’s proprietary plugin modules have historically only been available natively for their own FL Studio software, and have long been the envy of producers using other DAWs like Logic or Ableton Live on OS X based systems. Due to popular demand, Image-Line has recently been releasing VST and AU versions of many of their plugins to accommodate OS X compatibility, and have announced that they will soon be adding four more modules to their ever growing list of externally compatible devices: Gross Beat, Sytrus, Maximus, and Harmor.
Image-Line commands a wide range of creatively developed software plugin products that are both unique and powerful, featuring workflows and processing algorithms that are truly one of a kind. With the newly released alpha versions of these devices, those using OS X based systems can now test drive them to get a glimpse of how they can enhance productivity and creativity. Let’s take a deeper look in to what these devices are and what they have to offer.
Image-Line’s Gross Beat is a time stretching and manipulation tool designed for looping, chopping, gating, and essentially mangling your sounds in a variety of interesting and musical ways. It’s perfect for real-time performances or for adding glitches and stutter effects within your productions.
Gross Beat stores incoming audio in to a continuously rolling internal buffer, which is controlled by 36 user-definable time and volume envelopes, allowing you virtually limitless creative accuracy and control. All preset gestures can be linked via MIDI to any external control surface for spontaneous playability, or can be automated within your DAW for even greater precision. Preset slots can be triggered using multiple trigger behavior modes, including MOMENTARY, RETURN TO BASE, or HOLD. Image-Line Gross Beat also excels at creating side-chain compression or gating effects as well, without the need to actually trigger a compressor or gate from an external source.
Sytrus is one of Image-Line’s hybrid synthesizers, combining the familiarity and ease of subtractive synthesis with the added power and versatility of FM (frequency modulation) and RM (ring modulation) synthesis. This allows Sytrus to deliver an enormous range of timbres and sonorities, from lush pads and bells to synthetic percussion and otherworldly effects. Its six operators can act independently as subtractive oscillators themselves or can work interdependently by cross-modulating each other.
Image-Line Sytrus also boasts a powerful additive harmonic editor that can be used to synthesize partials to create virtually any sound you can imagine. The device also provides three independent filter units, each containing a multitude of filter types as well as a dedicated wave-shaping device. Combine that with optional chorus, delay, and reverb units in the FX section, and you’ve got yourself one truly powerful synth.
Image-Line’s Maximus is a Swiss army knife of a device in that it’s equal parts limiter, maximizer, compressor, expander, noise gate, and de-esser, all within a compact and user-friendly GUI. It provides a wealth of features and is equally well suited to tackling dynamics processing on a per-track basis as it is to functioning as a mastering tool. Maximus has the ability to operate across three independent frequency bands, LOW, MID, and HIGH, all featuring adjustable crossover points and gain settings, which enhances versatility and precision when applying dynamics processing techniques. Image-Line Maximus also provides you with four user-definable compression curves, complete stereo separation control, saturation processing, and a handy visualizer to provide useful visual feedback while making adjustments.
Harmor is another innovative hybrid synthesizer from Image-Line. It allows you to apply familiar subtractive synthesis techniques to effectively harness the raw power of an additive synthesis engine. As if that weren’t enough, Harmor combines these attributes with both an image synthesizer and an audio resythesizer, as well as a built-in spectrogram which allows you to visualize these harmonic interactions in real time as they are happening. The device also features a multipoint envelope editor that you can apply to over 40 parameters of your choosing, allowing you to link parameters to key triggers or velocity layers and even fine-tune unison voices independently.It provides you with an abundance of filter types to choose from, as well as the option of actually drawing your own filter curves, for complete unabated control of your sound.
Harmor also features effects units such as distortion, chorus, delay, and reverb, which like processing units can be completely re-ordered in a semi-modular way to suit your needs, adding further variation to the timbre. You get the idea – the possibilities here are truly infinite. The synergy of all of these features makes the Image-Line Harmor a truly unique and inspiring piece of equipment that is a welcome addition to any production environment.
You can download 32-bit alpha versions of Gross Beat, Sytrus, Maximus, and Harmor at Image-Line’s website for free right here. Image-Line assures us that 64-bit alpha versions are on the way.
Image-Line has also already released a host of other fully functional OS X compatible devices in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions that are definitely worth checking out, such as Drumaxx, Morphine, Poizone, Sakura, Sawer, and Toxic Biohazard – all of which are available here at the Image-Line store for purchase or as trial versions.
Image-Line’s flagship software, the acclaimed FL Studio 11, is also now available in beta for OS X and can be downloaded here.