United Plugins Transmutator by Sound-Guy
Transmutator (by JMG Sound from United Plugins)
JMG Sound are keeping busy with the recent update to Hyperspace 1.9 and the introduction of a unique and a bit odd little plug-in called Transmutator. This latest release demonstrates that JMG keep thinking out-of-the-box.
What is It?
Transmutator is a plug-in designed to crossfade between an input track and a sidechain input from a separate track. However, rather than the usual volume shifting to fade one signal while raising the other, Transmutator has 16 variations that include filtering, spectral processing, a Mid-Sides fade, a stereo fade, a pan mode, dynamics separation and a pitch shifting process along with ten others. And each mode has two variations that can be distinctly different. Actually, it will also produce a pure level-shifting crossfade if the Dry/Wet control is set to dry, and will process a blend of level shifting and the selected advanced mode with intermediate Dry/Wet settings. Note that you must use a DAW that can handle sidechains (I understand that GarageBand for one, cannot provide sidechain control). Both DAWs I currently use, REAPER and Studio One work fine with Transmutator.
The various effects provide a range of results that I found somewhat dependent on the inputs used. In some cases several of the effects sounded very similar and not unlike a volume cross-fade, but in others the effect was rather striking. One of the first applications one might think of is mixing between two songs in a DJ gig – to do this without missing a beat requires aligning beats between two tracks and then shifting from one to the other. Transmutator can handle this task perfectly and provide some unique effects.
In mixing you can use Transmutator to create some fascinating transitions and automate the mix knob to shift between tracks at any rate you choose, or even oscillate between two tracks for some wild results. I found using it on one bus such as drums or percussion with the sidechain signal from the other bus could create unique dynamic effects. As their web site suggest, you can use its features to progress from verse to chorus or build-up to drop, with previously impossible (or at least extremely difficult to accomplish) transitions. I found a neat trick using the same track for both the A and B inputs and moving the B track later than A – you can obtain some smoothly nuanced delays this way with some fascinating blending FX.
And if you are doing sound design, Transmutator can help create a new range of sounds, blending tones from different synths or samplers in ways you can’t do with the instruments themselves.
There are some good examples on the web site and I’ve included a file that has ten sets of song transitions using the same two songs (by the excellent band The Long Wait) – I picked out ten transition modes that had the most variation from each other. The first uses the Filter mode and sounds almost like a pure level crossfade but if you listen carefully it is accomplished by sweeping two filters, one LP that moves up and a HP that shifts down. Next is a Morph, then Morph with the inverted mode, Stereo, Pan which sweeps the new sound in from the left, Liquid, Wash, Blur and Shift with inversion.
in my test system (PC Audio Labs Rok Box PC with Windows 7, 64 Bit, 4-Core Intel i7-4770K, 3.5 GHz, and 16 GB RAM) Transmutator required from less than 0.1% (too low to measure) to a little over 0.5% CPU resource depending on settings. Latency runs form none (zero samples) for half of the transitions (Filter, Stereo, Pan, Dynamics, Follower, Multi, Wash and Redux) to 8,192 samples for the Liquid transition. The other seven transitions use 2,048 samples each. As usual your DAW’s PDC should take care of latency when mixing. But be aware that if you change a transition type while processing signals, you can get gaps or glitches. However, changing the gains, the Dry/Wet balance or the big Mix knob causes no glitches, creating smooth transitions.
A lot of fun with many possibilities in music production, sound development, and even DJing live shows. And you can try the demo for free and get a full licensed copy for only US$22 or €19 until the end of September, 2020 (US$81 or €69 after that).
A unique controller with 32 different transition modes.
Excellent sound with 64 bit internal processing.
Continuously variable GUI size with clean layout.
Easy installation and authorization.
Free trial period and reasonably priced, especially at the intro pricing.
User manual can now be downloaded as an htm file viewable with any browser.
Lots of creative ways to use it!