Review – Blue Cat Audio Late Replies – A New Delay and Multi Effects Plugin
Blue Cat Audio announced the release of Late Replies, a new creative delay and multi effects plug-in capable of hosting built-in or third party plug-ins anywhere in the signal path. Here’s Eli Krantzberg’s review.
Blue Cat Audio Late Replies
Blue Cat Audio is coming up in the plug-in world.
The interface redesign introduced with their recent update of the MB 7 Mixer and Patchworks, and also used in Destructor, have made the power of their programming much more accessible to the end user. And more fun! Now with the launch of their new plug-in Late Replies, Blue Cat Audio has given birth to a new hybrid delay/multi-effects plug-in that is not only powerful in ways we have never seen before but creatively stimulating. And most importantly, intuitive and easy to use.
What is Late Replies?
Late Replies is a powerful delay and multi effects plug-in that can be indefinitely extended by incorporating either Blue Cat Audio’s incredible sounding built-in effects, or third party plug-ins (VST, VST3, or Audio Unit format).
Effects processing can be added in any or all of four stages in the signal flow.
First, up to four effects plug-ins are available at the input stage, effectively processing the source audio before it is fed to the rest of the plug-in.
Secondly, up to four effects can be added to each of the potential eight taps (or replies) generated in the Pattern Module.
The third location is the Loops module, which incorporates two parallel feedback loops that can also be fed back into each other. Each feedback loop has the ability to host built-in or third party plug-ins so that each new echo gets more effects than the previous one.
The fourth stage of effects processing is the output stage, once the signal has passed through the taps and feedback loops.
The Pattern Module
The Base Delay settings define the value used by the Pattern and Loop sections. The delay, relative to the base delay value, can be set independently for each of the eight potential taps, or replies. Think of the grid as a way of sub dividing the base delay value So, if the base delay is set to a value of 1.00 (quarter notes), the grid can be set to divide that basic pulse into two, three, four… up to eight sub divisions. Replies can be placed evenly on the grid divisions, or, ahead or behind them for a pushing or pulling feel. If the base delay is set to 1.50 for example (dotted quarter notes), the grid sub divisions are based on that value.
The base delay value can also be set in milliseconds, free of the host tempo. So there is complete freedom to place the generated replies exactly where you want them. In fact, there is a dice icon to randomize their placement, for inspiration. The Pattern Mixer lets you manage the levels, panning, and phase of each reply as well as apply the above mentioned per-reply effects.
The Loops Module
The Loops module contains two parallel feedback loops (echoes) that can interact with each other via cross-feedback and cross talk. The Loops Module has its own independent grid, used to define a pre-delay, and the length, for each of the two loops. Loop start point and lengths can be snapped to the grid, or placed freely. They can also be randomized, for inspiration. Each loop has its own phase buttons, plug-in slots, mixer settings, and freeze controls. Both the pattern and loops modules host their own presets either for the full module or for just the grid sequences.
To round out the features of this workhorse, built-in ducking allows the user to duck the signal based either on the input source audio or via a side chain input. In addition to more effects processing, the output stage also includes a stereo spread control and built-in brick wall limiter; which is a great safety net when experimenting with feedback loops!
Rounding out the control Late Replies offers, each stage of the signal flow has its own dry/wet mix knobs and power buttons.
With effects processing at each stage, Late Replies is capable of creating everything from pitched melodic patterns to distorted rhythms, rich evolving modulations; and everything in between. The included 25 built-in effects include the potential for all of this and more.
There have been a lot of new delay plug-ins released in the past half year or so; each with their own unique features and qualities. But Late Replies brings everything, and way more, all under one virtual plug-in roof. Blue Cat Audio is redefining the traditional ways we think of a plug-in. Instead of a single function effect, Late Replies is a “host” that incorporates the outside world into its internal functions.
Think of it as a kind of plug-in workstation, and you’ll be on your way to discovering the huge universe of sonic possibilities it can bring to your music and sound design.
Late Replies costs 129 EUR or USD (tax included). The introduction price is 96 USD or EUR (25% off), until September 17th. Existing customers will be granted a larger discount, offer sent by email.
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