Should I Buy It? – Sugarbytes Looperator Review

In this week’s edition of Should I Buy It? Yeuda takes a look at Sugarbytes’ Looperator plugin. It’s an older “effects sequencer” plugin but has always been a classic so we wanted to dive in and give you our opinion. Watch the video review below, and read the score breakdown below that.

 

 

 

Sugarbytes Looperator Rating: 9/10

Pros:

– The interface is well made
– Results are immediate and fun
– Easy to customize and experiment while also delivered a massive amount of presets.

Cons:

– Effects are nothing revolutionary and you might already have a similar tool in your arsenal

This is a powerful plugin to have and is very straightforward to use. We would definitely recommend it if you don’t have anything else like it already. Purchase yours on the Sugar Bytes website for $119.

Overview

 

 

As we mentioned above, Looperator is an “effects sequencer” plugin. That means that it will trigger internal effects based on notes in a sequencer. It’s a simple concept that always yields interesting results for productions.

We’ve covered glitch machines before so we were excited to get back onto the topic. Effects sequencers are awesome. They’ll make a boring loop into something unique with the click of a button, it almost feels like cheating! Regardless of work ethics, we were proud to review Looperator.

Looperator (pictured above) has a straightforward user interface, one of the many things we liked about it. It has a nice color scheme that separates the sequencer tracks and detail views that pop up when browsing each effect. Overall it’s quite easy to navigate.

 

 

Up at the header (see above) is where you can sync the plugin to your host DAW tempo, choose presets, hit undo/redo, and apply global randomization. You can also change the recording/playback timing of the plugin. You can go 1/4 time, halftime, double-time, etc.

 

 

There is a global dry/wet, which can even be switched between a few different modes. There is also a global randomizer, with six different modes to choose from. You can adjust how those modes affect the tracks from the settings menu (pictured below).

 

 

You can adjust the slice, loop, envelopes, FX 1, filter, and FX 2 tracks individually. You can also reconfigure the signal chain from top to bottom of each track. Let’s jump into each effect track below.

Slice

 

 

The Slicer in Looperator will record audio from your track and disperse it amongst the 16 steps of the sequencer. When doing that, it will also assign each slice a number. You can adjust those numbers or randomize the assignments using the slice number pad seen below.

 

Functionally, the sequencer audio will overrule whatever audio you have on your track. So based on the step assignments in your sequencer you can replay specific slices of audio. You can also choose to play a random slice by inputting the dice icon in the sequencer.
Using the sequencer is easy, just right-click to input steps and left-click to erase. The slice effect is a great way to do DJ-style beat jumping or reimagine your audio loop. Let’s move on to the FX 1 effect next.

FX 1

 

 

The FX 1 track is a multi-effects unit, you can choose from Delay, Tapestop, Distortion, and Tonal Delay effects. If you choose the “User” option then that opens it up to ten effects total including the ones we just listed. In user mode, you’ll be able to choose from and adjust a Phaser, Vinyl, Chaos Synth, Reverb 2, and Ring Modulator.

 

 

It’s awesome to have that sort of flexibility and range of effects at your disposal. That being said, we don’t think the effects are all that amazing. They are capable, but not all that unique. They’ll certainly do that job of spicing up any audio loop but don’t rely on them for individual effects.

Let’s move onto the Envelope track next.

Envelope

 

 

The Envelope track is a volume gate. On it, you choose from a number of preset envelope shapes or create your own. There are a healthy number of shapes to choose from and they work quite well. If you aren’t satisfied you can get more creative and customize your own shape.

 

Filter

The Filter track triggers filters and filter movement on your audio loop. There are lowpass, highpass, and vowel filter presets. As is the trend, if you want more control over the shapes you can customize using the user settings.
In the user mode, you can access more filter shapes like Bandpass and Comb filters. The Vowel filter is the most unique shape of all the filters. It’s a lot of fun to play with so definitely try it out if you demo/buy the plugin.
Let’s move onto the Loop track.

Loop

 

 

The Loop effect track is very simple and loads of fun. You can place different repeat patterns onto each sequencer step that results in a loop of the corresponding audio slice. There are simple presets to choose from but if you want to take full advantage of this parameter you should customize a pattern.

 

 

The user-mode lets you dictate more than just the loop length, it lets you modulate pan, pitch, and volume as well. We love this one. Let’s move onto the second multi-effect track.

FX2

 

 

The FX2 track is another opportunity to stack multiple effects on a single sequencer track. The presets range from the four factory effects Reverb, Vinyl, Stretch and Phaser. If you opt for user mode you will unlock the same 10 total effects we mentioned in the FX1 section.

Despite what we said early, the effects are all very tasteful.

Where Can I Learn More?

Are you new to production, or want a crash-course in mastering? Beat Lab Academy’s online production and in-person Ableton courses will give you the skills you need to become tomorrow’s super producer.

 

 

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