Though there's endless amounts of fun to be had in the world of software-based audio manipulation, it's perhaps not overly controversial of us to confess that sometimes, certain plugin designs can leave us feeling a little creatively uninspired.
That makes it all the more refreshing when we come across developers applying the same level of artistry and imagination to their software that musicians and producers do to their music. Freakshow Industries is one of those developers, devising brilliantly strange plugins that are truly unlike anything else we've seen before.
Their latest creation, Pocket Dimension, is billed as an "XY-style granular time portal", and that's about the most straightforward description you'll get from Freakshow Industries, who like to shroud the real functions of their software in cryptic riddles straight out of a twisted sci-fi horror movie. According to their website, the plugin was the result of a "doomed expedition to find the Lost Relic of Carcosa, said to bend our earthly dimension in unholy ways."
"The Relic found us first, presenting as an infernal contraption that would become our tragic undoing," the description continues. "The device let us touch the maddening beyond and thus we were consumed into its crimson abyss."
As far as we can tell from a brief mess-around, Pocket Dimension is a granular effect that freezes, replays and manipulates incoming grains of sound to create complex textures from incoming source audio. There's three bafflingly-named parameters (Void, Dose and Secret) which can be controlled in unison through the XY grid, or modulated using the plugin's "sigil-based" modulation section. That's all we'll say, as much of the joy of Freakshow's plugins comes from not quite knowing exactly what they're doing.
The plugin is available for Mac and PC in VST, VST3, AU and AAX formats. It's $30, but as is the case with all of Freakshow Industries' software, you can choose to pay less than that, or choose to 'steal' the plugin. This means you're able to download it for free, but you won't be able to upgrade and may not receive support. However, we suggest you drop the cash, if you can - they deserve it.