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Output’s Portal FX plugin takes you down the granular synthesis rabbit hole without making your head hurt

If you thought that granular synthesis was just something for the synth boffins, think again. Output’s new Portal FX plugin makes it easy to apply it to any sound you like, and all in a very musical way.

The centrepiece of the GUI is an XY pad that’s linked to granular parameters. If you wish, you can simply choose a suitable preset (more than 250 are included) and start dragging.

That might be as far as you go, but those who want to dive deeper can explore Portal’s more advanced features, including grain controls, modulation and FX. There are timestretching options, humanize controls to make your sounds more organic, and pitchshifting.

The result is a plugin that’s as easy - granular synthesis that your granny could use, perhaps? - or technical as you want it to be.

Portal costs $149/£130 and is available now in VST/AU/AAX formats. Find out more on the Output website.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Group Content Manager for MusicRadar, specialising in all things tech. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 20 of which I’ve also spent writing about music technology. 

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