What is it?
The latest effect plugin from prolific Swedish developers Klevgränd, Spinn is a multiband modulation processor loosely inspired by the rotating design of Leslie rotary speakers.
As with those classic speakers, the core idea behind Spinn involves emulating the effect of passing sound through a rotating device in order to produce a Doppler effect, resulting in variations in volume and pitch.
Spinn’s design uses four ‘rotors’ – aka modulators – each of which deals with its own frequency band. There are a trio of crossover switches placed between the rotors, each with three settings for adjusting the frequency range of each band. Each rotor then has a selection of controls dictating the speed, depth and movement of its modulation.
The Size parameter affects how pronounced the Doppler effect produced by each rotor is, while the Mod parameter controls the depth of filter and gain modulation applied for each band.
Performance and verdict
As with classic rotary speakers, Spinn has both Fast and Slow modes for altering the global speed of all four rotors. What’s interesting about Spinn’s design, however, is that speed settings can be adjusted for each of the four rotors individually, for both Fast and Slow modes.
Because of this, the name of these two global modes is a little misleading – it’s possible to set any rotor to run slower in Fast mode and faster in Slow mode, and vice versa.
As a result, it’s possible to create cool effects where, for example, high frequencies modulate rapidly whilst low frequencies churn at a slower rate.
Other per-rotor settings adjust the acceleration and deceleration speeds for each rotor as it moves between Fast and Slow modes. There’s also a velocity tool, which can apply modulation to the rotor speed based on the level of the incoming audio.
Beyond the four rotors, Spinn also features global reverb and amp sim modules. The reverb has three selectable room sizes plus a dry/wet control. The amp has a three-band EQ, two selectable ‘tube’ modes – clean and hot – plus a drive control. Spinn is a neat, well-designed modulation tool capable of adding lots of depth and interest.
As with most Klevgränd plugins, the UI looks great, and you’ll likely find yourself getting lost in the spinning rotors – but this can be turned off to save CPU power/prevent hypnotism.
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Its multiple distortion types and shaping tools mean it can adapt well to various types of material, from adding mid-range presence to sub-bass to squashing drum loops or adding gritty movement to pads.
It’s not without some minor bugbears though. While the multiband switches do offer some flexibility over the positions of the four bands, its not massively flexible compared to, say, the flexible sliders in Output Thermal or Cableguys Shaperbox.
Moreover the visual representation of those bands is a little lacking – a spectrum view or at least positional sliders would help visualise crossover points better. Also, it’s a shame there’s no internal modulation source for the global Fast/Slow/Off dial.
Spinn is at its most fun when you begin to adjust acceleration/deceleration speeds and hop between different modes and, while you can automate changes from your DAW, it would be great to have an LFO or automation tool to program those changes automatically.
MusicRadar verdict: Spinn is a unique take on the classic rotary modulation concept that combines visual appeal with plenty of sonic potential.
The web says
"Spinn takes the concept of a rotary speaker and extends it to four frequency bands to produce a versatile modulation effect that can go from very subtle to severe — a lovely effect at a good price."
Sound On Sound
The Sound Test Room
- Key Features: Multiband rotary modulator.
- Formats: AU, VST, AAX (64-bit only). Also available for iPad (AUv3) priced at $15
- Contact: Klevgränd