Review: Sugar Bytes Looperator

When you’re working through your audio production process, you need to make sure that you’ve got the right tools for the job. This means having the right setup, the right software, the right samples and, of course, the right plugins.

Introducing Sugar Bytes’ latest and greatest plugin; Looperator. While Sugar Bytes, a Denmark-based company, is renowned for their plug-in developments in the past, including Aparillo, Egoist, and Obscurium (potentially one of the most visual and graphically entertaining plug-ins we’ve ever used), does Looperator deserve a place in your audio arsenal?

Today, we’re going to find out but diving straight into the ins and outs of the plug-in, so you can see whether it’s right for you.

The Basics

While Looperator is a multi-functional VST/AU/RTAS/AAS plugin, it can also be used as a standalone plugin, giving you access to a full range of effects and samples. However, when it really comes down to it, there are two main features that this plugin provides; loop slicing and an effects sequencer.
Both of these are extremely important during the audio production process, making this tool already seem like an essential. However, if you’ve already got tools for these processes, you’ll want to know what sets this plugin apart.

A Powerful Loop Slicer & Effects Sequencer

Firstly, you’ll be able to slice up any loops you’re using in the traditional 16 steps. However, this plugin will give you full control over these steps, meaning you can set the resolution to a half, a quarter or even an eighth-note. Bear in mind that you can’t slice your loops up into a 16th, this isn’t something we’ve missed personally.

Within easy range, right below the loop slicing track, you’ll find a 6-track sequencer. Here, you’ll be able to control your Slice playback and play around with five effects channels as you see fit. Having control over these signal flows is easy thanks to the effortless dragging technique where you can move them up or down.

You may also find you’re put off by the one-track percussive loop section; however, once you start applying this plugin to a loop or sample that varies as it progresses, things really start to pick up in entertainment value.

Every step is fully controllable with its own five effects channels, which you can implement one of any of the available 20 presets in addition to the four customizable user settings. While the presets can’t be adjusted themselves, the User settings will give you any control that you’re missing.

Within the FX1 and FX2 tracks, you’ll find a collection of traditional processes, such as reverb, tape stop, distortion, phaser and more whereas the user settings will grant you access to a ring modulator, a synthesizer, and several other unique options.

Moving down the plugin, you’ll find three other tracks; Loop, Filter, and Envelope, which you may already be used to. However, we believe this plugin would be best implemented by EDM producers since you can use the preset steps to rapidly create snare rolls and double kicks, all of which usually take a tremendous amount of time with other plugins or software.

An All-in-One Package

As you would expect from most Sugar Byte’s plugins, the Looperator plugin comes with an extensive range of presets that you can try and experiment with till your heart’s content. Nevertheless, if this isn’t enough, you’ll also find a MIDI note settings and a useful Program Change input, allowing you to effortlessly select patches from your favorites list.

Unfortunately, as with most Sugar Bytes’ plugins, you’ll be subject to that traditional ‘wet’ effect, which of course you won’t want all the time. However, the developers seem to have taken this into account with individual wet and dry controls which are available on every track.

What’s more, you’ll even be able to use multimode features, such as Mix Linear and Mix Equal, which also have their own wet/dry controls on their output settings.

A User-Friendly Solution

When you first open the Looperator plugin, you wouldn’t be corrected for thinking that the interface is rather simplistic. However, this is meant to be since Sugar Bytes has aimed for a plugin that can be effective for both beginners and professionals alike.

However, once you start to dig a little deeper, you’ll soon discover that you have a seemingly infinite number of opportunities at your fingertips. Since the software is so well-designed with the best user experience in mind, it can pay to have a little play around to see what kind of sounds and effects you can achieve.

The plugin has been optimized and streamlined properly by the developers, which means that running it won’t cause any noticeable influxes on the CPU of your computer and there is very little that can go wrong on the technical side since installation and setup have all been made as easy as possible.

If you’ve used any of Sugar Bytes’ other plugins, most notably Effectrix or Turnado, you might not notice much of a difference in terms of quality or the sounds that you’re producing, or the effects that are on offer, until you’re trying to produce louder, more aggressive sounds. This is where the Looperator plugin really starts to bring your sounds and samples to life.

The Lowdown

While Looperator may not seem like it’s bringing anything new to the plugin games, especially when compared to some of the other plugins that they have on offer, it’s safe to say that they have put a lot of time and effort into streamlining a lot of the common processes that you might need during your music production sessions.
Additionally, while the collection of available effects may also seem limited, the ones that plugin does pride itself on have an outstanding sound quality, which leads us to conclude that if you’re looking for loop slicer or glitch effects sequencer for your audio production process, there might not be any reason to look further than the Looperator.