Litote is a granular audio effect plug-in from Iinear Display. It uses a mix of granulators, resonators and diffusion delays to mess with your audio in exploratory ways. It’s really rather nice.
The idea is that it can turn any sound into a dramatic texture. It uses 4 audio engines embedded into an XY control pad to generate a wide range of unexpectedly sinister and gravelly sounds. You can place the “target” anywhere on the pad and a little bouncing ball moves and bounces in relation to it. The 4 audio engines are in each corner and so as you move around you experience a different mix of sound.
The Trajectory section dictates the X and Y range of movement and also the speed, which also seems to govern the angle of bounce. The slower the movement the straighter the bounce. There are 10 presets which give you a quick idea of what’s possible, but that’s not where the fun lies.
Where it gets interesting is with the sound generation and randomisation. The top button on the left of the XY pad regenerates the whole sound – it sort of gives it a new, albeit similar, direction. The four buttons on the right randomise each of the four engines. The atomic looking button on the left beneath the regeneration button turns on trajectory mode – which is the bouncing ball. This seems to be on by default. The little power button enables/disables it, the atomic button randomises the Trajectory settings at the bottom. So basically there’s a whole lot of randomisation going on that create new modulations, pulses and bumps within the dramatic sonic colour of Litote.
The results can vary a lot depending on what you’re running through it. I’m running a synth filter sweep through it and I’ve been listening to the evolving environment of a deep space freighter for the past half hour – it’s really very nice. Running some guitar licks through it gives it a more shuddering feel of approaching doom. Using a drum loop gave, for me at least, a less satisfying insectoid feel.
I’m not entirely sure what the relationship is between the target and the bouncing ball but I think the target dictates the mix of audio engines and the ball is something to do with modulation. In any case it’s a highly enjoyable texture generating machine.
You should download the demo immediately and give it a go.
Litote is currently on an introductory deal of €20 plus VAT and is available for both Windows and MacOS as a VST and AU plug-in. More information on the website.