Tim Exile is at it again with a new Reaktor formulated synthesizer. SLOO, which stands for Shed Load Of Oscillators, takes what he calls a swarm of voices to generate some unique and unpredictable sounds, rhythms and textures. It sounds a lot like falling into a mighty morphing chaos engine.
Tim describes the spirit behind SLOO as being:
“Tightly controlled for composition, hands-on for jamming, unpredictable for inspiration and sound like nothing else on earth. As long as that’s covered all the rules can be broken.”
What you get is a sonically morphing, transformationally dense, dramatically random synthesized animal of a synth. That sounds like a lot of fun.
Tim’s instruments tend to be able to generate a lot of sound and variation with very few controls. There’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes to offer up only the most useful and playable parameters for tweaking. Each parameter creates what he calls a “swarm” of variations around your movements. The swarm is defined in position, pattern and amount. A close swarm gives a monosynth feel whereas a distant one gives a more polyphonic feel. It will adapt to how you play, so if you start with a single note it will adopt a mono approach, if you start with a chord then it’s polyphony all the way.
A swarm pattern is defined by the relative position of all the controls. These can be randomised by the click of the dice icon. But there’s a little bit of genius in here in the shape of the recall dial. The Recall dial will remember the last 16 randomisations so that you can step back and forwards through them. That, it completely awesome. I can’t tell you how many patches I’ve lost through unintentional random button pushing, or simply wanting to go back to one I discovered earlier.
It’s immensely fun to play with, it’s joyful, surprising and kicks off all sorts of ideas. The way it can morph between leads, thumps, rhythms, pads, noises and back again is really quite remarkable. As you move that morph fader it’s like opening a filter on an orchestra. From simple and slow, to frantic complexity – I’m going to go off and spend some time here I think.
SLOO is available as an instrument for Reaktor 6.1.1 for £39 from Tim Exile’s shop.