Infected Mushroom is known for both their prominence and influence in electronic music. They have collaborated with Polyverse Music on some awesome plugins that simplify their infamous but arduous editing and restructuring processes. We were recently blessed to get to test drive Polyverse Music’s vocal manipulation plugin, Manipulator. It uses granular algorithms to alter the modulation, qualities, and pitch of audio. To quote Polyverse’s excellent summarization of the tool, “Manipulator is as versatile as it is creativity-inducing”. We were very impressed with what this tool can accomplish.
Now We Can Process Vocals and Sounds With ONE Plugin
Manipulator is incredibly intuitive and simple. Everything is labeled for extreme ease-of-use and the patch presets do a great job of teaching you how the plugin can be used, while you’re learning the ropes. It can make a voice sound like a synthesizer, or the converse just as easily. Despite the perceived simplicity, it would take a long time to detail the many features of this plugin.
This tool is an absolute BEAST! Not only can it modulate a voice, it can take in a MIDI signal and affect the pitch of the processed audio signal. This can be done monophonically, to emphasize the notes of a melody, or to give a sound an “auto tune” feel. It also works with polyphony, allowing you to turn sounds into chords. It’s kind of an in between a vocoder, pitch corrector, and sound modulator. It’s great to not need anything besides a microphone, DAW, and Manipulator to start making some amazing sonic expressions. You can assign macro and MIDI controls, add a ‘smearing’ glidey effect, increase the stereo field, and so so so much more. Everything is able to be automated or controlled within your DAW as well.
Manipulator also works excellently on instruments and other sounds, warping them into cosmically different reverberations.
Lessons Learned From Manipulator
We particularly love the ability to incorporate MIDI into our audio recordings. In the process of using this tool, we found ourselves becoming more in touch with the notes, keys, and scales we were using in our music. By feeding MIDI into Manipulator, we were able to track our musical choices in visually new way. We also felt more comfortable singing; it was easy to make slight pitch adjustments and make any voice sound different!
Polyverse has really gone above and beyond with Manipulator. This plugin performs as a complete vocal processing tool, but has obvious uses outside of this.
Infected Mushroom and Polyverse have a series of videos that give you examples of the uses of Manipulator. This tutorial video is a great one to start with; an IM jocularly demoing the plugin, keeping us amused until the end (you can find more videos on YouTube). We recommend these videos to any interested production-oriented individual. Hopefully, Infected Mushroom will be included on the new circuit of Ultra Music Festival(s). It’s been a couple years, but they’ve been touring their new album this year. Our fingers are tightly crossed!
Manipulator is $149 and you can get it here, on the Polyverse website. We feel it’s more than worth the price. It’s available in VST / AU / AAX plug-in formats for your convenience and DAW preference.
We are excited to review more of Polyverse’s unique and envelope-pushing plugins in the future. What plugins do you want to see DMNW review next? Let us know in the comments below!