Movement is here – and it’s a little scary. The folks at Output have some weird way of dialing directly into the zeitgeist of what we want from production these days, and delivering it in an easy form. They did that with reversed samples (REV), with vocals (EXHALE), and now they’re doing it in an atypically musical multi-effect with loads of rhythmic and side-chaining features. This isn’t just another delay or something like that. It’s an entire effects toolbox built around rhythm and modulation, in a way that’s unusually accessible.

A teaser video explains what it’s about. The basic idea: add your sources, be they ambient or keys or guitar playing or even whole sets, and then make something happen.

Add delays, rhythms, modulation, the lot.

And here’s a walkthrough explaining exactly how they do that in the interface.

We’ll do a full review soon, but here’s a rough sense of why this is a big deal.

The engine gives you a lot of ways of producing rhythms. Sidechains, semi-modular modulation routing, and step sequencers give you various means to define how you want rhythms to sound, either synced or from other signals.

This video shows how you side-chain inside Ableton Live:

It’s also a multi-effect processor loaded with tools. They’ve also added filters and EQ and delay and distortion and compression and reverb (whew), modeling analog equivalents. (which you can do now – thanks, modern CPU!) And my first impression is that these have a defined personality to them. So it’s not just a bunch of stuff stuck in here (which could be overwhelming), but a common set of tools that create a particular character, whether you’re calling up presets or defining your own sounds.

And you can drag-and-drop modulation. This is what to me defines a more modern sound – irrespective of genre, the sense that there’s modulation everywhere. (That might be achieved even with a Eurorack or a computer, but it’s very different than sounds that come from setting knobs in a particular place and leaving them.) And it’s presented here in a really easy to approach way.

Plus other performance features. There’s also an X/Y pad for “performing” these features plus what the developers call “Flux” and Randomizer to get at still more variations. Happy accidents remain one of my favorite things, so great – especially with something this deep.

And, yeah, so holy s***. You could assemble these yourself with custom effects chains. But this crew from California have just pieced it all together for you.

Since I don’t play things that require your fingers to touch strings (ewww) I’m asking my studio neighbor to do that in our review, and I’m going to give this a go using keys and found sounds. Let’s see what happens.

Got questions for us or the developers? Let us know.

Let’s have a look at that lovely interface, too.

The main screen. Here you see the four rhythm engines and effects chains - yes, you can layer a lot in this one tool. There's also an X/Y puck for navigating sounds (reminiscent of tools like Apple's Sculpture and of course the KORG KAOSS line).

The main screen. Here you see the four rhythm engines and effects chains – yes, you can layer a lot in this one tool. There’s also an X/Y puck for navigating sounds (reminiscent of tools like Apple’s Sculpture and of course the KORG KAOSS line).

There's a full-featured step sequencer built into Movement for rhythmic effects synced to your song.

There’s a full-featured step sequencer built into Movement for rhythmic effects synced to your song.

Sidechaining is also a big part of Movement -- for using another signal to transform effects.

Sidechaining is also a big part of Movement — for using another signal to transform effects.

I’m particularly eager to see how this holds up as a live performance tool, since it’s advertised as such. (That is definitely not so true of a lots of software effect plug-ins, for various performance or usability reasons.)

Check out Movement:
http://output.com/products/movement/

Price:
$149 USD
$134 USD for current Output customers through June 9th

  • jblk

    I like it and definitely want to try it. It’s like if Illformed’s Glitch 2 matured a bit. Like Glitch 2, though, I hope we have enough variation so that the plugin’s “sound” doesn’t become cliche quickly.

  • Armando

    reminds me of camel space.

  • Phylum Sinter

    Only 2 comments live, and already the thread is showing itself to a similar line of thought – that is, when a plugin has so much character all its’ own, is it more a detriment or a boon to musicians?

    I suppose, for me anyway, the constant narrative does speak of what am i expressing – the limitations of my equipment, or myself? What ratio is acceptable in terms of who is responsible? Is technology the only thing permitting me to goof off?

    I haven’t tried this one yet, but that’s where i sit on anything that makes a certain sound too easy — and it’s stupid to even put it that way, i know — but really, what do you sound like: your plugins, or what your plugins let you do?

    • Axel Rigaud

      I also feel like I need something way simpler to be creative. I can’t see the boundaries of this and in a way it’s uninspiring.

  • donk

    This seems like such an incredibly average plug-in, and its effects is something that could easily be achieved through other means. Yet the text sounds like pure promotional material.

    Weird stuff.

  • Freeks

    Slick UI but there loads of plugins that do the same and some are even free.
    Peter: Do you get paid for the Output plugin ad posts as you seem to feature all of those.

    • Foosnark

      I always feel like that about Output. Kind of dull products but with over-the-top marketing. Though the “teaser” video for this one wasn’t as bizarre as some, the sounds it featured weren’t anything I would ever want to use. And if I did, I already have more than enough tremolo plugins and filters with LFOs already.

      And then there’s MMultibandRhythmizer, which is $116 except during weeks when it’s $68.

  • Kent Barton

    Reminds me of a modernized CamelSpace.