GURU beat slicing diagramEd.: Our friend Wallace wanders in search of truly transcendent software use, and he’s taking the leap to GURU. Expect a review soon, but here’s why we’re interested — especially with a welcome update arriving free. -PK.

FXpansion has released the long-awaited Guru 1.5 update, which fixes numerous outstanding bugs and incorporates almost 100 new features. What’s amazing is that they’re offering this update for free to existing users. Again, this is another case of a company that could have slapped a major new version number on it and charged at least a modest fee for the update to existing users, and it’s evidence of FXpansion’s generosity and commitment to their customers that this update is being offered for free.

Among the new features:

  • Expanded audio export options, with options to render pads, tracks, engines or full mixes, with drag n drop to the host application or even back inside Guru for further mangling. I can see this being seriously useful for loop slicing and mangling
  • Expanded slicer functionality with greater precision and a new velocity implementation
  • Adjustable randomizer with options to control the amount and depth of randomization
  • New sample options for reversing samples, new layer modes and pre delays for fine tuning
  • Improved file browser functionality
  • Expanded sample library
  • Windows Vista & multi-core support
  • Expanded keyboard support so every function in Guru can be almost completely controlled without the mouse
  • Widely expanded MIDI implementation, with much more control over UI elements
  • Drop-out free audio engine, allowing for seamless transitions between kits while previewing

In short, not a whole lot of radically new functionality, but the workflow enhancements and expansion of existing functionality make this update a must-have for existing users, and will likely be enough to tip the fence sitters. I’ve used Guru on a friends machine, and while I really dug it, it just seemed to be missing a few things here and there. With this update, they’ve addressed all those problems by listening to their users on what could (and needed to be) improved. Consider me officially off the fence. When Guru was first announced, it held the promise of becoming the ultimate software beatbox. With the 1.5 update, Guru has officially arrived.

New in 1.5