Mini Review: zplane Élastique Pitch Plug-In

May 26, 2009 3:54 PM, By Brandon Hickey

Proven Production Tool Comes to Pro Tools

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My biggest complaint would be that clicking the plug-in window behaves like clicking on another application. If you click on the plug-in interface to tweak a setting, you have to click on the Pro Tools mix or edit window before initializing a transport command. You dial in a setting, hit spacebar to play, and the OS just “dings” with the error sound unless you click back into the Pro Tools interface first. This is easily overcome by transporting from a control surface, but a tad annoying when working with just a mouse and keyboard and making frequent changes to the plug-in interface. These are minor complaints, however, which I look forward to seeing resolved in later revisions.

To my ears, the plug-in sounds great (for audio sample files that you can download for comparison, see "zplane Élastique Pitch Plug-in Audio Samples" below). With any sound source that I tested it on, from full-frequency final stereo mixes to monotone spoken-word vocals, the artifacts rarely limited any reasonable sonic possibilities. I didn’t try the plug-in on anything more than a stereo track, but the literature says that it can be instantiated on tracks with up to eight channels (i.e., 7.1). I’m sure that I will find the formant preservation while shifting pitch, or the creative potential offered by the ability to shift timbre freely, to be indispensable now that they’ve become available.

Moreover, zplane has no need to prove itself, as the company has already been accepted into the workflow of countless audio enthusiasts—whether these users realize that their favorite DAW is using the élastique engine or not. The real news is that this tool has now become available to professionals centered in the Pro Tools world, and it will be exciting to see the software evolve in the RTAS arena.

For more information, visit zplane’s Élastique Pitch plug-in page.

Brandon Hickey is a recording engineer based in Chicago.

product summary box for zplane Élastique Pitch Plug-In

zplane Élastique Pitch Plug-in Audio Samples
The following WAV files can help you judge for yourself how well élastique works in relation to Digidesign's TCE (time compression/expansion) DigiRack plug-in for Pro Tools HD systems.

Click here to download the original unprocessed file.

Click here to download élastique’s pitch-shifted version.

Click here to download élastique’s timbre-shifted version.

Click here to download the Digidesign TCE pitch-shifted version.  

Click here to download the Digidesign TCE time-shifted version.






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