If loopers have been getting you down by being a bit, well, repetitive, this is for you.
It starts as a simple, drag-and-drop looper. Add it to Ableton Live and drop your audio on it. But then things get a little … um … different.
Inspired by turntablism, loops in Diachronic cycle continuously. But speeds can be changed spontaneously, as if the hole in the record could be shifted in position. And the results are absolutely nuts. (Underscoring that effect, the promo video for version 1 is narrated by a calm British narrator, intoning parameters solemnly, with names you’d be forgiven for thinking were made up, all as a Reich-ian loop grows ever-weirder in the background.)
The duration doesn’t change — think a turntable rotating — but speed (and pitch) through that duration can.
Diachronic 1.0 is available free for Ableton Live and Max for Live (now included in Live Suite). The new 2.0 version, adding additional features like slicing, is 39€ (on a special launch offer).
Features of both:
- Instantaneous speed functions, drawn directly on the looper
- Three needles: instantaneous speed, constant speed, offset position
- More parameters: smoothing, cycles, duration (speed variations), symmetrize, reset, invert
- Presets, on-the-fly scene recall
Version 1.0 tutorial gives you a good idea of the fundamental idea:
Version 2.0 adds additional features:
- Additional waveform controls for easier modulation
- Improved UI look (with nice black background)
- Individual slice controls: on/off, dry/variable speed per-slice, cutoff.
- Multiple aux sends for signal/internal sounds
- Modulation sends, for sending MIDI to internal and external devices
This Max for Live device is apparently just the start. The project has greater goals:
Diachronic is a project based on a new vision of timing emerged from years of researches and experiments, and it’s inspired by Turntablism, Science and Avantgarde.
Here’s how that turntablist idea began: watch the record closely. (This is a whole heck of a lot of fun in the mechanical realm.)
Some of the descriptions read like Zen koans:
To design speed function in real time allows to forge your sound starting from a normal loop. The machine will provide to always staying on the beat at the end of the measure, so you could work inside the fixed duration of your loop manipulating the sound as a plastic matter.
Playing speeds means surfing on beats and tunes. From dissonance to scratch, from breaks to syncopations, drive speed parameters and feel the sound of your loop like a fluid substance that blows in your mind.
Grab the software:
http://www.diachronicmusic.com/product/diachronic-1-0-free/Diachronic 1.0 Free