Fabfilter Creative Bundle: Timeless 2
Timeless 2: As a ‘flagship’ plug-in and a major component of the Fabfilter Creative Bundle – FabFilter Timeless 2 is a stargate to a musical Avalon where very few delay plug-ins of its class exist. The superb design aesthetic of Fabfilter plug-ins, both in terms of sound quality and visual gratification, is evident for all to hear and see. Starting out and getting to grips with the plug-ins processing capability is suprisingly quick and easy. From the get go you need to understand the navigation, the signal flow, the plug-ins processor stages, the modulation sources and how to link them to ‘targets’ in the plugin. Easy to say? Actually it’s easy to achieve. All it takes is a little time spent walking through the well-structured ‘Help File’ and you’re up and running! Furthermore, once you are familiar with Fabfilter’s workflow direction as a mind-set, the knowledge becomes transferable to all of Fabfilter plug-ins comprising the Creative Bundle.
The signal flow – Timeless 2 provides a rich variety of input and output options. The signal flow in Timeless 2 passes through the plug-ins Feedback & Delay section consisting of two independent, programmable delay lines - the Filter section with two high quality filters which can process in serial, parallel or per channel - the Modulation Sources section which provides an almost unbelievable array of sound manipulation possibilities- and finally the signal outputs to the Wet & Dry section with independent level and pan for both wet and dry signals.
Navigating Fabfilter plug-ins is simple when using the recently developed - ‘What You Use Is What You See’ – Fabfilter’s new interface viewing system. This simple innovative design, featured in all Fabfilter plug-ins, helps to reduce potential screen clutter by zoning in and bringing into focus only those areas of the plugin you are actively using.
Modulation sources: The modulation sources are organized in an orderly and efficient scrolling strip below the source selection bar. There are 5 different kinds of sources available: The XLFO (more to follow) – an Envelope Generator of the usual ADSR kind and triggered by audio or MIDI.- an Envelope Follower which follows the loudness of the incoming audio or side-chain signal – a MIDI Source module which transforms any incoming MIDI data into a modulation signal – and the XY Controller which lets you modulate two targets using horizontal and vertical mouse movements.
For me, the most impressive of Timeless 2′s modulation sources is the XLFO. The XLFO, as is the case with most of Fabfilter’s feature designs, may look complicated but it becomes so easy to follow when you have an excellent resource in the ‘Help file’ to spell it out for you. In essence, the XLFO is a programmer’s dream module. It can generate almost any waveform you can imagine, it can be synchronized to the host tempo and it can also be used as a 16 step sequencer with an individual glide parameter for every step. Complex shapes and sounds can be sculptured when using the ‘snap’ feature. Freely adding more steps in conjunction with the ‘snap’ feature in the XLFO and distributing them over 2 octaves creates an arpeggiator effect with the resulting harmonics. The graphic display of the XLFO shows the waveform currently in use and works as a great assist when creating custom waveforms and arranging XLFO detail.
Modulation Targets: The next step in Timeless 2′s fluent workflow and creative process involves linking modulation sources to modulation ‘targets’. You can begin creating sequences by linking an XLFO to a Delay Time or Filter Frequency knob to make the sound change over time, or, you could let one XLFO modulate the frequency of another XLFO again by linking source to target. Most parameters in Timeless 2 can be linked to as ‘targets’. Simply take a look at a few of the presets and click on any of the ‘M’ icons (meaning ‘M’ for modulation) in the plug-in interface to reveal modulation sources linked to their respective targets. It’s a quick way of understanding target linking in Timeless 2 which is such an important core feature.
More Cool Features: Timeless 2 is packed with a multitude of cool features including an impressive mercurial feature called - ‘Freeze’. Clicking the The ‘freeze’ button to the side of the Delay Line knobs captures the sound that’s currently in the delay lines and loops it continuously until the button is released. Once a sound has been ‘frozen’ Timeless 2 allows you to filter it continously using all of the plug-in modulation sources available, thereby, changing the sound into something completely different. Another highly creative addition in Timeless 2 is the powerful ‘Stretch’ feature. Using granular techniques, it means that no matter whether the delay time gets shorter or longer, the pitch will remain constant. Other cool features in Timeless 2 include the – Tempo Tap, the Undo, Redo, A/B and Copy buttons and the user control of the filter buttons in the filter sections interface. Finally, the new Mid/Side mode takes the incoming stereo signal and converts it into Mid (mono) and Side parts. These signals are then routed to the separate delay lines enabling you to delay the stereo part differently than the mono part of the signal and create totally original stereo effects. It’s all amazing!
At the end of the day Timeless 2 is a flawless and easy to use labyrinth of delay modulations. The depth of exploration with this highly recommended, almost synth like, Fabfilter delay plug-in will draw you deeper into the ‘Timeless’ sound world. A place were imagination runs free and soundscapes abound regardless.
Fabfilter software recently updated their flagship filter based plugin processors: Timeless 2 – Volcano 2 and the analog soft synth Twin 2. All threeprestigious plugins are available as separate units or collectively bundled together as Fabfilter’s Creative Bundle. They are compatible with VST2/3 and 64 bit processing for both PC & Mac.
Brought to you courtesy of Soundwrx Digital