OUTPUT’S PORTAL PLUGIN BENDS TIME AND SPACE IN WAYS YOU NEVER IMAGINED

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Output Portal

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WHAT IS PORTAL?

Output’s Portal has been a staple on the plugin market for some time now. But if you’re not familiar with it yet, it’s time to bring it to your attention.

Output is a plugin that is based on granular synthesis. Granular synthesis is a method that takes audio and divides it in tiny little samples called grains. These grains are typically between1 to 50ms and can be rearranged and mangled with in real time.

Portal takes this process to finesse.

In a well laid out interface, the user has incredible control over the grains.

The front end of the plugin shows a very well designed circular grid that is connected to two granular parameters. When moving the focal point within the grid, you can hear the audio morph into uncharted sonic territory.

Other than the often wild sonic soundscapes this creates, the visual is stunning. It’s truly a pleasure to graphically see how the audio is processed in it’s rhythmic, pulsating fascinating way.

EXPLORE THE SOUND

Output Portal
Portal Presets

Portal comes with a great amount of presets for all kinds of purposes.

Browsing through these give a good impression of what the plugin can do. When you find a nice preset, go explore with the focal point. This gives the sound more depth. Changing the focal point over time is where Portal really starts to shine.

Try source material that has chord progressions or a little bit of a melody and you’ll quickly find yourself in other dimensions.

So yes, the presets are inspirational. One of our favorites is “Scanner.” Still there are tons to choose from. And if you want even more, Output also offers expansion.

A DEEPER DIVE

Output Portal
Portal Back End

Now, if you have gone through the presets and familiarized yourself with some of the sounds this plugin can achieve, it’s time to view the back end.

Like the front end, the back end is very clear and also divided into various sub sections.

 

On top there you see the grain controls. This is where the meat of the plugin is. You can control things such as grain size, density, and offset, but the most fun is pitch and the scale selector knob.

With this, Portal can pitch shift the grains in the key of your track.

 

Below that are the modulators. These modulators can be assigned to the controls you desire. There is a lot of flexibility here. You can choose from preset modulator wave forms or draw in your own. One of the best features is the humanize application. Meaning, that you can set a humanize amount at different points of the modulator waveform so that each cycle of the waveform will be different. This gives a more organic sound to whatever source material you are working with.

 

As a bonus, you still have the front end controls at your fingertips, which makes the plugin a breeze to work with.

 

CONCLUSION

Portal is a unique plugin sporting one of the most beautifully designed interfaces we’ve seen so far. And the sound you can achieve with this is wild. There is not much like this. If granular synthesis is something you would like to try out, Portal is a great entry way into this world.

Key Features

250+ presets for immediate playability
A circular visualizer linked to granular parameters
Powerful time manipulation engine
Tempo-synced grain delay
Musical scale-based pitch modulation
7 built-in FX with an additional master compressor and filter
Value readout panel for better understanding of controls
Favoriting feature in Presets menu
Built-in Tool Tips on Advanced page

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