Sinevibes Vague is a plugin that’s straight-up weirder than anything else in the creative production and mixing game. This binaural time diffuser takes your sonic creations on a wild ride to a strange new dimension in the studio.
Opening Sinevibes’ Vague for the first time you’ll find yourself in front of a series of vector blocks, 11 knobs and a couple of buttons, but what truly lies ahead is a heady trip into binaural time diffusion, or in plainer terms, a multifaceted stereo world of bizarre phasing, granular chirps, chorusing, early reflections and creative delays.
Sinevibes is the long-running company of Ukrainian DSP wizard Artimiy Pavlov, physicist and audio synthesis scientist. Pavlov has been pouring out groundbreaking notions since 2006, creating the synthesis and DSP for an aggregation of world-leading companies, from Korg to Native Instruments to Roland and Dreadbox and beyond.
The Sinevibes plugins have definitely seen an evolution; 17 years of coding and development will most certainly do that. Just take a squiz at their Dipole and Blend units, respectively a through-zero flanger, and a multi-voice chorus unit. Much like the Vague, both of these units have an expansive repertoire, ranging from subtle source enhancement, through to extreme sound mangling.
So, what does the Vague actually do? As your audio signal travels through Vague’s virtual space, it traverses 16 all-pass comb filter stages with delay times that progressively increase. The result? A beautifully blurred and smeared sound, creating a fresh audio dimension, hence the title. Vague also offers binaural expansion via alternating, stereo-opposed time offsets in the individual all-pass stages, adding a three-dimensional vibe that I’m not even sure has even been dreamed up by other developers as yet.
This thing also allows you to smoothly crossfade between four output snapshots, changing the diffusion density and granulating the timeline. In addition, there’s two primary LFOs operating on sine waves and four extra selectable Chaos LFOs functioning on random triangle waveforms allowing you to achieve intricate parameter modulation, right along with psychedelic weirdness, blurred reverbs, and ultra modern granular squawks.
There’s a two-way pre-delay line that gives you the ability to make the wet signal precede the dry signal. You can also set the overall size, binaural field offset, and resonance with a quick parameter nudge for infusing more feed-forward and feedback gain.
The interface design is bright and simple, contradicting the complexity stashed behind the interface; you’ll soon make sense of the shifting block diagram whilst you tweak the parameters of this thing, inviting you to experiment without getting trapped in deep-menu hell.
Looking across this unit you’ve got control over the time diffusion aspects of Dimension, Scale, and Expansion, each with their own independent Depth knobs which allow adjustment into both the negative and positive realms. Next up you’ve got a Resonance control, and a Pre-Delay section, which allows a tweaked-out negative setting to really get this plugin twisting.
The frequencies of both LFOs are adjusted easily via a pair of knobs at the base of this unit, with their respective Chaos controls right next to ‘em. Finally, there’s a mix knob at the end to really control how much charm or chaos you bring to your source.
On top of this all, there’s a bank of handy presets to really assist in getting your mind around how this intricate piece works, and truly grasp how this wildly creative plugin can be stretched into a tripped-out reverb, delay, chorus, doubler, and far beyond.
If you are loving all this talk of weird, wacky and otherworldly, you can get your hands on two different bundles from Sinevibes. There’s the Collection bundle that features all 14 of their plugins and the Essential bundle that has 7 choice plugins. They come in at $309 and $159 USD respectively.
As well as the previously mentioned Dipole and Blend plugins, they have Albedo (a granular cloud reverb), Droplet (a raindrop delay), Skew (a non-linear audio reverse), and Corrosion (a multi-algorithm distortion) to name a few.
The Sinevibes Vague plugin runs at $29USD and can be obtained directly from Sinevibes, over at Plugin Boutique, and a few other joints around the world wide web.