We often hear the term ‘simpler is better’ bandied around. Well, in the case of SoundToys’ Little AlterBoy, that is undeniably true. While this has been around for some time, I just wanted to briefly explore what this is and how it finds its way into many of my tracks.
Distilled from the back history of PurePitch TDM, PitchDoctor and SoundBlender, Little AlterBoy is called a Monophonic Voice Manipulator. However, that's not how I use it, because it can do much more than the label indicates.
Since I use a lot of samples and percussion layered into my TV compositions, I often find it both sonically and creatively necessary to fit them into the overall productions, and Little AlterBoy helps make that happen.
There are only a few knobs and buttons on this plug-in, so it’s quite easy to use. Pitch lets you alter the pitch in semitones up or down an octave. Formant is a form of an EQ curve for a touch of warping, Drive adds analog-modeled tube saturation and Mix is the Wet/Dry control. Pitch and Formant can be linked by selecting the link button between them. In the Mode section, the Transpose button lets you shift the pitch without automatic correction, Quantize tunes to the nearest semitone and Robot locks to a single note. That’s it.
I use a combination of presets and simple tweaks to get some cool results. To drop a percussive drum loop down and make it a bit nastier, the Octave Down Classic DJ preset works great, and throwing in a little Drive can add some grit. I use Pitch and a touch of Formant to tune snare drums in percussion tracks, and sometimes I will automate the Pitch knob to do creative effects with percussion. It can also be used to slightly pitch up shakers in a mix and fit them in better when needed, but overall, LittleAlter boy—for my needs—is a useful plug-in for far more than just vocal production.
Soundtoys • www.soundtoys.com