Frozen Time V2 — two approaches to performative frozen sounds

These patches began as an update on a veeeeeery old patch of mine, Frozen Time (https://patchstorage.com/frozen-time-a-layering-frozen-reverb/). But neither of them are really updates: I just sort of used the idea of that patch as a launching point; nothing was “rewritten,” they were just freshly written with that patch as a sort of “writing prompt.”

There are two patches “Frozen Time V2R” and “Frozen Time V2G” included in a zipped folder — R for Reverb and G for Granular. Both of them have three frozen channels, with the freezes in V2R using three plate reverbs and the freezes in V2G using three granular modules (into a plate reverb to help ensmoothen their output).

Although both patches share some similarities, there are some differences that allow for some different outcomes, especially in “playing” the frozen sounds — V2R provides MUTE buttons that allow you to fade each channel in and out, as well as an ADD button for adding sounds to the buffers, while V2G has PITCH (with slew, more on this below) and LEVEL controls for each buffer and an option to modulate the POSITION of the granular buffers.

But the basic process for both is pretty similar: play something, press a Freeze button (or stompswitch), and now you’ve got a frozen sound. Ta da.

Both patches have true stereo paths, although the channels are slightly panned left – center – right to accentuate the stereo image. ***V2G uses logic gate modules for its switching, and so requires beta firmware 3.00 to operate.*** (V2R will run on previous firmwares.)

I’ll begin by going over some shared controls, beginning with the top row. I’ll indicate different control options with the key * = V2R, ** = V2G.

Each patch has a FADE control. I’ve got a couple of Blukac Endless Processors, and while these patches certainly do not aim to emulate that module, the fade was heavily influenced by its presence on the EP. This control sets a time (up to 20 seconds) for sounds to fade in when freezes are initiated and to fade out when they are released (note: the patch is designed such that the channels remain frozen until they have fully faded out; when they are available for a new frozen sound, the FREEZE buttons will change from white to blue).

Each patch has a REVERB DECAY control, although they work a little differently. In V2R, this sets the decay of the reverbs before they are frozen (at which point the decay becomes infinite) — so, in this patch, it sort of acts as an initial buffer length, defining how long a sound played into the patch will remain within the reverb buffer before it fades and cannot be captured. If you have a particularly busy sound, you might want a shorter decay. In V2G, the reverb is placed after the granular devices, and here defines how it adds to the ambience of the granular buffers’ output.

Each patch also has WET LEVEL and DRY LEVEL controls. These work as you would expect, but I will note that both patches’ wet levels are capable of exceeding the original audio signal.

**Additionally, V2G has a “KILL DRY” button on the top row: if turned on, when all of the buffers are engaged, the dry signal will fade out as the last buffer fades in. When any of the three buffers is unfrozen, the dry signal will fade back in.

On the second row are the controls for V2G’s position modulation.

** POSITION sets the initial position of the granular buffers — in general, I find that for the best frozen sounds are when the position is set to ~.5, but this probably has a lot to do with how you personally time playing the sound you want to freeze and subsequently pressing the Freeze button or stompswitch. The POSITION MOD AMOUNT and POSITION MOD RATE then control how much that initial position is modulated — this can add some appealing movement to the sound. There is a POSITION UI pixel next to these controls which will indicate how the position is being modulated.

On the third row are the FREEZE buttons for each channel, arranged left – center – right. Each of the channels themselves are set in the stereo field, with the channel corresponding to the left button being panned slightly left, for instance. The action of the FREEZE buttons is also replicated in the corresponding stompswitches if using ZOIA.

From here, the controls for each patch are separate and unique.

*The fourth row of V2R has ADD buttons that allow you to add sounds to each of the buffers. Since these open the VCAs preceding the reverbs it can be beneficial to press these after the transient of the sound you hope to capture for smoothest outcome (the transients will smooth out over time, but first they will reverberate). (You could also mute the channel before adding the sounds, which leads me to….)

*On the fifth row of V2R are MUTE buttons. These MUTE buttons use the same fade control as that activated when a sound is initially frozen, so you can weave frozen channels in and out. If a channel is muted when a new sound is captured via the FREEZE button, it will automatically unmute.

**The fourth row of V2G pertains to its PITCH controls. Each channel has its own pitch control, so you can repitch the audio once it’s recorded (or have them set to different pitch changes even before it is recorded). There’s also a PITCH SLEW to affect the pitch changes, so they sort of slide to new pitches. (This generally has to be set pretty high before a noticeable effect takes hold, ~.7 or .8 and above). But the most interesting feature is the HOLD PITCH button. When this is enacted, changes to the pitch of the buffers won’t take effect until the button is released (using a track and hold module here, for the curious) — this can be pretty cool, because you can change the pitches of all three buffers and them having them glide all at the same time to a new set of pitches. Sort of a pedal steel-ish kind of thing?

**There are also individual LEVEL controls for each channel of V2G on the fifth row. Because changes in pitch can affect loudness, it can be useful to set each channel’s volume before it reaches the master DRY LEVEL control.

MIDIFICATION NOTE: I starred the inputs in each patch which would be used to add MIDI control to replicate the Freeze buttons/stompswitches. For V2R, that is a flip flop and a trigger on each of the switch pages. For V2G, it’s just a flip flop, again, found on each of the switch pages. These require momentary inputs.

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