Useful for complex rhythmic delays, evolving ambient soundscapes, and arpeggiating quasi-shimmer reverbs, TimeChasers uses three looper-delays and a feedback loop derived from a delay line to allow you to sculpt a wide variety of unique time and pitch-based outcomes.
In both versions of the patch, audio is split as it enters the patch. Some of it goes to the looper-delays, and some of it goes to a delay line that has an output which is fed into the looper-delays but is otherwise not heard.
On the first page, you can then set different rhythmic relationships between each of the looper-delays, as well as this delay line which feeds into the looper-delays. When you load the patch, you will see four color-coordinated rows, with a white light on each row. These rows set the division of the overall tempo, from 1/4 (or four faster than the tempo) to 2x (or twice as slow as the tempo).
The difference between TimeChasers and TimeChasersGenteel is in how these tempo divisions are applied. So, I’ll take a moment to break down the differences between the two forks:
In TimeChasers, the divisions directly control the recording period of the looper-delays. At the fast speed, the looper-delay will only record a fraction of the tapped tempo, and it will cycle through recordings quickly. If pitch-speed is adjusted up, for instance, this will mean a lot of higher pitched snippets sort of slicing the incoming signal. TimeChasers also features a plate reverb (while TimeChasersGenteel features a reverb lite). Additionally, the middle stompswitch will reset the phase of the LFOs controlling these recording periods.
In TimeChasersGenteel, all of the looper-delays record at the same speed (set by the tap tempo). What the divisions here control, instead, are the delay lines that follow these looper-delays. By changing their time, you can change when the audio, which is recorded at the same time, is heard, moving it forward and backward in the timeline relative to the other looper-delays. Both patches have a parameter called POST-FEEDBACK, which controls how much of the output of the looper-delay is fed back into its input; in TimeChasersGenteel, there is an additional control, found on the second page, called POST-FEEDBACK MIX. At 0, the output of the looper-delay is the source of the post-feedback. At 1, the output of the delay lines is the source of the post-feedback. You can mix between the two to get sort of two taps to feedback into the looper-delays for more rhythmic complexity. As mentioned above, this fork uses a reverb lite. Additionally, the middle stompswitch will reverse the playback direction of all the looper-delays (for instance, if two loopers are set to reverse playback, they will change to forward playback, and the one set to forward playback will switch to reverse).
If all that sounds pretty complex — this patch is easier to use than it is to explain! I worked really hard to create an interactive UI that made these rhythmic explorations (hopefully, I think) easy.
The patch passes dry audio in stereo, but the wet signal path sums incoming audio to mono before creating a stereo effect using a Haas effect and the reverbs.
Left — tap tempo (the patch also accepts MIDI clock)
Middle — in TimeChasers, this resets the phase of the LFOs controlling the looper-delay recording periods
In TimeChasersGenteel, this changes the playback direction of the looper-delays
Right — maxes the Pre-Feedback, essentially looping whatever is in the delay line buffer (new audio can be added to this buffer), which is then fed into the looper-delays
As mentioned above, the majority of the first control page is devoted to selecting the divisions of the tempo for the various delays.
But along the bottom row are color-coordinated SPEED-PITCH controls for each of the looper-delays. There are also REVERSE buttons for each of the looper-delays.
This is also where you will find the controls for the feedback loops.
PRE-FEEDBACK controls the amount of audio fed into the loopers from a delay line, which has its tempo set by the last row above. Increasing this will cause the incoming audio to be fed multiple times into the looper-delays.
POST-FEEDBACK controls the amount of audio fed from the output of the looper-delays to their input. Increasing this will cause different pitch effects (e.g. ascending or descending pitch) as well as palindromic effects when the looper-delays are reversed (reversed audio will be fed back into the looper, which will… reverse it again, resulting in forward playback).
In TimeChasersGenteel, you will find the POST-FEEDBACK MIX, explained above. All of the rest of the controls are the same for both patches.
There are color-coordinated buttons on the top row that allow you to turn the looper-delays ON and off. If you only want, say, a simple reverse delay, set the pitch-speed to A0, turn on the reverse button, turn off the other two looper-delays, and use the pre-feedback to set the regeneration. The patch can produce a lot of more traditional pitch-delays as well, using one looper-delay and utilizing the post-feedback.
There are a couple of effects, applied post looper-delay:
ALIASER FREQUENCY allows you to dial in sample rate reduction, which can add a whisper of sparkle and lo-fi character… or really mess things up.
LOWPASS FREQUENCY can be used to both tame the aliaser a bit as well as the pitch delays. Especially when you have pitched up regeneration, things can get quite… chirpy/shrill, so the filter allows you to shape the output.
REVERB DECAY and REVERB MIX should be pretty self-explanatory. Set the mix to 1.000 to explore different quasi-shimmer (and anti-shimmer) reverbs, as well as pseudo-arpeggiating reverbs, etc..
DRY LEVEL is also I think pretty self-explanatory. INPUT LEVEL is used as a CPU-saver instead of a wet level; it controls the amount of audio fed into the looper-delay network. You may need to adjust this, depending on how many of the looper-delays are turned on or off.