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alter.audio Timetosser

Resequencing Instrument By Robin Vincent
Published June 2022

alter.audio Timetosser

Warning: alter.audio’s Timetosser can interfere with the fabric of time and is dangerously addictive.

There’s a dangerous possibility that Timetosser will turn you into the grooving, live‑slicing, reverse‑beat, glitch DJ that you didn’t know you wanted to be. The name itself, which alter.audio should probably win an award for, gives a fair indication of its purpose but also hints at how much fun it is going to be. The Timetosser lets you perform stutters, remixes, reorders, splices and time travel on any audio, inside or outside your computer via a very friendly and colourful box.

The simplest way to describe Timetosser is probably along the lines of being a beat repeat or stutter effect. It’s similar to what you’d find on a Novation Circuit, an Arturia BeatStep Pro or in Ableton Live but tied up in a nifty little desktop box that you can drop into anywhere on your signal path. It’s also more than that because it can shift your beats, reverse time, mute, sample and slice loops across its very playable surface.

The Box

The box itself is made from plastic, and feels solid and heavy enough to be relied on to stay put despite the arcade‑style button-mashing. On the back you have stereo audio in and out on quarter‑inch jacks, TRS MIDI out and a sync input that also doubles as a TRS MIDI in. The on/off button is always appreciated.

In the sculpted middle of the Timetosser sit two rows of eight buttons. These are not velocity sensitive pads or anything like that; these are lightly textured, illuminated, confident and clacky buttons. The top row is used to trigger the effect and the bottom serves as mode selection and clock division along with Reverse and Mute buttons.

To get busy with the beat repeating simply plug in some audio, tap in a tempo and start experimenting with the top row and time division buttons. Very quickly you find yourself locking into the groove, finding those vibes and beaming with the enjoyment of it all. The amount of instantaneous joy you feel is largely dependent on your content. You’ve got to be feeding it big beats, heavy rhythms and timely melodies; it wants the obvious and rewards you for it.

At the back we find a USB port, 3.5mm MIDI/sync in and MIDI out, and stereo I/O on quarter‑inch sockets.At the back we find a USB port, 3.5mm MIDI/sync in and MIDI out, and stereo I/O on quarter‑inch sockets.

What Does It Do?

Timetosser is capturing (or sampling) 16 beats’ worth of your source material in reference to the tempo and then lets you reorder or repeat those beats. By the way, the tempo can be tapped in, auto detected from the input, or sync’ed from MIDI or analogue sync. The buffer of 16 beats is constantly updating and moving in real time; the sampling is...

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