One of my favorite pieces of music production software, GleetchLab, just got an update to v3. Gleetchlab is best suited for making glitchy, ambient, experimental sound scapes because at its core, it is about taking existing audio loops and running them through a sonic meat grinder. Previous versions of GleetchLab were used heavily in the making of my Regression Session release.
Each full version update has done a lot to make this one fine audio mangling instrument, and the move to v3 is no exception. Significant progress has been made in making the interface more user friendly and intuitive, plus much needed midi implementation, a new batch of signal processors, quadraphonic mixing and recording, and a parameters recall utility, make for a nice step forward. Sadly, some of my favorite pieces from v2, namely the Lightman controller and Strange Attractor Oscillator are missing from this release. I’m crossing my fingers that they reappear in a future update. Check out this page for some video demos of the new features.
Working with GleetchLab is very different from most (all?) other music software. Most noticeably, you can’t save your session or load a previous one. This does interesting things to your workflow and how you approach the software. Each time you use it, you are creating something unique and different from previous sessions. This encourages experimentation and happy accidents, which is a very refreshing and inspiring way to work. This can also be very frustrating when you first start working with the program, thinking it should act like everything else out there.
Here’s what the programmer, has to say about this:
I intentionally avoided including save and load functions of gleetchlab settings. (That is since the first version of gleetchlab) Why? It is an important part of my musical approach. In my analog synthesizer days there were no save functions at all but pencil and paper. If you approach each time a reset machine, you are forced to do something new and with little time and patience, you can master the software much better.
This idea is very underestimated in modern technology. Nowadays every machine and software has editable examples and huge memory storing functions. Many kids just press a couple of preset buttons and “hey presto”… the sound they look for is at hand. In my opinion, starting from scratch every time is much more fun and educative. If you have the explorer attitude, you will quickly learn how powerful such an
approach is. GLEETCHLAB is indeed a lab. Every time, after you use a laboratory, you clean up everything 😉
Unlike previous versions, v3 is no longer free. At the current euro-to-dollar exchange rate, it’s only $13 and some change for the license, though. That’s nothing for such a powerful and enjoyable instrument to play with. Also, sorry PC, GleetchLab is Mac only.