Regroover Pro by Accusonus
What we have here is a magical tool that can divide your loop into its basic elements – kick, snare and hi hats are at your disposal.
by Alex Arsov, Jan. 2018
This is one of the most interesting plug-ins I’ve recently come across. It separates grooves into its essential parts by dividing the imported beat, or even instrument line, into different lanes or layers, ranking them by frequency range.
By inserting the beat loop, you get your kicks, snares and hats on separate layers. All in all, a genius concept, but one that is still not perfect. Regroover will need some improvements during future releases to nail this conversion. Nevertheless, the program even as it is at the moment has some great advantages, being so revolutionary that it will not leave you waiting for better times.
To explain a bit better what those advantages exactly are, we should go back to “beat loop” music production basics. There are a lot of musicians and producers that use drum loops nowadays. The worst and the least professional solution is to use them just as they are. It is not just a matter of implementing rhythm changes, it is more a question of production. As a good friend who is a great mixing engineer and producer told me years ago: “Beat loops are good for giving an unique drive to the composition, but for serious usage, you need to filter out kicks and snares, replacing them with your own if you want to achieve better results.” With Regroover you can separate out those parts, using them in a song and mixing every part separately, but as soon as you decide to use more than one loop in a song, setting up a unique kick for each loop is essential. You can’t have three different kicks one after another in a song. (Well, you can, but you shouldn’t 🙂 ).
In the old hardware sampler days, filtering and then layering kicks and snares was a time consuming task, far from perfect. This is where Regroover shines. No matter that Regroover has issues with some layers, especially with snares that appear simultaneously with kicks, leaving the snare without attack and only the decay part, you still get everything you need. A well-defined hat line and very precise information where kick and snares come into a loop. Export them to a DAW and simply place new hits under those that are inside the loop. The Pro version even comes with its own sixteen-drum kit sampler pad window where you can drag and drop hits from layers, or even import external hits or parts of the loop through an additional button, building your kit from hits used in the loop.
If the loop is not so dense then you can get very clean information – well-defined kicks, snare hits and hi-hat patterns – of course, not without resorting to some attacks from other lanes, as otherwise the kick will be without top end and snares without punch.
Because, at least for me, hats are mainly the elements that define a loop the most, it seems essential to get a clean hi-hat pattern, allowing me to layer other elements as I choose. We’ve already mentioned that there are plenty of transients left on every layer, and with a few clicks you can catch them all and transmit them to the appropriate layers, significantly improving and actually completing the lanes. It is a bit a of a hit-or-miss process, so it would be nice to see this sorted in some future update. A similar criticism goes for the snares, where it would be nice to have an option telling Regroover that this is a snare layer, letting the program rebuild the attacks for all snare hits.
Regroover also has stretching algorithms implemented, so the imported loop is synced with your DAW as soon as you import it. I noticed that flange effect only occurs if the loop’s tempo is way faster than the tempo of the host. So, if your DAW has a better stretching algorithms, maybe you should import the beat into your DAW before importing it into Regroover.
After importing or even dragging a loop, Regroover will automatically analyze the loop, extracting parts to different layers. At this point you can even select how many layers Regroover should create, a handy solution for loops containing a lot of different percussion. The aforementioned transients can easily be transmitted to other lanes by selecting regions with leftovers and clicking the Annotation button. Before doing this, you should lock all other lanes. I suspect this could be done a bit more simply by just adding a dropdown menu to the Annotation button to let the program know where to “beam up” those leftovers (there are a few video clips on youtube showing you how this can be done). If the loop has more elements layered simultaneously, the whole process is a bit more complicated. Results can be improved slightly with the Activity slider by setting it on High for busier rhythms.
It happens that in some “busy loop” cases, the end result will be almost not usable, meaning that further tweaking and fine tuning for improving the clarity of different layers is not much of an option. In other words, we will get the Snare layer without attacks and at the same time there won’t be many upper frequencies on kicks. It would be nice to have these details sorted in some future updates.
Dividing the loop into layers is just the beginning, as every layer can be further manipulated. You can set up to four different effects for each layer. Those effects are Gate, Equalizer, Compressor and Saturator. Also, each layer can be triggered with predefined MIDI notes. With cursors that are set above every layer you can set regions, start and end points for triggering just that part, allowing you to build your own polyrhythms. The layer is triggered until you release the note.
The good thing is also that you can drag a layer or just a part of it directly to an audio track on your DAW. I prefer working with audio files, so Regroove allows me to divide and clean loops in less than two minutes, having them ready for manipulating further directly inside the arrangement window.
At the top of the interface is a button for opening the extended kit editor where you can tweak any of the imported hits inside sixteen drum pads. It comes with a big waveform window where start and end points can easily be set for every imported hit. There is also an option to reverse a sample along with a few additional controllers that can also be found inside this extended kit editor. Controllers for setting Pan, a Stereo enhancer along with a Gain slider and even ADSR window, where you can set attack, decay, sustain and release curve.
There are other details and functions that can be applied to layers or their parts, like a dropdown menu for setting the general loop length in bars for each layer. There are also a number of functions implemented in the mix section to the left of every layer. Solo and Mute buttons along with Stereo Enhancer and even output routing options allowing you to route every layer to its own audio output.
There is still room for improvement in Regroover, but even in this state it can easily be a lifesaver to many producers, DJs and musicians that work with loops. It is very simple to use and it gives immediate results. It works nicely with most loops and the whole idea and concept is really clever and uniquely constructed. This is one of the most interesting sampling tools to have been released in the last few years.
There is a free, 14-day trial version, so don’t be lazy – spend some quality time toying with your loops. It’s fun, and what’s more, Regroover is a very useful plug-in. God job, my dear Accusonus fellows.
More info at https://accusonus.com/manuals/regroover-pro-manual
Regroveer Essential costs $99 USD, Regroover Pro $219 USD and Regroover Pro with 6 expansion packs will cost you $299 USD.