Left Field Sound Design in iZotope Stutter Edit

Whether you work in music, television, or film, we all need ‘wooshes’ & ‘swooshes’. Frustratingly, they can be difficult to obtain. Did you know you can use iZotope's Stutter Edit to make these?  

Whether you work in music, television, or film, we all need ‘wooshes’, ‘swooshes’, and ‘fwips’, every now and then. Frustratingly enough, though, when we need them, it’s often difficult to obtain them... Or, at least some really good ones. 

Believe it, or not, Stutter Edit, which is normally used for processing, actually has tons of easily configurable ‘wooshes’ that can be easily set up and timed for almost any situation in the form of Generators. 

What are Generators?

Generators, in Stutter Edit, generate noise and other sound effects from a surprisingly large Noise Table. The table is mostly set up of Noise type samples. However, there are a few hits in there as well. The number of noise and hit types actually aren’t as important as how configurable each table sound can be with the more than adequate controls available within the Generator edit window.

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The most attractive thing about the Generators though, beyond having some neat swishy sounds, is that each of these sounds can be modified to enter, and exit in time with whatever you’re working on, and so much more. You can run them through the Bandpass filter, Delay, as well as adjust how pitch and gain rise and fall. You literally create new effects out of a sample library. So, technically, you’ve got the ability to make thousands of different types of swooshes. Neat, right? 

A Different Usage

Normally, when using Stutter Edit, you’ll use it as a Master effect that effects your mix as a whole. And, you can also use Stutter Edit upon individual audio tracks, which is great for spicing up leads, vocals, basses, drums and all other manner of coolness. But, what’s also neat is that you can use Stutter Edit, in a way, as an instrument as well, with very little effort. And, while it’s true, you can’t stutter a sound that doesn’t exist, you can use Generators, as they provide audio themselves. Let me show you what I mean.

Step 1 - Create an Audio Track

The same way as always, apply Stutter Edit to an audio track. Except, in this case, there will be no audio on this track. Keep in mind, this varies greatly in how you do it from DAW to DAW. I’ll do this in Ableton now.

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Once, I’ve set up Stutter Edit on an audio track, I’ll choose one of the patches from the Generator sub-directory under the Bank drop-down menu...

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Step 2 - Set Up a MIDI Track

Now that my audio track has Stutter Edit as an insert, I’ll set up a MIDI track as is normal and assign its output to my audio track with Stutter Edit on it, and then Stutter Edit, itself as the target.

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Step 3 - Generators

Because we chose a generator only patch earlier, as long as you’re in the right octave range (C-2 to C-6, generally speaking, it may vary from patch to patch) you can trigger Generators... Under one condition. You need to hit the play button for your DAW. 

Because generators are timed to the host clock, like all other effects in Stutter Edit, you have to have your session running to hear these audio effects. But, because they do not require audio input to work, you don’t have to worry about having to actually input audio. They will actually run independently, as if you were triggering a regular soft synth.

Give it a shot, next time you need a great transition effect, suspense, excitement, and more.

Sound Designer, Musician, Author... G.W. Childs has worn many hats. Beginning in the U.S. Army back in 1991, at the age of 18, G.W. began learning electronics, communications and then ultimately audio and video editing from the Department of Defense. Upon leaving the military G.W. went on to work for many exciting companies like Lu... Read More

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