We’ve heard it countless times from new producers and from people not familiar with the current state of music technology: “Can I separate the synth sound from this clip?” Or “can I just use the snare from a loop and nothing else?” The answer has usually been … “no, not really.” This is because the technology required for a plugin to literally “hear” the difference between a snare and say a hi-hat in a single piece of audio is an extremely difficult process that literally requires artificial intelligence. Has Accusonus’ new plug-in Regroover seemingly done the impossible?
By simply dragging a WAV or AIFF file onto the interface, Regroover separates up to 6 different individual drum sounds within a recorded loop. And it does this quite well! When analyzing, you can choose if the loop will be separated by 4, 5 or 6 “layers,” and whether or not the loop is complex or simple (low or high activity). With these parameters alone, you can finesse most loops into decent sounding separated elements. If the process is not perfect, you can still guide Regroover by annotating any elements on the (up to) 6 tracks and move them to whatever layer they should have been in.
Once “split,” each of the 6 layers can be triggered via MIDI notes individually (C3–F3) or rebuilt exactly as it was by holding/sequencing all the layers’ MIDI notes down simultaneously. You can even choose a specific drum hit on each layer so Regroover can be used as a great sample player for completely re-sequencing the groove (In the upcoming pro version, you’ll have expansion packs that will be great for this). In addition, each of the separated parts can be turned on/off, solo’d, made mono or stereo, EQ’d, panned, have its volume adjusted, locked so it can’t be modified, and individually output to separate tracks in your DAW for processing with external effects.
Samples one below is the original unprocessed WAV, Sample 2 is the Regroover version played in full at first, then each individual element played separately:
Unprocessed WAV Loop:
Regroover version full, then individual parts:
Fixing Layers Containing Incorrect Drum Hits
If any of the individual layers contain extra information, like drum hits that do not belong to the specific layer, you can “annotate” the areas by double-clicking on them. Once you’ve selected the unwanted areas on the layer, you click the “split” button to re-analyze the clip and the drum hits are moved to another layer! If you know the specific layer the hits are supposed to be in, you can “lock” (with the lock icon on each track) the layers that—should not—contain the annotated drum hits, then press split. This way the selected hits are moved to the unlocked intended layer. I found while testing, getting the kick to sound acceptable is the real challenge. When left as is, the kick will sound flat and inconsistent, this is because Regroover has difficulty discerning the kicks’ click from a hi-hat. By annotating all the clicks in each layer (at the start of each kick hit) you can alleviate this, as I did in the audio samples above.
BPM of Loop is Auto-Synched to Host Tempo
You don’t have to worry about the BPM/tempo of any off the loops you drag into Regroover because they are automatically time stretched or compressed to the host tempo. If you choose not to sync (you unselect the sync button on the interface) the loop is played back at its original tempo and is not time stretched. In testing, I simply matched my DAW’s tempo to the original loop tempo, dragged the loop/clip into Regroover, then unselected the Sync button. I found the sound quality to be better this way since it’s not being additionally warped/flexed/etc.
Using Regroover as a MIDI Beat Machine
Since Regroover has the ability to separate each drum sound, it’s great for using as a MIDI beat machine. Once separated (see image below) you can use the aqua colored left/right pointing triangles on each layer to specify playback of specific drum hits, then sequence them any way you like in your DAW of choice.
Using Musical Loops With Regroover
Sending beat-less music loops into Regroover can result in fun and interesting combinations. In the sample below I used a synth loop. Regroover separated the sound into different frequency spaces. First the original plays, then each of the layers one by one until the whole sound is replicated.
Tips for Use
Listen closely to your chosen loop and determine how many individual drum sounds are in it, then choose the specific amount via the layers slider. Also, if the separation was far from perfect, try adjusting the activity slider. The accuracy of the separation can be increased by using loops with drum hits that don’t always overlap (there are areas in the loop where each drum sound is all by itself). The software can more easily determine the separation this way. Creating “toppers” (loops without a kick) is beyond simple… Regroover easily isolates the kick and allows you to mute it, or simple leave it out when playing MIDI notes. Think you can easily do this just by using a high pass filter and sweeping out all the lows on a loop? Regroover retains the weight/lower frequencies of the other drum sounds so your loops stays thicker/fatter sounding but without the kick.
Regroover is a great tool for doing the seemingly impossible! Whether you need a simple way to remove the kick from a clip, play back individual drum hits, or dissect every sound in a loop onto its own layer, you’ll be surprised how well this great new plugin works. Because the kick can come away a bit inconsistent sounding when separated, using an additional kick plugin, or sequenced audio kick in combination with Regroover is recommended.
Price: Regroover Pro: $149 (Pre-order), regular $199. Regroover Essential: $99.
Pros: One of the only plugins of its kind. Easily remove or isolate a chosen/unwanted element from a loop. Make loop toppers in just a few clicks. Great for using as one shot MIDI drum module. Allows you to move unwanted drum hits to chosen layers. Separately output layers to different tracks in your DAW
Cons: Some loops can take plenty finessing so get each layer sounding good. The ability to create an empty layer would be helpful when annotating