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  • #61
    This isn't really something to record performances - you have Pro Tools for that, right?!? - but think of it more as "instant resampling" as you can capture Transfuser playback from its main audio output.

    The attached image shows the recorder section, which is pretty simple: play, stop, and record buttons, along with a drop-down menu that lets you specify a record time of 1, 2, or 4 beats.

    So what is that "Import As..." dialog box doing there? Well, this is the really cool feature of the recorder: You can drag it into an existing Transfuser Track Synth module and replace whatever's in there, or drag it into an empty space and create a new instrument - this is what calls up the "Do you want to slice it, stretch it, or load it onto drum pads?" dialog box.

    This is a very, very cool feature because you can do something like combine a drum and percussion part by recording them, then creating a single instrument with the combined part.
    The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and Listen to my music on, and visit Thanks!


    • #62
      The attached image shows the final part of the Master section. This is pretty straightforward: You have Transport controls for play and stop (which of course can run in tandem with Pro Tools), a metronome on/off option (the metronome level is set in Preferences), pitch control to raise or lower the overall pitch, master volume control, and metering.

      There are two unusual aspects here. One is that you can record the metronome output into a Pro Tools track, even though you can't record it in Transfuser. This makes perfect sense if you want to do overdubs early on in the process with Pro Tools, while still having Transfuser doing its thing.

      The Pitch control maintains the tempo in the face of pitch changes, and pitch changes affect all instruments, including drums. As a result, you can change pitch on the fly without messing up the rhythm - nice.

      In fact, it's so much fun there's an attached video that shows the pitch change thing in action. You'll see me change the pitch up an octave, then use Alt-click to zero it again. Then the pitch will go down an octave, and be zeroed again...I really like the whole real time aspect.
      The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and Listen to my music on, and visit Thanks!


      • #63
        We've reached the point in this Pro Review where I feel I know enough about Transfuser to offer some conclusions. This doesn't mean the thread is closed; if I discover any significant features I missed I'll include them, and certainly, if any of you have questions, comments, or music you want to post, please - go right ahead!

        The bottom line is that Transfuser lives up to Digi's hype 100%, but in some ways, exceeds it; the live performance aspects are hugely cool, and the content has some beats that are simply outstanding. When Digi refers to live performance, it almost seems like a "Oh, and it does live performance too" kind of afterthought. But the engine that powers Transfuser clearly was built with performance controls in mind. Will people load Pro Tools LE on a laptop just so they have a host for Transfuser? I'd be willing to bet that some people will indeed.

        The quality that impressed me the most was operational seamlessness. No matter you do, it's almost impossible to make Transfuser hiccup. If you saw the video in the previous post, you know what I mean: To pitch shift over a dozen instruments all at once while keeping the tempo constant, then jumping back down again, is pretty impressive. You can drag in content, add instruments, even make live performance assignments on the fly - the music never stops. And M.A.R.I.O. is a very cool addition to Transfuser's - or a live performer's - bag of tricks.

        What's not to like? Some find the interface off-putting at first, feeling that it's cluttered. Actually, given the amount of functionality packed into each module, I'm surprised it's not far more cluttered than it is. The only complaint I have is the point size of some of the lettering, which could have been made larger without affecting the aesthetics; and there's no excuse for having dark blue letters against a black background. It may look cool under the low lights of the studio, but onstage, all I can say is I hope that if there's a Transfuser 2.0, there's more attention paid to readability.

        But really, that's about it for complaints. Some might bemoan the lack of any kind of synthesis (like the Thor and SubTractor synths found in Reason), but that's only a concern for those who expected Transfuser to do everything - dude, you're in Pro Tools! Just insert your virtual synth of choice, and run it in parallel with Transfuser.

        And speaking of Pro Tools, we haven't touched on integration too much between the two, but that's only because it's exactly what you'd expect: Transfuser becomes instruments you can feed to different buses, with tempo sync to the host.

        Finally, there's the matter of price. A sample library containing the type of content included with Transfuser would probably run around $70-$100, so you can think of Transfuser itself as an instrument that costs a couple hundred bucks or so. That's pretty righteous, and definitely flies in the face of those who consider Pro Tools an "elitist" platform. It's clear that Transfuser isn't just "another virtual thingie" for Pro Tools, but another step in a new direction for Pro Tools - one that slants it toward being a compositional, not just recording, environment.

        And that's an important move: Digi has been at the top of the heap for a long, long time, and not without good reason. But if they're looking over their shoulder, they see programs like Ableton Live gaining significant market share, Sonar solidifying its hold on the Windows platform, Reaper picking up fanboys, and Apple doing stunning things like putting out the Logic Studio package for $500. (Think about it: For only $200 more than Transfuser, you get not only a DAW, but a zillion plug-ins, Mainstage, a ton of content, and more.) But as the competition heats up, it seems Digi isn't resting on its past, and Transfuser is a good indicator of that.

        What has mystified me during this Pro Review is that lack of participation; I've kind of felt like a voice in the wilderness, even as a I watch the page counts increment (so I know people are reading this). The AIR guys stopped by early on, then disappeared to work on their next projects. A few users have posted about how much they like Transfuser, but that's been it. Why?

        Well, I think I have an answer: The downloadable free trial. If you try it and don't like, you're not going to hang out here. If you do like it, you're going to be making music with it. And the biggest factor of all: Transfuser is easy to figure out. In a lot of Pro Reviews, people come to ask questions - will it do this, will it do that, how do you make it do this, etc. But really, Transfuser is pretty obvious, which is actually somewhat surprising considering all that it does. The lack of discussion isn't just limited to this thread: I looked all over the net, and this thread is far and away what's referenced the most. Even Pro Tools-specific blogs have very little about Transfuser, past the "I like it a lot, good stuff" kind of comments.

        I'm hoping that some Transfuser users will circle back here after they've used the program for a while, and offer some insights and not-so-obvious tips. Until then, let me sum up by saying if you're into grooves and you use Pro Tools, Transfuser delivers the goods at a more than fair price. But even more importantly, it's fun!!
        The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and Listen to my music on, and visit Thanks!


        • #64
          Fantastic, in-depth review Craig. Much appreciated. I've been using Transfuser for around 2 months now (on and off as time allows) and find it inspiring and easy to operate. Stand out feature for me is "Beatcutter", which is a fantastic effect that offers short-cuts to many contemporary electronic music fx-tricks. Also, using this in conjunction with the gater and the pumper, you have landed in Justice-DJ Medhi-Daft Punk compressed-glitch land, with the minimum of effort. Load up a loop of your song, play with these effects in realtime for a few minutes while recording the output in ProTools, listen back to your recorded transfuser output and pick the best bits, and hey presto, you have a great selection of fills and breaks for your tune.



          • #65
            Thanks Mr. Anderton for the really good review!
            I'm really interested in Transfuser but don't have the possibility to test it since I haven't got Pro Tools LE yet.

            This VI is looking really good in every aspect and I am sure it will really improve my work once I switch to Pro Tools 8.

            But one thing I couldn't get from any of the ressources on the internet:

            While programming drum tracks often times I microtune individual drum hits.. i.e. I push them a little from their position on the grid. Like 2 to 9 ticks in a regular midi editor. But individual hits in one direction other hits possibly in the opposite direction.
            This gives a more natural groove and human feel to the drum tracks.

            Is it possible in Transfuser's drum sequencer to move individual drum hits from the static grid and thus "microtune" the groove?

            Many thanks!



            • #66

              (There, Now Thats Out Of The Way)

              WOW is the best word that describes this music creation power house!

              Literally so cool that I didn't want to post cause I want Transfuser all to myself


              Thank You, AIR YOU GUYS FREAKIN ROCK


              • #67

                it's been some time, but your review is still great source of inrofmation. Thank you!
                I've been using Transfuser since two days - I'm a complete newbie. And I'm totally confused about one thing… I thought I will post my question here, although I've already post it at DUC, but no aswer yet…

                So, when I drag a loop from Transfuser's browser, let's say one of the keyboard, guitar or strings loops, I got in the track list a track with slice seq and slicer syn modules. The question is: what to do to make it phrase module?? I want to alter notes pitch. Want to use the particular (for example guitar) sound, but change the melody of the loop.
                I'm sure I'm missing really basic concept of Transfuser. Trying to figure this out, but no help around yet...