Stutter Edit by BT

Jan 23 2011

The new Stutter Edit plug-in, conceived and developed over the past fifteen years by pioneering electronic music artist and composer, BT, is pretty amazing. Upon installing this plug-in on my system I feel like I’ve got BT in the studio with me helping to produce stutter edits and breaks in my song. Really, it’s like I hired him as a technical consultant just for his stutter edit production techniques. It used to take me hours, even days to cook up these sound effects, through intricate slicing and dicing of waveforms and automating stacks of effects. Now, I can simply play a key on my keyboard and get the same, if not better, results! I can’t restrain myself from exclaiming, “It’s BT in a plug-in!”

How It W-w-w-works

Here’s how it works, simply insert Stutter Edit on the audio track that you want to stutter. Then, set up a MIDI track to send MIDI note and controller data to the Stutter Edit plug-in. Now, play your song and whenever you want to hear a stutter effect press a note on your keyboard to trigger one of the preset stutter effects. It’s that simple, and the presets sound great! Plus, to add more dynamics and enhance your ability to really play the effects, Pitch Bend is assigned to the plug-in’s global, resonant filter effect, and the Mod Wheel let’s you control different real-time dimensions of a preset. For example, moving the Mod Wheel could alter the speed of a preset’s stutters. You can record your MIDI performance and automate Stutter Edit directly from the MIDI track.

Sutter Edit comes with a ton of ready-made stutter effects spread out across the entire keyboard, right when you open it, so you can get to stuttering immediately. It also includes banks of stutter effect presets from BT himself, and a other electronic music luminaries, such as Richard Devine. If you’re not into the presets, you can certainly program your own stutter effects, from a simple eighth note stutter to crazy lo-fi distortion with delays and noise sweeps. Its many controls—Quantize, Delay, Gate, Filters, Buffer Position, Bit Reduction, Pan, Lo-Fi, Stutter Matrix, and Arpeggiator—combined with its Generator noise synthesis section gives you the ability to cook up just about any cutting edge stutter effect that you can dream of. Way too much fun!

Imagine the Possibilities

Sutter Edit is incredibly useful in the studio, but what I’m equally impressed by is its live performance potential. For example, stutter effecting loops in Ableton Live, in real-time right from your MIDI keyboard. Obviously, BT is deep into such things. He didn’t just dream up this plug-in in the studio, he wanted to take his stutter effects to the stage for live performances. And, clearly, he’s done exactly this, giving Stutter Edit plenty of beta testing during his Laptop Symphony shows. So, even though this is just version 1.0, it’s reassuring to know that it’s been out on the road and thoroughly tested by a pro, in high-profile, real life gigs. We know it works for live shows, not just in how it’s designed, but that it’s reasonably stable as well. How many software companies can say this about their newest software?

I’m already seeing and hearing grumblings on discussion threads saying, “I’ll never use Stutter Edit. I take pride in programming my own stutter effects one edit at a time.” Well, fine, I’ll have an entire track of stutter effects produced in the time it took you to do just one. And, besides, given a little time and patience—I know stutter edit producers have plenty of this—you can program your own unique stutter effects in this plug-in, assign them to keys on your keyboard, and save them in your own bank of presets. You don’t have to sound like the factory presets, you can develop your own unique stutter effect sound. Then, you can perform your stutter edits live, whether in the studio or on stage. This most certainly isn’t something you can do with that one stutter edit you just spent all day programming in your DAW. OK, enough said.

In the coming years, I predict that Stutter Edit will be massively overused, not unlike the AutoTune vocal sound (you know, Cher and T-Pain). Hopefully, the effect will be used tastefully, artfully, and without going completely overboard with it. Though, admittedly, I’ve probably already failed in this department—it’s just too much fun to play with. In fact, after about six instances of Stutter Edit in my Pro Tools session I managed to crash hard, several times, eventually completely freezing my Mac. Fortunately, after a quick reboot I was back in business and everything was running smoothly again. I also had problems controlling clipping at the plug-in’s output, because some of the effects pumped out serious amplitude spikes. A soft clip limiter section in the next build of Stutter Edit would be greatly appreciated.

Stutter Edit is distributed and supported by Izotope. There’s a lot of wonderful information about Stutter Edit on their Web site,
But, the best way to really appreciate Stutter Edit is download the trial version and take it for a test drive yourself. Also, check out this video tour of how I used Stutter Edit in a remix of my song “Delicious People”, for which the remix stems are available on my CD, Erik Hawk & The 12-Bit Justice League.

    I downloaded the demo of this earlier today (free 10-day evaluation with full functionality). What an awesome plugin it is. And I completely agree with the points you made in your blog: it’s like having BT with you (at least on the BT presets) and this is going to be EVERYWHERE! Taste? Forget it!

    This plugin will change the world of producing much like t-pain’s autotune. It’s one of those really overusable plugins. I believe it’s much more practical than singular editing/ processing of effects to reach a stutter effect. Also it should be used in combination with some singular editing of wavs. for the matter of having specific sounds, and not just having a linear sounding stutter. But there is nothing another plugin cannot add to this matter.

    In terms of memory, it crushed for me after three instances of drums were loaded in with the effect. But I have to admit I had more than just the stutter inserted. Still quit big in terms of memory consumption.

    It works really well with vocals and I believe particularly hip hop, trance and their sub-genres as well as and other progressive styles will be the first to expand into the field of stutter edit intensively in the near future.

    Great work by Izotope. But watch out, this beast can be both your friend and foe.

    This seems like a pretty handy tool. I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t want to streamline the editing process when it comes to creating this type of effect.

    I’d rather play a pattern on a keyboard and record the MIDI performance over spending all day zooming in/out of a multi-track program and dealing with microscopic cross fades.

    Thanks for the heads up on this plug in.


    Oooh my good, this is a massive tool for live performances and of course for the studio, I will give it a try, thanks guys for the info


    Wow that look like the bomb, thanks for demoing it, very nice bit of production software.

    This piece of software looks awesome, it’s definitely gonna be on my to buy list. It looks like fun and when using it I bet you can come up with little tricks, funky sounds fx and more all by accident.

    I bet those who have used it are starting to hear it being used on tracks and live sets as it seems to have quite a unique sound.

    So can you assign Stutter Edit to a particular track, rather than the entire piece? And can you do this with propellerhead reason?

    Yes, if you use it on an individual track within the host DAW (such as Pro Tools or Logic). For example, since Reason doesn’t accept plug-ins, you would need to run Reason, via rewire, into a host DAW and then your could run it through Stutter Edit.

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    You’ll be able to make music with your fingers in no time. I did not have the skills to be a musician, but I did have an ear for music. You are able to get investigation that as well as evaluate it on your own.

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