Movement tips its hat to the Kaoss Pad and Z-plane filters, making your music really move
Movement is an FX plug-in that uses a smorgasbord of different rhythms to manipulate effects, generating a sense of movement in your music. The visual impact of the interface is stunning, sleek and streamlined; it feels intuitive to operate but always with more to explore. At 300 presets deep, it’s easy to see why this one might move in permanently.
The basic premise is that four rhythm engines are split into sides A and B, and these provide movement which can be assigned to a multitude of parameters on a range of effects. These rhythm generators include the LFOs and step sequencers which you would expect, yet also included is the more interesting sidechain mode which allows for that classic EDM pump sound. Flux mode also allows for some cross-contamination between rhythms to get some really interesting results. The secret sauce in the engine section is that there's a whole host of pre-made rhythms and LFO shapes that give you, the user a really interesting starting point that you can apply to the FX units.
The FX units in Movement are simple but solid, and include delay, filters, compression and distortion, all with high quality sound and the functions you would expect. Yet Movement really comes to life when you assign the rhythm engines to the FX parameters. Using this concept alone you can go in many directions, from creative sound design such as textures with reverb tails and snarling distorted bass grooves, to complex mixing tricks such as using the sidechain to subtractively EQ the bass to make room for a kickdrum or pan another musical element to move each time a conflict arises in the mix.
Two of the FX units, in particular, are deceptively and pleasingly powerful. The Room reverb is simple, yet can be used to create anything from subtle tones to elongated, textured pads - amazing. The EQ also allows you to manipulate the frequency and gain of two shelving EQs, reminding me of the old EMU Z-plane filters - a very nice touch indeed.
What really sets Movement apart from its rivals is the XY pad at the heart of the plug-in. The rhythm engines A and B, annoyingly, can only be used on their respective FX; however the XY pad allows you to morph between the two seamlessly. This reminds me of the classic Korg Kaoss Pads, and for DJs using a laptop I could see this being a nice alternative.
The range of possibilities for the use of this plug-in are huge, but include spicing up individual musical elements, sound design, creative mixing techniques and DJ sets. This means that the right user would get a lot of bang for the buck. The fact that engines A and B can’t talk to each other is annoying in one way but refreshing in another, in the sense that, in a music tech world of unlimited possibilities, it's sometimes nice to use something with limitations that forces you to be more creative.
The only real negative here is that, at £122, Movement is a little pricey. But considering the quality, flexibility and user-friendliness, we can't complain too much.
Words: Matthew Chapman
Review score: 4/5
More info: Time + Space