One Small Clue is probably most known for the simple yet powerful MPC-style percussion sampler Poise.
While Poise has been the flagship product since its release in 2008, two additional plug-ins were added to the One Small Clue product catalog this year. The gate/expander & ducker effect Preston Gate, and for those who like to “Loop, Glitch and Stutter” there’s Lugosi, a FSU delay effect.
If you are not familiar with the term, FSU basically means messing the sound up real good. I think you can figure out what the acronym stands for.
Lugosi records audio into a static two second buffer. Loop point markers control exactly where in the buffer the audio is recorded to. At the same time there are separate loop point markers to control the playback position.
It is possible to be record audio into one section of the buffer while simultaneously playing back the audio in a different unrelated section. When the loop point markers are reversed the audio will also play/record in reverse.
So just to be clear, Lugosi is NOT your traditional delay effect. It is more of a 2 second sampler that allows you to mess with recorded audio in various ways.
Two sets of controls set the buffer loop points for play and record. Start and end of the loop can be set individually, anywhere in the buffer. When the “fixed” button is active the start control moves a fixed loop size in the buffer, while the end control changes its size. A “slave” button lets you sync the record loop to the one for playback.
Four more controls are located in the bottom of the interface. Input and feedback set the recording input level and the amount of audio that is fed back into the record input. Rate changes the speed at which the loop moves through the buffer. Finally, a mix control determines the amount of wet and dry signal output.
In the short demo video below I assigned Lugosi’s parameters to a MIDI controller, allowing me to play it like a sampler instrument.
So what do I think?
Format: VST for Windows PC
Price: $49 USD
Like: Unique type of effect, high fun factor
Don’t like: —
There are quite a lot of plug-ins available for slicing, stuttering, glitching, and otherwise mangling audio, but One Small Clue’s effect is quite unique really.
Even though it has only few controls, Lugosi is not necessarily easy to tame. The effect is not synced to your host/external clock, so things can get crazy wild pretty fast when using Lugosi alongside other sounds and sequences. It’s FSU alright!
For more controlled results, parameters can be automated in your host. However, to me it is the experimenting and guiding of (often unexpected) sounds which inspires and excites. Lugosi instantly becomes part of the creation process of your music. It’s not just slapping on an effect and dialing in a nice preset. This effect requires you to create, direct, and let the sound sort of find itself.
I reckon Lugosi is a welcome addition to the FSU toolbox of live performers and adventurous producers.