WORMHOLE Dry/Wet Morphing Slider

Dry-Wet Morphing, a.k.a. FX BLEND

When strongly processing sounds, a simple dry/wet crossfade often fails to do what you really want to achieve – dialling back the intensity of the effect. Instead, you'll get the impression of two sounds playing at once. This is why where other plugins have a dry-wet control, WORMHOLE has FX BLEND. The FX BLEND module expands on the dry-wet concept by providing multiple algorithms for combining the two streams. In addition to the classic d/w crossfade, it features two implementations of our unique structural audio morphing technology to morph seamlessly between your input and the effect. This fuses the two – turning them into one single sound in-between – and can "wrap" the effect signal into the "silhouette" of the source for greater definition aka "tightness" than you typically get from heavy processing. The dry-wet morphing also allows for much greater "realism" on heavily processed sounds such as monster voices, for myriad hybrid sounds to be explored, and for creating super-smooth transitions where the effect harmonics "grow out of the source" in a way you've never heard before.



WARP performs a unique localized time-domain spectral warping effect, whose flavor lies somewhere between ring- and frequency-modulation, frequency- and formant-shifting, modal resonation, and spectral mapping. WARP sounds mesmerisingly strange and always stays crisp, intelligible, and tight (unless you don't want that, of course). It even includes a mode that introduces discontinuity artifacts to generate grit for all sorts of space-age special effects.



SHIFT combines +- 4 octaves of pitch-shift with +-4kHz of frequency-shift into one single processing step.
The PITCH SHIFTER is a unique design that is neither delay/grain nor FFT/phase-vocoder based. As a result, it exhibits none of the typical artifacts like grains, flamming, or aliasing, and is very low on pitch-jumping or warbling. It features 4 dedicated algorithm modes: SMOOTH, TIGHT, DETUNE A, and DETUNE B. SMOOTH and TIGHT do exactly what their names imply – shifting up or down by up to 48 semitones. The DETUNE modes shift the left and right channels in opposite directions by +- 48 cents for that micro-shifting-chorus-that-is-no-chorus thickening effect. And we're proud to be able to say that WORMHOLE's PITCH SHIFTER sounds incredibly detailedorganic, and warm.
WORMHOLE's FREQUENCY SHIFTER is extremely clean, sporting around 96dB of carrier/side-band suppression, greatly enhancing the useful range of effects achievable. Like the PITCH SHIFTER, the FREQUENCY SHIFTER is fully aliasing-free.
The SHIFT section also features a unique DECAY TIME control. By discarding signal components that exceed an adjustable duration, it unclutters and tightens up the sound in a very cool way. And, when shifting up, it greatly reduces the "ringing" effect caused by the naturally longer decay times of low frequencies being shifted into the subjectively louder mid-range. It can also be used for special effects like simulating analog communications circuit "sagging", or adding timbral "fluttering".

WORMHOLE Reverb Section Mix & Mode Control


What's better than a great reverb? Exactly, TWO great reverbs, of course. That's why WORMHOLE's REVERB section features two simple but super-lush sounding random modulated hall type reverbs with shared controls. One is placed before the FX BLEND – giving effects that aren't quite your typical reverb when used with the dry-wet morphing. The other is placed after the FX BLEND. For maximum reverberation flexibility, you can use either one, or both at the same time.

WORMHOLE Delay Controls


Living in the slot where other plugins have a pre-delay, WORMHOLE's very simple but highly effective DELAY represents an evolution of this concept. In addition to delaying the effect signal, it can delay the dry signal instead...or do both, in opposing directions for the L and R channels. This creates super-wide effects that are still fully balanced around the center of the sound stage. Within seconds. In combination with the pitch shifter's DETUNE modes and the dry-wet morphing (where the DELAY effectively modifies what gets morphed into what), unique sounds ranging from subliminal enhancement to the off-the-hook variety can be created.

On WORMHOLE's WARP, Ring Modulators and Frequency Shifters

WORMHOLE features a WARP and a SHIFT section. WARP performs a proprietary time-domain local spectrum inversion ("frequency warping"). This effect is remotely similar to ring modulators and frequency shifters in that it can produce inharmonic, metallic spectra. It is however a different algorithm that produces timbres that can not be achieved with either – providing a unique new sound to your palette. The SHIFT section combines pitch- and frequency-shifting into one unique process that is completely aliasing-free and features near-perfect side-band and carrier suppression.

To illustrate the differences between the WARP module and the more traditional ring modulation and frequency shifting effects – and to show the high quality of WORMHOLE's frequency shifter design – here is a series of spectrograms made by passing test signals through the various processor types with varying settings.

Ring Modulation

When an audio signal passes through a ring modulator, two so-called "side bands" are generated. These are copies of the input signal, linearly shifted in frequency by the frequency of the modulating oscillator symmetrically in both directions. Here, we used a ring modulator modulator frequency of around 300Hz, using a sine wave sweeping linearly from 160Hz to 2900Hz over a duration of around 2.3 seconds as input (first image). You can clearly see the two side bands in the second illustration (green lines, the red line shows the input signal and is overlaid for illustrational purposes only). As the two side bands are shifted linearly in frequency and harmonics in natural sounds are logarithmically distributed, a "metallic" or "hollow" unnatural sound is created – which can be used to great effect for processing voice.

WORMHOLE compared to ring-modulators and frequency shifters, illustration two: ring modulation.
Test Signal: Sine Sweep
Ring Modulator

Frequency Shifting

A frequency shifter is essentially a ring modulator where one of the two side bands is suppressed, so that the signal is shifted in one direction only. This makes for an effect that takes up much less space in a mix than what you'd get with ring modulation. In practice, the amount of side-band and carrier suppression achieved varies between designs, in most cases it remains audible. This can be seen in the spectrogram below, where we used a well-known plug-in to shift frequency up by the same approximate 300Hz as in the ring modulator example above – the lower sideband is somewhat attenuated but still there.


WORMHOLE compared to ring-modulators and frequency shifters, illustration four: frequency shifting, upward shift.
Frequency Shifter, Upward Shift

Sufficient side-band suppression is, however, critical to achieving high quality frequency shifting and, more importantly, consistently useful results when shifting strongly. With signals that are of higher complexity than a sine-wave, this becomes even more true. Here, we have passed two swept sine-waves through the same well-known 3rd party frequency shifter, shifting down by 500 Hz. As you can see in the second image, the upper side-band is insufficiently suppressed, yielding a rather unclean result. Also note the lower of the two sine-waves appearing invertedly at the beginning of the sweep, this is due to the signal being shifted to below zero Hz and being "reflected" back up, a.k.a. aliasing. Both artifacts are displayed in orange for visibility.

  • WORMHOLE compared to ring-modulators and frequency shifters, illustration four: frequency shifting, upward shift.

With three swept sines – which is still a very simple signal compared to, for example, a voice – the problem gets worse. The below spectrograms show three swept sines, as well as the same three sines shifted by + 2000 Hz using the same 3rd party algorithm.

  • WORMHOLE compared to ring-modulators and frequency shifters, illustration four: frequency shifting, upward shift.

WORMHOLE's Frequency Shifter

In comparison, WORMHOLE's frequency shifter is free of any aliasing, and has near-perfect side-band suppression, as evidenced by the spectrograms below – note the complete absence of the unwanted sidebands. Basically, the attenuation of the side-bands is so high that they fall outside of the spectrogram's displayed dynamics range. Audio-wise, this translates into a significantly cleaner sound and a much broader range of useful settings. 

  • WORMHOLE compared to ring-modulators and frequency shifters, illustration four: frequency shifting, upward shift.


WORMHOLE's WARP module behaves somewhat differently. The spectrograms below show the same sine sweep processed with a WARP DEPTH setting of 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%. Note how the structure of the output signal is noticeably more complex than with simple ring modulation or frequency shifting, while at the same time being much more "tidy" and sporting a more balanced distribution. The output is also free of any aliasing. Also note how the output components converge around the input signal with rising values for warp, resulting in a very defined, yet strongly processed sounding sound. 

WORMHOLE compared to ring-modulators and frequency shifters, illustration six: WORMHOLE, 25% warp.
WORMHOLE, 25% Warp
WORMHOLE compared to ring-modulators and frequency shifters, illustration seven: WORMHOLE, 50% warp.
WORMHOLE, 50% Warp
WORMHOLE compared to ring-modulators and frequency shifters, illustration eight: WORMHOLE, 75% warp.
WORMHOLE, 75% Warp
WORMHOLE compared to ring-modulators and frequency shifters, illustration nine: WORMHOLE, 100% warp.
WORMHOLE, 100% Warp

By raising the POLES parameter, this convergence around the original signal's coordinates can be further increased, while at the same time introducing a series of resonance points, which tend to enforce the perception of a specific pitch, and which have sonic characteristics similar to a modal resonator, but with much less time-smearing. The below images illustrate this effect.

WORMHOLE compared to ring-modulators and frequency shifters, illustration ten: maximum WARP with 50% Poles.
WORMHOLE, 100% Warp, 50% Poles
WORMHOLE compared to ring-modulators and frequency shifters, illustration eleven: maximum WARP with maximum Poles.
WORMHOLE, 100% Warp, 100% Poles

Finally, the TILT parameter applies processing somewhat similar to an unusually designed pitch/formant shifter – it shifts pronounced spectral features up or down. For simple input material the design of this circuit results in pitch-shift like effects, as can be seen in the below spectrograms, where the signal is rotated vertically (in frequency), while also moving up or down slightly. Note how TILT shows some aliasing coming in from the "top". TILT is intentionally designed to create grit for more extreme sounds.

WORMHOLE compared to ring-modulators and frequency shifters, illustration twelve: maximum WARP with maximum Poles and -100% Tilt.
WORMHOLE, 100% Warp, 100% Poles, -100% Tilt
WORMHOLE compared to ring-modulators and frequency shifters, illustration thirteen: maximum WARP with maximum Poles and +100% Tilt.
WORMHOLE, 100% Warp, 0% Poles, +100% Tilt
Supports VST 2.x, VST 3.x, AU, RTAS and AAX Native on Mac And PC

Intro Special: USD 149 / EUR 169

Special offer valid through April 30th, 2017

Regular USD 179/EUR 199
(Prices in EURO inclusive of 19% VAT – EUR 142.02 (Intro special) or EUR 167.23 (regular) without VAT)

Included in ZAP II And DESIGN

This plug-in is also available as part of the ZAP II and DESIGN bundles.

  • ZAP II Bundle Boxshot
  • DESIGN Bundle Boxshot