Minimal Audio Rift, Creative Distortion Plugin With Endless Shaping Fun

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Minimal Audio Rift merges a multi-algorithm distortion, multimode morphing stereo filter, and a delay/feedback combo in a new futuristic shaping plugin.

At the beginning of May, the young company Minimal Audio took off with its free stereo filter plug-in Rift Lite. A very nice and flexible stereo filter that costs you nothing. However, a product that has the word Lite in its name says that a major release is yet to come.

Now the company has let the curtain fall and presented the real star with Rift. It is a new distortion plugin that continues the idea of classic distortion and merges into a shaping sound design monster.

Minimal Audio Rift

Minimal Audio Rift

Rift is a new powerful distortion effect that bundles various sound shaping blocks in a new plugin. It is sold as a distortion plugin, but it can do a lot more than just distort your sounds. Rift host an advanced distortion engine with 30 custom algorithms including waveshapers, wavefolders, noise, bit-crushers, and sample rate reducers.

In Rift, you can load two algorithms at the same time, which act in a bipolar relationship. One positive shape and one negative shape. From these algorithms, a unique distortion arises with different characters in the upper and lower frequency spectrum. That’s not all. You can also choose between a hard/smooth distortion mode and set how the distortion treats the signal. Here you can select the processing stages (1-6) for additional harmonics as well as how the distortion work. This can be in mono, stereo, mid … Plus you can mix in overdrive using the drive knob.

Minimal Audio Rift

Delays, Filtering & Modulation

In the lower third of the plugin, you can move the distortion in new directions. Starting with the Feedback section that features a stereo delay with a ping pong option. The idea of adding a delay is not to use it as a classic delay unit, of course, you can, but to use it as a shaper/feedback for the distortion. Clever, the feedback rate can be set in notes (MIDI input or specific notes), Hz, milliseconds, and BPM-synced note divisions making it very versatile. There is also a pitch snap tool that allows you to quantize the frequency parameter to notes and scales as well.

On the upper right side, you have a stereo filter block that is also available as a separate filter plugin named Rift Lite. This works as a pre- or post-distortion morph filter with in total 24 different stereo filter types. Rift also ships with an advanced modulation section that includes an envelope follower, LFO, and two curve generators with drawable shapes. With these, you can modulate per drag-&-drop all parameters of the plugin and make the engine dance.

I like the very futuristic interface very much, especially that you have two sides. One that is there to play with and one for deep tweaks where you have access to all parameters. It also ships with tons of presets (400+) from professional sound designers. These are a nice beginner base of what the plugin can do. The real fun only comes when you master the tool.

Describing Rift as a distortion tool is an understatement. It’s much more than just a simple distortion with modulations. With the built-in super flexible filter, delay, and huge number of algorithms, it’s a powerful sound design tool for crazy shaping adventures.

Minimal Audio Rift is available now for $75 USD for early adopters (reg. $129 USD). It runs as a 64-bit VST, AU, and AAX plugin on macOS and Windows. There is no demo version but Minimal Audio has a 30-day no-questions-asked refund policy.

More information here: Minimal Audio 

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