Back in 2017, the team over at alter.audio shared the prototype of their first standalone audio slicer and resequencer, the Timetosser. A few years later, they’re back and raising funds for the finally-revised, updated version of the product that they’re launching via Kickstarter.
How does it work?
The Timetosser is a machine built for artists to use as a live performance tool, allowing you to loop and reorder any kind of musical input in real time. It can be used as a standalone device – making it easy to travel and use on the fly – or connected to your computer, making is a USB audio interface and controller for the Timetosser audio plug-in within your preferred DAW software. The audio input can come from anywhere, so it can connect to your DJ setup, on-stage for a live setup, or even just in your studio.
alter.audio describes it simply:
Think of it as a playable audio delay with a unique built-in tempo detection system that can also be synced through MIDI and analog gate. By playing Timetosser, you can rhythmically reorder parts of the incoming audio and shuffle them around. This way, you are able to create and add infinite variations to your tracks and loops.
They also explain that “although it takes some practice to master, the live-performance aspect of Timetosser ultimately gives artists greater expression in their performances.”
It’s most easily observed in action – here’s some of the basic tricks that the device is capable of:
Staying in sync with your tempo
The Timetosser gives you a few options to make the gear aware of the incoming track’s tempo.
First, there’s the ability to tap along with the beat with the tap-tempo key, which allows the device to track the tempo and make sure that any future looping will stay in sync. There’s also a sync to MIDI clock option, which can be used by connecting the mini-jack to DIN-5 adapter cable (don’t worry – this comes with the kit) to the sync input on the device. And lastly – the Timetosser support analog gate voltages, too – all you need to do is connect your gate signal to the sync input directly.
Timetosser’s tech specs
There’s been some real attention to the behind-the-scenes components and I/O on the Timetosser as well:
- Powder-coated, aluminum hardtop casing with lasered labels
- 16x full-color, LED-backlit key switches
- 60 FPS smooth animation feedback CPU
- 180 MHz, 32-bit ARM micro controller for real-time audio analysis and smooth visual feedback
- Digital audio: Up to 24-bit / 192 KHz Low noise, high quality codec
- USB connection for use as controller and audio interface
- Dual purpose sync input: Tempo sync to MIDI and analog gear
A long time coming
The Timetosser has been many years in the making – the first proof of concept came back in 2007, followed by a mock-up in 2011 and 3D rendering and testing eventually in 2016. The biggest turning point for alter.audio, though, was their first public show at Amsterdam Dance Event in 2017 – they received a ton of positive responses that showed the potential behind the piece, followed by reviews from musicians who tested it out around the globe.
Today, we’re excited to see that the Timetosser is finally seeing the light of day. Their Kickstarter campaign, just launched this week, is raising funds for their last stage – production of the units for mass consumption. They’re expected to ship around the November 2020 timeframe.
You can pre-order a Timetosser from alter.audio by backing their Kickstarter project at the €279-pledge level or higher. Happy sequencing!