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In-depth Feature:  Kurzweil's Rumour + Mangler Effects
Albert Potts writes: .

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Mangling can be fun
The other member of this duo is the Mangler, it’s the "less polite" of the two. It's loaded with banks of the following effects: Chorus, Flange, Phase/Tremolo, Rotary/Panner, Delay, Laserverb, Filters, Pitcher/Synth, Frequency Shifters, Distortion, Distortion+, and Compression. As far as the preset programming, there's once again hardly a dud in the bunch. Some of my favorites include the delay patches, as well as the "Drum Frightener", "Classic Guitar Distortion", "Flange>Shaper", and "Blown Speaker".

As in the Rumour, the Mangler preset names are great indicators as to what sounds the patches are designed for, making the selection process quick and painless. Also worth noting is that both the Rumour and Mangler sound great on sample libraries. I loved my Hans Zimmer guitar libraries before, but once I put "Classic Guitar Distortion" and "Saturated Guitar Distortion" on those samples, they just popped to life. Being a keyboard guy, I haven't gotten into guitar pedals, and the Mangler fills that hole in my effects palette very well. And it does so with excellent audio specs, just what I'm looking for.

Likewise, the rotary patches brought organ samples to life. Will it fool anyone familiar with a real Leslie? I doubt it, but for me this is plenty good enough. In addition, many of the Mangler effects are killer on drum loops, taking them into unexpected and interesting areas. Overall, I had a blast playing around with the Mangler on all sorts of tracks, more fun with an effects box than I've had in a long time.

The delays are some of my favorite effects in this box, and certainly rival those in dedicated delay units. However, I found an aspect of the delay algorithms a bit confusing. Some of them calculate delays in milliseconds, while others use Kurzweil's system of breaking each beat into 24 units (bts). So in their system, 4 bts equals a whole note, i.e. four beats. Simple enough, but then it gets more complicated. For example, 12/24 bts = 1/2 of a quarter note = eighth note. Or further, 16/24, 1 8/24, 2 bts = (1/3, 2/3, 3/3 of a half note) = quarter note triplets. See what I mean? I don't like the use of the name of one value, i.e. 1/2 of a *quarter note* to define another value, i.e. *eighth note*. I'd much prefer to select values like "eighth note" or "dotted eighth note" or "triplet eighth note".

In discussing this with a member of the Kurzweil Rumour/Mangler programming team, I learned that the 24 bts system is a holdover from the KSP8 and the original KDFX algorithms. They chose to stay with the original method rather than change them for these units. The system is logical, but in an engineer's logical kind of way. It just takes a little extra grey matter to get past it, or you can simply listen and twist the dial until you get the delay you want (my preferred method).

More Resources              Articles - full listing
  • Mangler @ Zzounds.com
  • Rumour/Mangler Algorithm Guide (PDF)
  • Rumour @ Zzounds.com
  • Rumour/Mangler param lists(PDF)

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