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Portal by Output Review

When you talk about effects on a vocal or an instrument, everyone’s mind goes straight to reverbs and delays. I’m guilty of falling into this narrow-minded way of thinking time and time again. By finding creative and new effects, you can change the entire vibe of a track to make it even better than before. That is why I absolutely had my mind blown when I looked into Portal by Output. 

When I was initially learning about Portal, I honestly thought from the layout that it was a synthesizer. Looking into it more and more, I found it was just a general effect that had mod options and settings that you would often see on a synth. Even just looking at all of the options available started the creative thought process in me and gave me new ideas.

Overall9.75
Features10
Compatibility10
Pricing10
Bonus & Extras9

How We Reviewed Portal

Portal is a simple yet not so simple plugin that offers a lot of ways to morph your tracks. The UI which was started on Portal can also be seen on one of Output’s other fantastic plugins, Thermal, a top-notch distortion. We wanted to focus on the features that stood out to us the most as well as key aspects to check whenever purchasing a plugin. 

Overall

Best for:

Beyond being a basic effect for a synthesizer, you can use this effect on anything, vocals, bass, guitar, drums. There are a thousand ways to create new sounds with your existing tracks. It fits more into the realm of electronic music and blends with everything from lofi/chillwave to dubstep. 

Features

Advanced Settings – Beyond your initial stretch/Smear controls, you can expand your settings into the advanced page to get more in-depth with all of your sounds. This opens up tweaking for pitch shifting, feedback, mods, and much more.

Advanced Settings
Advanced Settings

Time Stretch – With Time Stretch in Portal, you can stretch and shrink your tracks to change the timing for different vibes and time signatures. You do also have the option of syncing it to the master tempo of your track or leave it as is.

Time Stretch
Time Stretch

Mods – There are 2 Mods with which you can control the rates of the effects as well as add in a “Humanize” option that is designed to create, “less repetitive, more organic sounds.”

Mods
Mods

Presets – There are over 200 presets built for a wide variety of sounds that can be used on many different instruments to reach into different styles and give them a new twist. 

Presets
Presets

Compatibility

Portal is a creative plugin that can work in any setting. It can work for pretty much every major DAW out there as well 

MacWindows
Memory4 GB RAM
8 GB recommended 
4 GB RAM
8 GB recommended 
Operating System10.10+Windows 8.1+

This plugin comes to you digitally. 

Pricing

The pricing for this effect comes across as extremely fair with the abilities of this program. You can affect so much in a track that you would have to use multiple plugins from other companies to do the job that Portal can do alone. This pushes me to think that the final price is a great deal.

Bonus & Extras

Output came out with a Portal Expansion pack called Chaos. This provided you with an additional 100 presets to help you create even more unique sounds. The Chaos package is only $35 which comes out to just 35 cents per preset (extremely cheap). This pack was specifically created by the creative sound designers Richard Devine and Anthony Baldino. 

Transport into Another World 

When you start using Portal, you begin to see new opportunities and ways to approach songs. You don’t always have to ditch your previous version, try making 2 versions to completion and either pick the one you like better or release both as alternate versions. Portal provides an exciting option for granulated effects and helps you with new ideas. 

Want to learn more about effects and plugins? Take a look at our plugin reviews and comparisons

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