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Sugar Bytes TURNADO – Review

This time I’m looking at the Sugar Bytes Turnado, in their words, ‘a revolutionary multi-effect tool, crafted especially for massive real-time audio manipulation‘.

At first sight, Turnado may seem basically another multi-effect tool, but as you explore more, it reveals something that is radically different. Controllerism is the new thing in music performance and TURNADO is great at it!

Turnado installation

Turnado comes as a VST and AU plugin interface for 32bit / 64 Bit compatible Mac and PC. I’m still on Win XP and I use mainly Ableton Live 8 and Energy XT as my VST hosts to run Turnado. Installation was very easy, Turnado is packed withing a 12.8Mb 3 steps installer. I used it a lot in the past two weeks and TURNADO never crashed on me. It’s rock solid and light on CPU and this is really important, specially if you plan to use it in a live performance.

Turnado features & details

As you can see above, Turnado has a beautiful and very intuitive interface. In the left you can see the effects grouped by type using colors, which makes it fast to spot on the effect you need. All you have to do is Drag and Drop any effect over any of the 8 effect slots controlled by a rotary button.

Another feature that sets Turnado apart from the crowd is Dictator, but it’s NOT for you if you have … 8 hands! Dictator provides one the most unique way of controlling multiple knobs with just one slide. Here you can set up for each knob, when and how much to be rotated. Dictator also come with it’s own specially designed patches and is really useful when used live.

Sometimes anyone can get stuck and a little bit of inspiration is really needed, specially when you on a schedule! No problem, Turnado has got that covered too with a very helpful randomize feature that works great when you are in need for some creative input. All you have to do is press the Dice button and magic happens 😉

Going further, Turnado comes with a menagerie of 24 audio effect each with lots of modulation possibilities under the hood: Pattern Delay, Tonalizer, Freezverb, Ring Modulator, Guitar Amp, Looper, Granulizer, Filter Pattern and many other interesting effects.

In you want to go deeper with each of the effect modules, all you have to do is to hit EDIT and the individual effect page, full of advanced controls, is opened.

Sugar Bytes Turnado - Filter Page

In the picture above you can see the advanced controls page for the Filter effect module. For each effect there are 5 specific parameters that ca be modulated by 2 LFOs and one Envelope Follower … and now it becomes CRAZY (something, I really enjoy). Each of the parameters is controlled by the main button through a “curve button” by modulating it using 20 different curves types.

So, for example, you can set up the main button (the one in the center) to “destroy” the Filter Cutoff parameter by modulating it thorough 10 curves + 2 LFOs + 1 ENV Follower (I hope the calculations are correct) … and that is just for one button! How CRAZY is that!?

Turnado is totally patchable and comes with over 60 factory macro presets, but each effect module has it’s own patches and even Dictator has it’s own patches! The patch combinations are endless and no one is stopping you to create your own presets if you want. Saving a preset is pretty straight forward by using the OS file manager, so it’s just like saving any other file on your computer 😉

Oh, I forgot to mention that all parameters have midi CC which can be assigned very easy. That’s all you need to play Turnado with you midi controller.

Watch the video below for a great tutorial on Turnado Effect editing

Sugar Bytes guys were great to also provide us with free Turnado video tutorials.

My opinion on Turnado

I mean, what more can I say, Turnado speaks for himself. The unbeatable level of details, the beautiful user interface, the unique sound quality and the easiness of use makes Turnado a really creative and unique tool that can do magic live and wonders in studio. I think that TURNADO is the ULTIMATE audio mangler! You have no reason NOT to try out TURNADO right now!

Some of my new sounds are already getting the special Turnado treatment and you can also expect some crazy presets to be developed by Kreativ Sounds.

Turnado Changelog

Version 1.1

  • Native RTAS Version, Turnado now runs in ProTools
  • Sync X Option for Looper
  • Bypass Lock Option
  • Midi-Key Learn for Dictator
  • Continous Record Mode for Slicearranger
  • Undo/Redo feature
  • Randomize fixed and improved
  • Remember GUI Setup on close/open
  • Synced Mode for Filterpattern Sweep Parameter
  • Improved Looper Sync
  • Improved Modulation Accuracy

Sugar Bytes Turnado is available for 139 EUR / 179 $ as a downloadable VST or Audio Unit plugin which is NOT much considering how much it will help you make your fans say “WOW, how did he did that?“.

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