Glitch is a free VST effects plug-in for Windows created by Kieran Foster (aka dblue). You create a step pattern up to four bars long with step sizes ranging from a 16th note to the full pattern length. You then select one of nine effects for each step and let Glitch do its work. Instead of selecting an effect, you can leave a step empty or let the plug-in choose an effect at random. Use the mouse, MIDI remote control, or host automation to select patterns on the fly from Glitch's 16-pattern memory (see Web Clip 1).
Setting up patterns and programming the effects is so straightforward that you don't need a manual — the help comments that appear when you mouse over the controls are sufficient. The effects are TapeStop (tape-style speedup and slowdown), Modulator (FM), Retrigger, Shuffler, Reverser, Crusher, Gater, Delay, and Stretcher (granular time-stretching). Each effect has its own multimode filter and mixer controls. Beyond that, you get global controls for fading each step, overdrive, and a master multimode filter.
Glitch is the type of processor that begs for randomization, and you have plenty of options. A single click will randomize the step pattern, the effect selected for each step, or both. Each effect has its own random button as well as a probability numerical to set how likely the effect is to be selected for a random step. For example, to create a fill in the last two beats of a 2-bar pattern using a Shuffler or Retrigger module, insert a 2-beat random effect, set the Shuffler and Retrigger modules' probabilities to 100, and set all other modules' probabilities to 0 (see Web Clip 2).
Anything from drums to comping to vocals is good source material for Glitch. It's great for processing audio on the fly, and you can make it as subtle or aggressive as you choose. The Illformed Web site (illformed.org) features audio examples, a video demo, and a users blog, as well as the Glitch download.