TimeToyPro 2.0 (Mac, $17) is a standalone time-stretching application created with Max/MSP and based on granular DSP technology. Author Marcel Wierckx is well known for his Real Time Granular Synthesizer (RTGS), which has been completely revised for Mac OS X and is also worth checking out. Demos of both are available from his Web site (www.lownorth.nl).
The most unique aspects of TimeToyPro are its extreme range and its breakpoint-envelope control of time stretching. The range, given in terms of playback speed, is 1 to 200 percent. At the low end, that stretches an audio file to 100 times its original length (see Web Clip 1).
Setup is as simple as loading an audio file, clicking to create breakpoints on a graph that appears in the waveform display, and dragging the breakpoints to control playback speed at corresponding points in the audio file. When you're happy with the result, you can save the breakpoint envelope as a preset as well as save the time-warped audio file. TimeToyPro's memory holds ten presets at a time, but preset banks can also be saved to disk.
The free demo version of TimeToyPro is fully functional, but the registered version offers several advanced features. Advanced stretch settings allow you to control grain density, size, shape, and direction. Reversing the playback direction of the individual grains while moving forward through the file is an interesting effect even without any time stretching. Advanced playback controls allow you to set a region of the audio file for looped playback, apply real-time stretching to live audio input, or scrub through the time-stretched file, which is crucial for fine-tuning the breakpoint envelope. Grab this one — it's fast, easy, and fun.