In this article, we are reviewing Elitist, a virtual instrument and loop bank based on vocals.
Elitist has a very sleek and stylish design. Using vibrant color against the dark grey background provides a visually pleasing experience and helps you identify which samples you are playing. Every sample you load into your session will be assigned its unique color, which helps avoid confusion as many of these vocal samples have similar-looking waveforms and names.
Within the interface, all the controls are labeled appropriately. On the main view of the plugin, you have Tone and Verb controls; I found these to be the main controls I used when creating my tracks, so it’s understandable why these two controls are on the main view. In addition, you can access all preset options, the key selector, and the loop settings in the main view. These are controls you will use most often, so it’s logical for them to be placed on the main menu.
Once you click on any note within the circle, you will open the advanced menu. Within this menu, you have access to the plugin’s full potential, and you have all the built-in effects on the right and individual vocal samples on the left. The positioning of all these features works well within this plugin. It feels natural to have the sample library on the left side (it’s common for music software to have some form of the library on the left side of the DAW or plugin).
Elitist is stacked with built-in effects and features you might not notice at first glance.
Within Elitist, you have access to a large sample library, and you use this library to create your loops and sound banks. With the library of samples being so massive, it may seem like a tedious task to search for your perfect sounds, but the creators of Elitist have thought of that. There are ten main keywords that you can use within the sample library to search for specific sounds you’re looking for. These are Female, Male, Cinematic, Distorted, Aggressive, Electro, Percussive, Notes, Organic and Soft; All these keywords are self-explanatory and are useful for finding the sounds you’re looking for.
You can also select multiple keywords at once to refine your search; for example, if you want a soft female vocal for an expressive style track, then you could select – Female, Organic and soft, or if you’re looking for darker sounds, try Aggressive, Distorted and Electro. This is a simple feature, but it makes finding your perfect sounds much quicker and gives you an overall better experience.
The Sample Library had everything I was looking no matter the genre. I used Elitist within Drill, Trap, Techno, House, and DnB, and I could always find some great samples. In addition, the way you can refine your search sped up my workflow.
Elitist comes with many useful effects and controls. The most notes worth is EQ, Delay, Reverb, Compressor, Saturation, Format, and Specializer.
- The EQ has individual Frequency knobs that can be set between 20hz and 20khz and have their gain controls.
- The compressor has a Threshold, Ratio, Attack and Release controls, and make-up on/off setting.
- The Saturation effect has a Pre-Gain, Saturation, Post Gain, and Dry/Wet control.
- The format feature has three different presets, each with controllable Depth, Sharp, and Size.
- The specializer has Gain, Delay, Width, and balance control.
- The delay effect has Mix, Feedback, and Tempo controls with an option tempo sync feature.
When using Elitist, I used almost all these effects every time. It’s a nice feature to have so many effects built-in to the plugin; using only the built-in effects, I created some amazing sounds for my tracks. When using Elitist and not restricting myself to just the built-in effects, I only used my EQ and Compressors; for the rest, I still used the built-in features, which shows how well they hold up.
Once you’ve selected a preset you like or have built your sound bank, you can use the randomizer feature to change the length and position of each sound within your loop. This is useful as it gives you infinite possibilities for your tracks.
Not only can you use this feature for your loops, but you can also use it for inspiration. For example, if you’re using MIDI to trigger the notes within your track, but for whatever reason, the sounds aren’t hitting how you want them to, you can use the randomizer feature to change the position and length of each sound within the plugin. This will keep all the MIDI notes in the same position but will change the sounds they are triggering, meaning everything will still be on time.
I found the randomizer useful when I had beat-block and couldn’t come up with any ideas. Of course, you could use your DAWs randomizer to affect the MIDI notes, but the speed of using the built-in randomizer sped up my workflow.
When using presets, you can change what key the sounds are in. Each preset comes automatically tuned to a specific key. You can choose what key you’d like the whole sound bank to be in, or you can change each sound using the built-in pitch shifter.
Reverse and Loop
If you want to extend a shorter sound or change a sound completely, then you can use the built-in reverse or loop options within Elitist. These options are for each sound. I found myself using the loop feature a lot when I found short phrases that I wanted to be longer, and I also used the reverse feature when I had a vocal I liked, but I wanted to switch it up without spending a lot of time on it.
Within Elitist, there are over 300 presets for you to play with. There are four types of presets: Vocal Kits, Loops, Note Kits, and User.
- Vocal Kits are essentially sound banks with sounds all from the same groups.
- Loops are like Vocal Kits, but instead of having sounds all from the same group, they are all specifically chosen by the creators; there are four sub-sections within the Loops preset menu these are Slow (80-100), Medium (100-140), Fast (Above 140), and Inspirational Starters. Of course, you can use these loops with any BPM, but the creator of these presets has labeled them this way because that is when they sound best.
- Note kits are made with one vocal sample pitched up each note to create an instrument from the vocal sample.
- User presets are just where your own presets that you’ve created can be saved.
Overall, I found the presets very useful when creating my tracks, and the preset menu is easy to navigate and labeled appropriately. Although I often used presets from the loops menu, I didn’t always use them as loops; I just found them to have the most interesting collection of samples, and the BPM Labels made it easier to find sounds that would work.
I used Elitist for three days with this review in mind, and I had a lot of fun and made some great-sounding tracks. Even when I was making tracks without this review in mind still found myself using Elitist in my tracks. I often choose this plugin over similar plugins like Arcade by Output.
With all the sounds in Elitist, you won’t run out of inspiration and fresh sounds. The built-in effects are a nice touch, and you don’t need to use up extra processing power and time to load up a bunch of other plugins.
I used Elitist to make Drill, Uk Rap, House, Dnb, Trap, and Emotional tracks. I found many sounds that worked well within these genres, so this plugin has no genre limitations.
If you don’t have vocal instruments/loop banks in your plugin library, then I’d recommend you give this one a try; it’s useful for throwing some vocals onto your tracks without having to mess with downloading, chopping up samples, getting them all in key and so on. I will personally use this plugin in most of my tracks for the foreseeable future.
I’m a Music Producer and Sound Engineer from the UK. I have been working with music my whole life and I’m currently studying Music Production and Sound Engineering at university.