Review - Output - Portal Granular FX - First Impressions


Since launching in 2013, music software company Output have rapidly become industry standard with their products featuring on a diverse range of recordings from global superstars Kendrick Lamar and Justin Timberlake to soundtracks for hit shows including Stranger Things and Game of Thrones.

Following on from a range of highly successful VSTs including Exhale, Movement and my personal favourite REV, Output have continued their development with ’Arcade’, a loop synthesiser with an ever evolving collection of samples and ‘Portal’, a granular synthesis FX plugin.

Portal Launch Video:

I’ve had the opportunity to spend some time working with Portal and here are my first impressions:

  • Portal comes with a wide range of highly usable presets. These are well categorised meaning you can jump straight in to find new inspiring sounds.
  • The XY pad allows you to quickly alter the presets to your taste before you take a deeper dive and personalise these further by exploring the plugins advanced features.
  • The audio outcome when using Portal is very musical and can integrate well into existing ideas helping to develop and enhance your productions and keep you inspired.
  • While an obvious strength of Portal is its musicality, it can be dialled up with more extreme processing for abstract and random results offering sound designers a powerful tool for audio manipulation. Portal will appeal to film, TV, media, game and theatre audio enthusiasts.
  • Portal is effective when applied to a range of sources from live input and audio recordings to samples, loops and VSTs.
  • The GUI is impressive, engaging and simple to navigate allowing you to easily manipulate presets and create your own while adding a number of built in effects to your sound.

For a more detailed overview and a look at some of the manipulation options available in Portal check out the short videos from Output below:

Portal Overview:

Grain Control Tutorial:

Portal Modulation, Effects, and Macros Tutorial:

Portal is available now priced at £130/$149. For more information visit

If you enjoyed this article you might like to check out my review of
Output- Analog Brass & Winds based around my cover of Feeder - Children of the Sun featuring multiple instances of the instrument.