Starting in 1999, Spectrasonics and ILIO introduced the first Groove Control-activated products. These consisted of special CD-ROM sample libraries that were loaded into a hardware sampler and contained matching MIDI files that the user loaded into a MIDI sequencer for playback. Significantly, this was the first time that sliced audio methods had been presented in true stereo and with such high quality results. Although it was a somewhat cumbersome process to use by today’s standards, Groove Control libraries changed how many professional users approached rhythm based audio material, since it allowed the loop to adapt to the music, instead of the other way around.
In 2002, Spectrasonics introduced the original Stylus Vinyl Groove Module — the world’s first Groove Control-activated Virtual Instrument plug-in. Stylus made using Groove Control much easier, since it eliminated the need for a separate sampler by integrating its massive core library with a custom playback engine and simple interface. Because of its ease of use, the original Stylus Vinyl Groove Module (aka “Classic Stylus”) was extremely popular and successfully introduced a whole new generation of musicians, composers, songwriters, producers, and remixers to the musical advantages of Groove Control.
With the introduction of the Stylus RMX Realtime Groove Module, the major breakthrough is the innovative Spectrasonics Advanced Groove Engine (S.A.G.E.), which integrates all the components of the Groove Control system into a powerful software engine that offers many new capabilities and advantages that standard sample playback engines cannot provide.
When combined with S.A.G.E. technology, Groove Control-activated libraries now reach new levels of creativity, flexibility, and ease of use—all in real-time. Innovative new features like the Chaos Designer™, Edit Groups and the integrated FX Racks allow the user to customize grooves in ways that were previously thought to be impossible.
In Stylus RMX, Groove Control is always active. There are no longer traditional reference audio loops, as were provided in previous Groove Control products. Anytime you hear a groove playing in RMX, S.A.G.E. is playing the slices internally. As a result, RMX always plays grooves synchronized with the host’s tempo — S.A.G.E. takes care of all the behind-the-scenes tasks to keep the grooves in sync with the host. Most importantly, this new technology frees the musician to be creative, instead of trying to keep track of technical details.