Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Few of My Favorite Things: Effects Edition - Part 1

Like most musicians, I have a lot of musician friends.  And aside from the regular friend things, we often discuss what new bits of gear or software are rocking our respective worlds at the time.  So, I thought this might be a cool topic for the blog.  This will be split into categories and will not immediately follow each other, but hopefully you'll find it interesting anyway.  Today, I'll focus on some of my favorite effects plug-ins.

1.) Aradaz Maximizer (Free - donations accepted)
Aradaz Maximizer is a free brickwall limiter for both Mac and PC.  As you might guess, this isn't a subtle limiter, this is for slamming the ever-loving crap out of your tracks.  As such, I wouldn't personally use it strapped across a buss for mastering duties, but if you want to angry up a bassline or drum loop, this is your weapon.  Also includes a "Character" parameter that adds harmonics and brings out the highs in an interesting way.

2. Audio Damage Rough Rider (Free - Commercial version available)
Another great free, characterful plug-in.  This is another effect I tend to reach for when I want more aggressive dynamics.  Although they apparently didn't intend for it to be used for parallel/NYC style compression, that's exactly what I find myself using it for the most.  It really excels at toughening up drums.

3. D16 Group Toraverb ($39)
This isn't a reverb you'll use every day, but for certain things, it sounds amazing.  Toraverb is a modulated reverb, which isn't based on any existing hardware unit.  Aside from being a nicely featured reverb in its own right, what makes it special is the modulation of the diffusing filters.  This opens the door to all sorts of warm, almost chorused sounds that wouldn't be out of place on some of Brian Eno's ambient work.  Brilliant on pads and vocals.

4.  Dada Life Sausage Fattener ($29)
Released by the band Dada Life, the Sausage Fattener is yet another aggressive dynamics effect, this one combining compression and a tube overdrive kind of effect.  At the low range, it will lightly effect the dynamics, and if you crank it up all the way, it turns anything into a nail-spitting distorted monster.  (And the sausage in the GUI looks progressively angry as you do so, which never ceases to put a smile on my face.)

5. Ill-formed Glitch 2 ($59)
While Glitch is a bit long in the tooth to most of you, for Mac users like myself, seeing a Mac version released was pretty cool.  Mess up your sounds in rhythmic, glitchy ways with tools including retrigger, reverse, time stretch, lofi, distortion, and more.  Overused?  Maybe.  But it's undeniably fun to play with.


synthpulse said...

This is very nice. Looking forward to more mini-reviews. I would be very curious to read about what softsynths you use or recommend.

Tom said...

Yeah, I'll be doing softsynths after I complete the FX round-up!

Steve said...

Love Glitch! I didn't know they made a Mac version. That's great to hear. How does it compare to Stutter Edit?