Saturday, February 27, 2010

I Love Tempo Synced Effects With Their Own Step Sequencers

What I am about to say makes me sound like a pathetic fanboy but I don't care. Audio Damage make some of the best effects plugins money can buy and they consistently under-charge for them. There. I said it. I'm the fan of a software company.

Here is just one example of how hard this company's plugins rock. The screen shot below is of BigSeq2. The original BigSeq was a really great sequenced gate and filter, in the "trance gate"* style. It gave you independent control of filter and gating for each step in a 16-step sequencer. BigSeq2 takes that concept and runs right off into the deep end. It is a full-blown multi-effect unit where each effect (gate, filter, fuzz and warp distortion, delay, pitch shift, bit reduction distortion) has it's own 32-step sequencer.

Until you have had this type of granular (and rhythmic) control over your effects you probably can't wrap your brain around it. Simply put, this means you can pick in choose with great precision what slices of your sound (typically organized as even divisions of a bar) are affected by each effect.

The step sequencers for each effect are labeled "gate sequencer," which is also correct. The sequencer allows or denies the input signal from reaching the effect on a step-by-step basis. Effectively, the gating makes the delay section of BigSeq2 into a 32-tap delay. The sliders provide level send-level (or other select parameters) control over each tap and a scaling control ("step size") specifies the size of the steps relative to one bar of music in your DAW; they don not always need be 32nd notes and they do not need to collectively correspond to one bar.

Step sequencing effects is like programming a drum machine with an internal sequencer. The difference is that in stead of triggering a drum sound each event either sends or does not send audio to a given effect.

This is just one example of a step sequenced effect and only one example of how awesome Audio Damage's plugins are.

*I love this type of effect but I don't like the name "trance gate."

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