SugarBytes’ latest release, Effectrix, is a multi-fx based on a 32 step sequencer. It’s a very interesting concept, both for its well-thought and aesthetically pleasant (well, unless you’re into gothic stuff!) visual interface, and its creative possibilities. Effectrix features 14 fx: among them you’ll find classic stuff like phaser, reverb, delay, filtering, but maybe most users will go for the most experimental algorithms like x-loop, stutter, loop stretch, reverse, etc. If you add the modulation features (2 Modulation sequencers per Effect), you’ll agree with us that Effectrix has a lot to offer. Each fx has its place in the matrix of the step sequencer, and it’s very easy to start mangling your tracks, the interface is a joy to use. Maybe you’re thinking: ok, nice, but I don’t want it to sound static and lifeless, I’d like it to introduce variations. Well, you can, Effectrix has a MIDI related pattern feature, which lets you use your MIDI keyboard to trigger on the fly (or via host automation) the step sequencer patterns you’ve previosly created. We liked Effectrix not because it’s a revolution in sound, but because it makes those kind of “contemporary” sonic manipulations a lot easier and funnier. And for a musician we believe the workflow is a very important part in the creative process. Also, don’t forget that your girlfriend/boyfriend will be happier if you spend some more time with her/him instead of falling asleep in front of a monitor 😉 Who needs Effectrix? Well if you’re a Max/Msp expert and you’re able to build your own patches, or you’re a Live guru, you won’t probably need such a plug-in. But if you’re looking for an easy to use and powerful all-in-one solution, you should definitely have a look at the videos posted on the SugarBytes website (by the way, it could be improved), and download the Effectrix demo. We bet it will make you smile!
Technical notes: the plug-in works on both Mac OS X (this should make Mac users more than happy) and Windows, as VST and AU. It’s not a resource-hungry plug-in. We’ve waited on the review because the 1.0.0 version had some stability issues, but they’ve been fixed with the latest updates (which brought also a welcome dry/mix knob) A request for the next revision: a general dry/wet mix knob would be quite useful.
Price: 99 € / 129 $. Yes, if the price would be a bit lower you could keep even more beers in the fridge, we know, summer’s coming… But if you consider Effectrix for what it is and for the time you can save using it, we think it’s a fair price. Some Pc users may say: “I can have Glitch for free, why bother?” Well, long life to freeware products (especially when they’re not crap, and Glitch is definitely one of the best freeware plug-in!) but it’s not that fair to compare the two. Effectrix has some features (see above) that, in our opinion, make it unique and worthwhile. It’s also a multi-platform product, and you know, professional development and support (in our experience quite good, via email and/or forum) takes a huge amount of time and resources. Now, as usual, fire up the demo and decide for yourself!
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About The Author
Founder & main editor here at ANR, 'non-musician' and music-tinkerer. His first keyboard was a cheesy Yamaha PSS-270. He still loves it.
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