Audio Damage have just released the Filterstation plugin; a stereo filter and envelope follower combined. Modeled somewhat after hardware filters such as the Sherman Filterbank, the Filterstation contains several different filter emulations, routing and modulation options, for creative filtering of your audio
The filterstation follows neatly with the Audiodamage design style – the GUI is dark with bright and inoffensive orange highlights, a very simple layout, and extremely clear numerical readouts of all the parameters.
An XY window contains a graphic of the 2 filters – the axes representing the resonance and frequency of each filter. It’s possible to click and drag each filter separately in the window, or click the link between them and drag them in unison.
The 2 filters are available in several tasty flavours – lowpass, highpass and bandpass, with emulations resembling the Moog filter to the MS-20, straight 2, 3 and 4 pole filters and several different versions in between, all selectable from a drop down menu. They sound great and there are a few differences in the tone and vibe of the filter algorithms. There’s also an analog saturation slider to increase grit.
The 2 filters can be routed 3 different ways – serial, parallel, and stereo. Serial routing means filter one’s output goes into filter 2’s input, then out. In Parallel, the same signal goes through filter 1 and filter 2, then the outputs are combined to one signal. Stereo is one channel per filter. It’s good to flick between these options as the routing options can create very different sonic results.
For modulation, there is an LFO, that is assigned to the frequency of one or both of the filters. There are different waveshapes, from the usual sine, triangle, square, to slightly more unusual spike and 4 fixed pattern shapes. Enough variety to keep you playing. As well as the LFO, there is a simple envelope follower, with attack and decay controls.
Each filter has envelope and LFO amounts that can go negatively or positively, so that the LFO and envelope can affect each filter differently, and even have the opposite effect, if one is positive, the other negative.
There are a couple of interesting additions to filterstation:
One that you don’t see very often, is a sidechain input. The sidechain runs into the envelope, and uses the incoming audio to affect the filter envelope. So drum hits could trigger the filtering of a big bass sound, for example – an interesting alternative to sidechain compression.
The other interesting addition is the Midi control. Not only is filterstation fully automatable within DAWS, but it responds to midi note input too. The filter frequency will set to the pitch of the midi note you play. If you set the resonance fairly high, you can get some interesting results!
There are some useful presets to get you started, and it’s easy to save your own presets, and transfer them across different platforms without any problems. Here’s a video of me messing around with Filterstation on a simple synth pad.
Here’s a track I made whilst messing around with Filterstation. There’s an instance of Filterstation on every track, and one on the master buss.
Conclusion I think Audio Damage have created a great little plugin here. It doesn’t have many bells and whistles, and while I would have liked some different modulation routing options, I think that it would have taken away from the brilliant simplicity of the plugin. It has fewer options than some other soft filters out there, but it does a few things very very well, sounds excellent, is super intuitive, and doesn’t break the bank. Great job Audio Damage!
… it does a few things very very well, sounds excellent, is super intuitive, and doesn’t break the bank. Great job Audiodamage!…
If you’re looking for a fairly simple automatable filter, with a great sound, this is the one for you. If you’re looking for more complicated plugins with loads of bells and whistles, loads of Mod and LFO options, there are many other plugin options out there.
Composer/Producer, and keyboard player. He has written and recorded soundtracks for a wide variety of media and co-owns DOsounds.com with Jake Owen, a music production company that gives him an excuse to buy more analog gear.