Wo! Build your own modular effect (BYOME). It’s Unfiltered Audio’s latest effect plugin. I’ve previously reviewed their Sandman plugin and I’ve always been impressed with the creativity their products inspire.
This one tops their pile, and you’re definitely gonna want to check it out. Fitting a trend in electronic music at the moment, BYOME takes a modular approach to applying effects to track audio. It’s a remarkably simple setup considering the sheer scope of the plugin.
Unfiltered Audio have shifted their sales across to Plugin Alliance, which I think is a great move. Plugin Alliance is a solid platform selling excellent quality plugins for the music community. It goes without saying that install and authorisation is smooth.
BYOME’s GUI is simple, colourful and pretty. It consists of 2 rows: the upper row contains effects that you can chain together. The bottom row contains all the modulation elements, that you can virtually cable up to create movement within the effect.
That’s BYOME in a nutshell. Sounds simple, but the potential complexity of modulation is just absurd. To get your ideas flowing there’s a bunch of excellent presets, delineated by effect. There’s also a large selection of artist presets, taking the plugin into territories familiar to that artist.
BYOME is compatible with NKS so you can flick through all the presets real quick, and if you can’t find something you like, there’s a controlled randomisation dice button that will generate presets for you to further tweak.
At the top of the GUI are the main mix controls – Gain in, Sample rate, Mix amount, and Out gain. The most interesting control here is the AGC – automatic gain control. This knob matches the wet signal to the dry signal using really fast compression and expansion. It’s a very interesting control that is worth playing with, as it adds different dimensions than just wet/dry control.There’s also a pretty waveform window that is more for good looks than anything – it’s really pretty though, and comes in 3 different flavors!
There are 44 different effect modules to choose from, catalogued into 8 different types: delays, distortion, mix, dynamics, granular, modulation, filters and reverbs. The vast majority of the effects modules are NOT standard. Yes, you’ve got your compressor and 3 band EQ, a ladder filter and standard overdrive. But the effects quickly move left field, and get very interesting.
I won’t get exhaustive on the descriptions of the effects – the excellent manual makes concise work of that. But some highlights for me
The effect bank is already deep in and of itself. But you get to layer them one after the other, change the order by click-and-drag, and then, most importantly for BYOMEe, you can modulate most of the parameters of each effect with a large selection of modulation engines. Selecting the output to the input is as easy as
The only downside I could find was that you can only use 6 modulation engines at once. I think this will increase in the future, but it wasn’t affecting my CPU too badly, so I can see this number increasing.
Here’s a quick video of
As the system has the potential to get messy pretty quickly – it can be hard to see a way of making sense of automating any parameters in Ableton. But they’ve figured out a ‘macro’ system, that allows you to assign up to 8 macro knobs to any control parameter you want, by using a virtual cable.
Because you can use multiple cables, you can assign one Macro knob to a plethora of controls. Then it’s just a case of finding ‘Macro 1’ to ‘Macro 8’ in your DAW, and you have the automation.
The true strength of
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