In today’s post, we’ll review the ten best multi-effect plugins for April 2021. Additionally, we’ll give you three of the best free multi-effect plugins to download.
A good Multi-Effects processor is a sound designer’s best friend. Even when you master all the meticulous controls and feel like you understand the plugin completely, you can still find a new combination you hadn’t tried before. That is the power that some plugins on our list offer, and not even the people that designed them know everything they can do. So let’s jump right in and look for your new multi-effects plugin!
- 1 The 10 Best Multi-Effect Plugins 2021
- 1.1 10. Illformed Glitch 2 Review
- 1.2 9. Sugarbytes Turnado Review
- 1.3 8. Output Movement Review
- 1.4 7. Glitch Machines Cryogen Review
- 1.5 6. Waves Scheps Omni Channel Review
- 1.6 5. Unfiltered Audio Byome Review
- 1.7 4. HY-Plugins HY-MBMFX2 Review
- 1.8 3. Devious Machines Texture Review
- 1.9 2. Glitchmachines Convex Review
- 1.10 1. iZotope Stutter Edit 2 Review
- 2 Best Free Multi-Effect Plugins 2021
- 3 Conclusion
The 10 Best Multi-Effect Plugins 2021
10. Illformed Glitch 2 Review
Glitch 2 by Illformed is a stereo sequencer with nine different effect sounds.
Each effect has its row of controls, accessible at the bottom menu, a randomizer function, and mute and solo buttons. The usability is effortless. Simply draw with your mouse on the sequencer to determine when the effects are played and how long they are. All effects are automatically synced to the session tempo, but you can disable the sync for any of the effects by clicking on the Free button. Alternatively, you can change the subdivision of the notes from Even to Triplet and Dotted.
- Stretcher: This feature offers a terrific way of applying a type of granular, destructive effect to your sound. The Speed knob divides the audio’s length in percentages, so 200% would be twice the original length. You can also add Grain and Jitter to make it sound like you’re slowly rolling an old tape.
- Modulator: One of the essential effects in Glitch 2 is the Modulator. It can create phase, chorus, flange, and frequency-based modulations. You can control the oscillation frequency and depth, adjust the voicing and stereo spread, and the frequency modulation’s Attack and Release.
- Shuffler: This function will listen to the input audio, randomly slice it, and play the slices back in a different order. The plugin lets you adjust how you want to reposition these slices, change their length, how likely they are repeated or reversed, etc. With this feature, you can create sounds similar to tape loops.
- Seed Number: The seed number is a code used to ensure that it sounds the same every time you load a scene. This is especially important for the Shuffler algorithm since it needs to remember which random parts of the signal it has sliced. If you change the Seed during a session, you’ll get completely different results using the same settings.
Character & Sound:
This plugin is an excellent tool for creating rhythmic designs and unusual sound patterns. Storing your settings won’t be a problem with the 128 available scenes. Use the MIDI notes on your keyboard to trigger different scenes, each lasting for as long as eight beats. If you need a more extended sequence, break it down into more miniature scenes and assign them to different MIDI notes, just like you would with a drum machine.
The plugin also offers Mix, Pan, and Volume controls to set globally and personal effects. Each effect also lets you apply frequency-selectable EQ filtering. If all this is too much or you’re going for something chaotic, you can engage Randomizer mode. It can be set individually or globally and creates an entirely abstract sequence that may be just what you need. The plugin doesn’t have many presets, and the ones it does sound very destructive. In any case, they’re a great place to start with while you try to find what would best suit the signal.
Glitch 2 is available for macOS 10.11 and above, Ubuntu 16 or higher, and Window 7 and up as a VST2.4 and AU plugin.
Illformed’s Glitch 2 offers a wide array of options for the modern producer. The user-friendly interface and the multiple effects and parameters make it easy for you to find your sound. Furthermore, you can copy and paste settings between effects and scenes. This lets you preserve the best parts of each effect when you’re moving on to a slightly different version. All these possibilities make Glitch 2 a versatile multi-effect plugin and a worthy addition to your collection.
9. Sugarbytes Turnado Review
Sugarbytes’ Turnado is a one-knob-per-effect plugin with eight simultaneous slots and 24 effects.
Although it may look simple on the outside, Turnado, in fact, offers precise controls. Beyond its extensive set of effects, this plugin’s versatility lies in the edit menu, accessible per slot. The effects are arranged by type, so you get delays, modulations, reverbs, transformations, distortions, filters, loopers, and lo-fi effects. To use them, simply drag the effects you want into the slots.
- Menu: The Edit Menu is accessible via the Edit button under each slot. There you’ll find effect-dependent controls, two LFO graphs, and an Envelope Follower. The Edit menu lets you tweak an effect to taste, allowing complete control and contributing to this plugin’s versatility. Each of the effect-dependent parameters is affected by the LFOs and the Envelope Follower. When the three colored lines appear from the bottom of the control area and reach “+” and “-” symbols, that means you can either increase or reduce their impact on the controls. On the upper left corner, you can easily access the Edit menus of all other effects. Just click the tiny knob-like icons.
- Amount controller: Below each parameter, you’ll find an amount controller. When turned towards the “+” position, the Modulator has an additive effect. The opposite happens when you turn it towards the “-” part. Below the knob, there’s an arrow-down icon. From there, you can access an extensive set of waveforms. These can be chosen and used to modulate the effects. There are a total of twenty different waveforms, which only show this plugin’s range and versatility.
- Key Sync: Inside the Edit menu, you’ll find the Key Sync menu up top. It allows you to choose a beat subdivision and lock the effect to its tempo. Alternatively, you can turn it off so that you will only hear the effect when you turn up the main knob. You can do that via automation or with a MIDI controller. This is helpful if there is any specific effect to which you want to add a more human expression.
- Dictator: By Clicking the Dictator button, you’ll get access to a 16 beat sequencer that controls the eight effects. They’re vertically arranged, and the fader on the left lets you move through the sequence. It is super easy to automate how you want the effects to act. You also get access here to a randomizer per track instead of the global function present in the UI. You can apply a few presets to individual tracks at the top, or you can just click the lock button and create automation points by simply moving the main knob.
Character & Sound:
Turnado is a highly customizable plugin that sounds the way you want. You can arrange and tweak the effects to taste and make them contribute to the music you’re making. Even though it’s a user-friendly plugin, it can awe at first sight. In case you still don’t know how to get the best sound out of the plugin, Sugar Bytes made it easy for you to rely on the several high-quality presets available. Make your way through the plugin by choosing presets and tweaking every parameter in the Edit menu to hear how they sound. After a bit of experience, it will take virtually no time for you to develop new combinations that will affect your own.
Turnado is available for macOS 10.9 or higher and 64-bit only Windows 7 and up as a standalone application or as a VST2, AU, AAX, and NKS (for Komplete Kontrol and Maschine) plugin.
However you need, Turnado responds to your demands. If you’re feeling experimental, you could spend hours looking for the right sounds without getting bored. If you already know what you’re going for, the plugin makes it super easy to reach your target quickly. This Sugarbytes plugin is an excellent addition to your toolkit if you’re searching for a multi-effect sequencer.
8. Output Movement Review
Movement, by Output, creates motion in your mix using up to four simultaneous rhythmic engines.
You can apply this plugin to instruments as an effects processor or add it to effects as a modulation. The UI can be a little tricky at first sight, but the plugin gives you over 300 presets to choose from, so finding yourself isn’t hard. Each engine provides you three rhythm modulators: an LFO, a Step Sequencer, and the Sidechain. Furthermore, you can also generate movement from Flux, an Output proprietary modulation, and a Randomizer. All these features make Movement an exciting and fun plugin to play with.
- Rhythm Engines: The musical, tempo-synced effects generated by the four engines bring life and depth to your sources. Each engine gives you a 32-voice step sequencer, several LFO waveforms, and a fully configurable sidechain. You can set up virtually any combination using the four engines. On top of that, you can add processing and modulations like delays, distortion, band-pass filters, compression, and reverb. In total, there are 76 parameters you can modulate at once, and the result is a construct of your creativity and hard work to find the right sounds.
- Sidechain Modulation: Movement allows you to use a sidechain input to modulate up to 38 parameters, including delays, EQ, filters, distortion, and a lot more. You can use anything that’s been routed through this engine as the source of its rhythm. You can use percussive and non-percussive instruments as the triggers for this engine. The possibilities are truly limitless.
- A-B Graph: A circular handle controls the proportion between engine A and B. As you move it, however, you’ll also hear a difference in each engine’s parameters. When either A or B are at their fullest, the plugin will emphasize some of the parameters used by that engine. At several points halfway through the center and the edges, different parameters get highlighted. Instead of simply acting as a blend between engines, the A-B graph is like a circular mixing desk with the faders’ handle. Depending on where you place the hold, the plugin will put more emphasis on specific parameters.
- Over 300 Presets: Let’s face it, even though this is a user-friendly plugin, the task of making all four engines sound great together can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve only just downloaded the plugin. Fortunately, this plugin makes it easy to overcome that by giving you over three hundred unique presets. All you need to do is choose one of the 27 style menus, open it up and look for the best-sounding preset. The names are fun and will grab your attention, inviting you to test them out.
Character & Sound:
Output’s Movement is simply breathtaking. The sonic possibilities are endless, and the presets sound fabulous. You’ll honestly never have to create your own sounds if you don’t feel like it. The presets on this plugin have got you covered. Furthermore, Flux, the proprietary modulation engine, automatically modulates the rate knob using the other rhythm in the selected engine. This helps create extra crosstalk between rhythms that can sometimes be the only change you’ll have to apply to a preset.
Movement is available for macOS 10.7 and superior and Windows 7 or higher as a VST, VST3, AU, and AAX plugin.
Output’s Movement is a fantastic plugin that’s at home in any musical style. Although the UI is confusing – and all the advertisements that state the opposite can’t change that -, the effects are undoubtedly flabbergasting. The plugin becomes easy to use with a little bit of practice, and you can learn a lot about it by trying to understand the presets. In conclusion, if you’re looking for an excellent rhythm modulator, Movement should be in your collection.
7. Glitch Machines Cryogen Review
Cryogen, by GlitchMachines, is aimed at electronic music producers and sound designers looking to simulate musical malfunctions.
The plugin’s modular buffer approach consists of 4 LFOs and pairs of bit crushers, multimode filters, and buffers. All effects can be routed into one another and mixed at any of the four built-in mixers, combining audio and modulated signals in any imaginable way. The goal is to generate robotic artifacts and abstract malfunctions, so the more pairing and modulation, the better.
- Modulation Matrix: You can bend the signal flow to your liking by clicking the Matrix button in the lower right corner. From there, you’ll find a drag and drop menu that lets you reroute any input or effect into any output. As a result, you can create unexpected signal chains that will further expand the plugin’s usability.
- Rate Multipliers: These features are present in the four LFOs, and allow you to create sounds that most other plugins can’t. Traditionally, an LFO is used for simple modulation, but Cryogen will enable you to expand their usability by letting you transform your LFOs into dirty tone generators. These dirty tones can then be assigned to any other effect using the Matrix menu.
- Initialize: If you’re working on a new patch, but you don’t feel confident about the signal path you’re attempting, the plugin makes it easy to undo any complex rerouting. You’ll find the Initialize option by accessing the global menu in the “M” button at the UI’s bottom center. This will reset the signal path to its most basic format. From there, you can redo your work without having to reset all parameters.
Character & Sound:
The plugin’s 140 presets and thorough control over parameters and the signal path ensure this to be a reliable tool for producers. Whether you’re just going for a creative noise generator or looking to add textures to your instruments, Cryogen solves your problem. You can add nuances to your drums, guitars, synths, bass; you name it. The results will always be distinct and impressive and might as well fit your productions like a glove. Additionally, preset number 001 was designed to set the Modulator’s parameters at interestingly natural settings without affecting the signal path. This gives you the freedom to decide in what order the modulations should occur without having to tweak the parameters necessarily. All this makes Cryogen an extremely beginner-friendly plugin since it allows the user to learn how the plugin works gradually.
GlitchMachine’s Cryogen is available as a VST and AU plugin for macOS 10.11 and higher and Windows 8 and up.
Cryogen represents a departure from more conservative modulation plugins, entering a zone of its own. Even though it doesn’t offer as many effects as other plugins on this list, Cryogen provides the creative freedom of rerouting the signal in any imaginable way. This is not a modulation plugin, per see. It’s an audio destroyer that generates great-sounding results. If you’re an electronic musician, sound designer, or simply a noise enthusiast, this plugin should be in your collection.
6. Waves Scheps Omni Channel Review
The Scheps Omni Channel is a channel strip plugin that adds cohesive analog-based coloration and processing to your sound.
The Omni Channel consists of 5 modules, an insert, and an output limiter. This plugin’s advantage over other channel strip plugins is that, instead of emulating a single desk or hardware, or a combination of different sounding equipment, this has a cohesive and adaptable signal chain. You can change the processing order to something that will better suit your production, but all the parameters and the overall character will retain their flavor.
- Control-Click: This plugin’s hidden shortcut lets you solo the bandwidth knobs to help you focus on the frequencies you’re looking for. Whether in the EQ or De-Esser, when you control-click the bandwidth knob, you’ll hear only the frequencies it’s affecting. This is great for finding offending or root frequencies. It’s also perfect to increase the meat of a snare drum or remove the harshness of hi-hats.
- Saturation: The preamp section gives you three saturation types: Odd, Even, and Heavy. The first two are source-dependent and may not sound very different on some instruments. The third option is a bit crusher. It will square off all peaks and add a hard drive to the sound.
- Thump: This subtle effect adds a nice bump to the low-end, reminiscent of compressors such as the Fairchild and LA-2A. You can choose between adding 2 or 4 dB of gain. Even at four dB, the effect is not very prominent initially, but it becomes more apparent as you use the other modules.
- DS2: This module contains two de-essers that span the entire frequency range. Both let you choose from 4 different EQ curves. This is the only channel strip plugin with such a helpful feature. You can use one de-esser to tame the top end and another to control the low end. If you’re trying to remove excessive harshness from poorly recorded cymbals, you can pick two aggressive high frequencies and work on them. The possibilities are endless with this plugin’s full spectrum de-essers.
- Insert: This plugin’s true uniqueness comes in the form of the Insert channel. You can use it to load any Waves plugin into the module and affect the signal with the others. Alternatively, you can also double any of the existent modules in the plugin. This is extremely useful to save you a bus track or even a plugin slot. But the best thing it does is allowing you to edit the plugin within the Omni Channel’s GUI, so you don’t have to open multiple plugins.
Character & Sound:
Other than the aforementioned features, the Omni Channel affects the sound through the entire signal path. Each of the three compressor modes gives you completely different flavors, with VCA being a modern-sounding alternative to the classic FET and OPTO compressors. On the EQ module, you get four full-spectrum bands that give you absolute control over your equalization. The high and low bands offer a regular shelf and a steeper shelf inspired by the original Pultecs. The regions called MID and TONE both offer a wideband or a narrow peak. The difference between the two is the character. MID sounds more natural, while TONE sounds warmer. Alternatively, all bands possess a parametric option that enables the Q control. This gives you extended control over the four bands and increases the versatility of the plugin.
The Omni Channel is a V12 plugin, so it’s compatible with macOS 10.13 and up and Windows 10. You can use it as a VST3, AAX, and AU plugin.
Waves Scheps Omni Channel is an impressive-sounding channel strip plugin that offers unique and desirable features. The developers modeled its sound after several different pieces of equipment put together to create a united and whole sound. If you’re doing all your processing in the box, this can save you a lot of time switching between plugins. It offers an all-in-one solution and is an excellent addition to your toolkit.
5. Unfiltered Audio Byome Review
BYOME, by Unfiltered Audio, is a powerful plugin that turns you into a modular effect designer.
By giving you 44 effects and over 400 presets to start with, BYOME empowers artists to experiment and create unique-sounding textures. The idea behind this plugin is to provide you with complete freedom to add effects and modulations to your signal chain and to connect them in any way you want. The upper row shows the Main Controls, with gain, blend, automatic gain compensation, and sample-rate controls. The row in the middle lets you add the effects to slots called Cells, and the one at the bottom provides you modulation Cells.
- Effects: The 44 effects are divided into eight categories: Delays, Distortions, Dynamics, Filters, Granular, Mixing, Modulation, and Reverbs. You can create a string of as many effects as you’d like and independently set the parameters. Additionally, you can save presets for each effect individually. The extensive effect collection gives you crazy-sounding instances like Granulator and more common effects such as Compression and EQ. This means you can use the BYOME as a creative mixing tool and not only as a modular effects engine.
- Modulations: This plugin also offers 16 types of modulation engines connected in sequence to influence the output sound. You get the usual suspects, such as LFOs, a Step Sequencer, an Input Follower (type of sidechain), and a Gate Sequencer. But this plugin’s true uniqueness shines through with modulation options such as Spectral Follower, which uses an input’s EQ curve to sidechain the signal. Exponent multiplies the signal up to square power or down to its square root, and Logic Mix, a modulator mixer that combines two modulations into one.
- Routing: One of this plugin’s most remarkable features is the patch bay UI for changing the signal flow. You can connect each of the Effect and Modulation parameters via on-screen patch cables. To do so, first, locate the output circle located above any Modulation Cells’ output slider on the right-hand side. Then, click and drag the mouse from the output circle to any circle underneath an effect or modulation parameter. These circles are inputs. It’s that simple! In doing so, you can have any given modulation influence one or multiple parameters in the effects chain.
- Macro: The first Cell in the Modulation row is called Macro, and it’s used for automation. It gives you eight knobs to which you can route several effects and modulations at once. Changing the corresponding Macro knob’s volume will affect all the Cells connected to it. You can then rename the Macro knob and find it in your DAWs automation engine.
Character & Sound:
The plugin’s ability to bend to your will is its greatest strength, and that becomes clear when you think about its routing options. The plugin advertises infinite modulation possibilities, and that seems true when you understand its mechanics. Since you have 44 effects and 16 modulations, all of which can be routed extensively and repeatedly, it’s impossible to say what this plugin isn’t capable of. Furthermore, the presets sound fantastic and give you great insight into the plugin’s range and applicability.
BYOME is available for Windows 7 and up and macOS 10.11 through 10.15 as a VST2, VST3, AAX, and AU plugin.
The sound quality, the presets, and the ease of use make BYOME a powerful tool for sound designing, mixing, and producing. It is a never-ending source of textures and craziness, ultimately leading you to create your own unique effects. This helpful plugin deserves a place in your collection if designing your own sounds is your jam.
4. HY-Plugins HY-MBMFX2 Review
The HY-MBMFX2, by HY-plugins, is an astounding multi-band effects processor.
This 3-band plugin accepts up to five different effects per band, which is simply unheard of. Among the seven kinds of effects, there are twenty-two other options with randomizable functions. In addition to the bands, you can also apply an effect to the master output to create the ultimate cohesion for your sound. However, the fun begins when you start using any of the ten available modulation sources to the effects. This is when this plugin lets you truly create your own sounds.
- 10 Modulations: In the modulation section of the UI, you’ll find controls for the four LFOs, two Envelope Followers, and four Macros that let you control multiple parameters at once. Each parameter accepts two modulations at once, and you can add them in two ways. The first is by dragging and dropping the modulation’s arrow symbol into any of the parameters’ slots. The second is by right-clicking a slot and choosing the modulation source. The slot works as a knob in which you can control the modulation’s depth. Most effects accept a total of 10 modulations.
- Output EQ: This feature is unseen in most other plugins on this list. It allows you to shape the EQ of the resulting sound after the entire flow of processing. Therefore, it eliminates the need for another plugin in your chain, which makes for a charming addition. The 3-band EQ with Frequency and Gain parameters for each region also has high-and low-shelves and a wide mid-band.
- Multi-Band Processor: If you don’t want to add modulation or extravagant effects to your sound, you can also use this plugin as a multi-band processor. You can add different compressors per band and overdrive, delay, lo-fi, or anything you see fit. This makes the plugin a lot more versatile than most multi-band compressors.
- User-Friendly: The plugin’s UI is inviting, and the understanding it doesn’t take long. The ease of use ensures you’ll achieve highly creative results via experimentation. It is straightforward to create powerful effects with this plugin’s direct approach.
Character & Sound:
This plugin’s sound is highly customizable. You can reorder the effects in each band and assign different modulation sources. Additionally, you can change the crossover points to focus your effects in the frequency region they truly matter. All this, plus the modulation assignment engine, make this plugin a creative powerhouse. Although the number of modulations may not be as extensive as other plugins on this list, it covers enough bases to ensure its flexibility.
This plugin is available in VST and AU formats for Mac and Windows.
While some other plugins can be confusing and messy, the MBMFX2 uses a What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get approach to bring control to the user’s hands. If confusing UIs put you off, this plugin will answer your prayers. It’s an excellent addition to any producer’s collection.
3. Devious Machines Texture Review
Devious Machines’ Texture uses a library with over 340 acoustic and electronic samples to synthesize new layers into your track.
The plugin analyzes the transients and dynamics of your sound to add textures from its library. You can modulate the dynamics and EQ to make these textures fit your music. This is an excellent plugin for enhancing your mixes. You can use it to make programmed drums more natural or generate ambiance and crowd noise, as well as analog noises of different kinds.
- Sample: This area lets you choose the noise that will modulate your sound. There are over 340 options, all adjustable through sample-dependent parameters, like Colour, Octave, and Pitch. Moreover, you get a dual lowpass and highpass filter that lets you shape the source’s tone. The link option connects this filter to the sidechain filter.
- Dynamics: This section is divided into two main parts: the Sidechain Filter and the Envelope. You also get a gate and a limiter, which you can control in the Envelope section. The controls for this section are straightforward. The plugin offers attack, hold, and decay knobs in linked or dual-mono configurations. Additionally, you can activate Makeup, which will compensate for the gain loss caused by the processing.
- Modulation: The Modulation panel is here to help you add movement to your sound. You’ll use the envelope from Texture and the output of an LFO to the resulting sound with new depth and character. Five LFO types let you sync to the host tempo, but you can also adjust how synced they are using the Phase knob.
- Two EQs: The plugin offers you two EQs: one for the clean input material and another for the sound generated by Texture. These are 5-band parametric EQs, and you can right-click the filter icons to get extra options beyond shelves and bells.
Character & Sound:
The plugin can add incredible natural or digital-sounding layers that enhance the listening experience. From pitch-modulated effects to a subharmonic synthesizer, you can use Texture to make your music more enjoyable. The plugin will always analyze your track volume and respond by generating a sound that perfectly matches the source’s dynamics. Whatever extra modulations you add will only make the sound more unique. From version 1.5 forward, you can also add your own samples as texture sources. Additionally, the plugin also offers two granular synthesis modes that amplify its resourcefulness. You can not only choose from the vast library or add your own samples; now, you can also use the granular method to select a part of the sample and resynthesize it. Then you need simply to use the Color knob to choose the area where the grains are played.
This plugin is available for Windows 7 or later and macOS 10.9 or higher in VST, AU, and AAX formats.
Texture, by Devious Machines, is a fantastic plugin that saves a lot of time in sound designing. It’s easy to lose yourself to this plugin’s far-reaching sample collection, which makes it an alluring tool for many producers in search of suitable sonic layers. The user interface is friendly, and the controls are simple, so even inexperienced producers can benefit from its outstanding sound.
2. Glitchmachines Convex Review
Convex, by GlitchMachines, is an artifact generator with over 70 built-in presets.
The plugin’s engine is based on three effects: Multimode Filter, Pitch Shifter, and Delay. It gives you two instances of each effect. It can create uneven digital textures and syncopated patterns via crossfading and a large array of modulation options. The generated sound can be used as soft texturized layers for instruments and loops or thoroughly warped digital sound effects.
- Multimode Filter: This section gives you two multimode filters with adjustable crossfade between them and selectable curve types, resolution, and a drive knob. Additionally, you can adjust the cutoff frequency in Hertz. At the bottom right of the cutoff knob, there is an arrow down symbol. Click it to change the modulation source coming into this plugin. The Crossfade knob also offers modulation capabilities, and the drive knob significantly adds grit and aggressiveness to your tracks.
- Inverters: These two controls are exceptional and make this plugin genuinely unique compared to others on this list. You can use them to invert the modulation signals for the LFOs, Envelopes, and Modulation Mixers. This simple yet effective trick allows you to modulate two parameters in opposite synchronized directions. To do so, just assign any modulation to any parameter. Subsequently, assign the inverted version of the modulation to another parameter. The plugin makes it that easy to generate confusing but remarkable sounds.
- Multipliers: The Multiplier modules work similarly to ring modulators, but they perform different tasks. In this plugin, the Multipliers let you convolve two modulators to control and modulate yet another parameter. It’s simple to start using this powerful tool. Just select the two signals you want to blend, and the module will spawn their outcome.
Character & Sound:
Most importantly, Convex is excellent at delivering on its promise. The glitchy sounds are compelling, and the overall digital experience it conveys is fascinating. The delay module’s pre-parameter allows you to reroute the signal path, creating even more pleasing sounds. The plugin supports real-time processing, which will enable it to be used on stage or to modulate analog instruments in the studio.
This plugin is available for macOS 10.8 and higher and Windows 8 and up in VST and AU formats.
Convex is a powerful sound designing tool that can create anything from incredible alien sounds all the way to frenetic rhythmic offerings. Producers and futuristic movie sound designers can thrive on this plugin’s maddening possibilities. If you’re looking for experimental results that can still sound harmonic and desirable, this plugin belongs to your collection.
1. iZotope Stutter Edit 2 Review
iZotope’s Stutter Edit 2 offers unrivaled effects to create complex rhythmic sequencing.
The plugin produces complex, playable effects. It uses MIDI notes to trigger “Gestures,” which is how the developers call the presets in this plugin. These presets are fully customizable, of course, so you can preserve the Gesture’s original intent but perform it differently or use it as a template for something completely new. In short, the plugin can add variation to repetitive loops or song sections, musical filter sweeps, world-class build-ups and transitions, and a lot more.
- Banks: To trigger the plugin, you need to produce a MIDI note. The plugin makes it easy for you to know which notes to generate and when by separating the Gestures into identifiable Banks in the preset menu. You can, of course, assign new gestures to empty keys inside that bank as soon as you come up with a unique sound.
- Effects: The effects are reachable on the left-hand side of the interface and can be triggered to will. Each of them has a different set of parameters, which become visible as you enable the Effects menu’s effect in the UI’s center and click upon its name. You can use multiple effects for each Gesture and change their signal flow.
- Parameter Modes: You can adjust an effect’s parameters to taste, but there are a few things to consider. When there’s a lock icon above a parameter, that means it is in Locked mode, so the plugin will provide a single handle for you to edit the parameter. It will keep the original proportion between values. In Split Mode, you enable an extra grip to control these values independently. Additionally, Some parameters that add movement are now equipped with an adjustable Arrow indicating if they’re sweeping up or down. Finally, you also get Custom Mode, enabling far more advanced controls and giving the user complete flexibility.
Character & Sound:
The plugin’s true singularity comes from allowing the user to play the effects on their MIDI instruments, but there is also a lot going on under the hood that influences the output signal. The plugin uses Time-Variant Modifiers to retrigger envelopes with multiple tempo-synced curves. You can edit these curves any way you see fit in the TVM Graphic Editor, which lets you draw whatever shape you feel would make sense for your production. It allows you to create complex modulation shapes and, thus, exquisite-sounding effects.
iZotope’s Stutter 2 is available for 64-bit only Windows 8 and up and macOS 10.13 through 10.15 in AU, AXX, VST2, and VST3 formats.
Stutter Edit 2, by iZotope, can help elevate your productions to an entirely new level of sound designing. With a level of sheer spontaneity, the plugin suits any producer’s needs in any genre imaginable. It’s undoubtedly a resourceful addition to your collection.
Best Free Multi-Effect Plugins 2021
3. VSTzone Amplio 2 Review
VSTzone’s Amplio 2 is a multiband effect module made to add interesting coloration to your sounds.
By splitting the signal into three bands, the plugin routes it through several processing effects that increasingly enhance the sound. You can adjust each band and add processing to singular bands in different effects without destroying the original audio. That is to say that, in case you lower the distortion on the low-frequency band, it won’t reduce the volume, only the effect. That way, you can preserve the signal’s characteristics and only add your processing on top of it.
- Effects: An essential part of the plugin obviously is the signal chain. The signal is split into three bands and fed to an equalizer. From there, you get some dynamic processing via the Gate, Harmonics, Distortion, and Saturation units. Thereafter, its sent to the space modulation engine, consisting of the Spatial algorithm, reverb, and Width controls.
- Routable Reverb: The reverb is an effect of its own within the plugin. It lets you adjust the room type, its size, decay, width, diffusion, and even how you want to blend it with the signal. The best part, though, is that it saves you on EQ filters by letting you route the effect into any of the three bands. So, if you want the reverb only on the mids for a vintage vocal sound, simply choose the Mid band in the router button.
- User Friendly: The plugin offers an intuitive way of manipulating all effects at the same time. The differences are clearly audible, so even inexperienced producers will get the hang of it pretty fast. It’s a fun way of using a multi-effects processor with zero investment.
Character & Sound:
Some of the 66 built-in can sound a little overdone, but the plugin does its job really well. Finding the perfect balance between all effects shouldn’t be a problem. And since the plugin is profoundly dependable on the frequency bands, it’s up to you to decide how the outcome will sound like. The plugin’s original intent was to bring life into dull drum recordings, which actually sounds excellent on drums. Not surprisingly, though, the three-band approach makes it excellent on other instruments, too. Try it out on your vocals, guitars, and synths. Ultimately, the plugin will save you loads of time searching and adjusting other plugins.
This is a Windows-only plugin available as a 32-bit VST.
The super user-friendly UI makes this plugin accessible to beginners and seasoned producers alike. It is an excellent free tool, primarily due to the three-band harmonics enhancer. It’s nice to have that for your productions, whenever a sound needs that extra fatness. If you’re on Windows, don’t waste any more time and take this plugin with you to experiment for yourself.
2. Iraisynn Attinom Antiknot Review
The Antiknot, by Iraisynn Attinom, is a free random multi-effect processor.
The plugin offers a three-band compressor with adjustable crossovers, a highly adjustable EQ, flanger, tremolo, reverb, uniphaser, and delay modulations. You can easily edit any of this plugin’s parameters yourself or rely on its random nature to develop a unique-sounding preset.
- EQ: The full bandwidth EQ offers twelve adjustment points to help you sculpt your own curves. You get a Q and a volume knob that works on the selected frequency point.
- Effects: All the available effects are randomizable, including EQ and compression. Other than that, the modulation effects can be turned on independently and sound very artifact-free even in extreme settings. Overall, once you engage all the effects, you will start getting pretty psychedelic results due to the unusual signal path. The reverb is very convincing and can sound tight or gigantic. As the delay is routed after the reverb in the chain, it adds an excellent movement to the decay. You can combine the phaser, flanger, and tremolo to create sickening movement effects.
Character & Sound:
This plugin has the excellent addition of an anti-aliasing engine. This internal oversampling mechanism ensures the sound quality remains high as you push the effects to extremes. Other than that, the plugin creates some nice sounding effects, the compression brings warmth and an exciting drive at higher levels, and the EQ is very precise.
The plugin is available for Windows as a VST.
The Antiknot is a peculiar plugin with a lot to offer. Don’t get suspicious about its flat UI; it’s got nothing on this plugin’s multidimensional sound. It’s undoubtedly a worthy download if you’re looking for an intricate-sounding yet simple-to-use free plugin.
1. de la Mancha Truc2 Review
truc2 is de la Mancha’s free multi-effect processor with four modules and two automatable XY pads.
You can use this plugin to add Dirt, Grain, Ring, and Delay to your input signals. Each effect can be thoroughly adjusted and bypassed to taste. The XY modulators can be moved manually or automated by different LFO shapes, speeds, and depths.
- XY Pads: The Pad on the left controls the volume level and blend amount of each module. You can set different parameters and values for each Axis. The XY pad on the right modulates 4 of the 15 automatable parameters simultaneously. This helps create rhythmic madness in your productions, which can be significantly used as sound effects.
- LFO: This free plugin offers 16 LFO types with adjustable depth and phase. These can be assigned to the XY pads to modulate the processed signal further.
- 120 Presets: The vast collection of presets is impressive for a free plugin. It makes this one of the most versatile free multi-effects processors out there. Use these to guide you in your journey to discovering the plugin’s functionality.
Character & Sound:
At extreme settings, the plugin can sound a little plastic and digital, but that might be just what some of us are looking for. If you’re expecting harmonic saturation or analog-like warmth, forget it. This is purely a synthetic-sounding plugin and a pretty good one at it.
truc2 is available as a VST plugin for Windows.
This is an excellent free plugin to add movement and a lo-fi digital quality to your sound. The extensive set of LFO waveforms make it highly versatile and even unpredictable. It can add an electronic, glitchy vibe to your productions in no time.
Multi-effects processors can be genuinely impressive. Their range of applications is endless, and some of the plugins on our list offer truly infinite potential. If you’re an electronic musician, producer, or sound designer, we hope you have found what you were looking for on our list!
If you’re still in doubt, here’s a last-minute overview: plugins like Stutter Edit, BYOME, and Cryogen will give you centuries-worth of sonic possibilities. The Scheps Omni Channel is one of the best and most versatile channel strip plugins out there, and Texture is perfect for your Foley and sound designing applications.
Pedro Nascente is an artist, record producer, and mix engineer, currently operating his own studio and working with his band, Yellow Boulevard. Believing that music should convey experiences and feelings, Pedro is known for applying design thinking to his workflow to achieve different sounds and deliver the right messages.