FilterFreak & Phase Mistress
Fed up with vintage effects? Looking for something new? SoundToys has recently released the cutely named FilterFreak1 and 2 and PhaseMistress plug-ins for Pro Tools TDM systems.
One of FilterFreak’s coolest features is its ability to synchronize its sweep to the tempo and downbeat in your music. This opens up a new world of creative filtering options, especially when you get two different types of filters dancing and sweeping in different directions with different patterns and with different sounds.
Some of the most popular phasers over the years have included the old Univox Univibe, MXR Phase 90, Electro-Harmonix Small-Stone, Eventide Instant Phaser and the Mutron Bi-Phase, which had two distinct phasers in one box. PhaseMistress lets you pick any number of stages between two and 24 – including all odd numbers, so you can recreate the sound of just about any previous phaser, or create entirely new phasing sounds.
FilterFreak and PhaseMistress share a common library of user-customizable modulation rhythms and LFO waveshapes, so you can create a sweep shape or modulation in FilterFreak or PhaseMistress and call it up from either plug-in.
The interfaces on these plug-ins have lots in common, with controls for filter Frequency and Resonance, wet/dry Mix, Modulation amount, and Input and Output level. Additional controls for LFO, Rhythm, Envelope, Random, Step and ADSR are displayed in a separate area in the window according to which of these has been selected using the pop-up menu. This is a neat way of avoiding the need for a large window for the plug-in.
A toggle switch engages Analog mode so that the sound will saturate in a similar way to real analogue gear. To minimize the DSP load, use FilterFreak1 instead of FilterFreak2 if you only need one band of filtering, commit the effect to disk by using AudioSuite or by bouncing to disk, and use Digital mode instead of Analog if possible.
The guys at SoundToys were responsible for designing industry-standard products as the Eventide H-3000 and DSP-4000 and DSP algorithms for high-end studio gear such as the TC Electronics Fireworx, GForce, and G-Major processors. So they really know their stuff.
This pair of plug-ins will let you create the widest range of filter and phasing effects possible. They just stomp the competition into the ground. The user-interface design is first-rate, with a wealth of tweakable parameters efficiently included. And the selection of instantly useable presets is so comprehensive that, most of the time, there will be little need to tweak – unless you really must!