It started as small collections of effects “you’d actually use,” and Arturia’s full FX Collection suite has grown well into that. I’ve been hands-on with the latest edition – here’s all that’s new.
Arturia’s stuff is just a solid, lovely-sounding, and now wide-ranging set of effects in various categories. If you don’t like big, brash, skeuomorphic interfaces, you’re likely to be put off, it’s true. But Arturia has done a lot to refine its UIs and my sense is that advanced sound designers will fall in love from the moment they hit the “advanced” button and expose everything these tools can do. Almost every single effect, vintage-simulation included, has a powerful surprise waiting – an envelope follower, extra modulation, additional effects, and so on.
The big news for macOS users came earlier this year with the Apple Silicon-native 2.1 update – now, both the company’s instrument and effects libraries are M1/M2 native. (That version also updated NKS support, which in practical terms means you can easily tweak settings from Native Instruments gear, among other things.)
FX Collection 3 brings the collection in line with all the latest additions to the stable. That includes Tape MELLO-FI and the granular Efx FRAGMENTS, which I reviewed previously. But let’s get on to what you don’t know about:
Oversampling on both of those new effects (switchable)
A/B comparison is invaluable while testing what an effect actually does to your material, and while altering presets or making your own
Interface refinement across the whole suite, including a particular upgrade for Delay BRIGADE (formerly Delay Memory Brigade). Even Efx FRAGMENTS got some UI/UX improvements, and generally browsing and UI performance are improved.
Let’s have a visual tour:
Dist TUBE-CULTURE. This looks like one we’re going to wind up using a lot – think easy access to harmonic character, warmth, saturation, and the ability to crank up to more crunch/distortion. As it happens I’ve been messing about with the plug-in version of the Black Box Analog HG-2 and the associated hardware is excellent, too. But there are a number of things that get this general job done.
What’s significant here is, Arturia has gotten good at modeling, so you get a nice model of that heated vacuum tube. And you have a control layout here that makes loads of sense. Add in dedicated input and output controls and that very-useful gate/compressor dynamics knob, and I think you’ve got a winner.
This can be as nuanced as you want, so I already find it useful on electronic drums and whatnot. It’s really down to that control layout for me.
Dist OPAMP-21. Okay, this one is derived from the Tech 21 Sans Amp and – far from the software clone stealing business from Tech 21, I now totally want to go buy some of their gear.
But yeah, this is also eminently useful, once your eyes recover from that bright yellow text. Still more distortion and saturation, and the FX Collection did already have some to begin with (Bus FORCE).
The trick is, this one takes some exploration, because you’ve got 4 modes – modern, normal, lead, and bass mean it models effectively four pedals – plus 8 character switches. Plus you have stuff hardware doesn’t give you, like parallel processing, expanded stereo options, and generally nice control over pre-drive and post-drive with EQ curves.
But there’s still a big bypass switch, which is also useful, even if you’re now using it with the, uh, mouse. (Well, MIDI map it?)
Delay BRIGADE is really a lot better looking and more readable now for improved usage.
I’m in. Already solved a couple of tracks with the new additions.
More info / yes there’s discounted intro pricing: