Extreme EQ (part 4)
The remaining controls are not so EQ orientated. The distortion control is very harsh and only applicable in certain circumstances. What a pity the filter couldnt be applied after the distortion, but you can always create a distorted copy of your sound file and then filter it. The delay facilities are simple but effective. Again, what a pity that the feedback loop cant be put through the filter. Many delay units have the provision to low-pass filter the feedback, but with 24dB/octave filtering, resonance and envelope generation, so much more could have been possible. (Try patching a Mutator into a feedback loop around a hardware delay unit - and be careful not to blow your drive units!).
Soon to be released in its final form, the Waldorf D-Pole filter plug-in is available in a demo version from Steinbergs web site which gives a good indication of its capabilities, and you can actually get some use out of it if your audio segments are short enough. As you can see from the graphic, it is similar to Mutator and North Pole in that it has a 24dB/octave low-pass filter and an envelope generator. This time the options are multiplied to include low-pass, band-pass, high-pass, notch and resonator. High-pass is useful for special effects, and you really can cut virtually everything below the cut-off frequency. Dance music producers would use this for mixing the mid and high frequencies of one sampled loop with the low frequencies of another, in the same manner as DJs use the kill switches on their specialised DJ mixing consoles. Someone told me that if Im not doing this sort of thing every day I must be behind the times. Well with D-Pole, Im going to try and catch up and - if necessary - you can too! The notch option is useful, not only for taking out mains hum or video monitor line frequency pickup (although you wouldnt buy it for this), but for homing in on particular sounds where they are fairly constant in pitch and sucking them out of the mix. The resonator function offers a high Q boost and is fun to play with for special effects, particular when operated hands-on as the music plays. Like Mutator, and unlike North Pole, D-Pole has an LFO with which the cut-off frequency can be modulated. This is calibrated in BPM and although it cant be synchronised to a beat, it can be applied over a short segment and through a process of trial and error a new file can be created with exactly the right feel. Its also nice to use the LFO on a rhythm track and intentionally let it drift slowly in and out of tempo which gives variety to a loop that might otherwise lose interest over time. Other goodies include an amp simulator, pan modulation and once again an envelope generator triggered by the input signal.