Sugar Bytes Effectrix2: What is it?
KEY FEATURES: Sequencer-based multi-effect with 14 effect modules: Looper A, Looper B, Grain, Ring, Vinyl, Spectrum, Tonalizer, Crush, Filter, Phase, Modulation, Delay, Reverb, Level. FORMATS: PC/Mac, AU/VST/AAX BUY FROM: Plugin Boutique
Originally released in 2008, Sugar Bytes’ sequencer-focused multi-effect deserves a place in the pantheon of ‘classic’ plugins. With its rhythmical take on effect processing, Effectrix allowed users to mangle loops with stutters, reverses, delays, faux-vinyl scratches and more.
This long awaited follow-up looks remarkably similar. As before, the plugin is focussed around a sequencer grid with timing divisions along the top and a stack of brightly colour-coded effects down the side. At the bottom of the UI sits a panel dedicated to effect parameters, where each can be adjusted freely or use a stock of varied presets. Directly below the main sequencer is a lane where parameter values can be modulated across each sequencer step.
While this broad setup will be familiar, there are key differences. The most obvious is the fact that the UI has been modernised with a cleaner, more refined look. Workflow-wise the most significant change is that the effects can now be reordered, and each has its own individual dry/wet control, for more flexibility.
Sugar Bytes Effectrix2: Performance and verdict
The effects themselves have changed somewhat too. Where the original Effectrix had distinct Looper, Stutter and Reverse effects, here those styles have been amalgamated into new Looper A and Looper B modules. These are far more versatile, with the former capable of pitched loops and the latter offering timing controls capable of all manner of reverses, warps and stutters. As with other areas of Effectrix, there’s more flexibility in the sync options too, not only offering dotted and triplet timing divisions, but also adding swing.
Among other modernisations are a new granular mode, the ‘Spectrum’ delay, a multimode filter and overhauled modulation effects. It all adds up to a more flexible, modern-sounding toolbox, adept at digital weirdness and classic glitches alike.
The modulation lane beneath the sequencer grid has been vastly improved too. As well as allowing for individual parameter values for each step, this also offers an extensive range of modulators and sequencing tools. These include an envelope follower, randomiser, step sequencers, LFOs, curves and customisable envelopes. These can be sequenced on the grid themselves, allowing, say, a parameter to be modulated via an envelope for the first part of a sequence and then an LFO for part 2.
Effectrix2 also adds an assortment of customisable randomisation tools. These let the user randomise individual elements like sequence lanes of the parameters of individual effects. There’s also a global randomiser with three levels, although it’s a slight shame you can’t specify what elements are targeted.
Effectrix2 offers huge potential. Each preset can store up to 12 individual sequences that can be triggered via MIDI note input for live performances. All this potential does mean things can become a little confusing; particularly trying to untangle the relationship between different effect presets and modulation assignments. Importantly though, Effectrix2 is masses of fun, and capable of both wild and inspiring effects.
MusicRadar verdict: Effectrix2 is a powerful and wildly fun effect sequencer. Fans of the original will find themselves falling in love all over again.