that of Arturia The necessary bundle has never been the obvious price-performance ratio that the company’s Analog Lab or even is. Fifteen effects plugins for $ 399 just isn’t a good deal. But, 22 effects… that sounds like a much better deal.
The FX Collection 2 takes the original 15 plugins – three each of filters, delays, reverbs, preamps and compressors – then adds four modulation effects, including the, and three bus effects, including one based on the iconic Neve stereo compressor and one based on the Siemens broadcast console from the 1970s.
The effects themselves are all excellent. And if you’ve used any of Arturia’s meticulous software emulations before, you’ll know what to expect. The material that inspired each plugin is faithfully recreated, then smoothly developed with controls hidden under an “advanced” panel. But the aesthetic is consistent. If you’re not a huge fan of the skeuomorphic design, you probably won’t like the look of these effects. But don’t worry, the sounds will probably blow your mind.
While the DIODE-609 Comp and SITRAL-295 EQ (the Neve and Siemens emulations, respectively) both sound great, the FORCE Bus is probably my favorite among the new effects. It is a completely original plugin designed by Arturia that combines an equalizer, limiter, compressor and saturator. Basically you can slap it on every track or on your master and do a lot of your fine tuning with it.
I am particularly in love with the saturation section of the circuit. I am a fan of gritty and distorted sound and it relieves those who are confident. Plus, it offers many different options for dialing in overdrive and overdrive separately, and you can choose odd or even harmonics, or both. And you can even turn a clipping circuit on and off and set the level at which your audio clips are. I will say, however, that the clipping is a bit too harsh even for my liking. It’s a bit more digital than direct saturation and overdrive.
Speaking of crunch, the plugin has been updated with new preamp options that let you go cleaner or dirtier. I was already a big fan of this recreation of the , and adding a modeled germanium preamp makes me love it even more. If you’d rather ignore the original preamp and the germanium one, you can also turn off the preamp circuit completely. Then you can bring your own or just keep it neat and tidy.
The rest of the effects aren’t changed dramatically, but there are new built-in tutorials to help you get started with the terrain, a streamlined preset browser borrowed from the V collection, and 200 new presets.
While the lack of major updates to existing plugins might be a bit disappointing for some who already own FX Collection, for those new to the series it won’t matter as much. the , , , , etc. are still there and all still sounding great.
Overall, this is a pretty solid upgrade. And, until June 25, the FX Collection 2 is on sale for just $ 299, which makes it all the more appealing.
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