When it comes to choosing plugin's to enhance your recording experience there are a few major considerations to take into account. The first is that the software has to be compatible with your existing set-up, and the second is that the plugin's have to sound good.

As far as the first point is concerned, those new to digital recording and editing can pick up Digidesign's "ToolBox", which includes D-fx (read on) plus an Audiomedia III PCI digital audio card and the industry standard ProTools Power Mix recording and editing software. So if you really are starting from scratch the "ToolBox" route might well be the best way to go.

But for those of you who have been using one of the many other products out there quite happily for years and just want to expand your plugin arsenal (or upgrade to a higher quality product) then D-fx just might be for you. In either case we have a list of D-fx compatible host products at the base of this great page. ChorusThe first of the five plugin's that make up the D-fx AudioSuite is the chorus, which has the same general look and feel as the rest, which makes for easy control surface recognition when switching from one to the other (which is easily accomplisehd by using one of the pull-down menus). As far as the actual performance of this particular module is concerned it offers crisp and well defined chorus effects, well on a par with the results you'd expect from a professional "real world" processor. Again, as with the chorus plugin, the flanger is as good as I've heard, with the usual responsive and infinitely variable control panel layout.

Particularily impressive is the depths to which the audio signal can be sent to, producing an extremely fat flange effect that can be revved up, using the rate contol, to dizzying proportions (and we're not just saying that!).

Possibly the most important single audio processing tool available to the electronic music maker is reverb. By definition capable of simulating the kind of reflections that wouldn't ordinarily be present when listening through a pair of speakers at home.
As opposed to echo or delay, where a signal is merely copied and played back, reverb has to emulate many variables without making the resulting output sound artificial.

To this end, Digidesign have made it easier than ever to set room size, defraction and the many and various other component elements that produce the reverb effect, by creating presets that basically give you a head start in getting exactly the effect you want. Once you're close to your goal you can then go in and start fine tuning (if you need to.)

The overall sound quality can be made as transparent or as opaque as you require, without any of the "fizzle" we normally encounter hanging around at the back end of the effects produced by less well designed plugin's.

Multi-Tap DelayWhen the Copycat tape delay was introduced in the late sixties, the simple one-hit echo effect became a thing of the past. For a while. And what Digidesign's D-fx Multi-tap delay does is basically the same as its analog counterpart has been doing for decades, namely giving the user the option of varying the number of repeat hits.

The cool thing about this multi-tap is that you can four delays going at once, each with different delay rates and feedback amounts. Basically allowing you to set up complex patterns around a loop or sequenced bass line, and as usual (and we're not just saying this to be nice) the sound quality is superb.

The principal behind the D-fx Pin-Pong Delay is basically the same as the Multi-Tap above, but this time there's just the one delay instead of up to four. Used primarily for slapback and other basic effects that require only one bouncing "echo", you'll also find yourself using this plugin' to produce delays a few seconds long as well as programming it to bounce from left to right for varying amounts of time.

It's easy to use with an intuitive layout and, as with all the D-fx plugin's, saving your presets really couldn't be simpler.

Other useful studio products from Digidesign:

Audiomedia III PCI Digital Audio Card for Macintosh and Windows Operating Systems - Review

Pro Tools Audiosuite tm Plug-ins package - Review

(Both of the above are included in Digidesign's "ToolBox).

To contact Digidesign check out their entry in our Manufacturers department.