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Pluggo - Cycling 74

May 2002 By Cherise O'Neill.

Anyone who has ever used Photoshop, Adobe's image manipulation application, will no doubt have spent plenty of time applying the many and various filters that come free with the product to images that required altering in some way. So why not have just as many filters readily on hand within your favorite digital audio application, allowing you to manipulate your latest musical creation in virtually any way imaginable.

Enter Pluggo, a collection of plugins that work in much the same way as Photoshop's filters, instantly accessible from within numerous digital audio applications and able to add almost any possible treatment to your audio tracks as quickly as you would a gaussian blur to a close up of your face.

Seeing as we have almost every conceivable digital audio application in existence here at our top secret research laboratory we decided to start off by finding out just how multi-application compatible this product really is, so first came Steinberg's Cubase VST, which looked to be the product that got the most mentions throughout the easy to follow operation manual. Not surprising really seeing as Pluggo is designed to work with VST compatible applications.

Miraculously after only a couple of minutes Pluggo was installed, authorized and ready to go. No prehistoric floppy disks or pesky challenge and response procedure for Pluggo, just a valid authorization code that comes printed on a very important looking piece of paper. After launching VST we opened a new document, imported a track from a CD, opened the effects control panel and there were all the Pluggo plugins. It really was as simple as that.

The only real problem encountered was our choice of audio which was the opening track from CD called Premiers Symptomes, a collection of early Air singles. The track was already full to the brim with luscious special effects and made the job of hearing what Pluggo was up to a difficult one. So for our next test, with Studio Vision Pro, test we chose a nice dry track by Kraftwerk.

Seeing as Pluggo was already authorized for use on our all that was necessary to start applying effects to Autobahn was to make sure that the plugins were copied to the VST plugins folder in the Opcode folder. The Pluggo plugins manager can then be used to enable and disable plugins in the same way that the MacOS Extensions Manager can enable and disable system components, even allowing you to create custom sets so that all the plugins don't all have to be present all the time. One feature of the MacOS Extensions Manager wasn't available though, and would certainly make for a cool improvement, and that is a description of what each plugin actually does displayed in the Plug-in Information panel. All we saw in there while highlighting each one was the same info that's present in the master list window already.

But all that really matters is what do the plugins do, and how can they make your music even more unique. Well for a start there are plugins in this collection that are capable of doing things to your music that are impossible to put into words. Even though we spent most of the time marveling at the full bodied reverb, delay, chorus and various other commonly used effects, there are plugins that take things to the extreme such as Fragulator, Mangle Filter and Granular-to-Go, which really go to town on your nice clean audio tracks. Alternately check out out one of the coolest sounding effects I've ever heard called Swish, which will add movement to anything that needs it. As with all the plugins you can adjust the various control parameters and save as your own presets. Another favorite is the Space Echo, which reminded me of the hardware version of one made by Roland that I used to own and which I've been unable to fully emulate until now, and there's also a software version of another piece of hardware called a Ring Modulator which is now capable of multiplying two signals together thanks to the addition of a virtual second audio input.

So here's the big list of all the plugins that come with Pluggo.

Synchronization - PluggoSync
Delay Effects - Flange-o-tron, Tapped Delay, Generic Effect, Very Long Delay, Space Echo, Comber
Filters - Multi-Filter, Vocoder, Cyclotron, Phase Shift, Phone Filter, Swish, Harmonic Filter, Moving Filters
Filter/Delay - Resonation, Resosweep, FilterTaps, PlugLoop, Sizzle Delays, Mangle Filter, Raindrops
Pitch Effects - Vibrato Cauldron, Speed Shifter, Warble, Warpoon, Frequency Shift
Distortion - Waveshaper, Degrader, Monstercrunch, Average Injector, PluggoFuzz, Ring Modulator, Noyzckippr, Feedback Network, Fragulator
Granulation - Slice-n-Dice, Pendulum, Shuffler, Stutterer, Rye, Wheat, Granular-to-Go
Spectral Effects - Spectral Filter a.k.a CA Forbidden Planet, Convolver
Audio Routing - VST Host, PluggoBus Rcv, PluggoBus Send, Center Channel
Multichannel - Audio Rate Pan, Stereo Adjuster, Stereo Faker, Dr. Dop, Swirl, Tremellow, Nebula
Synthesizers - Synth, Sine Bank
Modulators - LFO, Pluglogic, Breakpoints, Mouse Mod, Env Follower, Audio2Control, Control2Audio, Key Triggers, Step Sequencer, Randomizer
Reverb/Dynamics - Rough Reverb, Chamberverb, Dynamical
Visual Display - Light Organ, Phase Scope, D-Meter

Website: Cycling 74