Although a good filter never guaranteed an instrumentâs success, a poor one would almost certainly consign it to the realm of the mediocre. This being the case, itâs hardly surprising that classic filters have inspired countless plug-in developers.
Manufacturers hype the authenticity of their instrumentsâ analogue-style filters, and there can be few among us who donât have half a dozen filter plug-ins in our effects arsenal. But despite all this, Windows users are being encouraged to make room for another: Little Frantic from Basement Arts.
At â¬50, this is a VST effect based on Basement Artsâ more expensive Frantic plug-in. It features the same audio engine, but has fewer knobs to play with. That isnât to say there isnât an ample amount of control on offer - itâs just that thereâs much less of everything.
For some, this will come as a welcome relief - less technically-minded musicians donât like being bamboozled by billions of bits and bobs when they fire up their software. A simpler feature set is often just what the doctor ordered.
And speaking of ordering, existing users of the full Frantic plug-in who are already in love with the filterâs sound but donât always need its army of knobs and modulation controls can grab Little Frantic for just â¬9.95.
Little Franticâs feature set comprises some of the same luscious-sounding, vintage-inspired filters as youâll find on the standard Frantic, and includes the same kind of âfilter separationâ (also found on the much-loved OSCar synthesizer). Two filters can be used in serial or parallel modes, and youâll find an LFO and envelope follower.
The LFO can be routed to four different destinations and syncâd to the hostâs tempo. There are five different filter variations and some pretty extensive MIDI control possibilities to explore. And thatâs about it.
Like we said: simplified.
Despite its pared-down interface, Little Frantic is a plug-in of no small ability. While it doesnât sound exactly like any of our vintage synths, it certainly sounds more like the product of transistors and resistors than of zeroes and ones. It has that elusive emphasised low end and can be both smooth and growly.
If one of your virtual analogue synths has a filter that can be used as an effect, Little Frantic might seem surplus to requirements. At this price, though, itâs pretty hard to resist.