Arturia has announced Efx Refract, a stereo multi-effect "with versatility at its core", and has only gone and made it free until the 4 January. It's the latest in a series of free music software giveaways this year, making 2023 something of a bumper freebie year. And if you download one free plugin this year, we reckon you should make it this one…
Refract is a multi-effect with a unison-based architecture, meaning that the sound or note is multiplied and subsequent effect processing takes place in parallel. This results in that rich, phasing chorus-like effect you get when multiple signals drift out of phase, effectively meaning a bigger sound. We're liking the sound of Refract so far.
The first process, then, is the Refraction, whereby Refract takes your input and duplicates it to up to eight stereo voices. This spread of sound is then passed through Refract's multi-effect chain... and here's where it gets even more interesting.
You get five effects – BandPass Filter, Comb Filter, Bitcrusher, Distortion and Harmonizer – which can be added to each of those (up to) eight voices and processed individually, before being summed back together.
It's a unique setup that Arturia says, "allows for some wild, new and creative results".
The company believes that some of the results you get with Refract's effect combinations are quite surprising, telling us that it's easy to create metallic-style reverbs, surreal shimmers, melodic bit crush effects and monster basses.
We're going to download it right now, and think you should too, so head on over to Arturia's website.Efx Refract will be free of charge until 4 January 2024, and will cost $99/€99 thereafter.