Arturia FX Collection 3: What is it?
In software, Arturia is best known for its emulations, bundled into the deservedly popular V Collection.
For the past few years the French brand has also been building up a library of effects, bundled here in the third iteration of the FX Collection, which is quickly gaining on its instrument-focused sibling in terms of volume and scope.
Like V Collection, the effects are largely inspired by classic hardware – vintage compressors, tape echoes, preamps, reverbs and more – although there’s a healthy sprinkling of modern originals too. V3 adds plugins that fall into both camps.
At the contemporary end is Arturia’s recent granular processor Efx Fragments. We reviewed Efx recently as a standalone plugin, so we’ll skip the details here. Suffice to say though, this is a powerful yet easy-to-use creative effect.
Efx is the sort of effect that makes a great go-to when short on inspiration – slap it onto any audio source and marvel at how it can completely reshape the sound. The 60 fresh presets added to mark its inclusion here add to that appeal.
Arturia FX Collection 3: Performance and verdict
Tape Mello-Fi is another plugin we’ve seen before. This Mellotron-inspired tape emulation was released as a freebie just before Christmas, so doesn’t add so much in terms of pure financial value. It’s still a welcome addition to the toolset though. With a crunchy preamp section and easy control over its tape-like characteristics, it’s a convenient way to add vintage wonkiness to sounds.
The two new plugins unveiled for this update both focus on distortion in a roundabout way. Dist Opamp-21 is based on Tech 21’s SansAmp Classic, an analogue guitar amp and speaker simulator. Like its hardware inspiration, it covers bases from warm saturation through to more overt high-gain. While it’s aimed primarily at guitar and bass the plugin can work nicely on synths and drums too.
Dist Tube-Culture, meanwhile, emulates Thermionic Culture’s widely adored Culture Vulture rack effect. The original hardware is a stereo valve distortion unit, prized for its ability to add crunch, warmth and grit to a whole variety of sources. Arturia’s take does a fine job of recreating the sound and feel of the original. While it can do wild and overt overdrive, our favourite application of the plugin is for more subtle enhancement – it’s great at bringing out the higher frequencies of drum parts with subtle crunch, helped by the switchable presence mode.
Both Dist plugins feature oversampling, which can be switched between Studio and Render modes to balance latency and quality for different situations. Both plugins feature Advanced modes too, with input and output filtering and more.
The Dist plugins go some way to plugging the distortion hole in FX Collection’s otherwise rounded offering, joining the more modern approach to saturation already offered by Bus Force. That said, they’re hardly do-it-all plugins and we'd like to see a distinctive digital distortion added to the bundle.
Still, the FX Collection is great value. If you don’t already own it, Efx Fragments is worth the update price alone, but all of it is quality.
MusicRadar verdict: The FX Collection is great value and only becomes more apealling with each new addition. One of the best effect bundles going.
Arturia FX Collection 3: Hands-on demos
Arturia FX Collection 3: Specifications
- KEY FEATURES Bundle of 26 audio effects. Each in VST/AU/AAX format. Includes NKS compatibility.
- CONTACT: Arturia