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Sugar Bytes Artillery 2 Review at Sound On Sound

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Artillery2 loses the grid, instead building on the idea of turning your MIDI keyboard into a real-time control device. Zones on an on-screen keyboard are assigned to the different effects generators in much the same way as the individual samples in a multisample, except that there’s no velocity layering. Each effect can be set to latch on and off when you hit a key in its zone, or to run for only as long as you hold the key down; they all default to the latter mode, which is sensible for things like the vinyl scratch effects, but less so for phasers and the like. Some effects, like the tonal delay, respond to note pitch, so it can be useful to have these assigned to a fairly large keyboard zone, whilst others only really need one or two keys.
You can have as many effects active at once as you like, but only one zone can be selected for editing. Most effects have three or four main editable parameters, and each of these can have its own, independent modulation source: envelopes, LFOs, envelope followers and step sequencers are available.
All the Effectrix effects are included, again all with their own presets, but there are several worthwhile additions. These include a three-band EQ that can be used to kill the low or high end, a ring modulator, a vocoder and a ‘karaoke’ effect, which is presumably designed to attenuate vocals. You can have more than one of the same processing module, which allows you to do things like set up a whole range of vinyl scratching effects across the keyboard.
The best thing about both Effectrix and Artillery2 is that they are clearly designed to fulfil a specific brief, and they do so very well. Everything that can possibly be sync’ed to host tempo is, and both of these plug-ins are powerful and very intuitive in use. You don’t even really need a MIDI keyboard to get results from Artillery2: clicking with the mouse on the on-screen notes works pretty well. If you DJ with a program like Ableton Live and use its built-in effects, I don’t think you’ll notice a huge leap in quality when you add these two plug-ins, but you’ll certainly extend the existing possibilities for real-time mayhem. And as the review period wore on, I found myself turning to Artillery2 more and more often in a conventional music-production context, not because it sounds especially unique, but because it enabled me to do things that would have taken four or five times as long using other plug-ins. For example, where similar material recurs several times in a project, Artillery2 makes it child’s play to apply different effects each time and add much-needed variety.
Origial Source - Sound On Sound

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