SugarBytes

WOW Filterbox – Review

WOW Filterbox
Sugar Bytes

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Do you have a sweet tooth for wild filter effects and crazy modulation? Chomp down on SugarBytes’ latest iOS effects app, WOW Filterbox.

After SugarBytes brought us the clinically insane Turnado multi FX app, I wasn’t sure what to expect from them next. WOW arrived a couple of months ago, and turned my filtering effects cravings upside down. This app is drenched in all kinds of twisted awesomeness.
What is WOW? The question might be better put, what isn’t WOW? 21 filter types, 7 distortions (3 beautiful analog-emulated distortions), and vast modulation parameters all packed neatly into a slick user interface for full real time control.

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This highly adjustable, programmable filter FX app is bursting with modulation options. 3 independently programmable and controllable X/Y units allow 6 parameters to be run simultaneously, all manipulated by touch to alter the sound in real time.
Take your samples and in WOW you can make them sound schizophrenic to sublime. A new dimension of sound FX options that go beyond just simple effects and sounds such as: trance-style gated sequences, broad sweeps, beats, alien attacks, Oompa Loompas screaming in agony, talking 80s mannequins, worrisome wobbles, or whatever you can think of.
Fun? Oh yeah! Useful? Hell yes!

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Point is, whatever sample you start with can be so drastically modulated and filtered that it sounds like something entirely different. It isn’t a requirement, but it is what WOW does best. With so many parameters to mess with, the filter world is at your disposal.
No other app around today has this much filter and modulation power.
It all sounds great too. The app has clearly been well engineered to produce excellent audio quality. SugarBytes says the distortions have been carefully crafted to produce the best harmonics with “anti aliasing” for “high definition audio”. It can get demanding on early generation devices, but on iPads 3&4 it has behaved well for me.

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Ultra low latency of 64, up to a more stable 512.
WOW is Audiobus compatible, can also record in the app, and save in the internal files manager. AudioCopy/Paste, full MIDI support, Jack, iTunes FileShare, BackGround Audio, and more round out a deep features list.

For more details check out SugarBytes website.

WOW is also available as a plugin (via IAP) in Auria. If you already bought the WOW stand-alone app, you do not have to pay again to use it in Auria. Nice.

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WOW Filterbox is literally something that will make you say “Wow!”

The more I explore this app, the more I love it. There are plenty of factory presets to choose from, and the depth of complexity that comes with customizing your own sound is what makes this app a true marvel to behold.
I’ve found the interface to be very smooth and well made. There are times when, selecting an option from one of the drop downs, the text descriptions are tiny and I have accidentally selected the wrong thing. That might be a concern for exploring the app during a live performance; however with the option to create your own user presets, those problems can be avoided.
I’ve not encountered any significant issues, and recommend WOW Filterbox to anybody looking for a deep and interesting (not to mention fun) way to create great modulated, filtering effects at any level.

Available in iTunes

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Turnado – Review

Turnado
Developed by: Sugar Bytes

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UPDATED REVIEW 5-26-2013
Just a little one, but Turnado now supports landscape as well as portrait.

It sure would be nice if there were a really good multi/real-time live effects unit with tons of modulation parameters and full customization. If only I could find something like this that does a good job on my iPads…
Wait! What’s this? Well, here it is! “Turnado.” That’ll do very nicely.

A massive live effects rack focused more on tripping out beats, but just as awesome for any sample to mangle.
This thing is ridiculous. Insane. Massive. Insert your favorite exclamation of joy . Easy & packed deep with very interesting effects of all kinds.

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This cavern full of effects fits nicely on the iPad in portrait view. Understandable at first look. Not overly complex. Its deceptively simple, with a wild multitude of adjustable parameters to lose oneself in a bottomless pit of effects possibilities. I mean this thing is deep!

Getting started is a snap. Just tap the presets menu and select one, or tap the dice ( die ) to randomly generate 8 different FX that you can control simultaneously with either the 8 associated effects knobs, or the 4 X/Y pads controlling 2 FX at a time correlating with those knobs. Select a factory sample, loop it, and just boogie with the 4 pads live. You can also drag FX units from the list of 24 professional grade algorithms, and drop in whichever slot you like. Great also for quickly replacing something.
Turnado is immediately satisfying and crazy fun. This is only the beginning though. Beyond the easy start, you can dig way further into each of the effects to make some very cool sounds. This is modulation tweaking paradise.

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Some of Turnados features:
Turnado supports Audiobus input and effects slots. Import your own samples via ACP (audio copy paste), iTunes File Share, and music library. It is also compatible with “Jack”. Full MIDI support and clock sync. Adjustable buffer down to a speedy 64! Background Audio capable. Its all ready and waiting for you. There’s way too many specs and features to list. Visit Turnados Web sight for all the details: HERE
As good as the factory samples are, nothing beats your own.

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Loading from the many FX carefully designed presets that fit pretty much any occasion is sweet for a quick run. Where Turnado really shows itself off is in the individual FX “Edit” screens. You’ll notice that each of the FX units have a little “Edit” button on them. Go ahead, tap it!
Whammo! Adjustable parameters galore. Welcome to the modulation candy store.

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Now you have all the pieces that make the effect live and breathe. You can easily end up in a vortex where time stands still with the amazing amount of sound options here. Imagine it, tweak it, and experiment with it all. I’ve spent many hours in this screen creating numerous presets of my own. There is so much to discover. Once you find and hear what you like save it to call up from the user list.

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The portion of the screen where all the editing is done can feel a bit tight, and small. No problem, double tap it and it zooms in. The zoom can also be disabled if you wish.
The FX are pretty amazing. As I mentioned already they are high quality, and focused on beat manipulation more than anything else. You’ll find numerous filters, slicers, loopers, wobblers, and so on. No worries if, like me, you would like to use Turnado for more than just beats. It is complete with excellent delays, and reverbs to boot. Sugar Bytes thought this through offering so many FX types, styles and options.

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They created a fantastic controller called “Dictator” that can control each of the 8 FX knobs and countless parameters with a single slider. This is a real treat and leads to some monstrous sound designs. Again, the Dictator is customizable and offers lots of preset configurations. Its unique, powerful and just plain crazy.

I can’t find anything terribly serious to complain about. The only issues I experienced using Turnado on iPads 3&4 were with the edit screen. It has during playback caused unwanted skipping or stuttering with each touch of that screen. A few times when I was really pushing Turnado hard by working all the FX at once, I temporarily lost audio. Only one crash on my iPad 3. These could be a problem in a live performance, not so much in your studio. Its early yet for the iOS version of Turnado.
I don’t expect these to linger. Sugar Bytes is quick to make fixes as demonstrated with a recent update already fixing some minor bugs. I’m not worried, and it doesn’t effect my feelings on this incredible app.

Highly recommended! Buy Turnado from iTunes HERE

You will definitely have lots of fun.