This time on the testbench, Volfram, a multi effects plugin by a relatively young company called Subsonic Labs. Volfram is capable of a wide range of different fx like: Chorus, Delay, Distortion, Filter, Flanger, Phaser and more. With a clearly laid out GUI it doesn’t take a lot of time to get on a roll with this beauty.
Graphic User Interface
The layout is divided into clear sections, 2 manipulators, filter delay, 2 lfo’s env followers, 2 patterns, patchbay with 4 modulation slots. And on the bottom of the GUI the preset section with a/b functionality, a routing knob, mix and main output.
Kinda hidden on the leftside of the GUI is a sidebar with some cool functions, like activating a metering system that shows the incoming and outgoing signal. Perfect for gainstaging the plugin or deliberately overdriving it. The manual and a settings panel for gui size and knob mode is also there. Furthermore a nice knob to make on the fly variations of the chosen preset. So plenty of ways to alter the plugin to your needs.
Let the fun begin
Now lets start with the manipulators,this is where the fun begins. A hi and a lo pass filter, phase knob,pitch, distortion, pan, delay 1 & 2, delaymix, and effect mix. The filters are switchable between 24 en 12 db by pressing the filterknob on or off. A small knob next to each manipulator is for the output signal, that way you can gainstage each manipulator or overdrive it, a very handy addition.
All the classic effects can be made easily with this effect but also wicked combinations of pitch distortion with some stereowidening with help of the d1 and 2 knobs and lots more. Great startingpoints in the form of presets are available and some real gems are in there. Of course as producers demand nowadays, everything is ready for full automation in the daw of your choice.
Next up the filter/delay section
5 different filters are at your disposal. The usual low & highpass but also a dual lowpass, where the width is used for separation, a band stop and bandpass filter, a big s symbol in the middle is for host tempo sync. The ways to sculpt your sounds are plenty.
Delay section has got the mix, delaytime, feedback and offset parameters. Offset especially is very cool because in the lowest setting it acts as a monodelay but slowly increasing the offset will get you a wide range of stereo delays. very small amounts are already useful for stereowidening tricks.
The modulation section
Lfo’s, Envelope followers, modulation slots and patterns give you a wide range of possibilties to modulate the effect sections. Very cool presets can be found in the menu’s. Which is always very handy if you’re in a rush to find some cool modulations.
Last but certainly not least is the sound. All the effects are of a high quality which is not often the case with multi effects. Phaser sounds lush and can be almost glasslike silky smooth, Pitchshifter is a grungy one that adds a nice texture to everything especially in tandem with the distortion. Distortion has a nice overdrive quality that ranges from a cool warming effect to full on mayhem. The filters are good as well as are the delays.
With some outstanding presets there’s something for everyone, whether you want subtle effects lush chorus, pleasant phasing or flanging, trance gate fx or go totally bonkers with feedbacking guitar-like sounds and go to distortion heaven, Volfram has it all.
All this combined, Subsoniclabs have made a very nice multi effects plugin that’s easy to work with and sounds absolutely gorgeous.
For further info & pricing and more soundexamples visit www.subsoniclabs.com.