September 14, 2011

Meet Filterstation...

by Chris Randall

Here's a screenshot of our upcoming plug, Filterstation, running in Studio One on PC as a VST3. From the UI, you should be able to get a pretty good handle on what it's all about.

As you can see, it is a pair of filters that can be configured as serial, parallel stereo, and true stereo (one filter for each side). Each filter can be one of 12 types, including our usual 2P, 3P, and 4P models, the bandpass filter that 914 Fixed Filter Bank is made up of, the original 4P LP from FilterPod (our first product, and the first filter we coded), a monster face-melting MS20 LP and HP that Adam built a month or so ago, and a VCA type.

The latter is useful if you'd like to do a filter-vibrato thing like some amps and electric pianos do (notably the Fender Vibrolux, but many others as well). It can also be used for rhythm gating and rudimentary panning. (Nothing near as sophisticated as Panstation, of course.)

The LFO has the usual suspects, and four rhythm patterns, one of which you can hear in this demo:

Phosphor to Filterstation by Chris Randall

In that demo, you hear Phosphor dry for a measure, then three measures of the 914 types in true stereo, being modded by the LFO on Pattern 3. I am sweeping both filters via the link knob (the little box between the "1" and "2" boxes in the image above), which is what is causing the general sweep from high to low.

We've also taken the opportunity to (finally!) implement our own preset handling mechanism that is separate from the host. So presets can now be dealt with like any other file, and they are completely cross-DAW, cross-OS. Very excited about this.

EDIT: As Adam pointed out in the comments, I forgot what is maybe the most nifty part. We're utilizing the "one base plug, multiple iterations" feature of VST3; when you install Filterstation, in a VST3 host it'll actually show up as 2 plug-ins: Filterstation, and Filterstation Sidechain. The latter has a sidechain input to the envelope follower, so you can key the filter freq off the level of another track as a send. Very cool.

Anyhow, the Windows VST3 is pretty much done except for little stupid things. We're using Steinberg's provided VST2.4 and AU wrappers this time, and this is a first for us, so we're not sure how well everything is going to work out. You'll know when I do. So I don't have a time-frame for release, and we haven't settled on a price. But "soon" and "not much" are both perfectly acceptable answers for both those questions.


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Sep.14.2011 @ 3:36 PM
Adam Schabtach
@noisegeek: Yes, it has no delays. It was hard, but we managed somehow. And yes, doing a filter plug-in has been discussed here for a long time, and probably even longer here at AD HQ. We had to wait for the proper alignment of the stars or something.

Y'all have me to blame for us not doing a proprietary preset mechanism sooner. CR has been trying to talk me into that for years and I've dragged my heels. Now that we're building three different versions of plug-ins, though, I caved in. It makes far more sense for us to have one preset mechanism for all formats (and both OSes). But as CR said, grafting it onto existing products would be nearly impossible, and will happen only when major rewrites occur for other reasons.

On the other hand, I will seize the opportunity to point out that CR neglected to mention one of the niftiest features of this new plug-in: there will be a side-chain version wherein the envelope follower responds to a separate signal. This means you can do funky stuff like putting a pair of filters on a pad and keying them with a drum track. This will definitely be a feature of the VST3 and AU versions, which are able to support such things gracefully. I don't know yet how it's gonna play out in the VST2 version; it's possible that it will work only in hosts with flexible routing, e.g. Live.


Sep.14.2011 @ 6:15 PM
Are those orange dots a seq ? They are kinda small.

Sep.14.2011 @ 6:19 PM
Chris Randall
They're an animated VU meter. Upper left is In L, upper right is In R, lower left is Out L, and lower right, well, you get the idea.


Sep.14.2011 @ 6:51 PM
Looks like the bizz! Love the clear and simple layout.

I have a Mutator and this looks like it could do some similar stereo goodness. Although the Mutator has independent envelopes for each channel. Did you consider doing that?

When you un-link the channels in the Mutator and set up the envelopes so they are only slightly different... stereo filter sweeps are just so nice!

- Hugo

- Hugo

Sep.14.2011 @ 7:16 PM
I have a Mutator also but I don't think it's going to stop me from buying this plug. Sounds great!

Sep.14.2011 @ 7:41 PM
Looks top notch.

My credit card is waiting.

Sep.14.2011 @ 8:12 PM
So, when do we get to hear the face melting? Are things as face melty as the filter in my little Monotron?

Sep.15.2011 @ 1:17 AM
>I miss the attitude and playfulness of ADs older interfaces - the new ones look like clones to me.<

But I can read them. I was trying to use Kombinat the other day and literally can't read it. I'm old.

Sep.15.2011 @ 3:47 AM
raoul duke
+1 Bongo X!

This just looks perfect.

I think the days of making UI's for effects like this look like cute hardware are surely coming to an end?

I love the simple look and feature set.

My card is at the ready.

Sep.15.2011 @ 10:37 AM
You dropped a tease on us about 3 weeks ago (Fs qd1 on Soundcloud). How did you get the LFO rate to modulate like that? Were you using automation on the rate, with sync off?

Or maybe I'm not clear on how this rhythm pattern thing works.

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