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.15.2011 @ 10:48 AM
Chris Randall
@thechrisl: That's just the sine LFO shape, and I'm changing the rate via automation, as you surmised.


Sep.15.2011 @ 11:43 AM
So what will it sound like if I modulate the filter type with a Max4Live envelope?

Sep.15.2011 @ 11:52 AM
D' MacKinnon
"This means you can do funky stuff like putting a pair of filters on a pad and keying them with a drum track."


Sep.15.2011 @ 11:55 AM
Chris Randall
@chaircrusher: you'll have to find out for yourself. I don't have M4L.

(Which is odd, I'll grant. It seems like just the sort of thing I'd like, doesn't it?)


Sep.15.2011 @ 12:11 PM
@cr -- It is handy with Ableton Live to have Max4Live. I haven't gotten into programming it much but I do have a bunch of patches other people have done, and it means I can ditch the old school Pluggo now.

One thing I noticed when playing with the M4L LFO is that there are a lot of things in Axon that I might want to automate that don't get exposed as parameters.

Sep.15.2011 @ 6:43 PM
Adam Schabtach
@D'Mac: thanks. It was an idea I had shortly after we started working on this plug-in, while I was patching up something similar on my modular.


Sep.15.2011 @ 7:05 PM
Moog :)

Sep.15.2011 @ 7:57 PM
"there will be a side-chain version wherein the envelope follower responds to a separate signal."


You should do a side-chain version of Rough Rider Pro...

Sep.16.2011 @ 2:53 AM
Womps and trancegates all in one!

Jk, nice work Chris & Adam =-]

Sep.16.2011 @ 4:45 AM
mad ep
Tasty. I can't wait to run my cello through this...

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