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electronic MUSICIAN

Download of the Month: U-he MFM2 (Mac/Win)

By Len Sasso | May 1, 2008

MFM2 ($79) is a reincarnation of Urs Heckmann's first VST plug-in, More Feedback Machine. It could be subtitled “Everything you always wanted from a delay effect and a few things you probably didn't.” It starts with four stereo delay lines and a four-by-four feedback matrix that lets you feed the output of any delay to the inputs of any combination of the others as well as itself. Needless to say, the feedback can get out of control in a hurry, and, fortunately, there's a large Panic button. Six factory feedback-matrix presets also help keep you out of trouble.

Each MFM2 delay has its own multimode filter, which you can insert at seven points in the delay signal path: at the left, right, or summed input; at the left or right dry output; at the delayed output; and between the delay and the feedback matrix. Each pair of delays also has a multi-effects processor with five effects: SoftClip, Decimate, Phaser, SideBand, and Filter. Unless bypassed, the effects always come between the delay and the feedback matrix. My favorite is SideBand. It's a frequency shifter that shifts all the harmonics (sidebands) of the signal by the same amount, thereby distorting their harmonic relationship and producing a clangorous effect. A 4-band modulation matrix lets you route various MIDI messages, four built-in LFOs, and two multisegment envelope generators to virtually any MFM2 parameter. Furthermore, you can modulate the modulation amounts by the same sources.

MFM2's flexible feedback system coupled with delay times as short as 1 ms, sync to tempo, and sync to pitch make MFM2 ideal for resonator effects as well as long multitap sequences (see Web Clip 1). The large, categorized collection of factory presets is a great starting point for exploring MFM2. From subtle to extreme delay effects, you won't find a more capable or reasonably priced plug-in. A demo version for both platforms is available from the u-he Web site (u-he.com).

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