Download of the Month: PhoneMon 1.0 - EMusician

Download of the Month: PhoneMon 1.0

PhoneMon 1.0 is one of several freeware plug-ins from Bermudan software designer Ralph Gonzalez (www.geocities.com/rgonzale1/audio/vst). PhoneMon is inserted
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PhoneMon 1.0 is one of several freeware plug-ins from Bermudan software designer Ralph Gonzalez (www.geocities.com/rgonzale1/audio/vst). PhoneMon is inserted in the master channel of your audio sequencer to emulate four common listening environments through your studio speakers or headphones: Earbud (light bass and treble), Boombox (mid-bass peak), 2" Speaker (light bass and treble cut), and Boom & Tizz (peaky bass and treble). PhoneMon also sports a simple reverb and low- and high-frequency trim controls for headphone compensation. You can get similar results from an EQ plug-in, but PhoneMon is fast and does a credible job.

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Badamp 2.1.2 is a guitar amp-and-cabinet simulator. It lacks the versatility and polish of high-end simulators like Native Instruments Guitar Rig 2 and Line 6 Amp Farm, but all the right stuff is lurking under the hood. Multimod 1.2 is a tremolo and delay-based effect. You get sine-, triangle-, and square-wave tremolo (amplitude modulation) shapes with depth and frequency controls. Two feedback delay lines with modulators supply a variety of flange, phase, and resonator effects.

NewWave and Static round out Broken Light's effects offerings. Static is a threshold-based noise generator. Signals above the threshold level cause noise bursts proportional to the triggering signal's level. Lo Cut, Hi Cut, and Sparse knobs shape the noise; the Sparse knob affects granularity, producing anything from static to white noise. NewWave is another threshold effect. It replaces incoming audio with a square, sine, or triangle wave if it's above the threshold level and within a passband set by the Lo Cut and Hi Cut controls. You can transpose the output's pitch and mix in a second oscillator with its own pitch offset. The pitch tracking is pretty touchy, but the results are interesting if you're not after precision.

Broken Light offers two basic synths. Noiseonator is a noise generator with a MIDI-controlled bandpass filter. MIDI Notes set the filter's center frequency, and an ADSR envelope shapes the noise further. Drumlet is a pulse-wave and noise drum synth with built-in feedback delay. Although it produces only one sound at a time, you can restrict its MIDI Note range and set triggering to Note On or Note Off messages. If your host permits it, you can run several instances of Drumlet in parallel to build a viable drum machine.

All the Broken Light plug-ins were created in Synthedit and have a home-brew quality. Documentation is sparse, usually limited to short About notes accessed from the control panel. No guarantees are given or implied, but the price is nice.