DSP Effects Plug-ins

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With the increase in both desktop and laptop computing power, more and more digital signal processing has moved "inside the box." Both bread-and-butter effects (EQ, compression, and reverb) and specialty processing (distortion, vocoding, and pitch shifting) are available in all popular formats and at a variety of price points. Of course, EM has been on the job from the beginning, keeping you abreast of the latest and greatest.

While the emphasis in these articles is on native software plug-ins, which rely solely on your computer's CPU, much of what is covered applies equally to external effects processors and plug-ins that rely on DSP accelerator hardware for most or all of their processing. Whatever your setup for effects processing, you'll find this month's picks useful and informative.

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The January 2005 Editors' Picks dealt with compression as well as where to place plug-ins in the signal path. This month's picks include a roundup of EQ plug-ins, an article on creative uses for common plug-ins, and an in-depth look at de-essing. But, that only scratches the surface. A search of the current EM online article database for "DSP Plug-Ins" turns up 185 entries, which include how-to articles, basic theory, surveys of Windows and Mac plug-in formats, and product comparisons and reviews. So don't stop with the Editors' Picks: use our search engine and have a look for yourself.

Plug in to Creativity
How to use ordinary plug-ins for extraordinary results.
Feb 01, 2000, Electronic Musician, By Peter Freeman
Bassist and composer Peter Freeman describes his favorite creative uses for distortion, filter, vocoder, reverb, and pitch shifter plug-ins on a variety of audio material.

Plugging into EQ
How to choose and use an EQ plug-in.
Oct 01, 2003, Electronic Musician, By Nick Peck
Composer and sound designer Nick Peck compares six popular EQ plug-ins as well as discusses where to use them and how to make the right choice.

Silencing Sibilance
How much "s" is enough.
Apr 01, 2000, Electronic Musician, Brian Knave
Language without sibilants would be unintelligible, but too much of a good thing can ruin a vocal track. Purging unwanted sibilance is a tricky application of selective compression, and special de-esser plug-ins are designed specifically for that task. Brian Knave shows you how to use them without overusing them.