AUDIO DAMAGE KOMBINAT
TOTAL WAVEFORM DESTRUCTION
When you take the concept of multiband EQ/filtering and apply it to distortion, you get the four-in-one toolbox, Kombinat. Available in VST for Windows and Audio Units/VST for Mac OS 10.4.1 or later, the structure is laid out left to right through a simple performance-oriented GUI. The Isolator section is a DJ-style band-kill EQ that splits the incoming signal into high, mid and low bands. Knobs are provided for adjusting the high and low crossover points, while Illuminated on/off switches allow you to perform cuts of each band. It does lack momentary select and band-solo switches. From there, the signal travels to three distortion engines that work in multimode (one processor per EQ band) or in series, whereby the distortion engines feed each other cumulatively. Algorithms include fuzz (from the company''s popular Fuzz+ plug-in), saturation, clipping, distortion, warp, ring-mod (with variable oscillator shape) and sampling rate reduction/bit-crusher effects. A 4-pole lowpass filter with self-oscillating resonance control and analog-style compressor complete the provisions.
Kombinat benefits any signal but particularly vocals, bass and guitar. Material containing a full-frequency spectrum lets you put all three bands to work in creative ways. It was fun to ring-mod the low end, saturate the mids and bit-reduce the high end of a thrashing techno loop, for instance. At high gain levels, the filters can overdrive to the point of breaking up and becoming totally unpredictable. I particularly like the one-knob operation of the compressor, making it quick to dial in “pump” based on feel—a boon for live use. Speaking of which, every parameter can be automated or externally controlled. Sadly, only the VST version responds to MIDI CC messages, providing actual MIDI learn functionality.
KOMBINAT > $49
At a glance: Multiband distortion, lowpass filter, compressor and DJ-style EQ in one combo toolbox. VST and Audio Units.