This month, I want to take a closer look at two essential delay plug-ins for iOS-based producers. Both are $3.99 and in the AUv3 format, making them well worth their purchase prices, since each encompasses a wider range of uses beyond their typical applications.
Bram Bos’s synths and drum modules have generated a passionate following among iPad-based producers, thanks to their elegant interfaces and impressive sonic detail. Kosmonaut is his first foray into AUv3 effects and for a delay, it covers all but the most exotic applications (see Fig. 1). It has an array of four taps (each with feedback, volume, and panning), as well as dedicated modules for auto-panning and looping, plus a spacious hall reverb, and the Haas effect.
While the four delays are hardwired in a parallel configuration, each offers discrete control over time, volume, panning, and feedback. A pair of filters (non-resonant lowpass and highpass) can be applied to all four delays as a group, with a simple triangle-sine LFO for sweeping their cutoffs.
The auto-panner, Haas processor, and reverb are equally straightforward with basic parameters for each, so it’s hard to get lost in the interface. And the tape-style looper offers up to two bars (eight beats) of recording. The included presets are top-notch, and if those aren’t enough, there is a Randomize button that you can tap until something catches your ear.
Kosmonaut isn’t particularly deep, but that’s not the point. Instead, it’s a utility effect with delay and ambience tools that lets you quickly nail a sound, so you can keep your production workflow in motion.
AUDIO DAMAGE DISCORD4
Discord4 is another iOS multi-effect that includes dual delays, a pair of multimode filters, and a reverb (see Fig. 2). But the primary emphasis here is on a pair of pitch-shifters that can operate in three modes: Vintage (a classic Eventide emulation), Modern, and Granular (useful for experimental effects). A pair of LFOs with continuously variable shapes can be assigned to a wide range of parameters, with independent depths for each destination.
Here, the focus is squarely on power and flexibility, with an attention to detail that includes the ability to set the pitch-shifters’ sample buffers independently for either vintage authenticity or to get digital artifacts. Assigning the dual LFOs to the pitch-shifters and delays simultaneously makes it a powerful chorus/ensemble effect, too.
This means rolling up your sleeves and diving into its interface, since there are only 20 presets that barely scratch the surface of Discord4’s deep capabilities. The whole package is fairly vast for its sub-five-dollar price—a fraction of the cost for the desktop version.
Speaking of the desktop versions, Discord4 for iOS is fully compatible with the VST/VST3/AU/AAX plug-in for OS X and Windows. So, if you’re already a fan of those, this is a no-brainer.
While there’s a bit of overlap between these two iOS effects, with Kosmonaut offering four delays and Haas tools and Discord4 specializing in pitch-shifting, the fact that you can buy both for less than $10 and have all your delay bases covered means you don’t really have to decide after all.
4-tap stereo delay. Auto-panner. Reverb. Haas effect. 2-bar looper. Dual-filters for delayed signals.
Taps strictly parallel configuration.
STRENGTHS Dual pitch shifters, delays, multimode filters. Reverb. 2 LFOs. Preset compatibility with Mac/Win versions.
LIMITATIONS Only 20 presets.
Francis Preve has been designing synthesizer presets professionally since 2000. Check out his soundware company at symplesound.com.