App Tip: Flux FX

Extreme Signal Processing!
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Extreme Signal Processing!
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Extreme signal processing courtesy of an extreme guitar master

It is safe to say, Adrian Belew knows effects: For decades, the guitarist has used a variety of pedals and rack units to creatively mangle sounds for solo projects, or with David Bowie, King Crimson, Nine Inch Nails, and others. Collaborating with engineer Daniel Rowland, mobile strategists MOBGEN, and software developers Elephantcandy as NOIISE, Belew has developed FLUX:FX ( $19.99 at iTunes)—a sonic processing iPad app unlike any other. FLUX:FX specializes in real-time morphing of your audio signal through more than 30 effects, x/y pad manipulation of parameters, and sequencing that offers continually changing, hands-free parameter modulation.

1. Send your guitar signal or any sound source into the app and choose from the multitude of effects by dragging and dropping them in any order into up to five slots.

2. Use the x/y pad to engage, bypass, and/or modulate any parameters in each of the chosen effects. You can sweep filters, change bit rates, lengthen or shorten delays, and much, much more.

3. Modulate effect parameters with an envelope. Set for this mode, the attack strength of the note can determine things like reverb mix blend, fuzz amount, filter Q, etc.

4. Use one or more of the five loop effects to grab short sound bites, freeing hands to use the x/y pad. Modify the loop length and/or start point with the pad to create interesting sounds.

5. Create wild, moving sonic landscapes using the sequencing tool. It can record x/y movements as you perform them, or be step programmed.