For fans of dub, there’s just nothing like a delay loop, with feedback cranked up and echoes going going going going going going going . . . okay, you get the idea. Our friends at Audio Damage have just created a US$39.95 plugin that gives you all you need for trippy dub effects:
Audio Damage Dubstation Plugin (Windows VST; Mac AU/VST)
The best part is the cell-shaded interface; it looks fantastic. And Dubstation covers all the basics: syncable dub echoes (on/off switch), reverse, low-cut filter, and analog-style repitching of echoes. I’ve really enjoyed Audio Damage’s work in the past: clean interfaces, some character to the sound (I’m still a fan of their “dark” reverb), and MIDI learn in the VST plugs.
Does this replace Logic Pro’s fantastic tape delay? No way. But, it’s also $960 cheaper and can run in Ableton Live, so sign me up!
More on dub:
History of the guys who didn’t use VST: Check out BBC’s excellent history of Dub, including its rightful ruler King Tubby. (See also BBC’s King Tubby tribute.) Audio samples included. You’ll also find a zillion links at Dub.com, and, yes, there is a Dub blog.
Thievery Corporation are among my favorite electronic artists right now; they’re a superb example of how you can take the influence of genres like Dub and make it your own. Their weapon of choice, not incidentally, for its deep library of sound design effects: Apple’s Logic Pro.
Of course, you’d better throw some extra tricks in there, because the best dub effects come straight from a tape recorder: the effect was acheived by taking advantage of the gap between the play head and the record head on a tape deck; the dubber literally fed the output signal back into the input of the tape to create endless loops. The only way to manipulate the length of that delay was to change the speed of the recorder, thus repitching the sound. With digital tools at our disposal, it seems only right to think up new twists with the technology we’ve got now.
Updated: As readers have pointed out, I flubbed this post as far as pointing to more music. Sorry, gang — the Thievery Corporation reference is just an example of someone taking the techniques of dub and applying it to genre-mixed sounds. Oh, and you can easily tell that they’re using Logic Pro.
I should have added links to Basic Channel, and the rich selection at Hard Wax of Berlin. Just make sure you have a turntable; those records do get mighty scratched up when you try to cram them into a CD player, let me tell you.