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Review: Drastic DFX Quad
Sara Simms on Sat, August 18th | 0 comments
DFX Quad from Drastic Music is a multi-FX module for Ableton Live that lets you mangle and process your sound in some cool ways - and all for just $20. Sara Simms fired it up...

DFX-QUAD is a Multi-FX Max For Live device that allows for users to add quirky and interesting effects to their audio. There's a choice of nine effects available, and four effects can be chosen at a time. With all the effects devices that are already out there, would DFX-QUAD really be able to offer something different to producers? I put the device through its paces in an Ableton session to find out how DFX-QUAD transforms sound.

DFX-QUAD works with Ableton Live 10 Suite, but for any lower versions of Ableton an installation of Max for Live is required. Max for Live comes with Live Suite but it must be purchased as an add-on to be used with Live Standard. Those who want to use DFX-QUAD need to be willing to do the preparation work to get Max for Live working inside Ableton Live 9 or lower versions, or upgrade to Ableton Live Suite.

Modules

The device allows users to select from nine effects, including Bitcrusher, BeatDelay, Chorus, Convolution, Delay, Filter, Freeze, Reverb and Shifter and use up to four of these effects in the chain. There's also a variety of presets that are included, which are a helpful place to start out when applying DFX-QUAD's effects. Users can change signal flow routing on the fly and randomize the dry/wet for each module. The effects can be used individually, or up to four effects can be used at a time. Additionally, the audio signal can be tweaked on the fly via the master 'route' knob.

Each module has up to four parameters for effect modulation, and each module includes a bypass button, random (which allows you to randomize the knob values) and Dry/Wet.

Master FX Section

On the far right hand side of the device is the Master FX section. The routing of the order of the modules can be changed to affect the overall sound. For example, 1-2-3-4 will have the audio signal processed in that order and 1-4-2 will process the audio in that particular order. This section includes a Master Filter that's independent of the global dry/wet.

The Randomizer can be used manually to randomize parameter values in each module, along with the ‘auto’ mode which will randomize in sync with tempo, controllable via “Rate” knob.

Random options include Rate (the rate/beat division to which the randomizer changes the values of knobs/sliders), Random, which randomizes the module knob when pressed and Auto, which turns randomizer onto auto-pilot mode. Auto can be a useful feature for creating unpredictable effects on the fly.

There's also an Extra feature which randomizes dry/wet and bypass on the device. Lastly, Slide allows the user to select whether knobs 'Snap' to value or 'Slide' to value when on random mode. 


Conclusion

DFX-QUAD is a cool device that can be used to create unique effects for all kinds of audio including drums, vocals, loops, synths and more. I like the fact that there's a visualizer on the right hand side of the device that shows a graphic representation of the tweaks that are made. This device could also be used in a live performance, if the various parameters of the device were mapped to a MIDI controller. The effects themselves sound quite good, and the device's layout is well designed. With a price tag of only $20, DFX-QUAD is definitely worth a try.


Pros: Choose from nine effects to colour your audio
Can be used to create some truly far out sounding effects
Randomizer can be used to create unexpected effects

Cons:

 If you don't have Ableton Live Suite, setup with Max for Live requires a few extra steps. It would have been helpful if Drastic Music had included a extra page or two in their manual about how to setup Max for Live with Ableton Live Standard. 

Price: $20

Web: https://drasticmusic.com/dfxquad/

Learn more about Ableton and Max For Live: https://ask.audio/academy?nleloc=new-releases

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