The latest Max for Live offering from Amazing Noises is a duo of randomization-driven effects processors, dubbed Chaos Effects. Dedalus Delay offers a range of grain-mangling meta-sequenced parameters, while Stutter Switch is a twisted tremolo-based distortion.
The core of Dedalus Delay consists of three different delay modes: an unsynchronized dual delay in Free mode, a synchronized dual delay in Sync mode, and a Pitch mode that allows for delay time to be aligned with a harmonic frequency corresponding to note values. Each of these modes is run through a granular delay network controlled by the Grain division, Scrub rate, and Scrub LFO randomization, all of which quickly result in a range of effects, from pleasantly noisy clouds of audio dispersion to talkative robotic ornamentation at shorter delay times.
A real-time visual display precedes the High and Low pass filters which come in handy when reining in the more extreme frequencies Dedalus can easily produce; a Prefilter dial allows the original dry signal to be sent through the same filtration circuit. Extreme Feedback signals can be generated at values higher than 1, with a Feedback Dampening dial in place to tame these as needed; a pre-delay Overdrive circuit is included, along with a friendly Limiter to ensure some degree of safety. Overall dampening is achieved by selecting the high shelf cutoff value with the Dampening Frequency knob and dialling back the Dampening Attenuation value as needed.
Delivering nebulous noise structures and sinister cybernetic flourishes strictly using the controls already outlined, Dedalus excels with dedicated modulation control available for every parameter in the unit. Modulation can be viewed and edited by clicking the display arrow at the right of the device and then clicking the desired parameter. Each parameter can be modulated by an LFO offered in the usual waveforms, either freely oscillating or synchronized to the global BPM—or by a fairly intricate sequencer. Each dedicated parameter sequencer can have up to 64 steps, with rates ranging from 4 bars to 1/128 notes sync'd, or free with Hz ranges, and can be played in multiple directions. The sequencer Randomization and Scramble amount help you get started, though drawing the steps in is easy enough.
The second Chaos Effect makes inventive use of a delay line that divides incoming audio into “Switches”: imagine an on-off switch toggled on your signal path. These interruptions in amplitude are the foundation of the powerful distortion device that takes the form of Stutter Switch.
Free, Sync, and Pitch modes again offer three basic approaches to segmenting the audio, with a Switch Ratio determining the extremity of amplitude transformation, along with Randomization, Overdrive (with Limiter), and Envelope Follower options. Four probabilistic Stutter controls refine the potentially complex rhythmic output.
The central display area shows the curve shape applied to the Switches, with Attack, Decay, dual Curve, and Mirror controls shaping the onset, sustain, and release of the Switches.
A morphing LP-BP-HP Filter with adjustable Q, Minimum and Maximum frequency constraints, and a sweepable 12–24 dB Order control is combined with Dampening controls to further hone the tonality, while a Filter Dry/Wet allows for parallel processing. A Random Pan control expands the stereo result, while the effect mode can be toggled between a full Gate, or an Insert mode that layers the gated Switches with the unprocessed signal.
Greater than the sum of its parts, the intricacies of programming Stutter Switch lend it to a range of applications, from extreme sonic degradation to exquisite micro-rhythmic fluctuations.
Beauty From Chaos
Bundled with a healthy dose of presets to get you started, Dedalus Delay and Stutter Switch form an impressively versatile duo of unique sound design tools—well worth the reasonable entry price for anyone looking to add to their arsenal of FSU effects.
Price: $39 USD
Pros: Stunningly unique results, fast—and on a budget.
Cons: Not particularly intuitive; no Info View text integration.