Review: Sugar Bytes WOW2 Filter

Sporting a rather radical interface and an impressive set of features, WOW2 by Sugar Bytes is a filter fx plugin that intrigued us immediately! Mo Volans investigates it further in this review.  

Sugar Bytes are one of those companies that always manage to turn out something a little left of center. Ever since they released their excellent Effectrix plug-in, I’ve invariably paid close attention to their press releases. When WOW2 hit my inbox, I knew it was something I should check out.


Although WOW2 is essentially just a filter plug-in, its interface alone is enough to stop you in your tracks. Let’s take a look at its feature set and see if it offers something over the other filters in your collection. 



Solid Pedigree

Sugar Bytes have always been highly respected as a company that put together some quality products. They’ve got a pretty extensive product list, but Effectrix and Cyclops have to be some of their standout creations. 

The original WOW filter plug-in

The original WOW filter plug-in.


The original WOW filter plug-in was highly regarded and received killer reviews all over the place. The WOW2 has already been picked up by some of the biggest electronic artists including Skrillex, Boys Noise and Mouse On Mars.


Interface And Operation 

WOW2’s interface is slicker than its predecessor and manages to cram more information into the same space, thanks to the use of clever LED style displays and multi-function controls. It seems to pack a lot into its small frame whilst remaining uncluttered. A pretty clever trick. 

WOW2’s interface is slicker and well proportioned

WOW2’s interface is slicker and well proportioned.


Operation is intuitive and I found myself picking new filter models and even routing modulation mappings without reaching for the manual or loading up a preset. In fact I created my first few custom presets within minutes of loading WOW2 up. This should appeal to both the beginner and pro who craves instant gratification.

To get going, you pick your filter type in the center of the interface (of which there are 22 in total) and then start to apply cut-off, resonance and a distortion type of your choice. You can then add drive and balance the dry and wet signal. This is all pretty standard for a filter plug-in and most of us will be pretty familiar with the process.

WOW2’s extensive filter types

WOW2’s extensive filter types.


The real magic occurs when modulation is applied and this is perhaps WOW2’s most interesting aspect. Although the mod section is packed into a pretty small space, there are actually several different modes here, including an LFO, envelope follower, step mod and vocal effect. I got great results from all of them and found that WOW2 is capable of some truly extreme effects when pushed. 

The modulation section is impressive

The modulation section is impressive.


Sound And Conclusion

WOW2 sounds great, there is no doubt about it. Personally, I tend to opt for pretty straightforward filter plug-ins when I need a lowpass or highpass, but if you need something a little more complex with a richer feature set, then WOW2 could be the perfect candidate. 

It offers almost synth like features and modulation options within a very compact format. The presets are an excellent way to showcase what WOW2 is capable of and is probably a good place to start when loading it up for the first time. 

Starting with WOW2’s presets can be a good way to learn the way the plug-in works.

Starting with WOW2’s presets can be a good way to learn the way the plug-in works.


If you are in the market for a cutting edge filter to use in more extreme sound design or full on electronic tracks, this will probably be ideal. WOW2 is certainly one of the most creative and interesting filter plug-ins I’ve tested so far. 

Web: http://www.sugar-bytes.de/content/products/WOW2/

Mo has been a professional in the music industry for around 15 years. He has released material with the world's leading record labels and also produces music for TV and Film. Mo is also a prolific writer and is a regular contributor to magazines such as Music Tech, Future Music and EQ magazine. There isn't a piece of music software tha... Read More

Discussion

jaredf
I've had a really hard time getting WOW2 to sound the same as WOW1. Mainly when trying to use the formant settings.

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