The creative application of lo-fi aesthetics, distortion and saturation has become a standard in modern music production. It is what gives an otherwise squeaky-clean digital recording some musical character, which may sound bland without it .
To that end, developer Thenatan presents Vybz – a sort of a Swiss Army knife multi-effects plug-in that’s all about creative audio degradation.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more complete audio mangling plug-in without getting into some seriously complicated stuff. Vybz features the following modules:
- Texture – a collection of 9 noises and textures plus the ability to insert your own samples. You also get Duck, High-pass and Low-pass controls so you can skillfully place the noise and textures in your mix for a subtle thickening effect.
- III Verb – 3 types of reverb with Freeze mode (creates a continuous sustained reverb effect), Mono/Stereo modes, and HP/LP filters.
- Convolution reverb – IR-based reverb with a collection of 30 impulse responses covering chambers, plates, reversed reverbs, unusual spaces, and other kinds of ambience. You can import your own IR files as well.
- Echo – tempo-synced delay with Feedback and Color controls, along with a chorus effect.
- Damage – 4 kinds of algorithmic distortion and 1 waveshaper module.
- Reducer / Bit Crusher – sample rate and bit depth reducer.
- Time Machine – modeled EQ effects recreating the frequency response of older recording mediums like VHS, reel-to-reel, and casette tape.
- Drop-Out – mutes audio at random intervals for stutter effects. Has Mix, Sync, and Frequency controls.
- Motion – stereo widening and panning effects.
- II Band – a transparent-sounding two-band equalizer with a real-time visualizer. Probably helps to bring those audio defects back into musical shape.
- Dynamic EQ – combines an EQ and compressor to deliver de-essing and frequency control effects, such as taming harsh highs and boomy lows.
- Envolution – emulates different types of speakers with their acoustics and environments.
- LFO matrix for the reverb and delay effects.
That’s a lot of stuff to get into. Thankfully, the scalable user interface looks intuitive and helps make sense of what’s going on. Just make sure you don’t try all of the effects at the same time too often, and you’re bound to come up with something good!
Price and availability
Thenatan Vybz is sold at an introductory USD 29.50, down from the regular USD 79.50 price. The plug-in is availale in VST, VST3 and AU formats for 32/64-bit Windows computers and 64-bit Mac computers. It is not compatible with macOS Big Sur, however. There’s also no AAX version for Pro Tools. So not for everybody.
You can check out the Vybz in the demo videos below, or click the link for more information.