Good-quality filters can work wonders on a variety of sound sources, from raw synth oscillators to beats and vocals, carving out a niche in the frequencies that helps bring the sound to life. Yet many of the filter effects built-in to most DAWs can be somewhat pedestrian in their sound quality and modulation options. In steps WOW2 from Sugar Bytes, the long-awaited follow-up to the original, easy-to-use filter plug-in.
Manufacturer Sugar Bytes
WOW2 is a significant upgrade that brings a host of new features and an exquisite new interface, plus a number of new, high-quality filter and distortion algorithms. The GUI is split into two, with the presets displayed on the left and the filter section on the right. It’s surprisingly small, but don’t let that mislead you – there’s an incredible amount of power under the hood. Its diminutive size is mainly due to the fact that many of the functions are symbol-based to save on space, making the deep modulation section initially quite daunting.
However, it doesn’t take long to work things out, and the excellent visual feedback helps to show how each element is being modulated. The main section features controls for Dry/Wet, Level, Cutoff, Resonance, Vowel Mode and Distortion, with a choice of seven distortion types, 21 filter types and nine vowel shapes. All of these parameters can be modulated by right-clicking to open the Mod Assign, as well as through MIDI Learn.
There are plenty of filter types to help shape your sound including some squelchy Moog Ladder and Diode MS types with 4x oversampling, and each can utilise Vowel mode, whereby the Cutoff control morphs between two different vowel sounds. The distortion section is also especially tasty, comprising three warm-sounding analogue-modelled distortions and four digital distortions that can be placed pre- and post-filter. However, where WOW2 really excels is in the four modulation engines: the envelope follower, LFO, step sequencer and wobble generator (lifted from the Cyclop synth). These really bring the plug-in to life and can even be assigned to modulate each other.
If you’re in need of a fat, analogue-sounding filter, we highly recommend checking out this little beast.
A beautiful-sounding filter plug-in that’s fun to program, with an excellent GUI and surprisingly complex modulation section.