FuzzPlus 3 review – Audio Damage drop some free fuzz

Download from iTunes App StoreAs I posted earlier today, Audio Damage have released another interesting iOS music app this week – Phosphor 2 is their first synth offering – to follow up on a very rapid release schedule that has included Rough Rider 2, Grind Distortion, Eos 2, Dubstation 2 and Replicant 2, all within the last few weeks. However, while Phosphor 2 might be the headline new release, it’s not the only own; we also get FuzzPlus 3 :-)

As the name might suggest, FuzzPlus 3 is a fuzz/distortion effect and, while Audio Damage already have the somewhat more up-market Grind Distortion in their iOS catalogue, FuzzPlus 3 is – yay! – a free download. Yep, like Rough Rider 2 (a compressor), FuzzPlus 3 provides a kind of stompbox-style (actually a bit more sophisticated than your average fuzz box pedal) approach and, if you like the iOS version, then you can also grab the desktop version if that might be useful to you….  that’s also free.

FuzzPlus 3 – get fuzzy for free from Audio Damage.

Cause a buzz with a new fuzz

The app is a 15MB download, universal in nature, requires iOS9.3 or later and runs as either a standalone app or via AU. The UI is slick but pretty straightforward. Five rotary controls dominate the display and, above these, you get a live waveform display which serves to illustrate just how fuzzed-up your audio input is getting.

There is not (as far as I can see) any manual for the app but the controls are pretty simply to find your way around. The Frequency dial seems to operate as a low pass filter, allowing you to shave off some of the top-end if you want to warm up the effect rather than go for a buzzy-bee sound and works very well. The Resonance knob (surprise!) adds some resonance around the filter cutoff frequency.

The app works standalone… but is obviously most useful when used via AU… as shown here within Cubasis.

The amount of distortion is controlled by the Distortion knob but you can also feed the signal back on itself via the Feedback control and this piles on some extra distortion if you need it. Depending upon how you combine these controls – and whether you set the effect up as an insert or as a send – you can go from pretty subtle ‘touch of grit’ through to full-on (almost beyond control) fuzzy mayhem (in a good way). Obviously, the Output knob controls the final output level….  and perhaps the only extra it would have been great to see was a wet/dry knob so, even when used as an insert, you could blend the clean/processed signal to taste. I’m not going to complain though….  this is a freebie after all.

Warm and fuzzy feeling

I had no technical issues using the app and, while it worked fine standalone, most iOS music makers are going to slot in the AU plugin into their favourite AU host. I tried the app with Cubasis and AUM without any problems…  and I would assume it would work just as well with other popular AU hosts. There are no presets included with the app but, with such a simple control set, that’s not such a big deal (and it is free!) and, in AUM at least (although not Cubasis), I was able to create my own.

Multiple instances of fuzz? No problem…. as shown here within AUM.

What about the sound? Well, I gave the app a spin with some drums, bass, guitars and vocals, both as an insert and as a send. If I really wanted to crunch things up, then the insert route worked just fine. However, if I just wanted to add a little edge, then you get more control using the app as a send effect. This worked particularly well with vocals if you wanted to just add a grungy edge to the sound. However, FuzzPlus 3 does mayhem very easily and if you want to take your big beats or bass and get all Nine Inch Nails with them, then this is a very simple way to do it.

In summary

And really that’s all there is to say…. FuzzPlus 3 does exactly what is says on the tin…. and as a free download, this is a remarkably cool little app….  Even if only for very occasional use, I can’t see why any iOS musician wouldn’t want to find a spot on the iOS device for it.

Check out the two demo videos below, one of the desktop version and one of the iOS plugin from Doug over at TheSoundTestRoom….  and then hit the App Store download button to find out more. And, while you are picking up a freebie, do check out Audio Damage’s other apps (including the brand new Phosphor 2 synth); this is a developer on a seriously good iOS roll….

FuzzPlus 3

Download from iTunes App Store

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