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From mild tone-shaping or adding a bit of grit to full-on total waveform destruction, Kombinat Dva, the long-awaited sequel to the popular Kombinat plug-in, is a complete toolbox of sonic warfare.
With 13 different options in each of the three distortion engines (plus pass-through), Kombinat Dva is capable of sophisticated and unique sounds. Want to add a ring mod to the low end, a mild tube clip to the mids, and a bit-reduction algorithm to the high end? No problem. Want to run your signal through three sine-warps or fuzz algorithms in series? This is your box.
Kombinat's signal structure allows for a fairly broad palette of sounds, as each segment of the overall effect is a versatile tool in its own right. On the front end is a full "DJ-style" band-killer EQ; this leads to the three distortion engines, which may be used in multi-band mode for subtle surgery, or in series mode for complete signal destruction. The engines go in to a two- or four-pole lowpass filter of our own design, and then in to a compressor which we have configured for one-control operation.
Taken as a whole, Kombinat is a tweaker's paradise, yet designed so that it is easy to just grab one of the 80 presets and touch it up a bit to suit the source material.
Kombinat Dva Features:
- Crossover: Kombinat Dva features a DJ-style three-band isolator EQ for band-killing effects and extreme tone-carving on the front end. This leads to the three distortion engines, which can be run in crossover (multi) mode, or in series.
- Multiple Distortion Types: Kombinat Dva adds six new algorithms to the seven in the original Kombinat, for a total of 13 paths to destruction. From subtle tube-style clipping to the bizarre distorto-delay of the Nerd Rage algorithm, Kombinat Dva can cover all the bases without unnecessary complexity.
- Feedback: If the algorithms weren't enough, Kombinat Dva has an internal feedback control, tied to an envelope follower. Results may vary, but are always hairy.
- Filter: Kombinat Dva has a resonant low-pass filter on the output that self-oscillates at high Q like the original Kombinat, but also adds a second low-pass type, and a bypass.
- One-Kontrol Kompressor: A favorite feature of the original Kombinat, the one-knob compressor, tuned for collapsing distorted signals to roadkill, remains in Kombinat Dva. Except it's a slider now, and "one slider compressor" doesn't sound as cool.
- Presets: Kombinat Dva includes the 40 presets from the original, plus 40 all-new presets that take advantage of the new engines and feedback, for a total of 80 presets.
- MIDI Learn: MIDI Learn on every control (VST only) allows you full hardware control over Kombinat Dva.
Reviewed By Sendy
March 2, 2012
If, like me, you like getting into the atomic structure of a beat and detonating catoclysmic explosions within, this is the perfect weapon. Perfect for trashing up classic breaks or making simple loops wheeze and whine! For what I consider a cheap effect, there are *lots* of effects here, and they combine in intriguing ways. The band-splitting and re-adding process seems to be transparent and you can get killswitch effects by turning a band entirely off. Automating the band edges can create weird filtering effects, and "growing" distortions which swallow up more and more of the spectrum.
There are lots of effects you can patch into each of the three bands, and several of them have a unique twist, for example the bit-crush effect has a unique "error" parameter which seems to scatter the bits at random. This is good for breaking up the symmetric formant sound you get with a typical samplerate reduction. I love all of the effects, but when operating on narrow frequency ranges, it can be hard to bring the nuance you want out. At times I wished for more unique effects, because they can sound similar to eachother in some situations.
That said, I love this effect! It has so much crushing power, it'll satisfy your most sadistic streak! Cue evil laughter!!!!! There are also a few extras which I knew about, but effected the complexity of the effect a lot more than I was expecting. The 2-mode resonant LPF, and the feedback.. Simply dialling in some feedback will add the output of the effect to it's imput, creating a thick layer of grunge, a bass boost, a squirrelly whistle, or even add that mystical "wetness" to filter sweeps. Altering the gain stages of the effects is also possible, and will really have an overall effect on the balance of the sound and how it comes across. Pretty powerful stuff!
I don't know why, but changing the filter mode seems to change the sound of the effects section. I think it effects the internal wiring of the modules or something, but it's good for checking out a quick variation of your current effect. Mode B tends to be a lot rougher and peakier, but it's a crap-shoot.
For all it's brutality, this effect has me coming back for the subtleties it can create. I'm using it 99% for breaks and loops, and multiband effects are an amazing way to add a detailed signiture to something and make it special. I don't mean special asin adding effects for the sake of it, either, this thing can really bring out special nuances, and when you sweep the filter, you're getting a complex effect that you wouldn't get by putting a filter after it in the signal chain. As I'm a sucker for filtersweeps on beats and the art of tweaking them to perfection, it almost feels like this was made for me :)
Finally, there's a pre-output single-fader compressor. Small values will level things out and tidy up any mess, large values make it pump and wheeze like an asthmatic in peril. Not bad for a single control effect!
My one gripe with this effect is that you're a bit limited about where you can put the boundaries of the bands. The lower boundary is restricted to the lower half of the spectrum, and the higher one likewise stays in the high half. I don't know if this is an optimization thing, and it's not a huge limit by any means, but it does rule out some of the more experimental things I wanted to try. I was going to mark this down to a 9 for that, but I don't feel it deserves it. If the Audio Damage guys could eventually move this limitation, and maybe add (even more) effects to the band insert list, this effect would be even better; but as it is, it's still pure gold-dust and worth every penny of it's entrance fee.Read more