quantum-fx by db audioware is billed as the ultimate audio effect system. In every way this lives up to it's promise. With quantum-fx, you instantly get 50+ excellent effects that cover a very broad range of needs. In addition, you have access to the 'workbench' which allows you to create your own effects from scratch or modify any of the existing effects to suit your particular needs. You even have control over the graphical interface.
The bundled effects are categorized under three headings: The Studio Pack, the Creative Pack, and the Classic Pack. Everything you need to mix, master and mangle is covered. I find the Creative Pack to be of particular interest since it's something very different. Each effect has a number of presets, and it's easy to create new ones.
The documentation covers just about what I'd expect. Because you have access to the 'source' of all the included plugins, the rest practically documents itself. If you're interested in learning about how various effects work, it's an invaluable amount of insight. Feel like experimenting? You can.
What is especially nice about quantum-fx is that the plugins actually feel and work exactly how you'd expect VST/DX plugins to work. Often times products that allow you to 'create' effects or instruments feel or work differently because of their modular nature. I applaud db audioware for following all the way through it's product implementation to make the overall user experience exactly what one would expect from a plugin.
I use both the VST and DX versions (depending on the host) and I've had no issues with stability.
From classic to interesting new effects, practically everything is covered in this plugin suite. Couple that with the ability to create, modify, take apart and assemble any of the effects included and you have an extremely powerful tool at your fingertips. Even if you never go any further than use the bundled effects, it's a very worthy addition to anyone's audio arsenal.
Having recently moved from Logic to Tracktion I needed a decent suite of ordinary fx since those supplied with Tracktion suck. Just things like delays, chorus, flange, compressor, a reasonable reverb and that sort of thing. Quantum-fx supplies several versions of all the basic fx I need, as well as some excellent creative oddities like 'ambient pads' and 'loadza filters'. In fact, these more distinctive fx are where quantum really shines, and the ability to build your own fx in a stable modular environment is mind-boggling. Some of the fx provide tempo control, added in a recent patch I think, and tempo syncs are available in the workbench too.
As an added bonus, ab-audioware has a library of new fx built by the company and third parties. Of particular interest to me are the new mastering tools, which are on a par with the best mastering processors I've heard.
Sound quality is faultless, reliability perfect and the CPU cost of even extremely complex fx is very economical.
Quantum FX does look a bit ugly, but once you get your head around the parameters for each effect, it becomes just a tool to do a job and the displays are clear enough. Like someone else said you can replace the graphics if you can be bothered, but its fine for me.
Quantum-fx isn't exactly cheap, but the quality and stability of all the fx seems to be well above that of freeware equivalents and as a one-stop set of usable fx, its unbeatable.
Luv it mate :)
Almost full marks from me - dropped 1 point from the GUI, but that's debatable as they went into such attention to detail that you can use your own backgrounds and sliders/knobs if you are that fussy. And it's easy to do it - I tried with some and it's a piece of cake - I've never done that type of thing before, but you just d/l the .bmps into the right folder, unlock the FX and edit in the workbench in one easy page. A stroke of genius.
Sounds - as basic as you want or as weird as you want. There are lots of different types of filters, mod FX, delays, dynamics (as multiband as you want too), sidechains, Eqs blah blah blah - there really isn't anything I can think of that isn't there. And almost all of them are very good quality - Possibly the Eq isn't up to the standards of things like Equium/firium, but for everyday use I find them up to the task - possibly I wouldn't use them at the final mix/master stage, but because the dynamics are so clean, you shouldn't really need Eq on your master (when you consider that if you want 10 multiband comp followed by a 15 multiband limiter you can have it - why should you need Eq?)
And the dynamics are good - they are more what I'd describe as clean rather than character - that was probably a deliberate policy to make them useable in any circumstance - if you want character comps then you have the ability to go into the workbench and add in your own subtle distortion or valve sim or Eq for the character.
Features - now has PDC, so no matter what host you use, Quantum will work with it. A totally modular setup - it has presets that are all very useable and cover the standard to the sublime, but if you want you can set up your own FX as in the SynthEdit style - building up FX blocks and chaining them together in any way you want (I do this with some trepidation, as you literally can do it in any order and connection that you want - so if you aren't sure what you're doing, you can explode your monitors with extreme ease!)
Presets - worth the purchase price on their own. Multifilter delays that can make a drumloop sound like a Tibetan Chime orchestra. Filtered overdrive that can make a standard bassline into a didgeridoo. Excellent guitar amps and FX, huge chorus, jet flanger etc etc etc. One of the newer presets that DB has included is a ducking delay - so very useful - can you think of any other delay that has that feature, and that can have its output also chorused, filtered, resonated, Eq'd and then limited just in case? Hmmmm?
And if it sounds a bit daunting editing your own FX block - you can do big variations on the presets by simply going in and editing the workbench settings without changing connections and it is made so easy - you almost don't need the manual, it's so intuitive for such a big idea.
VFM - might seem expensive, but for all those FX and the modular nature, it's a bargain. Collect all those as separates would cost several times the $299 and might not be as good quality!
Edit: Now V2 is out I had to add in some stuff.
SIDECHAINS! Might not sound incredible, but really is. You can make all of your own sidechained compressors (which are quickly catching on it seems). There's also a neat preset included which is a sidechain resonant filter . This is a good one to use if you're not sure how useful a sidechain can be. It use the input of a source channel (say a drumloop) to feed a filter to anything else. So you could use the loop to modulate a filter on a pad, or a vocal etc - exptrapolate that out, and you could make up a patch with some kind of vocoder that is modulated on a vocal with the loop as the source. You can use sidechains to have dynamic reverbs etc where the reverb decay time or level is fed from a copy of its own audio! Something like a reverb that is weaker on a strong signal (to avoid muddiness) but stronger on a weak signal (where it will be heard more easily. Or a reverb that has a big decay time on the strong snare hit, but shorter on the lesser hits, such as hats!
And the implementation of the sidechains is so easy. You load up 2 instances of the same FX; 1 on the source channel and one on the receiving channel, set 1 to send and 2 to receive within QFX. No more dicking around with quattro groups on Cubase. Now that has got to be a good thing. It means that QFX will be able to use sidechains in almost any host - even those that don't normally allow sidechaining.
And there are a couple of "premium FX". Hopefully this'll be developed further, because the new guitar amp Aura is a real beauty. It has very smooth overdrive, and the whole thing oozes quality and boxy cabinet sound. I've used it on drums and all sorts of things to good effect.
The whole V2 upgrade's alot smoother; it now feels like it's complete. No odd little glitches when loading FX with the host running, minor CPU improvements, slightly slinkier GUI - it feels like it's really come together in all the areas where it matters - the sound quality was always excellent
Bottom line, I needed a bunch of effects that can do a lot of sound warping and morphing. Quantum FX has many of what I was dreaming for, and all in very high quality. Add to that some really great mastering tools and you have an amazing package.
My only criticism is the Interface. It's kind of plain. I wish they could make an interface for this that looks something like Isotope's plugins. If you're looking for an amazing set of effects all in one place, look no further than Quantum FX. Arguably the best effects plugin one can get. It was/is for me.
One other note, excellent customer support!
Wow... what a suite!! This FX Bundle has everything you need and in top quality.
The dynamics are georgeous and I love the guitar & bass amps. But please - do yourself a favour download the demo and try out the creative bundle - it's absolutly stunning - try "sweeping overdrive" & "snipper"
it even comes with a decent reverb and loads of other stuff. but let's go into detail:
Mastering Limiter: just put it at the end of your fx-chain and forget worrying about clipping - this beast sounds so smooth. and it adds no distortion at all.
Sweeping overdrive: If you think you're background vocs sound a bit boring just put this effect on them and you'll love em.
Bright amp: woah - is there a vibroverb living in my PC? totally stunning, just like all the guitar amps in this suite. btw: give the acoustic doctor a try on dry acoustic guitar
But now face it... you can customize all these effects and you can even build your own with the included workbench. Even if you don't know anything about audio effects at all - it's very simple yet powerfull...
IMHO - the only fx bundle that's nescessary
the only things missing are PDC and "automatic bpm" (so that you don't have to set the tempo slider manually when the song changes/ or has a different tempo) but this'll be sorted out in the next release I guess.
Edit: PDC is available but the tempo thingy isn't but will follow with the next update
Latest 5 reviews from a total of 5