I was in the middle of a project and needed a specific effect to process voice samples with. Having had a good experience with Rough Rider pro, I went to Audio Damage and checked out the Discord 3 audio demos. Yep, this will do the job!
The UI is a touch different but simple enough to easily get around in. The documentation is plenty clear and a nice help. A very decent pile of presets ranging from subtle to psychotic (I prefer the psychotic). I found *exactly* the processing I needed inside 5 minutes!
It does a LOT more than the audio demos show. I've used this on 3 tracks since I bought it for some loop mangling and enhancement, so it's already paid for itself. Value for money? Definitely! I've had less flexible plugins that cost 2-3 times as much.
100% stable in Reaper, not a hiccup in hours of use.
I compose soundtrack/cinematic and ambient/dark ambient, so the ability to do more than one thing is a major selling point. Oh, and CPU usage is quite acceptable on my Toshiba dual-core Turion-2 laptop.
I haven't tried using my nanoKONTROL or MPK49 to tweak the parameters in realtime, so I can't comment there.
Worth a look if you're looking for a different kind of effect.
User Interface - Smooth 3-D, gray, yellow, and orange, not your everyday look, but not as ugly as it sounds either really. Super easy to use layout, despite the somewhat odd colors, high score for ease of use and layout. Once you learn how it all works a bit, you are extremely unlikely to get confused with such a linear layout.
Sound - The sound is a bit mixed, it's capable of some quality sounds, and capable of sounding a bit retro. I'll assume you are at least partly aware that Audio Damage is kind of into the retro/boutique sound to begin with. The pitch shifting has 2 modes, and the LFO's can be shaped seperately, as well as modulated for some wicked variations. This is a slightly left of center delay/filter/pitch shifter multifx, let's just leave it at that.
Features - Again we get slightly left of center for the feature set. Dischord 2 features dual everything, and some LFO features not often found, delay and shift those are. Also worth noting is the crossfeed controls on the delay, and the midi to pitch function for live use. As simple and straight forward as the GUI layout is, this one still packs quite a few features in really.
Documentation - Lemme look. There is a small .pdf included. The explanations seem pretty short, but with enough illustrations and plain speak to make it a competent manual. No complaints here.
Presets - Not very many presets, about 30 or so, but they cover a wide range of sounds, and definitely give you ideas of things to try with the less-than-common features. I guess I'd have to say it's quality over quantity here, although still a bit skimpy, let's say a 6, since I can't give it a 6.5
Customer Support - Chris Randall seems to deal with most of the customer support for Audio Damage, and to call him a fanatic, would hopefully only be a compliment. If you have a problem, they will find a solution for it, or you will get a refund.
Value For Money - This one is a tough call. As far as pitch shifters that do anything else, well, there's not a ton of competition that I'm aware of, and this one definitely offers more than just pitch shifting. And how many delay effects offer pitch shifting really, so if you're looking for a delay, well then with everything this one has, it might be one to add to your list then too. If you're willing to pay more for something a bit unique, then this one is a good value. If you just want bread and butter fx, I'd have to suggest you keep shopping around. I found the price to be more than fair, but I'm not too into the same old same old.
Stability - Very stable on my Pc, so no problems to report here. Although it does require that C++Runtime_vcredist_x86.exe be installed, so be prepared to have that on your computer, whatever it is. I believe it's just some Windows optional code, something to do with the graphics perhaps, nothing too radical, just something to be aware of.
Final Notes - Like I said under the *Sound* section, this plug in seems to aim for a bit of a retro sound, with some post modern features. And the presets while few, are very interesting, and not your usual delay multifx fare. If you want something boutique and different, and you're on a budget, this might very well be one to get. I found this plug in to be one of the more all around useful ones of 2006, even if it wasn't a do-all or a knock-out-glamster plug ya know.
Audio Damage is a small software developer that is quickly gaining visibility in the plug-in world. Some of their plug-ins are ranging from idiosyncratic to weird, others are emulations of existing hardware. For the intersection, check out their Ratshack reverb. The image of the company is partly formed by two things: the excellent look of their GUIs and the 3D mock-ups, and the fact that they don't have demo versions of the software. As they argue in the forums, demos are a support headache, and don't appreciably add to sales.
One plug that doesn't seem to have an immediate hardware counterpart is Discord. In version two, this is a combination of two pitchshift/delay lines, with all elements modulatable by LFO, and with crossfeeding between the two lines.
With these elements, all sorts of effects can be attained. Small static shifts can thicken a sound, shifts of several semitones add artificial harmonies, but I've been having most fun with putting a delay on the shifts. For instance a whole beat delay (unfortunately the delays can not be tempo synced) combined with a whole tone shift gives an interesting second voice to modal music. Also the cross feeding between the two shifters can give interesting effects: imagine two different shifts feeding into each other, resulting in an ever rising sound.
In sum, I am not sure where this effect would fit in with acoustic and more traditional music, but it is wonderful to muck up electronic sounds. Instant weirdification.
Like all Audio Damage effects, the price is very reasonable, there are presets to get you going, the effect is pretty easy to understand but there is a manual, and email support has been quick and effective.