A couple of years ago Arturia ventured simulations of vintage synths and into audio effects territory. The FX Collection wasn’t as clear of a must have as the V Collection, but the company has slowly built out its stable of effects with the new FX Collection 3 growing to 26 from the original 15.
New to the collection are Dist Tube-Culture, Dist OpAmp-21, Fragments and Tape Mello-Fi. Now, the latter two were already available — Mello-Fi originally as a free offering during the 2021 holiday season, and Fragments launched in March of this year. I won’t spend too much time talking about them since I’ve already covered them. But the TL;DR is that Mello-Fi delivers excellent tape emulation ranging from subtle saturation and warble, to full on broken cassette deck, while Fragments is one of, if not the most approachable granular effects processor I’ve ever encountered.
The two distortion circuits are completely new, though. OpAmp-21 is based on the now cult-classic SansAmp pedal originally introduced in 1989. It was one of the earliest amp and speaker simulators put in a guitar pedal format. Unlike today’s digital emulators that rely on code and impulse response models, the SansAmp was an all analog circuit that
Tube-Culture is based on the Thermionic Culture Vulture, which I’m slightly ashamed to admit I’d never even heard of before this. It’s an all-tube rack mount distortion unit that covers everything from subtle saturation to busted-speaker fuzz.
While the rest of the effects have largely stayed the same under the hood there have been a few nice improvements. For one, many now have A-B comparison, so you can quickly compare different settings or even bounce back and forth between them live. The interfaces have all been revamped as well. Some of the changes are subtle, but navigation is a bit easier and load times seem faster.
FX Collection is available now at a discounted introductory price of $299 (or less if you’re an existing Arturia customer) until July 7th, after which it will go back up to $399.