FutzBox RE opinions?

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Yonatan
Posts: 1205
Joined: 18 Jan 2015

Post 29 Apr 2020

Mcdsp FutzBox is on sale for €15. I have tried it in distant past and was not sold then but I think I were more expecting a way to reference mix through different devices and got let down that it was not usable for that. And it was less handy than Audiomatic. So I now know its function, more to create effects and maybe put in an parallell channel etc.
But then Scream comes to mind and I wonder if any users who have had and worked with these lofi devices, can share some experiences.
What is the strong points of FutzBox compared to other options and what is its weak points?

How do you use it?

Thanks!

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MrFigg
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Post 29 Apr 2020

Yonatan wrote:
29 Apr 2020
Mcdsp FutzBox is on sale for €15. I have tried it in distant past and was not sold then but I think I were more expecting a way to reference mix through different devices and got let down that it was not usable for that. And it was less handy than Audiomatic. So I now know its function, more to create effects and maybe put in an parallell channel etc.
But then Scream comes to mind and I wonder if any users who have had and worked with these lofi devices, can share some experiences.
What is the strong points of FutzBox compared to other options and what is its weak points?

Thanks!
I tried it ages ago because it was in a Rigs upgrade and was trying to work out if it'd be worth upgrading. Didn't like it at all. Too cccchhhhhh fzzzzzzzz. If you tried it before and thought it was meh! then you probably would feel the same way now. If you're really keen to try it again I guess you could trial the VST.
丰2ॐ

Yonatan
Posts: 1205
Joined: 18 Jan 2015

Post 29 Apr 2020

Thanks Mr. Figg!

Good tip to trial the VST. 🙏

There are quite some ways to mangle audio as already is in Reason with stock plugins. I will see if there is any unbeatable function i FutzBox that one might have overlooked.
Guess I could have some fun with it over a weekend, but maybe having it in some later subscription now and then concerned with sound design might be enough.

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challism
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Post 29 Apr 2020

Yeah, if you didn't like it before, you probably won't like it now. But you can't really beat that price. I was disappointed when I first tried it because in my mind I had the idea it would be like Autiomatic on steroids. It wasn't at all.

The good: The modeled SIMs are really great. This is probably the only effect I like and use on this device and I think it's worth the price of the unit. Something fun to do is target the sim knob in a Combi and hook it up to an LFO.

The OK: Distortion section is OK. It kicks out some decent sounding distortion. Decent enough that I will often times have the button enabled. I never use this device for distortion alone. If I'm using it, it's for the SIMs.

The bad: The rest of the effects. It would be nice if you could pick the order the effects are chained, but I don't really like them anyway, so who cares? As long as you can turn them off, that's good enough for me. The rest of the sections are pretty much useless to me. I would rather run one of my other REs for a filter, noise generator, EQ, gate, and ESPECIALLY the Lo Fi. The LO Fi is terrible. It's easily the worst effect on this device. I find it totally unusable because it just overpowers everything else if you turn the rate knob up even a tiny bit. It really needs to have it's own wet/dry knob on this section. I never use the LO FI and would much rather use D16 Group's Decimort or Blamsoft's Resampler. Same goes for the rest of the effects outside of the modeled SIMs.

All that being said, I don't hate the device. I really like the SIMs quite a lot. This unit would be just fine for me if it were just the SIMs. As I said before, it's worth it to me for the price of the unit just to get the SIMs. They are really good.
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joeyluck
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Post 29 Apr 2020

I love it and I think it is brilliant. I'm a sound designer though and find it to be a very handy tool.

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challism
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Joined: 17 Jan 2015

Post 29 Apr 2020

joeyluck wrote:
29 Apr 2020
I love it and I think it is brilliant. I'm a sound designer though and find it to be a very handy tool.
I'm curious if you use the LO FI? I can't ever seem to get anything useful out of that section. The rest of the stuff is useable, I just think my other REs are better for the job (outside of the beautiful SIMs I've already gushed over).
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Yonatan
Posts: 1205
Joined: 18 Jan 2015

Post 29 Apr 2020

challism wrote:
29 Apr 2020
Yeah, if you didn't like it before, you probably won't like it now. But you can't really beat that price. I was disappointed when I first tried it because in my mind I had the idea it would be like Autiomatic on steroids. It wasn't at all.

The good: The modeled SIMs are really great. This is probably the only effect I like and use on this device and I think it's worth the price of the unit. Something fun to do is target the sim knob in a Combi and hook it up to an LFO.

The OK: Distortion section is OK. It kicks out some decent sounding distortion. Decent enough that I will often times have the button enabled. I never use this device for distortion alone. If I'm using it, it's for the SIMs.

The bad: The rest of the effects. It would be nice if you could pick the order the effects are chained, but I don't really like them anyway, so who cares? As long as you can turn them off, that's good enough for me. The rest of the sections are pretty much useless to me. I would rather run one of my other REs for a filter, noise generator, EQ, gate, and ESPECIALLY the Lo Fi. The LO Fi is terrible. It's easily the worst effect on this device. I find it totally unusable because it just overpowers everything else if you turn the rate knob up even a tiny bit. It really needs to have it's own wet/dry knob on this section. I never use the LO FI and would much rather use D16 Group's Decimort or Blamsoft's Resampler. Same goes for the rest of the effects outside of the modeled SIMs.

All that being said, I don't hate the device. I really like the SIMs quite a lot. This unit would be just fine for me if it were just the SIMs. As I said before, it's worth it to me for the price of the unit just to get the SIMs. They are really good.
Thanks for a good honest review. I was on the same page, expecting something of the sort of Audiomatic but with more tweakability. I believe FutzBox are good on its on right, and I agree with the sims (although I wished there were some more of them also on more hi-fi calibre. you know, coloring the sound but not only by mimicking the cheapest gadgets). I also experienced the limited controls despite the many boxes included. Guess I just expected a bit more. But yes, at the current sale price, it is far more value than when at the original release price.

Yonatan
Posts: 1205
Joined: 18 Jan 2015

Post 29 Apr 2020

joeyluck wrote:
29 Apr 2020
I love it and I think it is brilliant. I'm a sound designer though and find it to be a very handy tool.
Nice to hear! I am more into sound design today than when first trying it out, so good to hear you find its purposes in sound design.

Yonatan
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Joined: 18 Jan 2015

Post 29 Apr 2020

I noticed that FutzBox are included in Mix-Mastering Rig 4, and while I have most RE´s they kept adding some RE´s that I might want at some piont (Selig Coloring EQ, RB Time Slider, ModularRE Multi-Effect Processor...) so not totally sure if I would maybe come to a place to buy that if 50% (probably not), or if continuing picking up the missing pieces one by one on sales.

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dvdrtldg
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Post 29 Apr 2020

I like it, but it's not subtle. The sims are great. The distortion is so-so, but a bit of filtering and the noise generator can help sculpt the sound nicely. It's more a sound design tool than a "musical" distortion effect imo, all depends what you're trying to do with it I guess. Not my #1 distortion unit but it definitely has its uses

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challism
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Post 29 Apr 2020

I like using the SIMs on vocals. And I agree with you, Yonatan, I wish there were more emulations of better quality gear and fewer of the cheap toys and gadgets.

Buying the rig is definitely the way to go if you want more REs for less money. I already have the rigs and I'm waiting for them to keep adding more stuff before I update them. It's a gamble because you never know what they are going to remove to make room for new devices in the next rig incarnation. What are we on, #4 now? I think I might have to upgrade when we hit 5.
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tumar
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Post 29 Apr 2020

I like FutzBox for one purpose only: to distort vocals, in manner so liked in the industrial music. If You like megaphone-, radio- or phone-like vocal distortions, FutzBox works great. Otherwise, I don't have much use of it. In my opinion, doesn't compare to Scream.

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joeyluck
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Post 29 Apr 2020

challism wrote:
29 Apr 2020
joeyluck wrote:
29 Apr 2020
I love it and I think it is brilliant. I'm a sound designer though and find it to be a very handy tool.
I'm curious if you use the LO FI? I can't ever seem to get anything useful out of that section. The rest of the stuff is useable, I just think my other REs are better for the job (outside of the beautiful SIMs I've already gushed over).
Yeah I mostly use it for the SIMs. Just helps speed up my workflow. Lots of different sounds that can come from onstage like TVs, radios, phones, intercom announcements, etc. I'll usually scroll through SIMs, play with the tuning, and maybe add filtering and distortion to see if I can get close to something I like quickly. Otherwise, if I can't get exactly what I need from it, I'll go back to dialing in a separate EQ and chain of effects (or using other similar plugins).

Much of the time though I'm programming plugins inside QLab to trigger live with cues, so that I can more easily edit and fine tune during tech rehearsals without having to export a new audio file. QLab supports AU, but the Reason Rack Plugin doesn't work in QLab :( and I only have Futzbox as a RE. So, those times I'm using chains of other plugins.

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geronimo
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Location: France

Post 29 Apr 2020


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Ottostrom
Posts: 322
Joined: 13 May 2016

Post 30 Apr 2020

geronimo wrote:
29 Apr 2020
Many promotions with Mcdsp .

https://www.reasonstudios.com/shop/brow ... oper=McDSP
29€ for the compressor collection is a great deal! The EQs I rarely use just cause I feel like I have better options, but all three compressors find their way into almost every project :)
FutzBox had been on my wishlist for a while and I got really excited when I learned about this heavy discount and was ready to just pull the trigger immediately. But then I read some of the concerns in this thread and after giving it a proper trial I've come to the conclusion that even at this price it's not worth it for me. The sims do sound good but everything else is just really meh.. Was more in the market for a Scream 2.0
Aim for progress, not perfection.

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geronimo
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Location: France

Post 30 Apr 2020

Perhaps with REASON 12 ..?

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Faastwalker
Posts: 1689
Joined: 15 Jan 2015

Post 04 May 2020

I love Futzbox. I was obsessed for some time with turning everything into Boards of Canada! I wanted this type VST effect in Reason;

https://www.audioease.com/speakerphone/

..... but at the time that wasn't possible so when Futzbox appeared I was well chuffed. Doesn't get much use now. But it's a unique & fun RE to play around with. For $15 I'd snap this up. I think I bought it at about $50 in a sale long ago ;)

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