As you’re probably aware, Blue Cat’s PatchWork, MB-7 Mixer, Late Replies and Axiom are able to load third-party plug-ins. But did you know that they also all come with many built-in Blue Cat Audio effects and utility plug-ins? There’s so many of them that they’re almost hard to keep track of. So here’s a walkthrough of what you get.
First—why do we call them “built-in”? Because if you get them as part of these “host-in-the-host” style plug-ins, they can only be used inside of those plug-ins. Which is of course what you would probably do anyway. All of the built-in plug-ins include the standard features that all Blue Cat Audio plug-ins have: they come loaded with presets, support MIDI learn and MIDI program change, Many of them also include tone maps support.
So let’s take a look at what it is you get!
Bit Crusher (FX)
Make pretty things ugly! The bit crusher lets you create digital sonic artifacts by reducing the number of bits or the sample rate used to represent the audio signal.
Add width and a heavenly feel to guitars, keyboards, lead and backing vocals and drum overheads. Tempo synchronization included!
In most situations, you’d want to avoid the phasey resonant sound of a comb filter. But it can be a tremendously cool creative effect. Try adding it to a drum loop, set the Freq around 100 Hz and automate movements to the Feedback knob. Some intergalactic robotic sounds right there.
CombFilter (EQ & Filters)
Similar to its IIR sibling, the Comb Filter has a gentler and less pronounced phase effect.
Control variations to the amplitude level of your sound source, to make it sit nicely in the mix. Or try setting the Attack to slower response times to emphasize the snappy onset of the sound.
The ducker effect mutes the signal by reducing its volume when it reaches a defined threshold. It acts as a compressor with a negative ratio.
A simple but nice feedback delay plug-in that can be synced to host tempo.
A flexible parametric equalizer with comprehensive visual feedback (spectrum analysis and response curve).
It offers low cut and high cut filters with variable slope (blue), high and low shelf filters (pink) as well a three peaking filters (green). You can also load and manipulate impulse response files that act as an additional static filter.
A synth-like multi-mode resonant filter to control the spectrum of the signal. Automation is your friend with this one!
Your ticket to the sweeping metallic resonances that are so yum on guitars, keyboards, and Led Zeppelin style drum overheads. Host tempo synchronization included.
Grab the listeners’ attention by adding odd whistling resonances and crazy stereo width to the sound source. Definitely file Frequency Shifter under “experimental”. But when it’s right, it’s very right.
A simple plug-in for total control over gain-staging in your plug-ins chain.
Automatically remove low-level sounds such as headphone bleed from a vocal track, to clean up your recordings. Or add it after a reverb for that 80’s drum sound.
Create automatic harmonies—lovely for guitar, bass, and vocals. On stereo tracks, the original (dry) signal and voices can be panned independently.
Adjust the volume with this simple utility. It can be used to control the volume with an expression pedal.
Two utility plug-ins to transform the stereo signal and process any standard stereo effects in mid/side mode instead of left/right!
Micro EQ (EQ & Filters)
A very simple 3 bands EQ inspired by guitar pedals that let you quickly dial in frequency corrections.
A multitap delay that can be synced to host tempo.
Left/Right pan pot.
The Phase Shifter can create some very special smearing effects in extreme settings. The effect alters the phase of the signal by shifting the phase of frequencies contained in the signal by a selected amount, increasing with frequency.
Classic phaser effect for those lovely sweeping sounds. Not too dissimilar from the Flanger, but gives a less metallic sound.
The pitch shifter effect increases or decreases the pitch of the audio signal, preserving the harmonic relationships between the overtones. Fun stuff.
Reverb (Delay & Reverb)
Make sounds wider or narrower. The stereo strip is a utility plug-in to manage the stereo image of stereo signals.
Funky, funky! The sweep filter effect is a modulated multi-mode filter that can be used to create time-varying filtering effects. Host tempo synchronization included!
Most commonly used for guitars and electric pianos. The tremolo uses a Low Frequency Oscillator (LFO) to modulate the amplitude of the audio signal.
The wave shaper effect transforms the shape of the signal to create additional harmonics and distortion.
Wah & Auto Wah (EQ & Filters)
The Miaow Wah effect is a Wah pedal simulator. You can use one of the predefined Wah models or create your own filters. It can be controlled with an expression pedal or used in “auto” mode, where the Wah movement is controlled by an envelope follower detecting the loudness of the incoming signal.
Axiom, our complete solution for guitar and bass, has some more built-in effects and extras (including now more than 70 built-in effects), as you can see below:
Pitch Bender (FX) – Axiom Only
The pitch bender is a pitch shifter with a variable amount that is usually controlled by an expression pedal. It can be used to simulate a whammy bar or pitch bends, or create many types of effects based on pitch changes. Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello made this type of effect popular.
Re-Guitar (FX) – Axiom Only
Change your guitar pickups virtually or transform your electric guitar into an acoustic or hollow body … Re-Guitar is also available separately.
Destructor (Distortion) – Axiom Only
Used as the distortion and amp simulation engine inside Axiom, the built-in version of Destructor can also be used as a plug-in anywhere in your chain to create your own pedals, cabinets, compressors… Starting with Axiom 1.6, many new built-in distortion and compression effects based on Destructor presets are included, like the following ones:
Late Replies (Delay & Reverb) – Axiom Only
The ultimate creative delay & reverb plug-in is available as a built-in plug-in inside Axiom, to create your own delays, reverbs or special effects (also available separately). Axiom also includes a couple of simple built-in delay presets from Late Replies as plug-ins:
Tuner (Utilities) – Axiom Only
In addition to the main tuner visible in the main user interface, if you need more precision and controls, the Hot Tuna tuner plug-in is also built into Axiom! (also available separately)
Looper (Utilities) – Axiom Only
Introduced in version 1.6, Axiom also has a built-in MIDI controllable looper to record yourself or play over the various loops provided as presets.
Distortion Pedals – Axiom Only
Army Drive, Blue Drive, Crunch Booster, Fuzzy Tone, Green Dist, Methal Drive, Orange Dist, Overdrive, Overgrind… All these custom distortion pedals are available inside Axiom to add color to your guitar and bass tone!
One More Thing …
If you feel these built-in effects are not enough … Did you know that PatchWork, Late Replies, and Axiom are all built into themselves so that they can be used inside of themselves as plug-ins as well?