Puzzle Effects – a quirky new concept for boutique effects

Puzzle EffectsPuzzle Effects are unique puzzle-shaped stompboxes that can fit together and be powered via a single power input. They’re the brain-child of French boutique pedal builder Florian Leca and are currently in the prototype stage. It certainly is an interesting concept, and not just a quirky design.

Puzzle Effects

I reached out to Florian Leca in Toulouse, France to ask about Puzzle Effects and find out the idea behind the series, along with plans for the future of the concept. Apparently the pedals have been a year and a half in the making, starting life as a DIY project during free time. So far, three working prototypes have been developed, fuzz,  distortion, and tremolo.

You can see pictures of the Gold Digger, Silly Fuzz, and Cloudy Tremolo prototypes throughout this article.

Puzzle Effects protoypes

Puzzle Effects protoypes

Jigsaw Pieces

Each pedal interlinks with another just like a piece of a jigsaw puzzle. And because each unit has contacts on its sides that allow the guitar signal and power to run through, there’s no need for any cables in-between the pedals. This also means you can put the pedals in any order you desire to create your tones.

Puzzle Effects

Puzzle Effects Gold Digger, Silly Fuzz and Cloudy Tremolo prototypes

Prototypes

The enclosures are 3D printed and the effects schematics being used are all clones of popular effects, just to see if the concept works and then further develop the designs. The working prototypes appear to be performing well, and with no signal loss. And have started to gain popularity on social media.

Puzzle Effects protoypes using contacts and interlocking shapes

Puzzle Effects protoypes using contacts and interlocking shapes

Puzzle Effects custom PCBs

Puzzle Effects custom PCBs

Boutique Designs

I love the aesthetic and idea of these new pedals, and really hope the project moves beyond prototyping and into production soon. Florian’s is aiming to keep these boutique effects somewhere under the €120 mark each, so that potential buyers can own more than one and make their own effects chains. Each pedal will be hand built in France, possibly with aluminium enclosures, and more effects joining the range over time.

We’ll keep you informed of any further developments with Puzzle Effects. If you’d like to contact Florian directly, simply follow the link below. As ever, if you are working on any cool new guitar gear or prototypes, do share it with me here at Gearnews.

More Information

 

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Freebie alert: Baby Audio is giving away its Baby Comeback delay!

Baby Audio Baby ComebackBaby Audio is giving away an amazing freebie, the Baby Comeback delay plug-in. This effect is a cut-down version of the developer’s well-known Comeback Kid delay plug-in. But that doesn’t mean that the sound and the effect itself are in any way inferior to the full version. It still retains the character and virtual analog sound that made the Baby Comeback popular. Unless you have need 40 different delays in your plug-in collection, you probably shouldn’t think twice before smashing the download button.

Baby Audio Baby Comeback goes free

Along with the integrated ducker, there are four programs to shape the sound depending on the style you’re after. With “Wide” you get a modern-sounding, wide delay/echo effect. “Analog”, as the name suggests, makes for a warmer, slightly muted and vintage sound. “Saucey” is richer and more pronounced, and “Cheap” creates a thin-sounding, lo-fi delay effect inspired by early digital delays.

You can also run the delay engine in four time modes: straight, dotted, triplets, and free (no sync). In addition, the effect module has a feedback control and a ping-pong mode. A dry/wet control is also included. Overall, this is a high-quality delay plug-in that one wouldn’t expect to be available for free.

Availability

Baby Audio Baby Comeback is currently available free of charge on the manufacturer’s website. The plug-in runs on Mac OSX 10.7 or higher‌ and Windows 7 or higher as a VST, VST3, AAX, and AU. And, if you want more of that good stuff and are willing to pay, you can get Comeback Kid* for EUR 42.59.

More information

Video

* This article contains affiliate links that help us fund our site. Don’t worry: the price you pay always stays the same! If you buy something through these links, we will receive a small commission. Thank you for your support!

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The House of Kush sale: up to 30% off on KUSH Audio plug-ins!

KUSH Audio plug-ins dealsKUSH Audio plug-ins have been generating a lot of buzz this year, and for a good reason – sound quality! Rather than wage a war between the analog and digital realms, KUSH likes a little bit of both. Which is why the plug-ins look and feel somewhat analog, but also take liberal advantage of the digital domain’s bit-perfect clarity and flexibility.

KUSH Audio plug-ins sale

Although a monthly payment of USD 9.99 (plus a one-time iLok purchase if you lack a dongle) gets you everything KUSH has and will release(d), subscriptions are certaily not for everyone. Pay and own for life is still the name of the game for most producers out there. So if you are looking into sorting out some KUSH plug-ins for your productions, now is the right time of the year.

The developer has a sale on all its plug-ins, with discounts reaching up to a hearty 30%. If you haven’t yet come across the House of Kush, feel free to have a look at the product page – chances are you’ll find something you want to own. Like the Omega series which, at USD 23 per plug-in, is an obvious bargain. It features the Omega N saturator, the Omega A harmonics generator, and the Omega 458A tube/transformer emulation.

It’s also worth checking out the compressors and equalizers, as the likes of Hammer DSP, Novatron, and Silika (read more) are among the best in market today. Note that individual purchases do not require an iLok dongle for authorization.

Here’s a link for the sale. Let us know if you grab anything for yoruself in the comments section below!

 

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Best Sample Packs This Week: Beatbox vocals, a Nordish organ, morphing pads

The Best New Sample Packages This WeekThe best sample packs this week include beatbox magic, a Nordish organ, eastern ethnic instrumental fusion sounds, and morphing pads.

HelloSamples Beatbox Vocal Percussion

hellosamples beatbox vocal percussion sample pack artwork 

Bringing back the glory days of 90s beatboxing, this sample pack provides a variety of different sounds. It has 848 WAV samples which include snares, kicks, cymbals, and even bass. You also get additional items specifically for Maschine and Ableton. This collection of sounds is as unique as the technique itself, and is available for just $30.

Fanan Team ScandiClavia

fanan team scandiclavia sample pack GUI

This is a virtual emulation of an analog Nordish organ. There are two modules – a Hammond style electric organ and a precision organ. Both can be blended or used individually. It runs on a 32-bit engine with high dynamic range oscillators – each with its own distinct sound.

Additional features include two velocity options, filtering for each oscillator, stereo imaging enhancement, and built-in effects like chorus, wah, delay, and reverb. Like a real organ, there is also control over the drawbars. This quirky instrument is available for free – but only for Windows.

Black Octopus Sound Trojan Empire

Perfect for house, trap, and other similar styles just as much as sound design, this unique ethnic fusion library of eastern sounds includes a variety of elements like percussion, guitars, FX, atmospheres, violins and flutes. Also included are samples from instruments like the Bouzouki, Tzouras, Turkish Ney, and more. For just $36.95, it’s a solid pack of unique sounds.

Riot Audio Digital Analog Clouds

riot audio digital analog clouds sample pack GUI

These morphing pads blur the lines between analog and synthetic, and perfect for injecting some excitement into the standard pad sound. It uses the CLOUDS engine to create motion between the samples or groups. With two layers A and B, each with its own two sublayers, you can blend all four in uniquely hybrid ways via the streamlined control set. All sounds were recorded using top-shelf outboard gear and audio tools like Serum and Reaktor.

There are 10 instruments in total, and each comes with its own specific presets to give you a starting point. It requires Kontakt 5.8 or higher.

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Best free plug-ins this week: Molot, Protoverb and DC1A

Best free plug-ins this weekWhile this week hasn’t brought us any exciting, brand new free plug-ins, here are three classic free effects that should be in everyone’s collection. Check out these two awesome compressors and an experimental reverb! Here’s Molto, Protoverb and DC1A.

Head over to our huge archives for many more free plug-ins!

VladG Molot

VladG Molot

Quite unbelievably, this free plug-in has been out since about 2012, and it’s still going strong. Looking like some sort of cold war era Soviet communications device, Molot is a colorful compressor that can add lots of character to your tracks. With plenty of control over the compression parameters, this could very well be the best free Fairchild-style compressor plug-in, even after so many years.

Molot is available for macOS and Windows in VST and AU formats (32/64 bit).

Get Molot here

u-he Protoverb

u-he ProtoverbThis free reverb plug-in was created by famed software synth developer u-he as a research by-product while they were working on other, more meaningful stuff. It went on to become one of the most cherished free reverbs. Protoverb is based on a room simulator with lots of resonances, which distinguishes it from most other algorithmic reverbs. There are very few knobs, but you can input text strings to define the structure of the delay network. It’s a research device, after all!

Protoverb is available for macOS, Windows and Linux in VST, AU and AAX formats (32/64 bit).

Get Protoverb here

Klanghelm DC1A

Klanghelm DC1AHere’s another characterful compressor. DC1A by Klanghelm is about as simple as it gets. The amount of compression is determined by the input and output level knobs, which is a delightfully simple approach. But don’t underestimate it! There’s a ‘Deep mode’, which activates a high pass filter for reduced pumping on bass heavy material. With negative compression, a ‘Relaxed’ mode and stereo or dual mono operation, DC1A has got a few tricks up its sleeve.

DC1A is available for macOS and Windows in VST, VST3, AU and AAX formats.

Get DC1A here

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