iZotope Trash 2
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Version 1 of iZotope’s Trash lasted ten years without a major update. We put the newly updated distortion plugin to the test.
It’s difficult to believe that iZotope released the original version of its distortion modelling plugin Trash nearly ten years ago. That’s a near-lifetime in the fast-paced world of music software. With such a long time between updates, regular users of both Trash and other iZotope products are eager to find out what additions this update brings.
The most immediately striking difference from the original is the GUI itself, which has had a much-needed update. This time the emphasis is less on making the plugin look like a vintage hardware effect unit and more on providing an aesthetically pleasing mixture of clean lines and muted, metallic colours. More importantly, the layout is clear and logical.
The main navigation buttons located along the bottom of the window provide an easy and accessible way around the stages in the effect chain, switching between tabs for the six effect modules – filter 1, distortion (‘Trash’), filter 2, convolve (which we’ll explain later), dynamics and delay. Being able to bypass individual stages of the chain directly from any tab means it’s quick and easy to decide which combination works best for a given sound.
Furthermore, by selecting ‘Graph’ above the navigation buttons, it’s possible to change the signal flow through the various effects, opening up some really interesting routing options. You can also choose to run effects in parallel, increasing the variety of sounds on offer. We can’t work out how many combinations of different routings this all adds up to, so let’s just say that it’s a lot…
The most obvious place to start is with the distortion stage itself. Trash 2 comes bundled with a huge library of distortion and saturation effects. The distortion is actually split into two stages inside the Trash tab, opening the door to some squashed and brutal sounds. It’s also possible to create multi-band distortion, selecting up to four frequency bands then creating individual distortion effects for each frequency range. Trash’s distortion options are extensive and sound excellent, making it easy to create completely new sounds that are surprisingly useable and exciting.
Trash is nominally a distortion plugin, but at £149 it’s fair to expect a little more versatility. Thankfully the other five stages of the effect chain more than justify the price…
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