Stomp King SK-3 F-Cycle VST Effect

Bob Leggitt | Friday, 6 January 2012 |


The Stomp King F-Cycle is a hybrid effect which sits somewhere between a phase-shifter and an analogue type filter. Indeed, the ‘F’ in F-Cycle stands for Filter, and filter-cycling is exactly what this effect does. It can perform similarly to a regular phaser for use with guitar, organ, etc, but it can also create much deeper cyclic sweeps for use in electronic music. The F-Cycle provides a way of adding strong, auto-cycled movement to any instrument, and is effective both on legato chords and percussive, staccato rhythms. I already prefer the F-Cycle to a regular phaser for typical phasing duties.

The F-Cycle has four control knobs, which will need some explaining as I don’t think there’s a direct equivalent to this effect.

The first knob (going from left to right) is labelled Chctr, which is an abbreviation of Character. Set to zero, the Character will be in keeping with the basic original tone (although the cyclic filtration will constantly warp the tone, so with the effect engaged the tonality will be forever evolving anyway). As you increase the Character value, the fundamental tonality changes for added transparency.

The second knob is the Sweep control. This adjusts the depth of the filter sweep. With the Sweep control set to zero, you get a standard sweep roughly in keeping with phase-shifting, but with better fidelity than most phasers, and a wider, more pronounced personality. As you increase the Sweep value, the filtration becomes heavier and the actual range of the sweep delves deeper into the low end frequencies. Because the sweep covers more ground when you increase the Sweep value, it takes longer to complete the cycle, and therefore the Rate will reduce.

The Rate knob is next. This determines the length of time it takes one full filtration cycle to complete. With Rate set to zero, the cycle is at its slowest. Increase the Rate value to speed up the cycle.

Finally, the Reso knob controls the amount of resonance. With Reso set to zero, the resonance is at its minimum. Increase the Reso value to add a controlled but effective level of resonance to the filtration.

EXAMPLE SETTINGS 

Chctr: 0, Sweep: 0, Rate: 10, Reso: 0. 
This produces a phaser-style effect with a slow cycle. It’ll work well with choppy clean guitar sounds (particularly reggae rhythm), vibrato-treated organ sounds, electric pianos, etc.

Chctr: 29, Sweep: 8, Rate: 10, Reso: 76. 
A more ‘futuristic’ and electronically compatible version of the above, which should sound good with analogue type string and synth sounds. Use this setting in conjunction with the SK-2 Sympho for a really full-bodied cyclic sweeping to bring even the dullest sawtooth wave to life.

Chctr: 60, Sweep: 15, Rate: 39, Reso: 94. 
A harder and faster sweep make this setting ideal for isolated single chords which will stand out in a mix and punctate a track when not much else is happening.

DOWNLOAD, INSTALLATION AND USE 

To download, click the download link at the bottom of the page and then follow the prompt(s).

Place the .dll file in your VST Plugins folder, and when you start your VST host it should detect the new software. If you normally have to add your VST instruments and effects manually, you’ll need to use the same process here.

Please be aware that the Stomp King effects are home-made products, released as freeware, with no guarantees of any kind. Every effort is made to ensure that the effects work well and enhance your recordings. However, they cannot be tested on a wide range of systems, and therefore there exists the potential for problems. In downloading, you agree to absolve Planet Botch of all responsibility should a problem of any kind arise as a result of you downloading, installing and/or using the .dll file. 

Once the effect is installed, simply switch on the SK-3 by clicking its On/Off stomp component, then use the four parameter knobs to adjust the effect to taste. The SK-3 has digital readouts under its parameter knobs, allowing you to note your settings (and perhaps pass them on) when you dial in a combination you really like.

Download the Stomp King SK-3 F-Cycle

The rest of the range is available via the main VST FX Download Page.

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