Musical Instrument Info & Reviews

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Cycling 74 Pluggo

VST Plug In Effects & Instruments

Pluggo gets a


Cycling 74's Pluggo VST Plug In package is one of those few products that is immediately gratifying and satisfying. No muss, no fuss! From the moment I had that cute little box with Mr. Pluggo in my hands I suspected I had something really different... And different it is. Different is good, right?

First off the price - $74. bucks for 74 plug ins (really more plugs than that!) As Cycling 74 dubs it, Pluggo is the never ending plug in. You get a cd-rom with the host plug shell and a giganto batch of VST plug ins to drop into your sequencer or editor that supports the VST format (MAS too). And what program doesn't support VST plug ins these days? VST PLUG INS are the runaway champion with support in tons o' software.

Afte an easy install along with an update from the Cycling 74 web site, I was soon mangling audio with ease in Cubase VST 4.1 on my Beige Mac G3 (450 mhz with 224 MB RAM). It was sheer fun to work my way through the big batch of plug ins getting a new suprise at each turn. Sparkling sonic quality and infinite sound manipulation possibilities, along with some nifty utility type plugs as well. This package runs the full gamut in variety with something for everyone.

Categories of Pluggo include: Audio Routing, Delay Effects, Distortion, Filters, Filter/Delay, Granulation, Modulators, Multichannel, Pitch Effects, Reverb/Dynamics, Spectral Effects, Synchronization, Synthesizers (VST instruments) and Visual Display plugs.

FILTER TAPS interface

An instant favorite was Pluggo's FILTER TAPS. FilterTaps gives you a six-tap delay line, with an independent bandpass filter on each tap, as well as control over gain and pan positions. There is also a seventh feedback tap and global scaling factors on all tap parameters. FilterTaps is capable of subtle spatialization effects as well as rhythmic sounds that you can tweak to synergize with the input signal.

Filter Taps immediately turned a nice plain piano thang into an evolving/repeating fury that defies description. Subtle yet complex. Tweaking the parameters gives way to endless mutation capabilities.

The presets show the mind boggling possibilities nicely and a neat feature of all Pluggo modules is the ability to RANDOMIZE the parameters by alt/Apple clicking on any parameter button. Up pops a dialog box offering to RANDOMIZE ALL or EVOLVE ALL. EVOLVE subtly changes the settings just a little while RANDOMIZE scrambles the settings! Geezzz.... that is killer! Why don't all software & synth manufacturers give us this option? Hats off to CYCLING74 folks for giving us this power! It is one of the greatest features of Pluggo allowing instant mangling and mutation conjuring up some results that may never have been conceived without the push of that button. Expect the unexpected. This feature instantly allows gratifying new variations on the presets. Not every mutation is pleasing but all ya gotta do is keep randomizing and surely something incredible will pop up! Be careful though as some results will make your dog bark and some may rattle the walls a bit! That's good, right?

There are simply too many plugs to cover here and another nice touch is that Cycling 74 regularly posts new PLUG INS at the web site so you have a never ending supply of Pluggo plug in fun! And if you have a bit of savvy you can even create new Pluggo plugs in MAX yourself! Goodness gracious! Never ending it is!

The documentation is thorough however it comes only on the cd-rom in Acrobat format (which is a shotty format with flaws) so you'll have to print it out the Acrobat way and waste lots o' paper (I'm not the only one that reads this stuff over dinner, am I ???)

If you are looking for some new inspiration in a hassle free package, you can't go wrong with Pluggo. It easily scores a 10 on the Beat Mode scale and is a terrific value at 74 bucks US. So if you're contemplating dropping hundreds of bucks on a new synth, we say get plugged in with Pluggo instead and you'll get all the inspiration you need (untill the next goodie comes along beggiing you to buy it!)

Our question is - how can you justify spending HUNDREDS of dollars on another plug in package with only 2 or 3 when this monster has set a new standard for price/performance???

Nice Pluggo review at the Harmony Central site

Product Info & Demo downloads at the Cycling 74 site

Pluggo of the month club - new plug ins for the taking at

Pluggo review and sound samples by Jim Aiken, Keyboard (U.S.A.)

Cycling 74 Max 4 MSP 2 - Beat Mode article.




5-6 stars - DECENT - worthwhile for some applications.

7-8 stars - VERY GOOD product with many pluses, highly usable.

9-10 stars - INDISPENSABLE - must have - the cream of the crop!


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