SFX-Machine-Logoby Steve Cunningham

Left to my own devices for this month’s product review, I found myself compelled to look at a software plug-in whose sole purpose is to twist, mangle and otherwise brutalize audio. While this plug includes some of the usual EQ, compression, and reverb functions that one might expect in an effects processor, it’s definitely not for the pristine-audio-quality crowd. Nope, this plug-in is decidedly lo-fi, and can be just the thing when your CD collection of promo ear-candy — whooshes, sweeps, filters and zaps — is sounding tired.


Long a favorite of movie sound designers, SFX Machine RT from The Sound Guy Inc. is possibly the granddaddy of all sound effect plug-ins. This beast has been around since the mid-1990’s, and was originally available only in the 16-bit Adobe Premiere format, and only for the Macintosh. However, the author recently released SFX Machine RT as a real time VST2 plug-in for both Windows and the Mac. In addition, the Mac product includes a version in Apple’s Audio Units format, which is great for those of us running OSX. With some 275 presets (!) in 21 different categories, you’ll stay busy with this one for quite awhile.

SFX Machine 1

Just as filters and plug-ins are an indispensable feature of graphics applications such as Photoshop, SFX Machine RT is an important addition to many of the best sound editing applications, allowing you to radically process your audio files with just the click of a button.

Available only as a download from the company’s website, SFX Machine is a dedicated sound effects processor that combines filtering, pitch-shifting, distortion, delay, flanging, synthesis, and a whole lot more. It combines these DSP functions in some innovative ways to create a complete menu of preset audio mayhem. It’s quick, intuitive, effective, and most of all Big Fun.

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