Xynth Audio releases Le Phonk, a freeware distortion audio effect plugin for Windows and macOS.
2022 has certainly been the year of the distortion plug-in, and the latest from Xynth Audio is no exception. Le Phonk combines distortion, OTT, and soft clipper into one handy package with minimal controls.
It certainly appears to be geared towards more extreme or heavier styles of music. The distortion comes in six different flavors, with the visualization on the center of the display reflecting the transfer curve and its shape. The first distortion selection, Ungh, is perhaps the most versatile with a good amount of saturation being imparted on the first half of the slider’s travel before going into active distortion.
The other distortion types are less subtle, Scrimbly appears to have just a triangle wave as the transfer curve. There’s good variety in the selection of distortions, with more extreme types having the utility to impart a certain level of aggressiveness to sounds not easily coaxed out of more sedate processors.
Le Ottz is a cheekily named implementation of the OTT compression algorithm. It lacks the finer controls here of the Ableton Multiband Dynamics processor or Xfer’s own OTT plug-in. The rotary knob feeds ever-increasing levels of upwards and downward compression to the sound. This setting, at its most extreme, can push the sound of the room to the forefront of the sound.
Le Fonz sounds out the integrated effects chain, providing soft clipping at the end of the signal flow. This one, pushed to its maximum value, can lead to tonal transformation or annihilation of a sound. It sounds nice, though it would be nice if there was some sort of visual indication of how much of the signal is getting clipped.
Le Phonk provides some handy sound shaping, especially for manipulating drums and other sounds which benefit from more overt processing. Having distortion, compression, and a soft clipper in one unit with simple controls is helpful. It doesn’t appear to have a manual or any documentation upon download, but installation is simple. On Windows, it’s as simple as dragging the file to wherever your VST3 or AU directory might reside.
Le Phonk is available in VST3 for Windows computers and VST3 and AU formats for macOS.
Download: Le Phonk