The MasterSounds FX Unit:
Our original focus when designing the Radius DJ mixer experience back in 2016 was an ethos of simple functionality, smooth operation and uncompromised sound reproduction. The result was a DJ mixer with fewer features than most, with a single high-pass filter per channel and a three-band master EQ /Isolator to control the shape of the sound in a pure and esoteric form. These controls were designed to provide soft and subtle adjustments to great music without overpowering the character of the source.
Much like original club mixers from the early days of house and disco in New York, the main focus lay upon ensuring high component quality inside, sacrificing a brightly lit and expansive feature set to provide reliably true analogue sound to those who seek it, at a price-point and with accessibility for those wanting to experience high-fidelity audio.
The FX Unit is our way of building upon this original bedrock of uncompromised sound-for-cost and simplicity with a creative performance module, allowing our analogue sound circuitry to be manipulated and played in real time.
FX is designed to be accommodated by the Auxillary Send & Return/Master Insert system built into all our Radius DJ mixers, incorporating a suite of reverb and delay options (powered by analogue emulation) into the signal path in a seamless way, both in terms of the signal routing and the user experience - though it can be configured to work with other DJ mixers and studio setups with great success.
The unit contains all essential controls for these effects via parameter, filter and time settings, combined with a separate fully analogue global filter and distortion, as well as an analogue output stage. The FX Unit is able to augment MasterSounds’ high fidelity sound-first motives with the vast capabilities of real-time digital emulation.
Together, this feature set brings a selection of essential tools for additive performance effects and powerful sound sculpting into the MasterSounds DJ experience.
Each and every FX unit is hand-built via analogue legend Andy Rigby-Jones and his small team of ultra passionate audio professionals in rural Cornwall. Since 2018, Andys' FX design showcases our true esoteric principles of sound & simplicity.
In the overview video, Ryan tells a brief history of the genesis of FX, before demonstrating the full range of filter possibilities and powerful effects on offer. We recommend quality speakers or headphones to help fully communicate the sound of FX.
The video provides an introduction to the capabilities of the FX Unit for anyone curious about upgrading their Radius setup, as well as giving seasoned users a full display of it's depth .
00:00 FX Introduction
02:44 Filter Overview - Ryan showcases the powerful global filter section, demonstrating both soft natural sound sculpting techniques, as well as a more rigorous and aggressive approach using resonance and distortion in combination with the highpass and lowpass buttons for adding spectral punch.
08:04 FX1 Stereo Pitched Delay - Ryan adds some rhythmic texture to the high end using the stereo delay, then applying the filter on top to balance the effect with the music, creating subtle changes without overwhelming the music beneath.
10:10 FX2 Unpitched Mono Delay - This unpitched delay helps give small lifts across the movement of a track, particularly unquantised music, adding a wash of harmonic echo to help mixes flow seamlessly between one another
11:30 FX3 Delay With Pitched Echo - This is a combination effect, a pitched delay with a tight metallic reverb transient, helping to give a synthetic and boxy pressure to rhythms in a track.
12:51 FX4 General Purpose Reverb - A really handy tool with a wide range of applications, this reverb has a large range of scale, allowing changes in depth via the time and highpass filter controls to create the perfect space to match whatever the music and space requires.
14:34 FX5 Bass Reverb - With a large low-end response, this reverb is a large chamber effect that can widen the scale of the input, for creating booming textures in larger applications.
16:40 FX6 Gated Reverb - A short, gated reverb, for adding tight body to music without losing too much pressure in the transient tail, also able to widen into a large space for reducing tension and diffusing music.
18:01 FX7 Gated Delay / Noise - A powerful performance effect, this gated noise effect gives a sculptable noise, allowing sweeping curves when played with the resonance and time parameters.
19:53 FX8 BPM Delay None Pitched - New for Gen 2, this delay uses a BPM counter module to detect and assign quantised time settings to the effect. Playing into the strengths of this type of tight and unnatural setting can add layers of snappy machine style funk to beat-driven electronic music.
Get more in-depth technical specs of the FX Unit here.