Cool hardware audio processing units

Hi all,

I’m on the lookout for something a bit juicy. I’m wondering what desktop type audio processing things there are around (apart from the obvious Analog Heat).

I’m not interested in guitar pedals, I’d prefer something purpose built for stereo audio, and SEXY, and knobby. Is the Analog Heat entirely alone in this category?


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Check out the Sherman Filterbank, another great alternative for the Analog Heat.


I know you said you aren’t interested in pedals, but the Meris stuff goes a little beyond regular guitar pedals, and they’re all stereo afaik. They also have 500 series versions if that’s more your style.


Eventide Space or H9 is nice for this.


Rodec Restyler
Handsome Audio ZULU
Jomox Moonwind
Sp 404
Most of the Stymon Pedals are stereo


Check out erika synths’ new “snazzy fx”


The Bastl Thyme - - “The Thyme is an effects processor that is best described as a sequenceable robot operated digital tape machine.”

I use the Octatrack this way sometimes - just having input and neighbor tracks all chained together with two effect slots on each track and using scenes and the freeze-delay performance controls to do all kinds of breakdowns.

The Thyme looks like a dedicated version of that. Lots of knobs and buttons in a dedicated desktop effect unit.


Also OTO Machines. The Boum is similar to Analog Heat. And they have interesting reverb and delay units, also meant to be used more on a table/desktop than on a pedal board.


the Korg KP3 is still a winner for me, doesn’t add or subtract from the sound quality, but an essential piece to have, a X/Y pad instead of knobs, FWIW. A few kinds of filters onboard too, but digital, so you have to be a little kind (or post EQ/ process)…
Also of course the Eventide and Meris boxes and a SP 404/555 has some interesting FX and hey, you can re-sample.


FYI I’ve found that the KP3 has much better headroom than the KP3+


And as a side thought - I’ve been using the Machinedrum and Digitone together and I like the MD going through the Digitone’s overdrive and reverb and delay and such. I would love to see Elektron put out something like Digital Ice that is like an Analog Heat type dedicated-fx box, but with their reverb and delay and chorus and even overdrive from Digitone, with deeper options and/or cheaper and/or with the kind of modulation available on the A4 effects and maybe had some of the Octatracks effects (comb filter!) and freeze delay too.


Good to know! I’m on the lookout for something like this but still think I’d probably take a 404 instead, just because the long one-shot sample triggering would work quite well as a complement to elektron machines.


+1 for the KP3 (I have the KP3+ & wouldn’t call it “high end”, it doesn’t get a lot of love, but I think it sounds good, I love it for performance effects & it comes with over 100 effects…I admit I only use it for performance effects tho).

Never used the other Kaoss pads, I see @JuanSOLO mentions KP3 has more headroom than Kp3+ … the KP3+ is always in my signal chain & my mixes are not very loud simply because I don’t have enough headroom…starts to sound nasty if I go too loud…the Kp3+ might have been my issue all along.

Also +1 for sp’s… I have the sp404sx & absolutely love it, been usin it daily for 3 years now… it is so much more than an effects box & not only excels at performance effects but sound design in general. Only issue is only 1 effect can be applied at a time & combining the effects, IMO, is when it excels, so you have to do some resampling or bouncing to get the most out of the effects. I got the sx over the older models for it’s memory & portability. A lot of people prefer the effects on the older models (ie: vinyl sim is supposedly better on the 404 og & 303).

I absolutely adore the Analog Heat…not just for distortion, but love it’s filters as well.

Last but not least, which doesn’t fit what you want, but the Red Panda Particle. It is a mono guitar pedal, so not what you’re looking for (granular delay / pitch shifter) but it is AMAZING. Never heard anything like it. Love the textures it adds to the sound. There is a new 1 coming out that will be stereo.


Thanks for all the great suggestions, I’m youtubing everything! I have also found the following which look very interesting:

Vermona Retroverb Lancet
Erica Synths Fusion box - liking the sound of this a lot. EDIT: Sh*t yeah this thing is the bomb!

Unfortunately everything I’m interested in is mono only, which of course makes the baby Jesus cry.

Right that’s it I’m ordering the Erica Synths Fusion Box. I’m in love.

Thanks all!


Older things…

KORG er-1 can process external audio , make it noisy.
Roland sh-32
Pioneer rmx500 / 1000 dj things
T-resonator 2
Erica acid box’s got valves n stuff. ( sorry , fusion box as mentioned above)

Kp3+ are easy to use though sampling/playback in sync is annoying , fine for ambient noise things as it hides the sync/trigger issue < though maybe I just need to dig into it more

Boss do some loop stations with fx , 505 for example.

Oto biscuit is nice , becoming expensive though.

Might be able to use a behringer neutron too , under 300 , I’m pretty sure it’s got an input

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Also also (can you tell I look at this stuff too much? I hate the guitar-based focus of so many of these effects! Drives me nuts!)… Anyways: this looks really promising:

Empress Zoia. It’s a little grid-based pedal (think Novation Circuit, Synthstrom Deluge, etc). Flexible multi-effects box basically, and in stereo.

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again: bastl thyme

as the title says, you can use it for destructive looping…
it has a very unique sound and is made for soundscapes and weird almost granular stuff and it loops and loops and has a lot of good features to play around with…
If you enter the karplus strong territory you could even play that chromatically via midi…
the video sold me, not exactly cheap but affordable with approx 520 euros…
and funny: the less you put in the more you will get out :slight_smile:

There‘s a weird stereo thing going on with the delay though! From the demos I‘ve heard, the L and R channels just seem to be inverted. When summin back to mono when mixing and mastering, the effect completely disappears.
Not that bad, but it‘s not exactly the true stereo effect you‘re looking for.

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I have been enjoying the Thyme a lot recently. It currently sits on an FX loop from my A4’s mixer and adds all manner of lovely textural weirdness to it. The Thyme can have a bit of a steep learning curve though, and it can easily wander off into mushiness - though that’s also sometimes fun.

The Jomox T-Resonator 2 is another device that can get outrageously over the top if not handled carefully, but when it is the results can be incredible. There’s plenty of routing options to mix the sound up across both sides of the stereo image. The only things I wish it had were savable presets (the Thyme is great in this respect) and either midi or cv/gate sync, but it would doubtless cost more if it had them.