Review: Elastic FX is an Intuitive Multi-effects Unit for iOS

MoMinstruments, the folks behind the excellent iOS drum machine, Elastic Drums, recently introduced something new at the iTunes App Store. Elastic FX is a virtual 4-channel multi-effects unit with the same intuitive interface and fun factor that made Drums a top pick among iPad musicians. It belongs on the shortlist of anyone needing an iOS effects app.

Elastic FX Features

  • Four Effect Channels with a Variety of Routing Options
  • 34 Stereo Effects Available
  • Effects Categories: Modulation, Pitch, Distortion, Filter, Delay, Reverb, and more
  • Separate Mastering Effects Section
  • X-Y Screen for Real-time Effect Tweaking
  • Automation of said Effect Tweaking
  • Syncs with Ableton Live or Inter-App Audio
  • Support for Audiobus 3 and Inter-App Audio
  • Preset Saving
  • Available at the App Store for $6.99

I had a blast using Elastic FX on some Beatmaker 3 projects currently in progress. It’s a breeze to use and sounds great. Hey, the team from the legendary electronic music outfit Mouse on Mars runs MoMinstruments. There’s no better recommendation than that!

An Intuitive iOS Effects App

Elastic FX makes it easy to dive right in and start mangling your music. I used the same Can-like piece I created in Beatmaker 3 for my Rozeta review. After loading up Elastic FX using Inter-App Audio, significant sonic manipulation began.

elastic fx

Elastic FX in action. Screenshot by author.

The app’s interface features four effect selectors on the left of the screen, with an X-Y pad taking up most of what’s left. Naturally, you are able to add up to four effects, and once a new effect is engaged, a color-coded dot appears in the X-Y pad ready for the touch of your finger.

You control which two parameters get used in the X-Y section, while all parameters also appear as knobs in a small bar above the effect selector along with a level slider below. I didn’t even need to look at a manual! Saving your effects patch is also a breeze. Note that you are able to display the master effects section onscreen in lieu of the X-Y pad.

Thankfully, Elastic FX also supports multiple routing settings for the four effects. All four in series is the default. I settled on a dual parallel setup suitable for the weird electro-krautrock piece under construction. This ability to change routings combined with 34 different effects makes this app a cornucopia of possibilities for sonic manipulation.

The X-Y pad is automatable with the ability to save and playback your fingered creations. This essential feature greatly adds to Elastic FX’s utility. The separate master effects section is another plus, as is the MIDI learn feature for those with external controllers.

Most importantly, I simply had a blast using Elastic FX – an essential trait of producing music on the iOS platform.

Elastic FX Sound Quality

Elastic FX sports excellent sound quality across its wide range of effects. If you are familiar with the effects in Elastic Drums, many are the same, but now in stereo. IAA supports syncing the tempo from Beatmaker 3, so I especially enjoyed working with the various delay effects, including the DubDelay freshly added in a recent update.

The only clicks or pops happened occasionally when saving a patch in the middle of playback or when switching between FX and Beatmaker 3 using the iOS interface. This wasn’t a problem.

I prefer not to work in Audiobus when possible, so I didn’t test Elastic FX in that scenario. For those users, Elastic FX does support Audiobus 3 state saving and remote control. About the only I hope for in a future update – besides new effects – is AU support.

In short, Elastic FX belongs at the pinnacle of iOS effects apps. As such, you need to put it squarely within your music app wishlist. At a street price of only $6.99, what are you waiting for?!