Review: This Fred Anton Corvest iOS Effects App Bundle is a Must

As more iOS music apps support the AUv3 plugin standard, I find myself turning again to the mobile platform for my beatmaking needs. Fred Anton Corvest is an indie app developer with a small family of effects apps supporting AUv3. They are a must-get for anyone doing serious music production on their iPad.

Each effect within Frederic’s collection works great on its own, but buying all four as a bundle just makes more sense.  Let’s check them out!

FAC Chorus

FAC Chorus provides the functionality of a straightforward chorus pedal on your iPhone or iPad. In fact, the iPhone’s UI is oriented like an effects pedal, while the iPad version uses more of rackmount design. This same form factor applies to Fred’s other three effect apps.


FAC Chorus in action tweaking your beats. Screenshot by author.

The effect uses two separate internal delay lines with simulated BBD circuitry, giving it extra warmth suitable for guitars, synths, or beats. Since I primarily use my iPad as a beatmaker, it definitely works nicely in that regard. In the hardware realm, I typically pair my Arturia DrumBrute with a Hotone Skyline Chorus pedal, so it’s great having something similar on iOS.

Ultimately, if you are familiar with the functionality and controls of a hardware chorus pedal, the FAC version makes you feel right at home. There are a host of presets to help get you started, and a simple long button press on the preset name lets you save your changes to a new patch, as with the other FAC apps. It’s a simple virtual chorus pedal with great sound, and it supports the AUv3 plugin format. So there.

FAC Maxima

If you need a mastering plugin for your iPad musical project, FAC Maxima needs to be on your shortlist. This AUv3 plugin works well as either a compressor or limiter, while providing a useful real-time display of the audio waveform, providing valuable feedback on the impact of the effect. It’s also easy to use, especially if you are familiar with mastering processors.


Pounding your brain with FAC Maxima. Screenshot by author.

Maxima is perfect for my iPad use-case of beatmaking. It gets added as the last effect on the master channel, in a similar manner as the venerable TC Electronic Finalizer in our studio. It gives those stereo beats power and heft before overdubs are added in a desktop DAW.

The plugin also works well when used on individual tracks. Frederic even recommends it for keeping vocal levels under control in DJ or spoken work applications. Check out the included presets for inspiration.

FAC Transient

FAC Transient is one of the more esoteric effects in the Corvestian bundle. At its heart, it’s another dynamics processor, but one giving you an extra level of control over the attack and sustain portions of an envelope. When tweaked in the right fashion, it offers a unique, almost tonal effect when used with a drum beat.


FAC Transient is a useful beat-tweaking AUv3 plugin and more. Screenshot by author.

The plugin uses three envelopes, one each for the input, attack, and sustain circuits. You also gain control over the length of each phase. Ultimately, you are able to use an instance on each track in your mix for a superior level of sonic sculpting power.

While there are a copious number of presets to give you a better idea of Transient’s possibilities, frankly it’s better just to jump right in and start tweaking. At least, I’ve found it to be a rewarding approach during my beatmaking applications. Those of you who use iOS for full studio productions benefit from the added mixing control made possible by Transient. In short, you need this plugin.

FAC Envolver

Unique among Frederic Corvest’s plugins is FAC Envolver. Able to function as both an audio and/or a MIDI effect, this plugin provides many uses within any iOS music project. On the MIDI side, an envelope follower generates data (Notes, CC, etc.) based on the input signal. It also includes a noise gate and “trance” gate to effect the incoming audio signal.


FAC Envolver is a powerful and unique AUv3 plugin. Screenshot by author.

A somewhat complex user interface – at least compared to the other FAC plugins – remains easy to tweak. You are able set the generated MIDI note or CC data based on the input, with various parameters also influencing the result. A convenient stereo waveform display provides feedback in a similar manner as Maxima. As a stereo effect, Envolver includes two separate parameter sets – one for each mono channel.

When used in tandem with the audio gates, it’s possible to get a trance-like feel to your project. Beware, young intrepid traveler, as sometimes stray generated MIDI notes will play on your synth plugins. Well, this happened to me in Beatmaker 3, and it took me around 15 minutes to figure out the source. Oops!

Ultimately, understanding how the parameters work together is essential to get the most out of Envolver. Once again, the included presets provide enough to get you started, but get in there and tweak away to create some wild mixes and even generative compositions. I expect to dive even deeper into Envolver in the future.

If you are serious about producing music on your iOS device, the FAC bundle belongs in your collection. It offers everything from a great chorus and mastering processor, to the otherworldly possibilities of Envolver and Transient. All four effects are easy to use, support AUv3, sound great, and are simply fun. What’s not to like?