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Instant Audio QuickMuse

Creative Randomisation Multi-effects Plug-in By Paul White
Published April 2024

Instant Audio QuickMuse

With a GUI that looks as though it was designed by an astrologer on magic mushrooms, Instant Audio’s QuickMuse is a five‑section multi‑effects plug‑in with a simple interface and some smart randomisation functions. Authorisation relies on a personal key code, meaning you can use the plug‑in on all your own machines. There’s a 15‑day free trial, and I gather that updates are free. Internally, the plug‑in uses up to 8x oversampling, at sample rates up to 192kHz and beyond.

Elemental Effects

Rather than conventional names, the 64‑bit effects are designated as elements: Fire, Air, Water, Earth and Aether. Each element is represented by a symbol that doubles as a mix fader, and this gets brighter as you add more of the effect. Each element can be bypassed individually, and can also be locked to prevent changes when randomisation is applied. At the bottom of the GUI are high‑ and low‑pass filters and level controls for the input and output, plus gain and global wet/dry mix controls. A circular button in the centre of the screen invokes a global randomisation process for all the unlocked element effect settings and also determines their connection order. Smaller circular icons around it randomise the functions of individual elements. There are presets categorised as Bass, Guitar, Drums, Vocals, Synths and some for individual elements, though the real focus of this plug‑in is its random paradigm.

Fire controls warmth and distortion, while water adds movement, drawing on tremolo, flanger, phaser, auto‑pan, filter modulation and vibrato. Air, based on both reverb and delays, adds space while Earth employs chorus, stereo widening, multiband dynamics and shelf EQs, to draw out more of the character in a sound. Aether explores the realms of granular synthesis and spectral transformations, including multi‑pitch shimmer reverb, reverse delay and granular delays.

Other than random selection, editing is limited to the dry/wet mix of each element, and changing the effect order by dragging the icons at the bottom of the GUI. The randomisation process is described as being ‘smart’, insomuch as it endeavours to select settings that will work well together. Even the bypass is smart enough to avoid clicks and glitches when bypassing the plug‑in, and when the plug‑in comes across a section of track with no audio, it sleeps to conserve CPU overhead, whichever plug‑in format you’re using.

QuickMuse’s complete reliance on random selection may seem a bizarre concept, but in practice it works well.


QuickMuse’s complete reliance on random selection may seem a bizarre concept, but in practice it works well, producing mainly gentle and textural, modulated‑reverb type treatments. I found that many of the combinations worked well on ambient music parts and sometimes even on whole mixes, but there’s also great potential for using QuickMuse on individual audio tracks, especially when you need to give something the soft‑focus treatment. When you do come across an effect you like, you can to save it as a preset (the chances of getting back to it using randomisation are less than those of winning the lottery!) and gradually build yourself a library of useful and interesting effects. Whether you’re looking to create soundscapes or just after some inspiration when you run out of ideas, QuickMuse offers creative potential.


£42 including VAT.