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iZotope Trash

Multiband Distortion Plug-in By John Walden
Published June 2024

iZotope Trash

A much‑loved creative distortion plug‑in is back from its sabbatical, and it looks like the break has done it good!

If you have a long‑standing love for creative distortion, it’s very likely that at some stage over the last 10‑plus years you’ll have tried iZotope’s Trash 2. That fan‑favourite was discontinued quite some time ago, but iZotope have now resurrected the Trash concept. The new version is not Trash 3, though. It’s called, simply, Trash. But it’s very much a new product, with a much more contemporary feel than previous versions. As well as the full desktop version of the Mk3, there’s a free Trash Lite version and, for those who make music on an iPad, there are separate AUv3 Trash and Trash Lite plug‑ins available in the App Store. So, whether you are a veteran Trash aficionado, or just looking to add some further creative sound‑mangling options to your sound design, is the new Trash worth a bash?

Brand New Trash

While distortion might be Trash’s headline, don’t underestimate the sound design potential offered by the multitude of options within the Convolve module.While distortion might be Trash’s headline, don’t underestimate the sound design potential offered by the multitude of options within the Convolve module.As can be seen in the main screenshot, the Trash has a modern GUI that’s consistent with other products in iZotope’s catalogue, and with all the controls contained in a single‑page display, it promises to be quick and easy to use. To some extent, that’s been made possible by some careful focusing of the feature set. Two main modules, Trash and Convolve, now dominate the central part of the display, and as well as the ability to turn these on/off individually you can also switch their order in the signal chain.

At the top are the usual preset access (including a random preset selector), bypass and global wet/dry mix controls. There’s also a spectrum display, through which the user can configure Trash to operate over one, two or three frequency bands, and it’s worth noting that if you opt for a multiband setup, each band can have independent Trash and Convolve configurations, and that means you can process your lows, mids and highs in entirely different ways should you wish to. In the bottom third of the display, you can access compact control sets for the Envelope, Filter and In/Out panels, and the last of those include useful auto‑gain and limiter options to avoid signal overload.

At this point, some users of Trash 2 (those who went beyond just loading and tweaking presets) may well be wondering whether this modern take on Trash is, if anything, a little too streamlined. For example, the multiple EQ stages, multiband compression, waveshaper, delay and multi‑module signal‑chain editing options of Trash 2 are not included here. It’s...

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