Lo-Fi: This rather strange category includes a bit crusher, which can both reduce bit depth of samples and down-sample to lower sample rates. It also includes algorithms that simulate the distortions and frequency losses characteristic of AM radio transmission and phonograph. The latter goes to some considerable trouble to provide all conceivable means to mess up your sound, including simulations of the three most common types of phonograph disc, surface noise, and wow/flutter (pitch irregularities that occur due to a record being warped and/or out of round, or due to worn or poorly made parts in the turntable drive).
Other Single Effects: The stereo pitch shifter can shift to +/- one octave, with a pre-delay and post EQ. It provides five choices of "fineness"; higher values produce less distortion but at the cost of additional inherent delay. (Unlike the COSM filter effect, this is a true pitch shifter, not a frequency shifter.) The "pseudo stereo" effect creates a simulated stereo field from a mono source.
Effects Chains: There are a number of selections that combine several types of effects in series. The dynamic processor effect combines a compressor/limiter, a spectrum enhancer (which adds second-harmonic content, somewhat like an Aphex box), an EQ, and a noise gate. This one is stereo all the way through; the "Vocal Multi" is similar except that it mixes its input to mono, and it replaces the noise gate with a delay. "Guitar Multi", which also mixes its input to mono, provides compression, distortion, chorusing, and delay in sequence. "Bass Multi" (mixes input to mono) provides compressor, distortion, EQ, and chorusing. "Electric Piano Multi", which appears to be designed mainly to be used with Rhodes pianos or similar sounds, provides spectrum enhancement, phaser, chorus, and tremolo/pan. This one is peculiar in that the spectrum enhancer and trem/pan are stereo, but the phaser and chorus mix their inputs to mono (bypass remains stereo) and provide stereo output. "Keyboard Multi" provides ring modulation (against an oscillator which is internal to the algorithm), EQ, pitch shifter, phaser, and delay. The latter three effects are mono with outputs pannable across the stereo field; the bypass remains stereo. Finally, there are chain effects that combine various combinations of distortion, chorus, delay, phaser, and spectrum enhancement.
Chorus and Reverb Types
Whew... the chorus and reverb blocks are simpler. There are five chorus algorithms, all but "Feedback Chorus" of which are fairly standard. "Feedback Chorus" is kind of weird; I'm not sure how to describe it. It's sort of like a phaser with, say, 16 or 24 stages. Or, you can choose a flanger or two short delays. The reverb block provides three hall reverbs (Hall 1 includes a chorus effect), three rooms, a plate reverb simulation, "garage", and "non-linear". The halls and Room 1 all sound kind of metallic to me; maybe I haven't spent enough time playing with the EQ parameters. The plate reverb is very decent, if you like the plate sound in general (I'm not a big fan of it). "Garage" pretty much sounds like what you think it sounds like. "Non-linear" is interesting; as best I can figure, it applies an arbitrary four-segment envelope (totally user configurable) to each sample of the reverberated sound. Some of the things it can do almost come out sounding like granular synthesis. If you want to render a perfectly good sound utterly unrecognizable, this is the algorithm to use.
The modeling capabilities of the MFX block go considerably beyond the standard built-in effects found on most synths. The chorus and reverb blocks are useable, although for studio use an outboard reverb with more algorithms and more flexibility might be preferred. The V's synth architecture provides a set of dedicated DSPs for effects processing (unlike all of the voice processing, which uses a shared pool of DSPs), so switching effects in or out has no impact on available polyphony. One thing that's a nuisance for multi-timbral sequencing (via an external sequencer) is that all parts are routed through the same effects; the effects settings are determined by the patch selected in part 1. The way around that is to direct the other parts to the direct outs (which bypasses the effects), but that's a setting that has to be made in the patch.
In Part 4, we'll look at the V-Synth's innovative selection of performance controls.