Over three decades, Knox Chandler’s career has including performing, recording, arranging and producing, with REM, Depeche Mode, Grace Jones, Marianne Faithful, Natalie Merchant, The Creatures, The Golden Palominos, as well as stints as a member of The Psychedelic Furs, Siouxsie and the Banshees and Cyndi Lauper‘s band. His most recent venture is the creation of his sound ribbons/tonepoems. These are real-time musical soundscapes created through iPad and computer manipulations that process and iterate the electric guitar. They are improvisations composed on the spot, using no pre-recorded audio or sequencing.
One advantage of performing with guitar through a laptop is the ability to use plug-ins, in addition to pedals. As many amazing and out there pedals as there are, there are still some sounds you just can’t get from hardware. Too, there is the level of control—static and evolving—over parameters, available with plug-ins, but not yet with pedals.
Here is a list of seven plug-ins (okay, a couple are suites, but seven sounds sexy) I have used over the years in recording and performance. They range from vintage emulations to spectral and granular effects, and best of all, they are all FREE!