iZotope Trash 2 ReviewAugust 2, 2013
iZotope’s Trash 2 is the perfect software for when you’ve hit a wall with a mix and need some inspiration, or just want to try something new and unique.
iZotope released the original Trash plugin back in 2003. It’s been used on countless albums in the past decade, adding just the right amount of grit, saturation and distortion to vocals, drums, bass, and more. Now the company has unleashed Trash 2, a complete overhaul of a great plugin with a more user-friendly GUI, new distortion algorithms, two redesigned filter modules, a new convolution setup, enhanced performance, and more.
In many ways Trash 2 will feel familiar to those who used the original version of the plugin, but every aspect of it has been improved in some way. For starters, the six modules have been renamed so that their purpose is more clear, now going by Filter 1, Filter 2, Trash, Convolve, Delay, and Dynamics. These can be placed in any order, and individual modules can be solo’d, combined or muted. Trash 2 can be used to absolutely annihilate your tracks with overdrive and distortion for effect, or it can be used in a much more subtle manner to add warmth and a biting edge. The wet/ dry slider can be utilized to merge the effected track with the dry input for a variety of options.
Trash 2 can absolutely annihilate your tracks with distortion, or it can be used in a much more subtle manner
The eponymous Trash module has a ton of new sounds to it, featuring emulations of everything from fuzz boxes and tube and tape saturation to bit crushers. You can adjust the shape of the distortion, as well as the filter, and you can even use multiband distortion to affect only the bottom end or top end of the track. Using the Trash module in collaboration with the Convolve module can yield very interesting results. This module features a vast array of impulse responses, and all of them can be customized. Over 100 IRs are included, ranging from standard guitar and bass cabs to stuff that’s way more out there. You can choose between a dynamic, ribbon and condenser mic for each, and adjust the spatial separation and stereo balance. You can even import your own impulse responses.
The two revamped Filter modules can be used to drive certain frequencies into distortion or tame unwanted ones. There’s an array of presets, such as clean-up filtering like high-pass and low-pass, low-shelf and high-shelf, etc., some retro-sounding stuff, a few great filters for synths, as well as vocal vowel filters. All six bands are fully variable, and each can be switched on and off. You can even use modulation to sweep between filters, adding a wah-type effect to just about anything.
There’s nothing particularly special about the Dynamics module, but it gets the job done. Like the Trash module, it operates in single or multi-band mode. This analog modeled multiband compressor and noise gate can even out overly dynamic performances, add grit, silence noise, and add sustain. With four frequency bands, users can apply compression to specialized frequencies for unique sounds.
In the Delay module you can affect the amount of delay, feedback, and width, and also add a bit of trash into there as well. There are six modes: Tape, Tape/ Tube, Analog, Lo-fi Digital, Broken Bit, and Digital. Unfortunately there’s no modulation here, but that’s just nit picking.
Overall, iZotope’s Trash 2 is a stellar plugin that is essentially a Swiss Army knife for any audio work. It’s the perfect software for when you’ve hit a wall with a mix and need some inspiration, or just want to try something new and unique. The extensive options available here can be almost overwhelming at first, but the sonic possibilities are endless. In a short time, Trash 2 has become my new go-to plugin for transforming sound.