Is there a simple software alternative to multi effects like Beebo & ZOIA?

My recent thought process has been:

  • I want to process my synth/drum/vox samples with effects to a further extent than I can today, and therefore:
  • I should get a Poly Beebo, that does +/- everything
  • Nope, I should get a Empress ZOIA. It’s reportedly less user friendly than the Beebo, but it’s got quite a strong following.
  • Nope, I should be sucking it up (and saving my cash) and use plugins on the computer for this. I can probably add quite a bit of character to samples with Live and Free VSTs…

I’m not an Ableton Live pro, but I get by. I midi synced my hardware setup to Live last night, and fooled around with it for a while, and I suppose I can get the desired outcome, but I will have to fool around with this workflow for a bit to see if I like it. I expect I’d be resampling the enhanced samples back into my hardware for playing.

I suppose this would be putting me one step closer to actually recording complete songs, (can’t complain about that).

Any other ideas for how to process samples from your hardware using the computer?
Am I overlooking “the” standard way of doing this, (other than accumulating more pedals or hardware effects)? Lessons learned? Things to watch out for?

Line 6 Helix Native maybe?

Assuming you’re really looking for a multi-effects plugin, and not modular in particular.

Otherwise, VCVRack is a low cost virtual modular that sounds excellent.


Try vcv rack, has a modular structure and similar ton some of the modules in beebo


If you want ‘patchable/modular’ Reaktor, VCV rack (Free) give you all the MI Modules that are the headline in BEEBO, Cherry Audio Voltage Modular has good FX and runs as a VST. Try Reason (amazing FX rack- doing a 3$ for 3 months subscription right now I think)


it doesn’t necessarily have to be modular.
When ZOIA and Beebo first hit my radar, my feeling was “I’ll never actually make any patches.” More recently, I think I might make patches. I don’t have too many effects today, and I very much would like flexibility.

I will look at VCV rack, for sure.

these are also good suggestions.

I don’t know that I “want” modular.
I want flexibility. I want to not feel like I’m not so limited with respect to effects.

Honestly with Zoia, the only patch I made from scratch was from following one of the early Youtube tutorials.

The Zoia patches I use were all downloaded off of the Zoia Patchstorage site. I only had to learn enough to tweak them to taste.

With miRack/VCVRack I’ve done more patching from scratch, once I got the hang of it.

I should clarify that Helix Native is discounted - normally to $99 - for customers who own Helix/HX hardware. I got my copy because the price dropped to $69 for me, and it made sense, in my situation, to get it even though I already have an HX Stomp XL.

so do you not use the zoia very much then?
or you just get everything you need from existing patches?

Sure, I used it a lot with the band.

My job with the band as the electric fiddler is to make my ambient sounds with my fiddle and horror movie type noises. Zoia did a great job for both. I have several go to patches on the Zoia. I just had to make sure I practiced using the controls specific to each Zoia patch - several of these patches have 2 or more footswitches set to certain functions. Also I wanted to make sure I remembered which square on the Zoia grid to toggle to tweak a certain parameter.

I didn’t buy the Zoia to get sounds I could have gotten with regular delay, reverb or other standard pedals.

I got the HX Stomp XL for these reasons:

  1. Helix/HX Stomp presets made by professional electric violinists, for use with electric fiddle. My distortion sounds for electric fiddle were discovered by trial and error. None of us in the band were really satisfied with the distorted fiddle tones I used. A lot of distortion sounds that guitarists love don’t sound so good on electric violin because the EQ is all wrong.

  2. One HX Stomp XL is lighter than the pedalboard I was lugging to band practice, plus I could program presets instead of quickly tweaking pedal knobs from song to song. Zoia wasn’t my only pedal - I had a preamp/drive pedal, and couple of others.

  3. It was on sale (biggest reason really, lol)

I still use the Zoia at home, along with other gear that is better suited for experimenting at home. With the band I don’t want to take up rehearsal time experimenting and effing around - my sounds need to be ready to go when we’re in the rehearsal space together.

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By the way, why not build a effect rack in Ableton? It has all sorts of high-level FX blocks and possibility to connect and modulate everything.
I remember there was software called Audio Mulch. It’s sort of modular DAW with high-level FX.
Bitwig also comes to mind with its Grid FX and Reaktor Blocks.

Also thanks for heads-up about Helix VST, this looks cool.

Native Instruments Guitar Rig maybe? But it’s not very strong in modulation and interconnectivity.

I also wish there was a VST version of Mod DUO software.

If you are interested in plugins, check out Biome and Triad by Unfiltered Audio… They’re both really good! You can patch things like a virtual modular, there are tons of presets, and they sound great :man_shrugging:t3:

I had a Zoia. It’s an exciting piece of kit, but ultimately in the end, I wanted something easier to interact with. If the Zoia had a handful of assignable knobs, it would be a massive improvement – some people set up midi controllers for this, but it becomes pretty expensive and time consuming. Also, the Zoia frequently maxes out it’s CPU which is another annoyance.

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I use Blinksonic PROCESSORZ° V2 on my master - 25 MIDI-mappable effects on a single, free Reaktor ensemble.

EDIT: This isn’t quite the programmable, modulation monster that OP was looking for but it serves a purpose which a dedicated FX unit may be used for - live sound mangling.

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