Arturia FX Collection 5 first look review, new creative effects and mixing plugins

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Arturia FX Collection 5 first look review: the FX package now bundles 34 plugins, including two new creative effects and two mixing plugins.

Effects are indispensable tools in music production. They can have many facets, such as sound design, sound refining, or even mixing or mastering. One of the most popular effect plugin bundles is the FX Collection from Arturia, which is the counterpart to the popular V Collection.

Today, Arturia released the latest version, the FX Collection 5 bundle, with new additions and updates. Here is a first look review. They kindly sent me the FX Collection 5 bundle in advance to check out. 

Arturia FX Collection 5

Arturia FX Collection 5

After only one year, version 5 is now available as a paid upgrade. In June last year, Arturia released the FXC4 with 30 titles and four new plugins: Filter MS-20, Dist Coldfire, Rev LX-24, and Rotary CLS-222.

FX Collection 5 is the successor and includes 34 titles. It offers a colorful bouquet of effects and mixing-mastering tools. You can find many reverbs, delays, filters, distortions, compressors, modulations, and more.

That’s right; the FXC5 contains four new plugins, two of which have been on the market for a while.


The first plugin is called Efx REFRACT. It was released last Christmas and was offered as a free download for a limited time. Arturia Efx REFRACT is an experimental effects plugin with a super-unison core, capable of creatively spreading sounds into up to eight voices. 

A highlight is the add-on effects like bandpass, comb filters, bit-crusher, multimode distortion, and harmonizer that you can throw into the signal chain. In combination with the spread effects, you can create unique experimental-like effects. 

Arturia FX Collection 5

I particularly like the harmonizer core, with which you can archive pseudo-granular, crystallized effects that are nicely distributed in the stereo image. The same applies to the distortion algorithms. They work great in the engine and let you archive special distorted results.

The plugin also features modulation options via a built-in LFO, additional highpass filtering on the input, lowpass filtering on the output, and MIDI CC support.

As already said in the full review, Efx REFRACT is not a massive effects plugin. It is small, easy to understand, and offers unique sound shaping/design possibilities with limited features. It lacks a bit of internal modulation, and it’s a shame that it hasn’t been expanded for the Arturia FX Collection 5 bundle update.

You can read the full review here

Efx Motions

Plugin number 2 from the Arturia FX Collection 5 is also no stranger. Released in October 2023, Efx Motions is Arturia’s answer to multi-FX plugins like Devious Machines Infiltrator 2, Cableguys ShaperBox, or Sugar Bytes Effectrix 2. 

Arturia Efx Motions is a sequenced multi-FX plugin designed to explore dynamic effects. It combines multiple effect modules with a focus on motion, enabling real-time modulation and creative sound design.

Arturia FX Collection 5

At the center of Efx Motions are five effects modules, each providing a different type of FX: filter, noise, drive, volume, and pan. Each is feature-rich and has effects derived from existing Arturia instruments and effect plugins.

For example, the filter module has many different filter types, which are available in the Pigments and other soft synths from the French company. A highlight for me is the noise block, which should not be underestimated, as you can load your custom samples into it and thus archive a wide range of results. 

Multi-FX In Motion

Then, a motion envelope sequencer powers each effect slot, putting them constantly in motion. Each FX can operate at a different speed, allowing for creative output ranging from subtle to extreme results.

Three additional modulation slots, each with a selectable function generator, sequencer, random generator, or envelope generator, unfold with a button push. This gives the entire engine an impressive motion boost. So, what the Efx Refract lacks, the Motions has almost too much.

The Efx Motions plugin’s core idea is constantly putting effects in motion. Effortless, in all directions, sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly, always in sync, and under full control. It succeeded, which was to be expected since Arturia had already implemented bits and bytes of this idea in many other FX plugins

It is a creative, entertaining multi-FX plugin with infinite options. The user interface is simple, intuitive, and inspiring. Compared to other sequenceable multi-FX, however, the algorithm range is relatively small but high-quality and well-coordinated—quality over quantity, I would say. 

You can read the full review here.

Don’t worry—the bundle also includes two “really new” plugins. They are in the mixing category. Even though mixing is not my absolute area of ​​expertise, I will try my best to give you an overview and first look impression of the new mixing plugins.

Bus Exciter-104

The third new plugin, Bus Exciter-104, is an exciter signal processor. As a reminder, an exciter adds saturation to the signal frequencies in the higher ranges (3k and up). Once added, it produces more overtones and adds richness and crispness to your mix. It can be described as an addition to a classic EQ. 

Bus Exciter-104 has a dual architecture consisting of bass and exciter sections, each with a real-time visualizer. 

The bass section has tools for refining the bottom of your mix. Drive and saturation add spice, the lowpass filter with cutoff and resonance controls shapes the bass timbre, and the mix sets the amount of the processed signal. Nice, there is also a mono-processing option.

Arturia Bus Exciter-104

The exciter module shapes the mids and highs and adds presence to them. It consists of a half-wave rectifier with control over the harmonics, frequency, and mix. With the slope function, you can also turn it into a full rectifier.

A clever addition is the ability to solo each section to adjust each section independently. At the end of the signal chain, it offers an output equalizer (EQ) with control over the low- and high-shelf, allowing you to boost or cut the final mix.

Besides this, it comes with a simple master gain output for blending between the dry and wet signals. Overall, the Bus Exciter-104 is a nice plugin that is very easy and intuitive to use. Even with my limited experience with mixing/mastering, I immediately felt at home with it.

Bus Peak

Additionally, there’s the new Bus Peak plugin, another mixing tool for macOS and Windows in the Arturia FX Collection 5 bundle. This modern plugin combines tone control, a clipper, and a limiter in one package.

Furthermore, it features comprehensive metering to ensure your mix achieves optimal loudness while maintaining detail and clarity. Tools that you always need as a producer. 

Arturia FX Collection 5 Bus Peak

The Tone Control section is not visible at first. However, if you click on the top right button, it opens and integrates seamlessly into the interface without making it larger. In this section, you can adjust the bass (low-frequency limiting) and treble (high-frequency limiting) with dedicated gain settings and threshold sliders.

The clipper and limiter are next, and they have flexible adjustment options to adapt them to your mixing situation. The clipper’s knee width and character can be adjusted, while the limiter offers character and release parameters. You can also set the thresholds with sliders.

It’s nice to hear what has been removed from the respective modules with the headphones buttons. Here, too, I can’t say much about how well it performs because I simply lack the experience in everyday mixing/mastering. 

The plugin is certainly sufficient for my purposes. It is very clear, and you can see what is happening immediately. I will leave it up to the experts at the mixer to decide whether it can keep up with other clipping/limiter plugins.

30 More Plugins in Arturia FX Collection 5

Of course, the new FXC5 includes all 30 previous effects and mixing/mastering plugins.

Among other things, the excellent DIST Coldfire, a multimode distortion enriched with lots of modulation. Great tool for crazy distorted sounds. Or the Efx Fragments, a creative granular processor that transforms any sounds into stuttering, glitchy ambient textures. 

Besides original FXs, it also hosts numerous excellent emulations of classic effects: Delay Tape 201 emulates the iconic Roland Space Echo 201, Chorus Dimension-D the legendary Roland chorus, and various filter recreations with added motion (MS-20, Minimoog ladder, or Oberheims (M12, SEM).

Not to forget, the FX Collection 5 plugins also offer in-app tutorials, full NKS VST3 support, and hi-res 4K interfaces. They also all share the same preset manager where you can easily save and recall your settings anytime.

A welcome feature is the real-time text-to-speech feedback on presets, parameters, and values for visually impaired music producers. So they also have access to these great effects collection.

Arturia FX Collection 5 First Look Review

The FX Collection 5 is another major upgrade for Arturia’s well-known effect plugin package. Overall, it bundles a robust set of vibrant sound processors, including creative tools like delays, reverbs, chorus, and filters, as well as vintage-style and modern mixing and mastering tools.

Not only do they supercharge your DAW with more sonic power, they also open up new possibilities for shaping and refining sounds. The FXC5 plugins are suitable for both beginners who want to upgrade and go beyond the stock plugins and professionals who are looking for new ways to process signals.

They keep you busy for a very long time. 

first look review

The new update brings four new quality plugins to the table. All four were convincing, with a solid feature set and good implementation. I was particularly impressed by the two FXs which are a lot of fun and inspiring. 

However, since the two “effects” plugins have been on the market for almost a year, the FX Collection 5 lacks a new highlight—one that is introduced with the bundle and thus puts even more focus on it.

The same is true for the other two plugins. Bus Exciter-104 and Bus Peak are neat, quality mixing tools with a modern touch. But they are not absolute must-haves. Modern producers already have several clippers, limiters, etc., in their plugin arsenal. They are also part of the DAW stock content, which is becoming better and better.

If you look at the Arturia FX Collection 5, you get a huge bundle with top-notch, inspiring plugins. However, the step from FXC4 to FXC5 is a bit weaker. I have already complained about this regarding the V Collection 9 on X. If they leave the dates at that, we will see the FXC6 in June 2025. I hope then with more surprises.


Arturia FX Collection 5 is now available for an introductory price of 399€ instead of 499€. Existing customers can upgrade for 199€. Special prices are available in the user account. Individual plugins are available for 99€. They run as VST, VST3, AU, and AAX plugins on macOS (native Apple Silicon + Intel) and Windows and come with VST3 NKS support. 

More information here: Arturia 

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1 Comment

  1. So much for caring about long term customers I guess. Being a long-term customer I received a 49 Euro upgrade offer from EFC4, but i already paid 29 for EFX Motion when it came out. A new buyer would get the 34 plugins for 399, meaning less than 12 Euro per plugin. Me, owning EFC all the way from the start, owning V-Coll X, and a bunch of their hardware, is supposed the fork out more than double per plugin??? Gee thanks Arturia, my customer loyalty is going to be drastically reconsidered.

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