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Leafdigital, a UK-based shareware organisation specialising in music-related and Internet software, today released CuteFX 1.0, a digital effects unit program that requires no special hardware and runs on a standard PC and soundcard. The software provides effects familiar to musicians from hardware "effects boxes", such as distortion, phaser, and delay, but at a cost of $20 compared to more than $100 for hardware.

CuteFX differs from other PC software in that it can produce effects in real time, working "live" on the sound card's line-in or CD input, allowing near-instant results and experimentation by adjusting effect settings as the effect is running. Similar effects are available from other, more expensive PC software only for use on previously recorded .wav (digital sound) files.

Unlike effects hardware, the number of effects that can be applied to the sound at once is limited only by computer power. Typically (on a 150Mhz Pentium) five or more effects can be used at a time, which compares well with hardware that implements only one or two effects.

All effects provided are fully adjustable. CuteFX includes the following effects: distortion, surround sound, gate, compressor, expander, delay, chorus, flanger, phaser, tremolo, low/high pass filter, band pass filter, EQ.

CuteFX is very easy to install and use, with full online help - no previous experience of digital effects software or hardware is required. The program runs on any Pentium-class PC with a 16-bit full duplex soundcard, running Windows 95 or NT 4 or above.

CuteFX is "uncrippled", fully-featured shareware. An evaluation version can be downloaded from the Web.

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