One of the greatest things about playing music is that the sound becomes a canvas onto which you express yourself, your thoughts, as well as feelings. Painters need the right set of brushes to paint their ideal picture. Musicians and DJs are no different – just as with any painter, having the right set of tools and effects is of utmost importance, especially while playing live in front of an audience. One of the most important tools for you, in this case, would be the best cheap audio effects process.

Unfortunately, finding the best cheap audio effects processor for stage or studio is not an easy task. There are many options on the market, most of which are unimaginably expensive for the regular beginner. To help you choose the right gear for your needs, we’ve tested a number of budget-friendly FX processors and provided a list of the best of them:

 This is our take on the five best cheap audio effects processors for low cost:

# Image Product Price
1 Korg $270
2 Behringer $140
3 TC Electronic $100
4 Lexicon $329
5 TC-Helicon $199

1. Korg KP3 with KAOSS Pad Effects Sampler

  • For stage or studio use
  • Set of 150 Effects
  • Features XY Touchpad
  • Has 4 sample banks
  • SD/SDHC cards for samples storage
  • Real-time FX manipulation
  • Memorizes 8 program
  • Features hold function
  • Has numerous efficiency-improving functions
  • USB MIDI support
  • Mac OS X / Windows XP / Vista/ 7 / 8

The Korg KP3 + KAOSS Pad is an effects processor and sampler that dominates with its great display and control surface. With its many built-in functions, including real-time effects manipulation, a set of 150 effects and four sample banks – you can easily control the sound at your will. The device supports SD and SDHC cards for additional sample storage. The device comes with a pad and has memory for eight different user-defined programs. It is perfect for stage or studio use and delivers exceptional quality – the way it should be.

2. Behringer Virtualizer 3D FX2000

  • For stage and studio usage
  • Multi-FX processor
  • 2-channel workflow
  • 100 default presets
  • And 100 user-defined presets
  • Balanced XLR / TRS inputs
  • Extensive MIDI support
  • 24-bit AD / DA with 64 / 128 times oversampling
  • Best cheap reverb
  • Exceptional quality for the price

If you wish to go the minimalistic route, or you’re looking for the most sophisticated reverb at the cheapest price — the Behringer Virtualizer 3D FX2000 is exactly what you’re looking for. With a price tag more than five times less than what was originally thought to have a good reverb effects processor, this beast changes the rules of the industry. Its tone can be easily adjusted to sound pure and clean like on professional hear. But reverb is not the only one, this 2-channel machine has 100 default presents and has rooms for 100 more user-defined ones. The inputs/outputs are balanced and deliver unmatched audio quality for that price.

3. TC Electronic M100: Gateway

  • For stage and studio usage
  • 16 TC effects
  • Supports stereo and mono audio
  • Balanced 1/4″ TRS connectivity
  • Hi-Res 24-Bit / 48 kHz AD / DA converters
  • Special Parameter and Tap / Select functions
  • Intuitive FX selection and parameters knobs
  • Front panel output LED indicators
  • Compact with great functionality
  • Frequency Response – 10 Hz to 22 kHz (-3 dB)
  • -1 dB Crosstalk at 1 kHz

The TC Electronic M100 is a great FX mixer with 16 pre-defined TC effects, including reverb, flanger, phaser, delay, chorus, rotary speaker, pitch shifter, as well as multi-effects functionality. The audio output is produced by the perfectly-calibrated high-res AD/DA converts with 24-bit depth and sample rate of 48 kHz. The frequency response range of the TC M100 is between -10 Hz and 22,000 Hz with a tolerance of -3 dB. Some of its big downsides are the lack of MIDI control support and microphone input, so forget about mixing any vocals with it or controlling it via software. The device has intuitive Parameter and Tap/Select functions empower you with control over a wide range of FX parameters. Its price tag makes it one of the best audio effect processors for a low cost.

4. Lexicon MX400

  • Costly
  • For stage and studio usage
  • More customizable
  • Stereo or surround FX processor
  • Great effects, including reverbs, delays and dbx dynamics
  • Not suitable as stompbox alternative
  • Software control (no Windows-64 bit)
  • Features dual-SPDIF ports
  • Lacks basic parametric-type EQ programs
  • Great delay and sync features
  • Amazing reverb (stereo/single effect usage)
  • Has 4 balanced TRS I/Os

If you’re looking for something slightly more costly while still keeping it towards the low-budget end, the MX400 cheap audio effects processor by Lexicon has got all you could ever want from a budget-friendly FX processor. The MX400 has a wide range of sophisticated reverb algorithms, delays, effects as well as dbx dynamics that give you all features a professional FX processor has. It produces a perfectly clear audio experience with a high-enough quality to fit even in a small studio. One of the device’s great features is its USB “Hardware Plug-In” feature that allows you to easily control it via software without the need for a VST or Audio Units environment. Overall, while being slightly more expensive, the MX400 does offer better functionality and a higher-quality sound.

5. TC-Helicon Perform V: Gateway

  • Live vocal FX processor
  • For stage use
  • Stunning predefined effects (Reverbs, doubling effects, echos)
  • Support custom FX (through USB)
  • Has control and personalization software
  • Features pedal input (6.3mm)
  • Update-able firmware
  • Has 3 user-defined trigger pads
  • USB Mini B connectivity
  • App offers limitless FX possibilities
  • iOS and Android app integration

Unlike the previous four products, the TC-Helicon Perform V is the best cheap vocal effects processor that you can find right now. It comes with a stunning set of well-known and utilized effects and has the ability to adapt to your needs. Using the product’s software, you can easily add additional effects with just a few clicks. Activating them is as easy as eating a piece of cake – using the three user-defined trigger pads. Some of the main effects include harmony, megaphone, HardTune, and pitch correction, alongside adaptive tone via the product’s mobile application.