Tag: Effects pedals

Revv Amplification Shawn Tubbs Signature Tilt Overdrive Demo

Famed session player Shawn Tubbs’ new namesake overdrive offers a powerful EQ along with a beefy boost.


Shawn Tubbs Signature Tilt Overdrive Demo

The Shawn Tubbs Tilt Overdrive is the tonal culmination of a lifetime in music. Shawn not only needed a practical tone tool to give him the right sound quickly in any musical context – he aimed to combine the greatest vintage amp tones & recorded guitar sounds of all time into one ideal sound. Now that tone is available to you in a compact 9v double pedal with a unique Tilt Boost.

The sound in Shawn’s head is a cranked single-channel vintage amp – but not any single amp. His ideal tone takes the best part of each great example & tweaks it to suit his personal guitar style. For Shawn a guitar tone has to have the right mids to cut through the mix & feel great to play – all while cleaning up great with your hands & your guitar’s volume knob. The Drive Circuit of the Shawn Tubbs Tilt Overdrive takes you anywhere from edge of breakup to an all-out solo tone with a musical distortion that always inspires. Note clarity, organic feel, & record-ready cut are the hallmarks of this unique drive you have to play for yourself.

To make the pedal as versatile as possible Shawn needed a great boost – but he had encountered something trying different boosts. Totally clean boosts… aren’t. When adding level there’s a low end buildup that makes your tone bloated. The opposite of what you want! That’s where the Tilt Boost comes in. Strategic frequency choices to taper low end & an internal 18v mod for high headroom let you achieve anything from precision tone sculpting to an authentically transparent boost. Use it to get more of the killer tone you already love or add sparkle to a rig that needs a little help. Solos with the Tilt Boost really cut, but you could also use it always-on for more clarity & a punchy feel. It’s even inspired Shawn to approach how he sets his amps in new ways integrating the Tilt Boost. There’s just one problem: once you hear it, you’re not going to want to turn it off!

Lore Reverse Soundscape Generator from Walrus Audio

You could WIN This Lore Pedal from Walrus Audio! Giveaway Ends July 13, 2022.


Lore Reverse Soundscape Generator

Create the soundtrack to your storybook adventure with the Lore Reverse Soundscape Generator. Made up of five different programs, the Lore is an ambient creation machine built around reverse delay and reverbs. Featuring two DSP chips running in series, each with their own analog feedback path, the Lore takes you on an adventurous journey rich with themes of reversing, time-stretching, pitch-shifting, and vast ambiance.

Walrus Audio Lore Reverse Soundscape Generator

Eventide Dot9 Pedals – NAMM 2022

eventide dot9 pedals namm 2022

Watch how a quartet of highly customizable pedals cover everything from spacious ambient ‘verbs to EVH-inspired micro-pitch delays.


UltraTap

UltraTap is a unique multi-tap effect pedal perfect for staccato leads, swelling chords, and other evolving effects — everything from reversed reverbs to the sound of ripping it up in the Grand Canyon! Think of UltraTap as the mother of all Echoplexes and you won’t be too far off. That’s basically how it operates but with the flexibility to add as many ‘tape heads’ as you want and expressively control their positions and levels.

UltraTap’s controls make possible new and unexpected effects. The controls that you would expect in a multi-tap delay pedal — Number of Taps, Delay and Feedback — are just the basics. Controls for Spread, Slurm, and Chop open up a new world of possibilities.

MicroPitch Delay

Savor the secret sauce simmered into countless hit records with the MicroPitch Delay Pedal. By utilizing subtle pitch shifts to create a rich stereo spread, MicroPitch Delay makes anything you cook up sonically delectable. This pedal is the key ingredient for serving up flavorful tones: Instantly harness soaring leads that jump out of the mix, add distinct lushness to a compelling clean passage and get your fill of vibey modulation that’s sure to sweeten any pot with the push of a button. Sample a bite of our newly baked up Positive and Negative Envelope modulation sources and you’ll be sure to come back for seconds; and major and minor thirds. MicroPitch Delay adds unparalleled dimension to any source; it’s not just a guitar pedal — Use it to thicken vocals, keyboards, drums, strings, brass, winds and more.

Blackhole®

​What lies beyond a Blackhole’s Event Horizon? Is it a place where time itself freezes or where gravity folds in upon itself? Is it a portal to another dimension? There’s only one way to find out. Escape Earth and create haunting echoes, ethereal landscapes, and otherworldly ambiances with Blackhole – a reverb pedal as big and mysterious as the cosmos.

TriceraChorus

Inspired by the classic Tri-Stereo Chorus and stompbox choruses of the 1970s and early 1980s, the TriceraChorus pedal pairs rich Bucket Brigade-style chorusing with Eventide’s legendary MicroPitch detuning for a lushness that rivals the jungles of the late Cretaceous Period. TriceraChorus features three chorus voices and three unique chorus effects which can be used to create a wide stereo spread with pulsing waves of modulation. The innovative “Swirl” footswitch adds psychedelic flanging, phasing, and Univibe-style tones. It has never been easier to dial in syrupy smooth, deep modulation on guitar, bass, synths, strings, vocals, and more.

SolidGold FX Ether Review

solidgold fx ether review

A lot of cruel fates can befall a gig. But unless you’re a complete pedal addict or live in high-gain-only realms, doing a gig with just a reverb- and tremolo-equipped amp is not one of them. Usually a nice splash of reverb makes the lamest tone pretty okay. Add a little tremolo on top and you have to work to not be at least a little funky, surfy, or spacy. You see, reverb and modulation go together like beans and rice. That truth, it seems, extends even to maximalist expressions of that formula—like the SolidGold FX Ether.


The Ether is tricky enough to bewilder if you’re not careful. The three modulation modes—tremolo, harmonic tremolo, and vibrato—all feel, sound, and interact with the reverb differently. An economical but mildly complex control set definitely demands that you put in a little study. And few settings fit neatly into tidy categories like “vintage spring emulation” or “light hall.” But what the Ether lacks in super-intuitive operation it makes up for in surprises and a fluid user experience that can drag a player in new directions.

Slo-mo psychedelic power pop improvisation with SolidGoldFX Ether using vibrato, tremolo, and harmonic tremolo with many reverb decay and modulation speed and level mixes. Generated with Rickenbacker 330, black panel Fender Tremolux, and Universal Audio OX with a Vox AC30 cabinet emulation.

Deep Thought

For guitarists accustomed to simple pedal reverbs, the Ether will take some work to master. There are just five knobs for tone (color), modulation depth and speed, reverb decay, and a wet/dry mix that functions as the level for both the reverb and modulation. A 2-way toggle switches between the three modulation modes or introduces a shimmer effect. What looks simple on the surface, however, belies great complexity among the available sounds. The modulation depth control alone, for instance, is full of tricks. It controls modulation waveform intensity but can also significantly re-cast the voice and response of the three modulation voices. In addition to intensity, depth also changes the shape of the modulation. On one side of noon the pedal generates sawtooth waves; on the other side, softer sine waves. Somewhat counterintuitively, waveform depth is most intense at clockwise and counterclockwise extremes and least intense closest to noon. Additionally, the noon position is a quasi-random waveform in vibrato mode, a square wave in tremolo mode, and a flutter triangle wave in harmonic triangle mode. So, while it’s fun to twist knobs at random to see what you can conjure, getting some semblance of control over the sonic outcome takes paying close attention to how these variables relate to each other.

There are cool, subtle sounds in Ether, even if subtle isn’t exactly a specialty.

The knobs are sensitive, too. This is great for fine-tuning settings when you have an intuitive, muscle-memory-based handle on how the controls work. But they can feel twitchy at first. Nowhere is this more apparent than in reverb decay and level. They each have considerable range. But the lowest level and decay settings primarily yield big reverb sounds. There are cool subtle sounds in the Ether, even if subtle isn’t exactly a specialty. On the mellower side of the Ether’s envelope, I dialed in a reasonable-enough facsimile of an old Fender black-panel spring reverb set to noon, as well as some really cool tile-like, fast-reflection sounds. But the differences between them on the level and decay controls were small and it can be hard to nail in-between sounds reliably. If you largely live your reverb life on the subdued side of splashy, you might want to look elsewhere.

The Ether’s controls are expansive on the modulation side as well. But each modulation mode also moves through very different ranges of intensity. Vibrato modulation, for instance, sounds very intense at high depth settings in relatively dry mixes. Harmonic tremolo voices, however, need a much wetter signal to stand out prominently. Regular tremolo settings tend to require high effect levels (which means you need to mind your reverb decay settings as well). Again, these differences make practice key. But relinquishing control can be just as satisfying. The harmonic tremolo reverbs can span phasey washes and noirish throb. Standard tremolo, while not the most radical effect, provides fast-twitching or hypnotic icing to metallic hyper-springy surf-ish settings. Vibrato’s reverb settings, meanwhile, can range from surreal, robotic modulations to sweet near-rotary sounds. Finding the points where these sounds intersect and mingle is a joy if you have the time to spare.

The Verdict

Apart from the Ether’s lack of low-key, conventional reverb sounds and interactive, trickier-than-it-looks controls, it’s hard to not fall under the device’s spell. If you have time to kill, getting lost in the mega-expansive controls, many combinations of modulation textures, and fields of reverb-based overtones can create pure joy. If you’re inclined toward option fatigue or dread getting lost in quirky controls onstage, there are simpler ways to get your reverb fix. But if it’s big-to-bigger spaces you’re after and the ability to render them distinct, mutant, and wild with washes of tremolo, vibrato, and phasey textures, the Ether is an almost endless amusement park of clanging, bouncing, ringing, and resplendent modulations.

Xabier Iriondo’s “Energy from My Fantasy”

xabier iriondos energy from my fantasy

Italian guitarist and sonic adventurer Xabier Iriondo has an affinity for the Basque term, metak—which literally means, “pile”—and he often incorporates it into the names of his various projects. His custom-built experimental guitar is the Mahai Metak (or “table pile”). Some of his unconventional musical collaborations also include the term, as in PhonoMetak and PhonoMetak Labs. And Sound Metak was the name of the eclectic shop he ran for about a decade in the early 2000s, which sold everything from boutique guitar pedals to shoes. (Check out his Instagram profile, which, in addition to pictures of his amazing collection of guitars, pedals, and vintage amps, is also a showcase for his impeccable taste in footwear).

“I am half Basque,” Iriondo says. “And these words—like “mahai” and “metak”—come from the Basque language. A metak is when you take the grass that you’re cutting, and you make a mountain of this grass in the garden. In the past, you gave this metak to the cows.” Another traditional Basque practice and type of metak involves shredding and drying corn stalks to use as fodder over the long, cold winter months. So, a metak is a pile of collected things that are preserved for an extended period. In Iriondo’s view, this serves as an analogy for something deeper. “I love this idea, because you can put everything inside the metak,” he says. “It’s like a collection of your emotions. For example, with my shop, Sound Metak, I sold different kinds of things—from old gramophones and vinyl shellac records to fuzz pedals and jukeboxes and guitars and amplifiers—it was a lot of different things. Metak for me is an idea, and my instrument, the Mahai Metak, is the same thing. It’s an energy from my fantasy, which is everything I can put out from my mind.”

Conceptually, metak also helps to explain Iriondo’s musical diversity. Born in Milan, he started playing the guitar at 17, and became something of an Italian celebrity as part of the alternative band Afterhours, with whom he’s been a member since 1992 (except for hiatus throughout most of the aughts). But Afterhours is about as mainstream as Xabier gets. He’s also made incredible noise with myriad projects, like his recordings and performances with Can’s Damo Suzuki (Damo Suzuki’s Network), collaborations with the cream of Europe’s avant-garde (?Alos, Pleiadees), numerous solo projects, and the list goes on and on.

Bunuel Xabier Iriondo's pedalboard

His most recent outing is the abrasive, apocalyptic, noise-rock quartet Buñuel. Named after the legendary Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel, the band first came together in 2016 and mixes the talents of a trio of Italian musicians—Iriondo, bassist Andrea Lombardini, and drummer Francesco Valente—plus American vocalist Eugene S. Robinson. Their new release, Killers Like Us, is awash in fuzz and rages between brain-crushing, metal-tinged cuts like “A Prison of Measured Time” and “When God Used a Rope” to slow, doomy dirges like “Hornets” and “When We Talk,” as well as moments of unstructured, free improvisation interspersed throughout the record.

BUNUEL – When God Used A Rope (official video)

“We are three Italian musicians,” Iriondo says about Buñuel’s genesis. “We were a little bit famous here in Italy, and we decided to choose an international singer. We wrote to Eugene Robinson, and he accepted our idea. For our first record, the three of us recorded 10 songs in a studio in Italy. We sent them to Eugene in San Francisco, he sang on them, and then sent the tracks back to us. We did that again for this record.” Not only were the vocals recorded separate from the rest of the band, but Robinson didn’t even get a chance to rehearse with them. The first time the band played together as a quartet was onstage in front of an audience. “We didn’t rehearse with Eugene—we rehearsed ourselves—and we met with him the first day of the first gig. That’s how it started.”

Despite Iriondo’s years of experience with group improvisation, that was not the approach he took with Buñuel. You’d think improv would be helpful when stepping onstage raw with an unrehearsed new singer. Rather, the band’s vibe is through-composed songs that are played the same way—except for planned sections set aside for improvisation—night after night.

“When I want to take a solo, I adjust the Cornish directly with my foot. I open up the volume, and then I arrive in the cosmos.”

“We play the songs like they are on the album,” says Iriondo. “Although we do have some parts, or structures, that can change. For example, on our first tour, we wrote our 10 songs, and that’s all we had. At the end of the show, the audience asked for more. I said, ‘Okay, let’s start with an improv,’ and that improv we used on those gigs from the first tour became a song on the second album [“The Sanction” o 2018’sThe Easy Way Out]. We composed each day, each gig, and the song transformed and arrived at the end of the tour.”

When recording Buñuel, Iriondo harnesses that live feel by taking a minimalist approach to overdubs. Aside from an odd guitar solo or two, the instruments are recorded live, with the band members standing together and looking at each other. “I also play pop rock with other bands, and overdubbing is okay for that kind of music, but the wildness of this project gains a lot when we’re all playing together in the same room,” he says.

“In the past, in the ’90s, I used the VHT head system that people talked about,” he says about the now-rebranded Fryette Pittbull Ultra-Lead. “I bought the second one that arrived in Italy in 1994. But in the last 20-to-25 years, I started using theHiwatt DR103, and I think that’s my sound. When I plugged in for the first time, I said, ‘What the hell is this?’ I can go from high-frequency, crystal-like sounds to really deep grunge sounds with a lot of low frequencies. In general, with Buñuel and also Afterhours, I use the Hiwatt, and then also another amp, a 300-watt SWR California Blonde, which is a transistor amp. I have the headroom also in the clean sounds, but when I engage all my fuzzes and boosters, the gain is incredible, and it’s still in front of you all the time.”

“I love this idea, because you can put everything inside the metak. It’s like a collection of your emotions.”

Iriondo’s tone is wild, too. Considering how mangled, heavy, and distorted his sound gets, it’s interesting how he crafts his tone almost exclusively with pedals, which he uses to drive his amps. He owns more than 20 heads and cabs, and his preference is classic British amps like Hiwatt, Orange, Carlsbro, and Simms Watt—he has a few of each in assorted colors—that have a lot of headroom. He feels those work best with his high-gain pedals.

Xabier Iriondo’s Gear

Guitars

  • Two custom Billy Boy Guitars made by Fabio Ghiribelli (a white model and a purple model used with Buñuel, with a TV Jones pickup in the neck position and a ’52 Tele pickup in the bridge)
  • NukeTown Venusian IX Signature 9-string
  • Loic Le Page (Mahai Metak Guitar)
  • James Trussart Red Star Steelcaster
Amps
  • Hiwatt DR504 stack
  • Hiwatt DR103 head and 4×12 cab (1970)
  • Vox AC30TB (1992 reissue)
  • Orange OR120 head with 4×12 cab (1969)
  • Orange bass cabinet with 18″ speaker (1970)
  • Simms Watts AP100 Mk2 (1972)
  • Marshall 1959 SLP Purple Limited Edition (1994)
  • 300-watt SWR California Blonde

Effects

  • Hologram Microcosm Granular Looper
  • TC Electronic Ditto X2
  • Pete Cornish NB-2
  • AC Noises AMA (reverb w/ oscillator + bit crusher)
  • Supro Tremolo
  • DigiTech Whammy Ricochet
  • Death By Audio Waveformer Destroyer
  • EarthQuaker Devices Organizer
  • EarthQuaker Devices Acapulco Gold
  • AC Noises Arpiona Xabier Iriondo signature
  • Korg PB-03 Pitchblack
Strings & Picks
  • D’Addario .010–.052
  • Dunlop Tortex Purple 1 mm

Iriondo has a seemingly endless collection of pedals, too, although his go-to is his signature octave-synth-fuzz-boost Arpiona, made by Italian builders AC Noises. The pedal starts with a gated fuzz circuit inspired by Death By Audio’s Harmonic Transformer, followed by a sub-octave bass synth, more fuzz, and a boost. He uses that in conjunction with an EarthQuaker Devices Acapulco Gold, and a Pete Cornish NB-2 boost that’s always engaged. “When I want to take a solo,” he says, “I adjust the Cornish directly with my foot. I open up the volume, and then I arrive in the cosmos.”

Afterhours – Spreca una vita

They’re Italian, which is probably why this Afterhours video looks like a Federico Fellini film.

Iriondo is also no purist. If an analog circuit will get him the sound he wants, great, but he’s just as happy using a digital device. “I use everything that can give me satisfaction,” he says. “Why not?”

Why not, indeed. He also gets that satisfaction from his guitars. “About 80 percent of my choice in guitars is the feel, and 20 percent is the sound,” he says. “When you’re using some of these destruction pedals on the loud and heavy stuff, the guitar isn’tso important. You destroy everything with these kinds of pedals. They completely destroy your clean sound. Although when I play pop-rock music, I change my guitars a lot.”

But that feel is elusive, which may explain Iriondo’s vast collection of instruments. He has vintage guitars he doesn’t mod at all, but in general he’s an itinerant tinkerer. He usually swaps out pickups, even on his less expensive guitars, and has a significant number of custom-built guitars as well. “I’m not only a collector, I’m a professional, which means guitars are my life,” he says. “I want to have tools that work well with me. In the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity to have my dream guitars that I ask luthiers to build for me with my specific specifications. The principal guitar that I used on the Buñuel project is made by Billy Boy Guitars. It has an incredible tremolo, and it’s a light guitar. All the sounds you hear on Buñuel are made with that guitar.”

Perhaps Iriondo’s most unique instrument is his custom-built Mahai Metak. It’s a 10-string, short-scale table guitar. Six of the strings are tuned to D in different octaves and act as drones. The other four are G, G, F, and A. The instrument has pickups on both ends—near the bridge as well as near the nut—plus an onboard oscillator and distortion unit, and controls for volume and tone. He plays it with an assortment of items, including marbles, roach clips, and steel wool. “I play it with Chinese sticks,” he says, “and I create rhythms and special sounds with steel wool—that stuff you use in America to wash your dishes. It sounds great. I use it with the loopers and reverbs and it creates these noisy and bizarre sounds, as well as melodic sounds that create a nice texture.”

It’s that openness and wonder, as exemplified by Iriondo’s voracious appetite for gear, as well as his embrace of disparate genres and styles, that are the ingredients that make up his metak. Call it his esoteric pile of ideas, which gives him permission to explore the endless energies of his imagination. He’ll conjure up sounds that are heavy and dark—or playful and light—and almost always fun, and, maybe, even a little mischievous.

And isn’t that, ultimately, the ideal?

YouTube It

This live performance shows Buñuel from their last tour in 2016, with Xabier Iriondo playing his custom Billy Boy guitar. It takes a while for Iriondo to enter, but it’s worth the wait. Head to 2:45 to hear one of the guitarist’s deliciously mangled solos.




Godlyke Releases the Power-All ECO-dapter

Godlyke partners with Carbonfund.org Foundation to introduce the world’s first carbon-free power supply for effects pedals.


The ECO-Dapter’s carbon footprint is neutralized through the purchase of carbon offsets. Carbonfund.org’s certified carbon reductions are third party validated to assure the highest standards and are permanently retired rather than being re-used. The ECO-Dapter meets the stringent Level VI energy efficiency standards set out by the U.S. Department of Energy. This means that the ECO-Dapter consumes less power, conserving natural resources while eliminating the waste and environmental hazards associated with disposable batteries. Additionally, the ECO-Dapter provides ultra-quiet, high-current power to effects pedals.

Features

  • 9 VDC, 2000 mA regulated power supply
  • Meets DOE Level VI energy efficiency standard
  • Carries Carbonfund.org Carbonfree Product Certification
  • Ultra-low noise floor for silent operation
  • Environmentally-friendly, Recycled/Recyclable packaging
  • LIFETIME WARRANTY – never buy another power supply!
  • Powers all your 9 VDC pedals from a single supply
  • Space-saving profile takes up only one outlet space
  • Ferrite-core filter module on power output cable reduces noise and hum
  • Powers 9 VDC effects from any electrical outlet in the world (100-240VAC)
  • 10-foot, 24-gauge power cable eliminates need for an extension cord

Power-All Eco-Dapter | Carbonfree Power Supply for Guitar Effect Pedals

For more info on Power-All products, visit www.godlyke.com.

Strymon Zelzah Review

strymon zelzah review

The Electro-Harmonix Small Stone was my first weird pedal. Initially I gravitated to the Small Stone because it seemed so utterly immodest, but I soon came to treasure its more subdued settings and its ability to communicate a strange, mysterious melancholy.

Strymon’s new Zelzah, with its ultra-flexible controls and combinable 4- and 6-stage phasing modes, can generate many nuanced variations on these extremes and thousands of colors in between. It also generates immersive chorus and flange tones that make this a very powerful little waveform manipulator.


Purple Waves of Phase

Strymon has remained crafty about maximizing the utility and user-friendliness of their compact stompboxes. On the Zelzah, they use their now-familiar formula of six knobs, two footswitches, and two small toggle switches allocated to two primary functions. Much like Boss pedals, this uniformity in design inspires a certain confidence (at least among players that have previously used small Strymon pedals) that you can dive in and find your way through the forest without first spending a week with a manual. Because this is a Strymon, quality time with the manual is a good idea. There is deeper functionality to consider—particularly if you embrace its MIDI potential. But players keen to get on with creation can dive headlong into the Zelzah’s pleasures and get fast results.

The Zelzah is divided into a 4- and a 6-stage phaser section. The 4-stage phaser side is ostensibly the more streamlined of the two, with knobs for speed, depth, and mix. But the toggle functions makes things interesting fast. The classic voice does nice approximations of old-school analog phasers. But the addition of a barber pole phaser, which gives the aural illusion of phase cycles unwinding endlessly, helix-like, into space, opens up cool compositional possibilities and rhythmic phase effects. The envelope mode is awesome too, not least because it can be set to sit subtly in a mix. The speed and depth knobs double as range and sensitivity controls, and the modest-to-quacky range of effects is impressive.

The 6-stage side of the Zelzah is also simultaneously streamlined and full of surprises. The main attraction here, apart from the thick 6-stage phaser, is a voice switch that morphs between phase, flange, and chorus modes—all of which are excellent. There’s also a 3-position resonance switch that gives all three voices great mellow-to-extreme range.

While Zelzah’s MIDI functionality technically enables hundreds of presets, and you can hook up an expression pedal to effectively move between two preset sounds, you cannot store and recall presets on the unit itself. You’ll either need to delve into MIDI or use an external footswitch with which you can save a single preset. You’ll also need an external switch if you rely on tap tempo. Personally, I find the Zelzah’s basic controls intuitive enough that I don’t need presets or tap tempo much. Some habitual deep divers will, no doubt, be bummed.

Players keen to get on with creation can dive headlong into the Zelzah’s pleasures and get fast results.

The USB jack that enables MIDI connectivity is situated on the crown of the pedal. But there are also true stereo outs as well as a switch that moves the pedal from mono to stereo. Stereo operation is another joy well worth exploring in the Strymon. Just be prepared to allocate a whole week for spelunking these modulation depths.

Motion for Many Moods

The Zelzah’s possible modulation textures start to feel pretty limitless once you get acquainted with the controls—particularly because you can combine the 4-stage phaser with the 6-stage phaser, chorus, and flange.

The 4-stage classic mode is easy to navigate and awash with nice phase colors. The slow and mellow tones are great. So are the fast and intense ones. You hear a lot of detail in these modulations, too, thanks to the pedal’s super-low noise. The potential of the barber pole phaser piqued my interest most. Most barber settings have a frequency-narrowing effect that lends the phase a little more focus, which in turn makes the phase cycle feel more intense. I found a bunch of cool ways to use the tick-tock sway of some of these patterns as rhythmic underpinnings for riffs. And when using the barber pole in compound 4- and 6-stage phaser sounds, you can tune in cool whistling overtones on top. Phasers may be almost intrinsically psychedelic, but the barber pole effect genuinely tweaks your sense of space and time a little more intensely.

The envelope mode, meanwhile, is a riff factory. It twists simple licks in the same way any envelope filter would. But here, the breadth of phase sounds, the ability to keep the effect subdued, and the contouring effect of the phase waveforms take the Zelzah’s version to more malleable and mellow places.

Six-stage phase sounds are generally more intense than 4-stage tones. And with the variable resonance switch available to ramp up the weirdness, you’ll probably want to stop here for your most freakish phase experiences. Even with the resonance switch off, most 6-stage voices feature a detectable whooshiness. And, at mild and high resonances and deeper depth settings, things get ultra-chewy.

The nice chorus and flange effects on the 6-stage side can be made very mellow with the resonance off, but can also assume weird and intense personalities at high resonance and depth settings. They are a fantastic addition to the killer phaser sounds that make Zelzah a practical one-stop modulation shop.

The Verdict

If you’re on the fence between keeping your phase classy and subtle and indulging your wildest modulation urges, Zelzah can accommodate wild fluctuations between those extremes. The compound modulations are an endless well of unusual sounds. And the very rich chorus tones and flanger—and the ease with which you can summon and shape them—make the Zelzah a very fair deal, even if the $349 price initially gives pause.

First Look: Strymon Zelzah Multidimensional Phaser