||Download Example 1
SciFi - Cycling through Time settings, Repeats 5, Level 5
||Download Example 2
May - Time 5, Repeats 12, Level 2. Pedal in effects loop.
||Download Example 3
Pluck - Time 12, Repeats 10, Level 5. Pedal in effects loop.
||Download Example 4
Slapback - Time 9, Repeats 7, Level 12. Fender Strat.
|Unless otherwise specified, all clips recorded with a Parker Fly guitar, Egnater Tourmaster 4212 amplifier, Audio Technica AT2021 Microphone, Avid Pro Tools
Nashville-based Visual Sound has made effects since 1994, when
founder Bob Weil introduced his Visual Volume pedal. The business has
expanded steadily since. And these days, pedals like the company’s
Route 66 overdrive and Jekyll & Hyde distortion can be found on
pedalboards belonging to all types of players.
In 2010, Visual Sound introduced its GarageTone line of affordable
effects pedals, which combine high-quality construction and sounds
for players on a budget. The Axle Grease is the delay offering in the
GarageTone line. But it differs from many affordable delays by using an
analog/digital hybrid circuit.
Simple and Effective
The Axle Grease’s hybrid circuit means the delay section itself is 100
percent analog, while the circuitry that controls the effect is digital. And
in theory, the hybrid setup helps the pedal serve up warmer analog
tones with precision digital control. The Time knob controls the number
of delay repeats per second, the Repeat knob controls feedback, and
the Level knob adjusts the mix between wet and dry signals. The sturdy
housing is made of folded dark grey metal, and includes an on/off switch,
a red LED indicator, and a single input and output.
Plugging my Strat into the Axle Grease and setting the delay for a
slapback effect sent me straight to the honky tonk and rockabilly zone.
And the Axle Grease actually achieves a cool reverb-like effect if set to
a really quick delay. The Axle Grease also works well if you want a fast
delay on short chord stops, quick melody lines, or faster rhythms à la
The Edge. On slower, longer melodies where the delay is timed so the
regenerated notes harmonize with your playing (think Brian May), it’s
sometimes hard to get a delay that’s long enough for really slow passages.
If you tend to play faster, the limitation isn’t much of a concern.
But for players who really like to stretch out a given note using big
spaces between repeats, the Axle Grease may be a bit constraining.
Sonic tricks—like tweaking long repeats with quick Time knob adjustments
to manually induce super-high squeals and low rumbles—were
fun and easy with the Axle Grease. However, if you’re inclined to tinker
with infinite echo effects, keep in mind the pedal is self-oscillating and
will often stay in infinite repeat mode after you’ve turned the pedal off
and on again, requiring a reset by zeroing the Repeat knob.
The Axle Grease Delay is perfect for players who don’t want to spend a fortune
for a quality delay pedal or for whom delay is not their primary effect.
It works nicely as a simple delay for echoing chords and notes with faster
delay times and is great for rockabilly-inspired slapback. And with its hybrid
analog/digital circuit, you still get a warm analog tone at a digital price.
you want a basic, easy to use and inexpensive
you need a more complex delay unit
with long delay times