Week #3 is here! You could win gear from Carl Martin, Rockett Pedals, Origin Effects, Pigtronix, Truetone or VOX Amplification! Giveaway Ends October 3, 2022.
The world of music has changed and the world of guitar playing has changed along with it. It is becoming normal to not see the full guitar rigs of the 70’s 80’s and 90’s, and just see guitar players with minimal systems to achieve their signature sounds.
Introducing the Carl Martin Ampster…. from the company that has shone the single analog light down that deep digital tunnel. The Ampster, a single tube driven amp/speaker simulator that can either supplement your amp, or replace it. A fully analog unit with controls that are the same as your amplifier with the addition of a mute switch, a speaker selection switch and a voicing switch. What’s more important, the Ampster reacts to your playing in the same way your full size amp does, giving you the same organic feel with zero latency!
The Uni-Verb is a faithful analog recreation of the Univibe with an added 50’s spring tank reverb, expanded control section, and effects loop. This pedal runs at 24v like the original but is internally converted to 24v so you can use a standard 9v power supply. The effects loop separates the chorus/vibe and the reverb
• Analog vibe/chorus running at 24v like the original (powers with a standard 9v)
•Built in 50’s spring tank reverb selectable via foot switch
•Effects loop separating reverb and chorus/vibe for versatile routing options
•Expanded modulation controls for more flexibility and versatility than the original
The Halcyon Green Overdrive is a classic low-gain drive pedal featuring our proprietary Adaptive circuitry. This unique design allows it to adapt its voicing in response to pick attack and volume changes, making it one of the most dynamic and interactive overdrives out there. While it is based on the same green pedal that has inspired countless clones, this little box goes way beyond what the average overdrive has to offer.
Star Eater is an all-analog, dual footswitch super-jumbo Fuzz with a footswitchable booster and variable filter stage, allowing players to easily sculpt a massive array of inspiring, unique fuzz tones. On the fuzz side, newly-available, precision-matched transistor pairs are utilized to ensure that each and every unit is perfectly dialed in to “the sweet spot” that can be so elusive to find in vintage pedals. A rocker switch provides your choice of Germanium or Silicon color. Downstream from the fuzz, a powerful booster stage drives the filter in the Star Eater. Scoop and Bump voicings for the filter can be selected via a rocker switch, drastically changing the frequency response of the Sweep control throughout its entire range. Built to last and designed to inspire, the Star Eater brings a unique approach and a new standard of performance to the world of boutique fuzz pedals. Runs on standard 9VDC.
The 1 SPOT Pro CS12 power supply can provide three times as much power to your pedals as transformer-based power bricks. Each of the 12 outputs are completely isolated, regulated and filtered to give you noise-free performance. With no transformer to hinder its abilities, there is never any proximity noise. And being the world’s first multi-output switching power supply for musicians, it will work anywhere in the world without modification. Quiet, dependable, affordable, and powerful!
Iconic amp sounds for your pedalboard. The Valvenergyvalve distortion pedals offer distortion tones based on iconic amps in a compact pedal format, powered by Nutubefor warm and responsive amp-like tones.
Weird becomes wonderful in a heady, ambitious modulation pedal that somehow always sounds organic.
Super diverse and versatile modulation sounds with uncanny musicality.
Discerning and predicting some knob functions can be confusing.
Catalinbread Many Worlds
Named after physicist Hugh Everett III’s quantum-mechanics theory of the multiverse, the Catalinbread’s Many Worlds phaser takes a tonal trajectory arcing back to the mid-’70s Phase 90 and fractures it, Schrödinger’s cat-style, with eight stages and eight LFO modes. Five knobs govern up to eight parameters and five traditional LFO types—sine, square, sawtooth, reverse-sawtooth, and triangle—plus two envelope-dependent sine modes that trigger varying levels of phase sweep (one downward, one up) based on the intensity of your string attack. In “battle” mode, two sine waves with independently controllable speeds compete to dominate the phase output.
What a World, What a World
Based on what you just read, you couldn’t be blamed for feeling slightly daunted about transporting to Many Worlds’ sonic planes—especially if you’re accustomed to simpler phase fare. It has more knobs than traditional units, and, to newer players, a couple of controls could be confused with other sound concepts or parameters. Freq (frequency), rather than governing Hz-based pitch ranges, controls what some may be used to seeing labeled “rate”—how quickly the phase cycles back and forth—while feedback might make you think of a delay pedal but is better thought of as a resonance knob. In addition, two of the five knobs have mode-dependent functions.
Thankfully, clever labeling and a laminated reference card help you keep things straight. Orange text and waveform icons indicate that, in envelope modes, the upper-left knob becomes an attack control for the low-pass filter, while depth becomes a sens (sensitivity) control regulating input gain for the envelope-detection algorithm. Similarly, light-purple indicates that, in battle LFO mode, the top-middle knob regulates the rate/frequency of the second waveform rather than depth. If all this is starting to make your head swim, just know all that really matters is your ears will perceive myriad cool sounds, even if your brain doesn’t quite grok all the terms or diagrams.
It’s strangely easy to make unusual settings sit right in a mix.
To get a feel for how Many Worlds sounds in the material plane, I engaged my Telecaster’s bridge pickup, dialed up a good ol’ sine wave, nudged mix to 10 o’clock and freq, depth, and feedback to around noon, and—voila! —instant high-lonesome country sounds. Classic and lush, with a slightly pinched nasal quality alluding to the constantly shifting contours of desert dunes. Engaging both pickups, I chose what you might deem an opposite vibe—reverse-sawtooth. But with freq and feedback at noon and depth at max, this imparted an even more delectably undulating movement to spaghetti-western fingerpicking patterns. Somewhat surprisingly, going to regular sawtooth—i.e., with a build up to the peak waveform rather than ramping down from the peak—yielded a bigger, bolder feel to similar picking work. Turns out the feedback knob is a huge key to the overall vibe of any given “world,” with higher settings instilling a slightly honky sound that feels more sensitive to playing dynamics, while lower settings feel more open and airy.
In downward-sweeping envelope mode, dialing attack (alternate parameter for the freq control) and feedback to minimum and both mix and sensitivity (alternate for depth) to noon inspired Andy Summers-esque staccato arpeggios, which bloomed with a lovely, hypnotizing lushness. For envelope-up mode, I cranked attack, sens, feedback, andmix. But rather than sounding bizarre, it imbued guitar lines with a thick, gooey, inviting swirl. Unlike with, say, an envelope-controlled tremolo, Many Worlds’ attack-sensitive modes feel less predictable due to the asymmetrical crisscrossing of waveforms and phase rates. Yet that unpredictability is precisely what’s compelling. A guitar-playing observer wouldn’t think, “Cool—that phaser is reacting to attack dynamics!” But the player themself would be increasingly engrossed in a constantly shifting experience that lures them deeper and deeper as the subtly writhing tonal possibilities become more evident.
As heady as Many Worlds’ ambitions and control set might seem, what’s remarkable is how useful its delightful array of sounds is. Having grown up with Van Halen’s MXR and David Gilmour’s Small Stone sounds defining my idea of phasing, I remember my disappointment/confusion upon first experimenting with a more complex 4-knobber. Sure, it served up a lot of spacey sounds, but they also often felt hackneyed and harsh—like, “Why would I want that sound?” But with Many Worlds it’s strangely easy to make unusual settings sit right in a mix. Yes, you can get out-there and weird, particularly with square waves or in battle mode. Yet even with the latter’s ever-present sonic Cylon sweep in the background, there’s a musicality that doesn’t feel at all alien.
Inspired by the great mysteries of quantum mechanics, the Many Worlds phaser pedal from Catalinbread is the company’s first-ever phaser. In true Catalinbread fashion, the Many Worlds phaser takes a vintage reference point — in this case, an iconic single-knob stompbox — but pairs it with expanded control knobs (attack, depth, feedback, and mix) and modulation from eight distinct LFO options.