A tribute to classic pedal designs, but with a unique twist. Wampler dives into the world of germanium diodes, which has often been called the "key" to the original Klon circuitry's distinctive sound.
The allure of that original overdrive had a lot to do with a very specific “secret” germanium diode, dubbed “unobtanium” by the original creator, Bill Finnegan. It was said that these diodes were the heartbeat of the coveted tone, but they had run out long ago. Despite this Wampler fans have been asking Brian to create a Tumnus using the exact vintage diode from the original.
After a massive hunt, Brian found a small stash of these elusive diodes and used them to create a limited-edition run of pedals - the Germanium Tumnus. This pedal will satisfy both the pedal connoisseur and those seeking a new workhorse on their board. The Germanium Tumnus retains all the usability of its golden sibling but introduces an extra level of aggression, an “Alien Silver” finish, and premium red anodized knobs.
The Germanium Tumnus’s streamlined 3 control knobs (Volume, Gain, and Treble) are designed to allow you to quickly dial in your tones. Set the gain around 9 o’clock for a beautiful smooth overdriven boost and at noon for a fuller-voiced, meaty drive. Turn the gain all the way up for a brutal, yet creamy overdriven tone.
Stack it with another pedal to help push or shape the total amount of gain, use it as a standalone overdrive, or as a slightly dirty boost to push the front end of your amp over the edge. Just like the original Klon, this pedal is not a “true bypass”.
This edition is steeped in a level of exclusivity with a tone that’s set to become legendary. This stash of “secret diodes” is limited, giving you a rare opportunity to own a piece of tone-shaping history. But once they’re gone, they’re gone and this pedal will be discontinued.
- Built-in USA
- High-grade components selected for superior sound and response
- Special edition of Wampler’s best-selling Tumnus Overdrive
- Volume, Gain, Treble controls
- Premium textured “Alien Silver” finish and anodized controls
- Vintage-specification clipping diodes for extra bite and sizzle
- Dimensions: 1.3” x 3.6” x 2” in size (38mm x 63.5mm x 50mm)
- Power draw: 19mA at 9V
- 9V power jack – DC supply only, no battery connection within
- Includes a limited 5-year warranty
- Wampler-quality construction
The Germanium TUMNUS from Wampler - Limited Edition
The RV-200 Reverb features twelve versatile reverb types, including the newly developed Arpverb.
The RV-200’s reverberation engine offers class-leading sound quality, backed by custom Boss DSP, 32-bit AD/DA, 32-bit floating point processing, and a 96 kHz sampling rate. Every algorithm offers true studio-grade performance with outstanding detail and definition. From essentials like Room, Hall, and Plate to deeply immersive sounds like Shimmer, Slowverb, and the new Arpverb, the RV-200’s 12 distinctive reverb types provide ambient colors for every song and style.
Like all 200 series pedals, the RV-200 offers a powerful yet intuitive panel that makes it easy to shape great sounds. Core controls include reverb time, effect level, pre-delay, and variable high and low filters. There’s also a density control to adjust the weight of the sound, plus a parameter knob that provides access to multiple sound-shaping tools unique to each reverb type.
The RV-200 includes memories for storing 127 reverb sounds. Two onboard footswitches pack a lot of performance versatility, with numerous options to reassign their targets for different needs. Users can bypass the effect, scroll through memories, and activate a Hold function to carry on the reverb effect for as long as the switch is pressed. It’s also possible to assign powerful performance effects such as Warp, Twist, and Fade.
The RV-200 supports numerous options for external operation. Many assignable parameter targets can be controlled via footswitches or an expression pedal, and MIDI I/O is provided on space-saving mini TRS jacks. Via MIDI, users can chain multiple 200 series pedals and select memories on all of them at once. It’s also possible to control various functions from external MIDI controllers and devices like the Boss ES-8 and ES-5 effects switchers.
Modeling meets profiling in Kemper’s latest Liquid Profiling OS, and lures a busy session and studio player into a brave new world of sonic control.
Making the switch to a Kemper Profiler was a very personal decision for me, and so many factors went into it. In my earlier professional life, I considered myself a devout lover of tube amps and had invested in an extensive and well-built pedalboard featuring the effects I loved and trusted. I would bring a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe on trailer/bus tours, or fly with my pedalboard as checked luggage and backline different amps. For local shows, I’d lug my gear around and consider the venture a mixture of playing music and going to the gym.
Then, in 2017, I’d rented a room up two flights of stairs, and I’d just finished several international tours with various artists. I was nursing a chronic overuse injury in my left arm, and was becoming frustrated with the inconsistencies I experienced at different venues, caused by humidity, temperature, room size, audience, gear lost by an airline, etc. I’d fortunately hit a point of financial stability where splurging on a solution seemed practical. Friends and players I respect were talking about switching to Kemper’s fully digital approach. I’m grateful that I did the same thing. Although I still have my pedalboard and tube amps, I use my Kemper Profiler Stage on every gig that I can.
Until Kemper’s recent free OS 10.0 update—which includes the company’s new breakthrough, Liquid Profiling—I’d been a fairly simple user. I’d primarily downloaded my favorite rigs from friends whose ears I trust (fellow Nashville guitarists Mike Britt and Chris Reynolds) and tweaked them to my own specs and gig needs. But intrigued by the idea of a new OS that blended modeling with profiling, which would essentially provide all the sonic controls and bandwidth of the amps profiled inside the Kemper, I recently dived into profiling.
“All the important factors—gain, treble, mids, bass, etc.—are fully controllable as you gig or record.”
To my surprise, it was fairly easy. First, I learned the system’s original method for profiling. Basically, you find a favorite tone on the amp you’re profiling, plug a guitar into the Kemper’s front input jack, mike up the amp, and run that mic line to the Kemper’s return jack. Then you complete the loop by running a cable from the amp’s input jack to the Kemper’s 1/4" send jack. (For Kemper Stage users, like me, this will require a male XLR to TRS adaptor.) The Kemper’s LCD screen gives you step-by-step instructions. You follow them, refine, and play—A/B listening with headphones, until the Kemper nails the exact sound you want. When you initialize the profiling process on the Kemper, it sends test tones through the amp, retrieves the sonic properties of the amp’s setting, and saves a snapshot of the amp’s properties that you can call up when you’re rocking.
Once I had that down, I learned that the process had to change a little bit in OS 10.0 to take advantage of Liquid Profiling. Instead of capturing an amp’s sweet spot, you capture the amp with all the settings at noon—actually about 5.5 on the amp I used, which has typical dial markings of 1 to 10 . Then, from Kemper’s extensive menu of tone stacks, you choose the most desirable one to pair with the profile. That allows for the amp’s entire sonic profile to be digitally recreated within the Kemper, rather than just one sweet spot. After that, it’s a matter of using the Kemper’s dials just as you would that original amp’s. This means all the important factors—gain, treble, mids, bass, etc.—are fully controllable as you gig or record.
My newly acquired profiling skills are already paying off, since I can now bring the versatility and flexibility of my Hot Rod Deluxe with me anywhere, and my Kemper lets me engage with gain and EQ settings in an organic way—an improvement over the old operating system’s limitation of engaging in only one set-in-stone tone stack. There are a few other new developments with this update, too, including USB recording and a user app for Android phones.
My Kemper Stage sounded great before, but unless you’re a player who tends to set-and-forget after profiling, it didn’t quite nail the feel of a real amp. Now, with Liquid Profiling bridging the worlds of modeling and profiling, the nail’s been hit squarely on the head.
Steve Cook takes you through Seamoon FX's Octatron and Grind Machine – tools that might just change your bass game.
In this video, Steve Cook demos two bass-centric pedals from Seamoon FX: the Octatron, and the Grind Machine. The Octatron is an octave pedal that adds depth and rumble to your bass sound with a simple four-knob design. It can create a wide range of tones to enhance your bass guitar's sound. The Grind Machine is an overdrive pedal specifically designed for bass, offering a variety of tones with its easy-to-use four-knob layout and two switches. Both pedals are available for $199 each and can be combined for even more tonal possibilities.
The legendary animated metal band is back with Dethalbum IV, a Def Leppard-in-an-arena-sized approach to gruesome, Cannibal Corpse-style riffage. Metalocalypse mastermind Brendon Small tells us how his cartoon came to life.
If fate hadn’t intervened, Dethklok’s newest album, Dethalbum IV—the first since 2012’s Dethalbum III—probably would’ve sounded quite different than it does. That’s because Dethklok mastermind Brendon Small would’ve enlisted his tried-and-true equipment: enviable guitars up the wazoo, a go-to Marshall cabinet with Celestion speakers, and at least a few mics. Instead, some thieves saw to it that Small take a different approach when they robbed his home studio.
“I think some people saw me carrying guitars back and forth and crowbarred my studio door, so my main A-league guitars were kaput,” Small recalls somberly. After the robbery, he moved everything out and went undercover. “I went into the modern world of direct recording,” he explains. “It pushed the record into a different place than my normal ‘safety gear’ would’ve.” In the theater world, one might raise their hands above their heads and exclaim gleefully, “unexpected results!”—the inevitable and, often, positive outcomes of unintended actions.
Metalocalypse: Dethklok | Gardener of Vengeance (Lyric Video) | Adult Swim
If anyone knows a thing or two about unexpected results (and theatrics), it’s Brendon Small. Having cultivated a career that he refers to as “whatever it is that I do for a living,” Small somehow managed to marry a Berklee College of Music guitar education with Emerson College comedy-writing classes to create a wildly unique career path for himself. Born in 1975, Small first gained widespread recognition as the creator, writer, and co-producer of the animated television series Home Movies, which aired from 1999 to 2004. The show followed the humorous exploits of a young boy named Brendon, his friends, and their amateur filmmaking endeavors. Small’s most notable achievement, however, came with the creation of Adult Swim’s animated cult classic Metalocalypse. It was the medium through which he finally, successfully, combined his songwriting and comedy-writing talents.
Premiering in 2006 and running for four seasons, Metalocalypse depicted the fictional band Dethklok embarking upon absurdly dark adventures as the self-proclaimed “heaviest metal band ever created.” Metalocalypse blended humor, satire, and heavy metal culture with sharp musical performances and scores, creating a unique and, ultimately, beloved experience for metalheads and animation fans alike. Small created and produced the series, provided the voices for several main characters, and composed most of the music featured in the show, including the tracks performed by Dethklok. In August, nearly a decade since the cliffhanger ending of The Doomstar Requiem – A Klok Opera in 2013, Metalocalypse finally returned with a full-length animated movie. Written and directed by Small, Metalocalypse: Army of the Doomstar brings Nathan Explosion (vocals), Skwisgaar Skwigelf (lead guitar), Toki Wartooth (rhythm guitar), William Murderface (bass), and Pickles (drums) back together for another action-packed journey.
Brendon Small's Gear
Dethklok creator Brendon Small resurrected the animated band this year after a decade-long hiatus.
- Epiphone Brendon Small GhostHorse Explorer
- Fender Jazz Bass
- Gibson Explorer
- Gibson Snow Falcon Flying V
- Ibanez JS240PS with Sustainiac mod
- Ibanez Tom Quayle Signature TQM1
Amps & Effects
- Neural DSP Quad Cortex Quad-Core Digital Effects Modeler
Strings & Picks
- Dunlop DEN09544 Electric Nickel .095–.044
- Dunlop Ultex 1.14mm
Released in conjunction with the movie, Dethalbum IV is a bludgeoning aural assault that showcases Small’s knack for combining glossy production with “some of the ugliest sounds” he could conjure. “There’s this melding of the putrid and the beautiful that I’m trying to smash together,” he attests. Songs like “Aortic Desecration,” “Gardner of Vengeance,” and “Poisoned by Food” may be lyrically silly and satirical—even gross—but the music is serious business, on par with Mastodon, Lamb of God, and other like-minded metal bands who combine cunning songcraft with stunning instrumental proficiency. Riff-heavy, melodic, and merciless, Dethalbum IV is an expertly crafted record where death growls are overtaken by soaring melodies and vice versa, guitar histrionics are undergirded by monstrous grooves courtesy of drummer Gene Hoglan, and the production aesthetic, perhaps largely due to Small’s unintended switch to direct recording, is easily Dethklok’s slickest yet.
Simply put, Dethalbum IV is a fierce musical statement that deftly combines hook-laden melodicism with fist-pumping metal. “There was a point where I was listening to this record, and I’m standing back and going, ‘This is much more aggressive and much heavier than a Dethklok record normally,’” Small explains. “[Producer] Ulrich Wild really landed the bird with this one, getting it to that aggressive and modern place, which is somewhere between Cannibal Corpse and Def Leppard’s Hysteria.” Small calls this amalgamation of influences “stuff that hits your DNA” when you’re a kid. “The impressionable parts stay with you,” he admits.
“Doing a Dethklok show is like storming the beach at Normandy during a laser tag battle.”
Despite being Dethklok’s de facto studio guitarist, what really sets Small apart from many other contemporary shredders is that he considers himself a writer first and foremost. “Ever since I had a guitar, I was always trying to write music on it,” he says. “Even when I couldn’t play it, I would just start to write ideas or lines or a riff on the lower strings.” Composition first, and then form-fit around it, he likes to say. “I like to come up with stuff, either in the script form or with some kind of instrument hanging around, from keyboard to guitar to spoons—whatever I can do.”
Even though he ultimately gravitated towards traditional recording techniques (like a mic in front of a speaker cab), Small admits that having digital options early on made his guitar and comedy-writing career possible. “I don’t think I could have made music unless I had that Line 6 POD in the very beginning,” he admits. “I’m a writer who happens to play guitar, and I have to find a way to mangle these sounds into something that makes sense. I’ve got to get the sounds down in the big notepad that is the Pro Tools session.”
Though his return to direct recording was a matter of necessity, it was influential to the overall sound of Dethalbum IV, and Small asserts that he tried to let the music unfold naturally. “At some point, I look at the record and go, ‘Whatever this is, I can’t stop it from being what it needs to be,’” he says. “There’s something in the pineal gland that’s driving it from the astral plane pushing it forward.” Ultimately, he attests, the Dethklok characters start to take over in his mind: “Nathan Explosion is making decisions, and Skwisgaar wants more notes, and I’m like, ‘Okay, I’ll see if I can make it work because I’m not as good as that guy,’ so I have to really work it.”
After thieves plundered his home studio, Small decided to record Dethalbum IV without any amps—a homecoming of sorts for the early Line 6 POD user.
Speaking of Skwigelf, Small cites one big difference between Dethalbum IV and previous Dethklok records. “Now Skwisgaar has a whammy bar and 24 frets,” he chuckles. “There are dive-bombs on this record that I never did before, but I wanted to be able to do what Jeff Beck did, get a little bit more expressive—go from the fixed bridge to the whammy. I’ve had guitars with it, but I just wanted to finally put them on the record. There’s just a little bit more goose in it.”
“I think if you’ve decided to jump onto the carnival train that is your own creative life, you have to bob, weave, fail, and succeed all in a matter of 20 minutes every single day.”
Small’s cross-section of music and comedy began during his time at Boston’s Berklee College of Music in his junior year. “I started having forward thoughts of my impending doom, like, ‘I’m going to graduate, and what the hell am I going to do with this guitar? I love it, I hate it. What am I going to do?’” he recalls. He was also having a hard time corralling the school’s curriculum into a solid identity for his own guitar playing. “I’m in a jazz chord lab figuring out what Joe Pass used to do. Then, I’m thinking about Danny Gatton in my country lab, and then I have advanced concepts of prog-rock where I’m learning about Gentle Giant, and then I’m in traditional harmony trying to mimic an étude or learn how to write a chorale, or voice leading, or figured bass, or any of that cool stuff, and I’m having some kind of musical identity crisis and fearing the end of school and the real world.”
Instead of going the weekend-warrior route via gigs posted on a corkboard at Berklee, Small pursued internships at two different jingle houses in New York. One was David Horowitz Music Associates, and the other was Michael Levine Music. “Michael Levine wrote the Kit Kat theme: ‘Give me a break, give me a break…,’” Small sings. He soon realized that his roommate Jed, from Emerson College, had what he deemed a much cooler internship with Conan O’Brien.
For real-life concert appearances, Small brings Dethklok to life alongside an all-star band that includes Mike Keneally (guitar), Nili Brosh (guitar), Bryan Beller and Pete Griffin (bass), and Gene Hoglan (drums).
Small’s fly-on-the-wall experience tagging along with Jed at the late-night talk show prompted him to draw up a plan for his future. “I went back to Berklee in my final year, and I started taking writing classes along with Emerson [students],” he explains. His assignments included writing a spec script and a sample episode of a TV show, and demonstrating he could write character, story, jokes, and tone. “I saw that it’s like a good piece of music,” he says. “You’ve got an A theme, a B theme, and maybe a C theme, and how do they all intertwine into this final pocket at the very end?” Conceptually and structurally, it made sense for Small: “It was like the études I was studying. There was something baroque about it that I understood.”
These combined college experiences ultimately led Small to start thinking about the intersections of songwriting, screenwriting, and acting, and how that combination might be a viable career path for him. “If you can make sense of your guitar enough to score music, I think ultimately that’s a battle of you versus yourself,” he says. “Once you prove that you can take this foreign object [a guitar] and make it a part of you, you can do that with anything. You just have to learn where the knobs are, where the frets are, how to bend notes, and how to find your rhythm. Everything’s a storyline, from a piece of music to a piece of media. Whatever it is, there’s a beginning, a middle, and end. Ultimately, it did me well to think of them as similar things.”
“Everything’s a storyline, from a piece of music to a piece of media. Whatever it is, there’s a beginning, a middle, and end. Ultimately, it did me well to think of them as similar things.”
To bring Dethklok to life for this year’s Babyklok Tour alongside Babymetal, Small enlisted heavyweights Mike Keneally (guitar), Nili Brosh (guitar), Bryan Beller and Pete Griffin (bass), and Hoglan (drums). While preparing to hit the road, Small was focused on the aspects of live performance that the concert experience demands of him. “Doing a Dethklok show is like storming the beach at Normandy during a laser-tag battle,” he chuckles. “There’s lights and craziness and fog and haze, and you’re like, ‘Where am I?’ There’s a lot of muscle memory and position memory that has to be there. I have to think about the lyrics, the vocalizing, and if all I can see is the low E string, and I’m on the high E string, I have to trust that my hand remembers where it needs to be.”
Circling back to “whatever it is I do for a living,” Small offers the following wisdom for those interested in pursuing an artistic life: “I think if you’ve decided to jump onto the carnival train that is your own creative life, you have to bob, weave, fail, and succeed all in a matter of 20 minutes every single day,” he says. “How do you stand back and try to conceptualize and solve a problem? I think that’s what makes it fun, and treacherous, and terrifying, and filled with failure, and a little bit of success.”
Dethklok shreds a live performance of "Thunderhorse" for the Adult Swim Festival Block Party, combining thrilling Metalocalypse-style animation with furious technical performances.