Creative side-chaining functions come to life in a super-compact and powerful stomp.
Side chaining—the studio practice of ducking instrument volumes in sync with rhythmic elements—is a fixture in everything from dance music to fist-pumping stadium rock. It’s a clever way to add impact, animate ordinary rhythms, and make a straight-ahead track into a dance floor corker, which is no small currency in today’s pop music production climate. Side-chaining can be used for any instrument. But when it’s applied to guitar in the studio, it can sound like everything from tremolo to reverse reverb to heavy compression.
With the Deep Space Pulsar, the ever-clever David Rainger has stuffed an effective side-chaining device in a compact enclosure designed for performing guitarists. Like all Rainger effects, it can look and feel scarily unorthodox. But it’s a cost-effective and surprisingly straight-ahead means of achieving tightly sync’d ducking effects without MIDI. It’s so accommodating to lo-fi, lo-tech approaches, in fact, that it can be triggered by a microphone stuffed in a kick drum and wired right back to the pedal!
Tiny Purple Beat Slicer
David Rainger takes inventive approaches to interfacing with effects—and even the guitar itself—and his work often assumes that you’ll interact with your guitar in ways your music teacher didn’t cover. That aspect of Rainger’s design ethos is strong here. But Rainger’s ingenuity pays more practical dividends too—most notably in an effective, flexible control scheme that fits in a “mini” pedal enclosure.
The Pulsar’s two primary controls make the pedal feel a little like a mutant tremolo/phaser/compressor hybrid. The dip control changes the intensity of volume drops. The “rel” (release) control, meanwhile, regulates the rate with which volume returns to normal after the drop. A volume knob controls the output. But there’s also a cool inverse button that flips the relationship between the rhythmic pulse and your instrument so they hit simultaneously.
On the top of the unit, just next to the I/O jacks, you’ll see a 1/8" jack that is key to making the Deep Space Pulsar work. It receives input from your rhythmic “controller,” which can be the included Igor tap tempo unit, a drum machine, or best of all, a microphone on a drum kit. It’s this latter trick that makes the Pulsar so accessible and full of possibilities as a live improvisational device. And it’s a cool flipside to the rigid side-chaining typically used in pop and EDM.
Parts That Pop
Though the control set is easy to grasp conceptually, most players will need time to adapt to the way it feels. Bold use of the effect means an inherent latency between what you play and what you hear, which will probably change the way you approach your parts rhythmically and dynamically. What’s cool is the way that limitation can make the Pulsar into a riff-writing conspirator—forcing unorthodox meters and rhythmic shifts that can transform simple melodies and chord changes.
The Deep Space Pulsar is good for much more than heavy-handed effects. I loved using fast release times and less intense volume dips, and then driving the effect with a drum machine or kick drum to create subtle, poly-rhythmic tremolo effects. It’s a trick that adds cool complexity and movement to chord patterns and works well with spacy reverbs and delays downstream. If you’re a fan of My Bloody Valentine’s dance/space pop hybrids, you’ll love this facet of the Pulsar’s personality.
The Deep Space Pulsar isn’t a pedal for minimalists. At the very least, you’ll need the tap tempo controller to make it work. And if you get hooked on the pedal’s potential—which is likely—you’ll almost certainly want to explore the possibilities of miking drums or syncing up to a drum machine via a cable splitter. On the other hand, the Rainger is brilliantly set up to do all this with a minimum of fuss and space. Given the potential sonic dividends and songwriting inspiration, it’s an avenue worth exploring for even the casually curious.
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This full-amp-stack-in-a-box pedal brings a new flavor to the Guitar Legend Tone Series of pedals, Missing Link Audio’s flagship product line.
Adding to the company’s line of premium-quality effects pedals, Missing Link Audio has unleashed the new AC/Overdrive pedal. This full-amp-stack-in-a-box pedal – the only Angus & Malcom all-in-one stompbox on the market – brings a new flavor to the Guitar Legend Tone Series of pedals, Missing Link Audio’s flagship product line.
The AC/OD layout has three knobs to control Volume, Gain and Tone. That user-friendly format is perfect for quickly getting your ideal tone, and it also offers a ton of versatility. MLA’s new AC/OD absolutely nails the Angus tone from the days of “High Voltage” to "Back in Black”. You can also easily dial inMalcom with the turn of a knob. The pedal covers a broad range of sonic terrain, from boost to hot overdrive to complete tube-like saturation. The pedal is designed to leave on all the time and is very touch responsive. You can get everything from fat rhythm tones to a perfect lead tone just by using your guitar’s volume knob and your right-hand attack.
- Three knobs to control Volume, Gain and Tone
- Die-cast aluminum cases for gig-worthy durability
- Limited lifetime warranty
- True bypass on/off switch
- 9-volt DC input
- Made in the USA
MLA Pedals AC/OD - Music & Demo by A. Barrero
Sporting custom artwork etched onto the covers, the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One Humcutters are designed to offer a fat midrange and a smooth top end.
Billy Corgan was looking for something for heavier Smashing Pumpkins songs, so Joe Naylor designed the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One pickup. Sporting custom artwork etched onto the covers, the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One Humcutters have a fat midrange and a smooth top end. This pickup combines the drive and sustain of a humbucker with the percussive attack and string clarity of a P90. Get beefy P90 tone plus amp-pummeling output with the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One.
Patented Railhammer Pickups take passive guitar pickups to a new level with rails under the wound strings lead to tighter lows, and poles under the plain strings offer fatter heights. With increased clarity, the passive pickup’s tone is never sterile.
Railhammer Billy Corgan Signature Z-One Pickup Demo
For more information, please visit railhammer.com.
Designed for utmost comfort and performance, the Vertigo Ultra Bass is Mono’s answer to those who seek the ultimate gigging experience.
Complete with a range of game-changing design features, such as the patent-pending attachable FREERIDE Wheel System, premium water-resistant and reflective materials, shockproof shell structure and improved ergonomic features, the Vertigo Ultra Bass takes gear protection to the next level.
The Vertigo Ultra Bass features:
- Patent-pending FREERIDE Wheel System that allows for wheels to be attached on the case in no time, giving you the option to travel with it seamlessly
- Upgraded materials, including a water-resistant 1680D Ballistic Nylon outer shell, plush inner lining and new reflective trim for maximum backstage and night visibility
- Enhanced protection with a shockproof shell structure and heavy-duty water-resistant YKK zippers for protection from the elements
- Improved ergonomics and functionality including added back support and load-lifting detachable shoulder straps with side release buckles
- Flexible storage options with added space for touring essentials