Dreadbox Treminator Review
Envelope control, cool, unusual waveforms, and deep, interactive controls add up to an impressive, expansive dynamic tremolo at a fair price.
A huge range of trad’ to trippy modulation textures. Cool interactivity between controls. Many useful applications of envelope control.
Controls can be less than intuitive at times.
Few effects are as beautifully moody as tremolo. But the essence of the effect—modulating volume—generally leaves less room for picking dynamics. The beauty of Dreadbox’s smartly designed Treminator is that its functionality spans intense, smothering modulations and those that can be shaped with precision using envelope control. The Treminator isn’t the only dynamic tremolo out there. But its many waveform options, and the wide range and interactivity in its controls, can lead to many unusual or tastefully subdued tremolo variations.
The Treminator’s basic voice is satisfying and, at times, quite intoxicating and enveloping. The waveforms include very nice triangle and square shapes that yield pretty traditional tremolo sounds. There are also ramp-up and ramp-down forms that lend a slippery, mysterious air and suggest reverse tape effects. A random waveform evokes fractured, distant radio broadcasts and tape warble at some settings. The fade control unlocks even more textures by fading modulations in and out or enabling envelope-controlled speed ramping capabilities. And the super-useful LFO waveform reset mode restarts a waveform when the envelope reaches its threshold—eliminating the tug of war between irregular strumming patterns and wave pulses that creates messy rhythmic tangles.
The breadth of Treminator’s possible sounds goes well beyond those described here. Surprises abound. And its ability to reshape a tired riff—or guide you down unexpected musical paths—gives the Treminator immense potential as a compositional device.