lovell musiclab

Myriad subtleties lurk within this lovely-sounding pedal named after Neil Young’s filmmaking alter ego.

Named after the “Bernard Shakey” pseudonym Neil Young takes when directing films, and built in Medellín, Colombia, Lovell’s 4-knob trem features rate and depth dials, a knob to morph between triangle- or square-wave modulation, and a mini pot that blends between positive and negative sawtooth waves. Designer Tim Lovell says that, to address the volume loss often perceived in trem circuits, Shakey “progressively DC offsets the LFO [low-frequency oscillation] when manipulating the depth control” to ensure your signal never feels diminished or lost.

Although it’s not as much of a problem as it used to be, too many trem stomps still neglect tantalizing tortoise-slow rates in favor of strobe-fast speeds. Shakey deserves kudos for offering both. The wave-morph knob lets you go from a tranquil, amp-like feel to abrupt and stutter-y at extremes. Meanwhile the sawtooth-tweaking control goes from more traditional, immediate-attack-and-decay response (at minimum) to a ramp-up swell that yields almost reverse-playback like effects at maximum. Though subtle, the latter can add unusual and trippy vibes to spacious mixes.

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