october 2017

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.

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Vintage-hued analog modulations are married in an elegant and easy-to-use stomp.

St. Paul, Minnesota-based Henretta Engineering’s handmade pedals often take minimalism to the max. Stomps like the Crimson tremolo, Black Hole chorus, and Red Brick delay have no knobs at all. Yes you can make some adjustments with internal controls, but the message in this design scheme is clear: Henretta tones are killer without any tweaking.

The new H-Bomb line, which includes the all-analog Trembrato reviewed here, does feature tone-shaping controls. And because the Trembrato is built around Henretta’s Crimson tremolo—a great sounding knob-less design—it’s hard not to be intrigued by the possibilities of extra control and a vibrato in the mix. The Trembrato tends to reward curiosity in spades.

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