The spirit of the CE-1 and CE-2 live on in a MN3207 chip -driven chorus and vibrato that moves in rich, rippling waves.
Behold, The Fates! Inspired by the Japanese Chorus pedals of yesteryear, The Fates is the first modulation pedal by Mythos.
Utilizing the iconic MN3207 chip, this BBD Analog Chorus has all the swirly tones you'd expect from those classic 80's units. We wanted to put our spin on that iconic sound and create an homage that lived up to the Mythos standard. The Fates features finely tuned Rate and Depth controls so that you have the most musical range of sounds. We added Vibrato mode that turns off the clean mix portion of the Chorus but didn’t stop with just that simple mod. The Vibrato mod has been finely tuned to shift select components so that it does not have that extreme warble from the depth pot. Both the Chorus and Vibrato modes will run the gamut of swirly shimmer to rotary speaker like vibes.
The Fates features a JFET buffered bypass/input stage which helps keeps the noise down but also helps push the signal. This JFET stage gives you a sweet output bump and EQ voicing that plays well with both clean and driven sounds. On the face of the unit is Rate LED that will flash in relation to the Rate setting. This Analog Chorus is not for those who want presets, infinite controls, and other modern feature sets. The Fates is for the player who wants to plug in and enjoy the simplicity of iconic Chorus tones with ease.
Smart interface design makes exploring traditional modulation tones and deeply tweaked sounds an intuitive joy.
Gazillions of possible modulation tones from trad’ to bizarre. Well-designed interface. Rich basic sounds. Easy to use in conventional settings.
Some study required to maximize pedal potential. Some weirder lo-fi sounds betray digital artifacts.
Walrus Audio Mako M1
Depending on your appetite for adventure, the Walrus Audio M1 modulation machine can look like a thrill ride or a very nasty little thing. The knobs and switches—as well as the graphics and text that describe their function—are packed like sardines onto the face of the pedal. And depending on your settings, the two bright LEDs can pulse like an entire Fillmore liquid light show stuffed into two little fish eyes.
If simplicity is your muse for the moment, M1 might not be the best travelling pal. But before you move on too fast, plug the M1 in. Twist any one of those knobs any direction you’d like and play a simple D chord. My guess is that, as terrifying as the M1 might look, it’ll take just that one strum to hook you. Because the M1 is fun. Lots of fun. And even if you never use its deep and impressive sound-crafting tools to fullest potential, the M1’s sounds and smart design still make it a cornucopia of easy-to-source, immersive modulations.
Walrus Audio Mako M1 Review by premierguitar
- Three chorus voices: Traditional, dual chorus, and tri-chorus, each played at various depth and rate settings with occasional tweaks to lo-fi and tone settings.
- Three vibrato voices: Traditional vibrato, vinyl record, tape vibrato, and pattern tremolo each played at various depth and rate settings with occasional tweaks to lo-fi and tone settings.
- Three tremolo voices: traditional tremolo, harmonic tremolo, and pattern tremolo each played at various depth and rate settings with occasional tweaks to lo-fi and tone settings.
Damn the Navigation Aids! Full Speed Ahead!
I could spend most of the space in this review describing the primary and secondary functions governed by the M1’s 11 switches, knobs, and toggles (not to mention the stereo I/O, MIDI in/thru jacks, and a USB jack for firmware updates). But the M1 is deep enough that the job is best left to the thorough, downloadable manual available on the Walrus web site. This excellent piece of documentation is worth cruising even before you buy the M1 to see if the deeper functions merit your investment. However, if you choose to take the plunge and explore M1 as intuitively as possible, the manual is a well-written map for your trip through modulation wonderland. Should you meander too far from the trail, it’ll likely get you back on track fast.
At the M1s core are six modulation voices. Chorus, phase, tremolo, vibrato, and rotary speaker sounds are all represented along with a modulated filter setting. Each voice spans pretty and demented sounds, and each is full of surprises. In their most traditional incarnations, the digital emulations of analog effects are beautifully accurate and replete with rich overtone detail. Secondary functions abound on the M1 and making the most of them really does require some study of the manual. But one of the best things about the M1’s designs is that if you get into the weeds with these secondary functions, it’s generally easy to get back on track using the pedal’s rate and depth modes, which lends a sense that it’s OK to proceed fearlessly.
Even in small measures, many of the lo-fi sounds can shape straightforward modulation in very cool ways.
Diving for Pearls
If and when you do get the courage to explore M1’s deeper possibilities, there’s much to enjoy. The primary path to this deeper functionality comes via the tweak and tune knobs and their associated switches. Both controls change function depending on what you select with the switch below. Tweak enables you to choose between sine, triangle, and square waveshapes; quarter-note, triplet, and eighth-note tap divisions (there are a wealth of subtle rhythmic textures here); or one of three modes for each basic program. These modes include tri-chorus in chorus mode, different horn/drum virtual miking configurations in rotary mode, tape- and warped-vinyl-inspired vibratos, harmonic tremolo, and high, low, and bandpass filters in the filter program, just to name a few. On the tune side, the 3-way switch enables the knob to be configured for adjustments to tone, wave symmetry, or “X” functions that include everything from stereo phase effects to phaser feedback and tape flutter. Should you start to worry about losing your place as you get into these deeper realms, remember that the M1 has the capacity for nine onboard presets (easily accessed using the A/B/C bank switch and the two footswitches in concert) and 128 total presets via MIDI.
Yet another realm of tone possibilities lives in the lo-fi strata of functionality. Accessing these functions on the fly is a little more cumbersome as they require selecting a function via the 3-way switch, holding down the bypass footswitch, and then using the tweak or tune knob to add the lo-fi element to taste. Not all these functions will serve all players. A lot of them tend toward the noisy, junky, and weird side of the sound spectrum. But even in small measures, many of the lo-fi sounds, like age, space (reverb), drive, and noise, can shape straightforward modulation in very cool ways. Once set up it’s easy to mix in these textures with the lo-fi knob. Don’t be afraid to set up highly weird sounds and add them incrementally.
One of the M1’s great achievements is that it can serve two muses—the obsessive, micro-level sound designer, and the reckless, intuitive sound tripper—simultaneously. This is no insignificant thing. And Walrus deserves praise for accomplishing this design feat in a compact stompbox. But the highest praise may be due for Walrus’s ability to make M1 so much fun and so sonically satisfying. And Walrus’s ability to walk this engineering and design tightrope makes the otherwise steep-looking $349 price a relative bargain.
A feature-filled pitch-shifting delay meant for maximum weirding.
Wide-ranging and unique functionality. Envelope settings and momentary switches lend extreme interactivity.
Steep learning curve. Stereo input/output is only via TRS stereo cable.
Red Panda Raster 2
You could call the Raster 2 a delay pedal with a pitch shifter and modulation, but that would set up inaccurate expectations about the pedal’s sound and function. Instead, like many modern algorithm-driven glitch pedals, the Raster provides a way of interacting with sound. In that way, the Raster 2 is as much synth as tone augmenter.
The Raster 2 offers an intimidating set of controls: six knobs, six switches, two buttons, and two footswitches which have multiple functions. I started simple, only employing the delay, which offers 1600 ms of delay time. At its fastest settings, I added micro-pitch shifting to produce flanger and chorus sounds. Bigger pitch shifts (the control ranges up to an octave in each direction) revealed my favorite sound—a full wet blend and a momentary setting on the pitch shifter footswitch that added percussive, noisy, arpeggiated explosions.
Red Panda Raster 2 Review by premierguitar
- moderate delay time, moderate descending pitch shifting, ramp up and down.
- long, moderate, and short delay times, infinite feedback with low blend setting, moderate ascending pitch shifting, square ramp.
- short delay settings with ascending pitch shift set to momentary switch, reverse envelope modulation.
- moderate delay time, slight ascending pitch shifting, envelope-controlled modulation.
The modulation function has seven waveforms plus envelope and reverse envelope settings, the latter two of which are very interactive. At long delay settings and high feedback settings, each of these waveforms can take on a life of its own, oscillating into controllable infinity.
There are nice conventional delay and modulation sounds in the Raster 2, but its most exciting and unique settings are the craziest. There’s cool stereo functionality, but it requires a less-convenient TRS stereo breakout cable instead of simpler separate left/right outputs. And, as with any advanced-level digital pedal, there’s a lot to learn to get the most out of the Raster 2’s capabilities. Even so, the Raster 2 offers quick rewards, too, and is more user-friendly in that respect than it first appears. Most important, it’s so much fun, you’ll want to keep digging in.