Category Archives: Effects

Nux Flanger Core Review

I brought this pedal during the Spring of 2016: I was walking through a store and saw it at a reasonable price (about 30 euros). Now, there are three things to know before reading this review: a) I’m not a big fan of flangers in general; b) this pedal is more subtle than your average flanger FX (compared, for example with the Flangers in the MiniKP2, this one is very, very shy); and c) I think NUX stopped making these pedals during the summer of 2016, although you can still find it on amazon and other retailers. As usual, I recommend you to complement this reading by watching the demo on my YouTube Channel (see bellow).

Ok, so let’s start with the obvious: this pedal is white with a purple background in the control area. It is a metal case with the same dimensions and overall Feel of the NUX Time Core (reviewed here). I must say the NUX Time Core has been with me for about a year now and is my main delay pedal. I don’t use it as a stomp box (i.e. I don’t have it on the floor and use my feet on it), so I cannot state it was built like a tank. Nevertheless, if you’re not going to take it to some physical mistreatment, the built quality is fine (specially considering the price). Thus, I’m expecting the NUX Flanger Core to be at around the same build quality, which is not bad,  and it is perfectly adequate for my usage. Continue reading Nux Flanger Core Review

Arturia Microbrute Through Guitar Pedals

Not exactly a “Berlin School Experiment”, more of an improvised experimentation using the MicroBrute and five guitar pedals. There has been quite a few videos on this theme, so I decided to add my own personal twist to the experiment.




The music starts at about 01:00. For this video I decided to include the end of the preparatory stage where I program the sequence on the MB. This is an arpeggiation on the chords of a Portuguese (more precisely Azorian) folk song “Charamba”, but on a 5/4 time signature.

I also took advantage of the double (almost triple) output of the microbrute (Main mono and headphones) to make a more complex FX chain. The Main audio (Path A) goes directly into the Behringer EM600  and then goes though a passive mixer to serve as an attenuator. At the same time the headphones output (Path B) is split into two channels: one of them goes into the FM600 and they are re-joined using a passive mixer to give me a sort of Wet/Dry balance on the FM600. PathB then continues to the FX600  for some chorus. The two Paths (A and B) are joined at the inputs of the Nux Time Core  for some Ping-Pong delay and then carried the the RV600 for some Space Reverb.

The session was recorded live using audacity and the OpenCamera app. Calf Plugins (EQ, Compressor and Multiband Compressor) were used for mastering. The final video was assembled using KdenLive.

Behringer DW400 Review

It has been a while since I make a review for an audio effect. This little yellow wah pedal was found at a second-hand store for about 20-25 euros. I’m not a fan of the Wah sound, but the Human Voice label was interesting enough to separate me from my cash. The video bellow shows how this pedal behaves when fed by the Volca Keys.

First, lets talk about build quality. As I mentioned in the Vlog, there is an evolution on the way Behringer produces stuff, with the older gear being more fragile and less well build. This pedal’s construction is a shy improvement over that of the UV300, but it is still far away from that of the RV600 and the other pedals I have from the 600 series. As usual, this pedal can run out of a 9V battery, of using a 9V center-negative pin power supply. There are 3 inputs to this pedal and only one mono output. The inputs on the right hand side are for plugging in a guitar or a bass guitar (depending on which socket is pluged, the parameters for the internal filter are adjusted). On the left side there is the mono audio output and also an input for a control or an expression pedal. Continue reading Behringer DW400 Review

Nux Time Core

Delays… this is one of the most useful audio effects you might have in your arsenal. You can use it to create rhythmic patterns, to create some hypnotic repetitions, or to give some ambience. Some delay units can even be used as a poor man’s reverb. I first brought the Nux Time Core with very low expectations: my precious experience with the NUX PG-2 was under par, and most comments about this pedal on amazon UK were mostly negative. But I went forward buying it and after a couple of months using it I don’t regret it at all.

The Nux Time Core is a relatively small orange delay pedal, with a number of algorithms emulating a number of typical delays (Tape, Digital, Analogue/BB, Ping Pong) and some less usual delays, such as Mod or Reverse. There is also a basic built in looper with overdub and capacity to record up to 6 minutes. Continue reading Nux Time Core

Destination

After reviewing the Behringer VP-1 Vintage Phaser, I pluged the MicroKorg into it. The white noise going through it creates that great Jean-Michel Jarre Oxygene sound you heard in the beginning and end of the review/demo video. The phaser plays great with some of the factory presets, specially those on the SE/Hit section.

Not only does it sound great, it inspired me to record some riffs, I then started improvising on top of them and then it came the time when I decided to actually put some music sheet in front of me and write the melody and chord sequence. This took me about a week, just to make the chords work with the riff, then place a D Dorian melody on top of it (with a small modulation to D minor).

Finally it came to recording, Continue reading Destination

Behringer VP-1 Vintage Phaser

I doubt there is even a single lover of synthesizers and electronic music who never came across Jean Michel Jarre’s “Oxygene” album. And if, like me, you first heard it in a poorly illuminated room in a gloomy evening, you’ll certainly understand the shivers the oxygen sounds can bring. Like many of the 1970’s, Jarre used a lot of audio effects. In fact, and contrary to popular belief, analogue synthesizers were (almost) always recorded with effects back in the 1970’s. And one of the most beloved effects of the 1970’s was the phaser.




Just a little recap about what a phaser is: A phaser is a circuit were the incoming sound is split over a number of all-pass filters (in parallel). Why an all-pass filter, you ask? And how can an all pass filter bear an effect? Well: when the audio signal goes through a filter, it delays a little bit. Moreover, this delay is more noticeable over certain frequencies (the maths of it is quite interesting, but unnecessary here).  So when the sound that when through the different filters is mixed together it will have phasing distortion (the crests and valleys of each part od the signal are not in phase with each other anymore). This provides feedback and cancellation to several areas od the spectrum. Using an LFO to modulate the “cutoff” of the all-pass filters allows for this effect to vary over time.

Phasers are a legal requirement if you intent to use a vintage string machine like the Arp Solina or the Eminent. You may face persecution by the Hage courts if you fail to ensure your string machine is properly phased. :P Back in the 1970’s, one of  the best phasers around was the Bad Stone by Electro Harmonicx. They are so great, they are still being produced by EHX and you can buy them on amazon or amazon (UK).

This Behringer pedal is a clone of the EHX Bad Stone and Small Stone pedals. It is a very simple 4-stage (4 all pass filters) monophonic phaser, with positive and negative feedback (set by the TONE knob) and variable filter sweep LFO. The LFO rate goes from 6 seconds (0.16 Hz) to about 0.06 seconds (approximately 17Hz), but if you want to sync the LFO to the tempo, you’ll probably have to do it the old way: by ear! This is not a deal breaker for me: there are lots of tempo sync’ed effects to go around. What this pedal excels at is to provide you with that warm phaser tone that is so characteristic of the old days. In fact, I might even buy a second unit for myself in order to explore the world of stereo phasing.

The build quality is pretty decent: it is a large metal case (not very heavy) with a nice stomp switch, and a positive fell on the rate knob. I don’t know if Behringer is still making these pedals, but they can still be found on amazon and amazon (UK) for a very decent price (about 20 to 25 euro, or equivalent). In my opinion, if you want that vintage phaser vibe going on, you should add one to your arsenal (unless, of course, you already own one of the EHX phasers).