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”

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).

Behringer Vintage Tube Monster VT999

This is a big one… a very very big one. Bigger than a Volca, almost as large as my MicroBrute, and weighting in at almost 1,5 kg. This pedal is a monster, not only in its name, but also in its size and sound.

The Vintage Tube Monster, Model VT999, from Behringer is a relatively old overdrive pedal, but it is still available from a number of dealers, such as amazon and amazon UK. Continue reading “Behringer Vintage Tube Monster VT999”

Danelectro FAB Overdrive: Review and Impressions

The FAB overdrive is possibly the cheapest pedal I ever brought… indeed, I think it is the most inexpensive pedal I know of at the moment. Mine costed only £10 on amazon UK, but the price usually fluctuates between 10 and 25 euros (or equivalent). On the other hand, as you might guess by the mere 4-minute long demo I made, this is a rather limited unit.  This is not necessarily a bad thing: it is cheap, light and simple, and an overdrive pedal is always a nice addition to your bass synth sound.

Continue reading “Danelectro FAB Overdrive: Review and Impressions”

Behringer Reverb Machine RV600

Last November, I started to do some demos of some of the inexpensive FX pedals I own. In this video, Behringer’s RV600 (Reverb Machine) takes the sound of Korg’s Volca Keys and gives it some spread using each its 11 reverb algorithms.

They say everything sounds better with a reverb, and it’s true. This pedal does a pretty good job at spreading the sound of the also inexpensive Volca Keys. The TONE knob is basically a low-pass filter that cuts the higher harmonics, allowing bass and middle register sound to sit well on the mix.

Some Cons not mentioned on the video: The battery compartment is located beneath the switch. So, changing the batteries involves some disassembling of the pedal: I’d stick to using a power adaptor. Also, the pedal is nice to use on the desk, but I don’t know how long would it last if you use it as a stomp box. Some say the pedal is noisy, but I could not confirm that with my unit (the recording is almost clipping at some points, and no noise above -54dB is noticed). However, I’m using a good, regulated, 2A power supply on a pedal that only consumed 0.1A. Also, notice that when using an electric guitar, the amplifier usually sits after this pedal, while on a synth (specially in a studio), most amplification is done within the synthesizer, so any artefact created by the pedal can go unnoticed.

This is one of the most inexpensive reverb pedals out there. You can buy them for about  $50 on amazon, or about £30 on amazon (UK), if you live in the UK or in mainland Europe (yes, they deliver this item to most European countries).