The world of audio and musical equipment can be a tricky one to navigate at the best of times. With so many different products, conflicting opinions and confusing reviews, it’s hard to know what’s actually the best product for your needs. Luckily, the team at Mixdown have put in the legwork for you, sifting through the spec-sheets and putting the products through their paces to bring you Mixdown’s Picks - a new series of expansive, category defining product guides across our digital channels. Anything that has made the cut has rated highly across the board with the Mixdown staff, garnering a unanimous tick of approval from our staunch critics.
This time around, we're dissecting the huge range of essential effects out there for stage and studio, exploring everything from rugged multi-effects units through to boutique overdrives and vocal plug-ins.
EarthQuaker Devices Afterneath V3
Key Features: Since its first inception the EarthQuaker Devices Afterneath has taken the pedal world by storm with its vastly unique take of reverberation. Certainly not a company to rest of their laurels, EQD pushed the boundaries further with not only the V2, but now the Afterneath V3, and what a treat it is.
What’s particularly special about the Afterneath (from its V1 origins through to V3) is that absolutely not just a reverberation device, but more like a mythical intertwining of delay and reverb in one humble sized stomp box. At the heart of its sophisticated engine lay clusters of digital delay lines creating the Afterneath’s cavernous, ambient world, leaving one spellbound for hours.
Aside from the slight rearrangement of the main six knobs, Afterneath V3 introduces a small almost camouflaged Mode knob, opening up monolithic soundscaping possibilities. Coupled with an expression jack allowing control of the the “Drag” knob either via expression or CV (control voltage), V3 stretches the possibilities of otherworldly sonic expression even further.
The usual reverb parameters such a decay, tone, depth/regeneration and wet/dry can be found in the Length, Dampen, Reflect and Mix knobs respectively. However, these typical controls can be manipulated greatly especially with the use of the Diffuse (transient echoes to smooth, ambient wash), and Drag controls, not to mention the new Mode functionality.
The Drag knob is where the most powerful spells of the Afterneath are stored, allowing for individual control of the delay lines themselves, from lo-fi delay-like effects to completely washed out textures and other unearthly sonic euphoria.
The Mode knob tops things off with nine modes of operation, named Unquantized, Unquantized with Slew, Unquantized Volt per Octave, Chromatic Scale, Minor Scale, Major Scale (Lydian), Pentatonic Scale, Octaves & Fifths and Octaves. Without diving down the rabbit hole of what these modes do individually, let’s just say the sonic explorations are like the universe; ever expansive.
Mixdown Says: A true game changer since its first incarnation, the Afterneath V3 yet again casts a mighty spell on the world of effects pedals. A truly professional device allowing for previously unexplored sonicscaping with nine new modes, plus adding to it the possibilities of CV, opens this pedal up to modular integration few others can match. With an unequivocal allure for guitarists, synth heads, sound designers and noise-makers alike, the Afterneath V3 is worthy of placement on any serious pedalboard or outboard effects rack.
Overall: With an already well established footprint in the world of otherworldly effects, the Afterneath V3 is sure to only but continue tearing apart the time space continuum, taking those who dare, on one cavernous journey.
Find out more about the Afterneath via the EarthQuaker Devices website.