Creation Audio Labs: Quality pedals and studio tools

Subscribe to Mixdown Magazine


Creation Audio Labs: Quality pedals and studio tools

Creation Audio Labs Grizzly Bass and Holy Fire 9 effects pedals on colourful background
Words by Lewis Noke Edwards

A look at the brands effects pedals and reverse DI tool.

Creation Audio Labs make products that are found in studios all over the planet, and are used across every genre of music. For engineers, mixers and music creators they produce unassuming, workhorse products that fix routing, signal chain and signal strength problems, and even if there’s no problem to be fixed per se, they’re improving signal clarity or offering options to send that sound to a bunch of different places.

Read all the latest features, columns and more here.

For guitarists and bassists, they produce world-class pedals to distort your signal, or clean boosts to push signal into overdrive or simply amplify a clean signal while retaining maximum headroom. Creation Audio Labs have worked with some of the biggest names in the biz, names such as Peter Frampton, and continue to push products to help artists not only reproduce the sounds in their heads. They engineer products for the working musician, mix engineer, producer and creator that not only make complex routing a breeze, but very useable pedals that can push an amp or other pedal that extra 10% into original territory.

For guitar and bass players, Creation Audio labs off a growing range of distortion and drive pedals, such as the Holy Fire 9, the Grizzly Bass and the Funkulator, the latter being a one-knob tone tightener, offering subtle attenuation for a balanced tone, and punchy attack to push finger-style bass playing forward, or for crafting the perfect slap bass tone. The Funkulator, while being a beast all on its own, shares characteristics of the MK.4.23 Clean Boost, and the Holy Fire Distortion and Overdrive pedal, while adding a buffered circuit powered by Creation Audio Labs’ own Redeemer buffer circuit, which is also available separately. The Holy Fire 9 is the progression of the now renamed Holy Fire Classic, both of which are a versatile gain pedal offering clean boost before being pushed into overdrive and finally rich, thick distortion when maxed out. Once you’ve coaxed the perfect tone out of your amp, you’ll need to record it… and Creation Audio Labs have you there too!

Routing and signal flow is a constant battle when recording. Plugging things in and getting signal to your recording medium from the source isn’t so bad – but what if you’re not sure about your signal chain? The MW1 Studio Tool is one such unit that aims to help with all that—while maintaining signal clarity and strength. The MW1 is a 1U rack unit designed to capture crystal clear DIs from guitar & bass while recording, while also acting as a re-amper (what Creation Audio Labs refer to as “Reverse DI”) for converting signal back to instrument level later down the track, pardon the pun. Because of the MW1’s signal flow, it also serves as a way to run line-level signal into effects pedals and back into your console or DAW for some creative sounds! And if one channel of MW1 isn’t enough—Creation Audio Labs also offers the LZ8 which is four MW1s into the same 1U rack!

So imagine this: you’ve recorded guitars and the amp tones just aren’t sitting quite right no matter how hard you push and pull EQ, it’s either overkill or it’s not enough, and the distorted, full range 6-strings are eating up space where you’d like your vocal and snare to sit, while the sizzle of the amps is clashing with your carefully crafted cymbal sounds through your overhead
and room mics. Luckily, you’ve taken DIs so you can re-record the guitars without the band having to do a thing, or even know what you’re up to!

You tweak the amp tone and the guitars begin to sit just right with the MW1s re-amping/reverse DI function, but you want things to be a bit more cohesive, so you run your drum tracks through the same guitar pedals you used to re-amp, blend that track in to taste and you realise—Creation Audio Labs’ MW1 has just saved your session! Many pieces of gear claim to be Swiss army knives, but Creation Audio Labs really do make very useable products designed to bring everything, every obscure audio idea, a little more within reach.

If you’ve never heard of Creation Audio Labs, you’d be forgiven. While many companies promote and produce emulations, clones and re-issues of classic audio hardware and software, Creation Audio Labs’ goal is to bring whatever sound an artist hears into fruition, sometimes without the glitz and glam, and often without taking up to much space in your space or on your pedal board. They’re functional and reliable, and there’s a reason you’ll start to notice them in studio walkthroughs and interviews now that you’re versed in their growing range of products. Professionals swear by them, and they’re all designed to sit at an accessible price point for the rest of us as we slowly build up clients or chip away at the dream of owning a studio.

The company understands how quickly we need to work to keep momentum going, or to capture inspiration when it strikes, and allow us to route, tweak and solidify our sounds quickly so we can capture the magic of music. Creation Audio Labs are in the business of enabling music to happen, and while other companies may focus on tubes, knobs and VU meters, those kinds of products can’t pull their weight without the crafty routing and access options that a company like Creation Audio Labs provides.

Check out the Creation Audio Labs products through their Australian distributor Gsus4.