Pedals & Processors Guide – Reverb, Delay & Modulation

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Pedals & Processors Guide – Reverb, Delay & Modulation

Words by Sam McNiece, Mixdown Staff

Our effects picks for reverb, delay, and modulation

Whether you’re a fervent pedal-head on the hunt for some niche op-amp overdrive to add to your copious inventory or you’re a first-time buyer on the lookout for that special stompbox to get you started on your effects endeavours, Mixdown’s Pedals and Processors guide for 2022 is our picks for the best units to keep an eye out for this year.

Kicking things off with reverb, delay, and modulation!

Fender Hammertone Delay

Distributor: Fender

Features: Add perspective to your guitar sound courtesy of this feature-packed compact delay pedal from Fender. Whether you’re looking for a touch of slapback or deep and modulated waves of sound, this pedal delivers. Designed to be added into your existing pedal setup, the Hammertone Delay utilises analog dry-through audio to ensure you’re only adding the desired delay effect to your signal chain.

There are knobs for controlling delay time, feedback, and the level of delayed signal with the time control capable of reaching 950ms per repeat. There are three modes of delay available on this stompbox, digital delay, analog delay, and tape echo, all with their own unique flavour and character alongside a modulation control which adds a chorus-like effect to the delayed signal. For even more control over this, there are trim pots on the inside of the pedal to affect the depth and rate of the modulation, allowing for another level of depth to be achieved by this handy device.

The Bottom Line: With an in-house-designed digital delay circuit, the Hammertone Delay pedal can create both tight slapback effects and long feedback loops that add another layer to your audio signal (literally). 

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Hit’n’Mix DeepRemix

Distributor: Hit’n’Mix

Features: Oftentimes we hear something in a track that hits us deep in the cockles of our imagination and desire for creative endeavours but are stopped due to our inability to isolate multitrack recordings or individual tracks. Hit’n’Mix and their new RipX DeepRemix software introduces a broader set of tools primarily for separating audio files into individual vocal, bass, drum, and instrumental stems, useful for guitarists in a swathe of ways. If you’re struggling to find a good backing track to practise improvising scales over, just grab your favourite drum or bass tracks and keep them on loop, not worrying about the video starting and stopping and YouTube ads.

Speaking of YouTube, enough with some tutorial guy’s take on a guitar part you’ve been dying to learn, one that you know deep down isn’t what you need, hear it straight from the source and check your accuracy that way. Better yet, bedroom producers can get rid of the bootleg and scarce multitracks to drag in your favourite tracks, a la  ESG’s genre defying instrumental masterpiece ‘UFO’.

The Bottom Line: Changing the game for sample sourcing.

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Sound Particles Density

Distributor: Sound Particles

Features: Built from granular synthesis, this unique plugin allows you to add interesting and ear-catching width, depth, and movement to audio signals. Density is built around three modes which add levels of functionality from a simple unison-esque effect to the wild multipitch mode which has more parameters than you can poke a stick at. It can easily turn a violin into a quartet or an orchestra and with more complex settings it’s as if they’re running in random directions while playing around you!

The plugin allows you to add layers of granular voices to your source audio, detuning them, changing their relative volume and placement within the stereo field while also controlling how the granules are played back and if they travel clockwise, anticlockwise, or randomly around a given point in space. Density has obvious uses in music production and music mixing, but due to its varied input and output settings, it allows use for surround and immersive audio, making it a perfect tool for Film and TV post production. Hitting the randomise button will generate instant and interesting variations which can go from subtle to intense quickly. 

The Bottom Line: A unique sound design and mixing tool that will find a home within everyone’s in the box audio production setup.

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Fender Hammertone Chorus

Distributor: Fender

Features: Add another layer of wiggle to your guitar or audio signal with this new Chorus pedal from Fender. Featuring controls for depth, rate, and level as you’d expect from a chorus pedal, this one goes further than that, adding type and tone switches to the mix. The type knob goes from a classic single voice chorus sound to two and four voice modes which are delayed even further from the original signal. When adding more voices to the sound, this pedal will automatically drop the level of the effect to make sure the volume coming out is consistent with what is already happening.

Speaking of volume, the level control knob will let you adjust the ratio of dry and wet signals for low or high modulated outputs. Flicking the tone switch on will roll off some top end from the modulated chorus signal to create space for your dry signal to shine through. Utilising these two flick switches alongside changing depth and rate allows you to create subtle and slow-moving modulation effects as well as fast warbly tones within one compact stompbox. 

The Bottom Line: A dreamy modulation pedal with more controls than usual to add classic chorus tones and then some to your stompbox setup. 

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Hit’n’Mix RipX DeepAudio

Distributor: Hit’n’Mix

Features: In case you haven’t noticed yet, plugins and software have come a long way in recent years. Nowhere is this more apparent than in something like Hit’n’Mix’s awesome RipX DeepAudio, a professional stem extraction and audio manipulation tool with a host of nifty tricks up its sleeve. Featuring the same powerful AI Algorithms as the brand’s DeepRemix software, DeepAudio expands on DeepRemix’s ability to pull stems from fully mastered audio tracks, whilst also providing a host of additional editing and corrective tools to better perfect and prepare your stems prior to export. 

The Harmonic Editor within DeepAudio allows you to manipulate the timbral content of your prerecorded material, while the ‘Draw Pitch’ function allows edit removal of notes within polyphonic vocal, instrument and percussion recordings, including Acoustic Guitar (which as many of you are probably aware, is a notoriously tricky task). Individual notes in a performance can be adjusted at the finest possible detail, and even be blended with other sounds, to provide you with an unprecedented amount of processing flexibility.

The Bottom Line: Equal parts Corrective and Creative, RipX DeepAudio’s revolutionary abilities as a one stop stem extraction and sound manipulation tool are second to none. Without question the cutting edge for this kind of processing. 

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Fender Hammertone Reverb

Distributor: Fender

Features: Add atmosphere and depth to your audio signal with this new reverb pedal from Fender. Reverb is a necessity for smoothing out and blending guitar signals with other instruments and can also be used to enter a new universe of soundscapes via long reverberant tails which this pedal can do with ease. There are three different reverb types on offer with this pedal (Hall, Room, and Plate) which allow you to reach all the classic reverb sounds in one compact unit.

For adjusting the qualities of your reverb, there’s knobs for decay time, level, and a tone switch for making this stompbox play nice with the rest of your signal chain. A switch has been provided on the front which can change the tone switch into an aptly named “dark mode” which rolls off the high end as opposed to the regular mode that balances it with the low end of your reverb sound. True bypass switching on this pedal will instantly kill reverberant tails and enable you to switch from verse to chorus with one stomp.

The Bottom Line: Create anything from subtle depth to cavernous ambience and add it to your audio signal with classic reverb modes at the flick of a switch.

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Read our full guide in Mixdown Mag #321.