Review: EarthQuaker Devices Astral Destiny

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Review: EarthQuaker Devices Astral Destiny

Words by Mixdown Staff

Distributed by: Yamaha Music Australia | Expect to pay: $349

Key Features: EarthQuaker Devices are a company run by pedal aficionados that make pedals for pedal aficionados. Founded by Jamie Stillman and Julie Robbins in 2004 in their basement, Stillman has one of the most prestigious and comprehensive pedal collections known to humankind.

He owns originals, copies, clones and doubles of just about every octave, drive, delay and reverb pedal imaginable, so it’s not hard to see where the Astral Destiny came from.

Listed as a ‘Octal Octave Reverberation Odyssey’, the Astral Destiny features eight reverbs and eight presets, with seven knobs to tweak just about any variable you could need. There’s an expression pedal output, mono in and out and a ‘Stretch’ switch to tweak your sounds on the fly.

The Astral Destiny is a larger format pedal which, similar to most Earthquaker pedals, has an input and output on top, either side of the 9V adapter input. The pedal features two stepped knobs to switch between the eight presets and eight modes.

Presets 1-8 are readily loaded from the factory, but can be overwritten with your own settings. The ‘Activate’ button can be toggled between either the Preset Mode or Live Mode that are indicated by a red/green LED or a yellow LED respectively.

In Preset Mode, the Preset will play as saved regardless of the controls and knobs. Using any of the controls will allow the preset to be tweaked and then saved. The controls themselves offer plenty of options for creating sounds as subtle or overbearing as you like.

The Length controls the decay of a reverb, while the Depth and Rate adjusts the intensity of the modulation across you reverb. 12 o’clock on the Tone dial leaves your signal untouched, but the turning the knob allows you to boost or cut treble.

Mixdown Says: The beauty of the Astral Destiny is the pedal’s ability to offer a vast array of sounds. With a combination of Reverb, Modulation and EQ allow it to blend in or stand out.

For fans of EarthQuaker’s Afterneath, you can achieve equally deep, harmoniously harmonic and cavernous sounds via the Shimmer, Sub and Descend/Ascend, or you can get huge, cathedral-like reverbs with the Abyss and Sub Shimmer options.

The Astral Destiny really comes into its own with the Astral and Cosmos modes, offering regenerating delays, octaves and modulation. These kind of settings are great for modulating, textured delays similar to tape and analogue delays.

The Astral Destiny can achieve a huge variety of sounds that you may be chasing, as well as creating sounds that no one has ever heard before. You can access harmonies within your reverbs to blend within your own playing, and dial back the Mix knob to sit it beneath your tone. The modulation can be tweaked to either slowly modulate or overtly jitter in and out of pitch and feel.

Overall: The Astral Destiny is a stellar option for live use thanks to the Presets and different modes, but equally valuable when writing, composing and recording because of the uniqueness of what can be achieve.

What’s more, it features some of the best artwork on any EarthQuaker Devices pedal – and that’s saying something.

Find out more over at the EarthQuaker Devices website.