Dr. Scientist Tremolessence Review & Demo

Alright. There’s been some good discussions here lately……but it’s time to bring it back to reality. Meaning gear. 😉 See, anyone can bring up discussion points and point out what’s wrong; but what shows what type of person you are is not how many of the world’s and church’s problems you can solve in your own little circles (now if only the world would ask us!), but what you do about it. Hence, I have decided to show what type of person I am. It’s time to make all the world’s issues and all the people’s issues and all the church’s issues obsolete by really doing something about it. I give you…………a tremolo demo. And for those of you screaming heresy right now……okay, okay, okay. We’ll just solve a few problems with tremolo today. We’ll solve the majority of the world’s problems tomorrow……with delay.

But there’s a little truth in that. Sure tremolo is a small part, but we’re all here and on other blogs and boards and such because gear and tone and playing and leading and musicianship is how ‘worship’ is currently playing out in our own lives. So, though a pedal review is a small part, it is a part, and a part that is something tangible we’re doing to try to worship the Lord. I know, I know, a delay pedal review would have made so much more sense here. (And if you’re new to this blog, delay is the ultimate effect. It’s science.) But that’s why we’re all here. Well, and because we’re obsessed. (Oh! And speaking of ‘Obsessed’! Did anyone catch the preview for the new movie with that title? Fantastic. Some thriller (and not cool Michael Jackson ‘Thriller’…the type of thriller where they can only get no name actors to star, and then those no-name actors will never be able to do any other movie ever again…like the Blair Witch kids) lady wants to steal some other lady’s husband, but the other lady is all psycho-possessive of her husband, and they start to go Jodie-Foster-Panic-Room on each other. It’s like, do producers these days know that they are not legally obligated to buy a script just because it gets handed to them? Seriously stupid world sometimes. See? And I’m totally gonna solve it with trem.) And then…ah, forget it. I have no idea where I am. But after two somewhat heavier posts, it feels really good to just free associate. Nobody reads the parentheses anyway. 😉

(Okay, I guess you have the read the parentheses to know why I’m posting this. And I just two seconds ago learned that it’s actually not all no-name actors. This is Beyonce Knowles in the movie. Does that make it better? In terms of acting, no……that makes it none more better. But in terms of making fun of the movie when it comes out on television (and by the looks of it, that’ll be like, in two weeks), then it makes it absolutely more better. Oh, and I have this theory that Beyonce and Tyra Banks are the same person. Because if there were two people that dumb, the world would be exploded already.)

So I’ve been on this trem kick, which is weird, because I’m not a huge tremolo guy. I think tremolo is a beautiful effect, but I like it more in the backgrounds, and for certain parts of songs. It can be cool upfront, too, but don’t keep it on too long. However, when I have an effect, I do want it to be able to cut through the mix when I want it to. And that’s what I’ve been having difficulty finding in a trem. But this Dr Scientist Tremolessence caught me immediately (and not just with its gorgeous white led) by javing an extremely useful and full depth knob. It can sit back in the mix if you set it that way, but it can also come up full and cutting through, with the depth knob all the way up. And secondly, it keeps the ‘weight’ in your dry signal, which is an issue common to all trems. They take away your presence. But this one maintains the ‘weightiness’ of your notes quite well. It sounds a lot like the Monster Effects Swamp Thang that I loved, but was forced to sell because it couldn’t get the slicer sounds. But the Tremolessence can also do the slicer sounds quite well. I think I might have found it.

(Alright, I couldn’t resist this one either. And if you skipped the parentheses, sorry. You’ll have to go back and read them if you’re interested in finding the like, 1% of tie-in this has to this post. But in life, one of the rules when you run across a picture like this is……use it at any and all times possible.)

(And this one…well. It speaks for itself.)

So I tested it against the Cusack Tap-A-Whirl. The Cusack is still a fine pedal, and maybe the sweetest sounding trem I’ve yet to hear. And I loved it in my house. But playing live, it would just cause my guitar to be lost in the mix, even with the depth knob dimed. And some people won’t hear it, won’t care, or maybe it’ll react better in their rigs. But for me, it had to go. I like presence in my tone. The Cusack is more versatile, and is one of the most refreshingly original designs I’ve seen in a while, with its tap tempo but all analog circuitry, revv capabilities, brake capabilites, and saveable settings on the waveforms (in the newest version). But I didn’t use the tap very much on it, and when I did, it was to tap off of the tempo…because that’s just the way I use tremolo. Sparingly, and for textures. And I find that those textures don’t sound as good when they’re in time. Kind of opposite of delay. But that’s just this week…next week I’ll probably be all stoked on the Empress Tremolo.

Here’s the demo of it, alongside the Cusack. White led versus blue led. Score!

And some people might still like the Cusack. Which is cool! It still sounds awesome! Just for my needs right now, I’m really liking the Tremolessence. You can hear how full it keeps your tone, and the weight it gives to the effect. I’m pretty stoked on it for now. Especially that shape knob, how it melds between the waveforms, and the white led, and the fact that it sounds like a Swamp Thang but can go fast……okay, I’m obsessed. Like Beyonce. But hey……I’m just trying to do my part to solve the world’s problems……one unfortunately named pedal at a time.


35 thoughts on “Dr. Scientist Tremolessence Review & Demo

  1. I’m working on it! 🙂 Thus far, they’re popular enough right now that I’m not finding many used ones. And I almost never buy new unless I know for sure I’m gonna keep it. I did really like Ryan’s, though, at the Workshop. Very pleasantly surprised.

    Woulda been a much more exciting video, too, if I’d have been able to have had the Empress and the Duncan in the shootout, too…but I don’t know about everyone else out there, but I’ve been so busy with Easter, no time to pedal shop. lol I guess that’s a good thing. hehe

  2. i thought that the tremolo has kicked out the delay as your most favorite pedal! and yes, demoing a gear will sure help in saving the world, so thanks for showing initiative 🙂

  3. Both of those sound really good. It’s hard to tell from YouTube but the tremolessence seemed to have something about it that sounded a bit sweeter. I don’t know if the shape shifter is that sweet…

  4. I agree with Ryan… seemed to have more sweetness factor to it than the Shape Shifter. However, the Shape Shifter is extremely versatile with its depth and “shape molding” knobs. I leave mine on a fairly harsh ‘cutting-on-tempo” tremolo.

    BTW, that thriller Tshirt is great. Really great.

  5. Karl,

    Quit demoing pedals! 😉

    I just got the new and improved “Swamp Thang” (Which I am liking. Small foot print, pretty flexible, and….a blue light.) and just dumped some change on a Framptone talkbox because the Pastor wants us to play “Livin’ on a Prayer” as the pre opener this coming Sunday. And…my wedding anniversary is coming up next Tuesday. I can’t afford G.A.S. right now!

    So…How about we just stay on a theological bent for just a little while longer! :0

  6. Rhoy–haha Just humbly doing my part to save the world. 😉

    Ryan–ya, I agree…there’s something about the Tremolessence. Not sure what. And this weekend I played live with it for the first time, and maintains everything in a band mix. I was so stoked! I didn’t know trem could do what it does. I’m actually using tremolo effects a bit more now. But who knows? Maybe back to back, the ShapeShifter will still beat it.

    Larry–ya, hopefully I’ll try it out soon. The versatility is a big factor in my curiosity, too. And Ryan’s sounded really good at the Workshop.

    And hehe. Ya, I’m looking on e-bay for that shirt right now! lol

    Mark–haha I totally hear ya, brother! I can’t afford it either, and it’s no use! I always give in. 😉

    But how do you like the new Swamp Thang? Does it compare to the old one?

  7. Well…it no longer has the ability to go from the slow to fast speed (Not really an issue for me). Sound wise…I compared it directly with the trem in my old Princeton and it has the same adjustability but the “Thang” will get a bit choppier. I couldn’t tell the difference when I set the two up to similar speeds and had my kid switch between them (Children can come in handy for menial button pressing labor.). So…that’s good! The only thing that I don’t like is when you slow it down past a certain point the trem effect really begins to decrease. But to be fair, the same thing happens with the Princeton. Very organic sounding. More useful to me than a vibe pedal. Sound cool fed into a tube reverb. I’ll keep it.

  8. Right on!! Can it do the really fast slicer sounds? That’s the only reason I sold my first version Swamp Thang…it couldn’t do the slicer stuff. If the new version can, I’d pick it up again in a heartbeat!

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  11. Have you ever tried the red witch pentevocal trem? looks and sounds cool, but who knows. The main thing I need is a volume boost on the tremolo because it just gets buried when you turn them on

  12. You know, I haven’t, and for a terrible reason. A couple years ago it seemed absolutely everyone had one on their board…and I didn’t want to follow the trend. hehe But they might sound awesome! And I hear you about the volume. The Goatkeeper trem has a great volume control on it. Not harsh at all. 🙂

  13. I’ve got a Fulltone tremolo that I really like on my board, with one exception — no tap tempo… Other than that, I love how organic it sounds.

    In addition to the Fulltone, I added a Seymour Duncan Shape Shifter, which does have tap tempo and some rather neat features letting you control the shape of the ramp up/ramp down. Unfortunately I’ve encountered two problems with my Shape Shifter:

    [1] You can only tap the tempo while it’s engaged (which is a kick in the head if you’re playing live and need to be able to change the tempo for two or more different songs without it being engaged. Fortunately, there is a modification that’s pretty easy to make yourself (see http://nobleamps.com/roantone.html).

    [2] It just decided to quit working after 4 months (I bought it ‘brand new’ too).

    So… my new love is an Empress tremolo:

    It does what I need it to do. It’s so organic that the Fulltone might be retired…

    Thanks — have fun and keep playing for the Lord! 🙂

  14. Mike–I think Fulltone’s Supatrem is one of the best pedals they ever made. Great call!

    And you don’t want to hear my reasoning for not using the Empress trem. I don’t really like orange on my board. *Sigh* There, I said it. I am shallow.


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