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.