LievenDV's blog

[review] Hotone Audio Skyline series Wally - Looper (by LievenDV)

The Hotone Wally must be the smallest looper around and with 15 minutes of looping, you could easily record 2 Pink Floyd songs and still have time to spare in its memory. It comes in a very sturdy casing which feels heavy for its size. It only weighs 190g but it IS a small package. Those who were in doubt about the usability of the button on a small Hotone pedal: it's not like you're performing surgery when you try to use the knobs; they are quite handy to operate and you quickly adjust to the big level knob on top and the stripes on the 2 front knobs that ensure visibility.

Hotone Audio Wally LooperThis little guy comes in a box that is as protective as the pedal casing and the nice people of Hotone even included a strip of velcro already cut to spec. These are details but they add op to the complete package and considerate service. The pedal itself has a little metal rail to protect the controls when you click the button with your foot.

The control scheme is as straight forward as any modern minimalistic looper: you control the whole process of recording, overdubbing, undo, stop and delete with single or double taps. Double tap while playing =undo and double tap when stopped is delete. Don't worry, the little reference card is more complex than actually using the pedal; the LED shows you the way. After a few minutes, I had already recorded 4 layers of tunes in which I could always undo the previous one. Go nuts, you can overdub as much as you want. You can control the record volume separately from the output volume so you can blend in layers of sound at the desired volume.

[review] D*A*M Grease Box - Solid State Pre-Amplified Germanium Overdrive (by LievenDV)

David A Main and Linzi Haynes make up D*A*M. I'm sure his own initials made up the brand name but they turned it into "Differential Audio Manifestationz".

More important, they claim to keep us fuzzy and warm with their pedals and that's what matters.

The Greasebox comes with two controls; volume and sustain. Next to an input, output and a switch, that's all there is to it on the outside.

No socket for your power adapters, this baby is only powered by a battery. Typical for fuzz based pedals of course.

[review] Wilson Effects WMA Wah - World's Most Affordable Wah (by LievenDV)

"WMA wah" stands for Worlds Most Affordable wah. It is not the cheapest but it sure is a fine pedal with quality parts for a good price.

Kevin Wilson has a bit low profile when it comes to marketing and styling and this wah reflects the philosophy. It's a no-frills unit that has an optimal resistance on the foot but goes back and forth real smooth.  In a rare occasion you might feel a slight stutter in the movement but this is only when you try to move it real softly in a very precise matter. It's no stutter but you feel the physical action of the mechanics below. I consider this a side effect of the rather direct grip and control you have on this pedal. This wah isn't optical. This wah doesn't color your sound at all and the sweep is wide enough to give you enough to work with.

[review] Smallsound/Bigsound Fuck Overdrive (by LievenDV)

Brian Hamilton from Philadelphia was fed up with the numerous and quasi identical overdrives that got thrown at his head. Under his brandname Smallsound/Bigsound he introduced the Fuck Overdrive to the world. An overdrive with something else, something unique? Perhaps it is, as this pedal aims to be an overdrive pedal with a hint of breakup, a nice dose of desintegration.

You could say that on the more powerful settings, the fuzzy side of the pedals starts to kick in.

[review] D*A*M FUZZrong (by LievenDV)

The Fuzzrong is a straightforward and stable fuzz for players that want a warm fuzz that doesn't sputter or makes you cringe of odd high frequencies. This fuzz will keep you warm all night and David & Linzi at D*A*M know this.

The controls are really simple and that saves you some time for playing. Don't go to their website for more info though. I kind of got lost seeing all kinds of look-alike pedals without spotting this exact Fuzzrong pedal. No big deal. The depth knobs seems to boost the lower frequencies to bring a more ballsy sound.

[review] Dimehead PLL (by LievenDV)

It's impossible to ignore the Dimehead PLL clone because of the many knobs and switches.
He who wants raw synth sounds without having to buy and learn a complete synthesizer set, should check out this intriguing pedal.
You wonder, what does it do? In short; it adds a harmonized multiplied and divided frequency to your sound. On top of that, you can throw in a greasy sawtooth synth tone. Don't expect to get a useable setting the first few minutes though.

Basically, you can create chords out of a note by adding the correct intervals above and below the original note.

It took me a while to get  hang of the controls and their effect because their layout is a bit erratic. Be warned, this is no plug n' play pedal like a typical Boss stompbox; approach this unit with patience and attention.
You will be rewarded for your investment of time though.

[review] Totally Wycked Audio GD-02 Great Divide MkII (by LievenDV)

The "Totally Wycked Audio Great Divide 2.0" (in short: TWA GD-02) should have been on the Christmas list of many of those that consider themselves "mad scientists in audio".

Believe me, that IS a compliment! Have you seen the controls on this thing? You are either afraid of all the sliders or just eager to dive right into soundscaping.

You shouldn't be limiting yourself to one instrument though. I tried an acoustic guitar, electric guitar and a cheap toyish keyboard. Because of the synthy character of this pedal, you'll notice that your old, crappy keyboards might actually come alive again, with a great new growling and aggressive attitude.

I will not go over too much of the details but the essence of this pedal is the ability to determine the mix of dry, -1 octave, +1 octave, a SYN and a SUB voice.

The SYN voice is, as the name suggest, a synth sound based on 4 types of waveforms (which you decide too)

The wacky people at Godlyke Distributing like to go all crazy over the controls and possibilities of the GD-02 MKII to and it's their good right to do so. They changed some major functionalities compared to the first version though. You should really visit their page to read the full story on these changes. In short? Good call; it's affordable mayhem! They added more voices to the pedal so that ain't a bad thing, right?

[review] DigiTech JamMan Express XT (by LievenDV)

Simple but elegant

DigiTech are known for their affordable pedals stuffed with different sounds, models and options. This pedal one features one big control knob for the most obvious function: level. The footswitch has several functions, depending on the mode you're in. Three very straightforward leds remind you what mode you're in and when your loop is running, overdubbing or is being deleted.

This looper has a true stereo in/out but is also usable in mono mode. It comes with a fresh battery but it can be powered by a classic Boss-like 9v psu. It comes in a sturdy metal housing, with a quality knob and footswitch. It's a digital pedal; it works at a data width of 24-bit with a 44.1 kHz sample rate. The footswitch doesn't click, so don't worry about clicking noises on stage if you're more of an intimate or acoustic performer.

You'll see 3 clear leds, being colored red, yellow and green, representing record, overdub and play. It only takes about 5 minutes to get a hang of this pedal and to prove that you could try the following example. The pedal has the size of a standard pedal and comes in a retro-styled box that could look like your fathers cologne or your grandma's soap box.

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