TEN Effects (Ryan Dunn)
"Barracuda" - in the music world, the word evokes a feeling... it's not just a classic song, it's the sensation of hearing that powerful riff, knowing you're about to hear that unmistakable voice... that pounding kick drum, that soaring melody, and above all, that killer guitar tone.
When I first met Howard Leese, it wasn't very far into our conversation that my inner geek came out, and compelled me to ask all the fanboy questions that (I can only assume) he had heard a million times... and of course, the first question was 'what flanger did you guys use on Barracuda?'
The answer was surprising. A few of the details are murky, but after having spoken with all the principals involved, it goes something like this: In 1976, Roger Fisher asked (then) Heart equipment tech Rick Erickson to build an electronic flanging effect, based on a circuit that was originally featured in Popular Electronics. Four units were built, one each for Roger, Howard, Nancy Wilson, and Rick kept one for himself. The same flanger was used on another Heart classic, Mistral Wind.
A custom, hand-built effect.... Of course, it made perfect sense - that's why no other flanger seemed to sound like the one on that classic recording. Armed with this information, I set about trying to capture that sound. There were a lot of stalls and dead ends, but the end result is magical. In keeping with the innovative nature of the original custom-made unit, I've elected to add some features that the original didn't have... of course you can nail "Barracuda", but there are many more sounds waiting for true knob tweakers.
It's taken a long time to get to this point, but I can confidently state that this pedal is THE definitive effect for recreating the sound of that classic song. This is the one Howard Leese put his name on. This is the one that Nancy Wilson is using every night. This is the one EVERYONE heard at the induction of Heart into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Nothing else comes close, and I've heard them all - I've sought them out, just to make sure I was on the right track, and to compare and contrast... and while there are many great flangers out there, there's only one BARRACUDA.
The Barracuda has four basic panel controls:
Level - This control sets the output volume for the pedal. This is necessary because both the Depth and Regen controls can combine to affect the singal output, in which case the Level control can be used to restore the signal output to match the input.
Depth - This controls the amount of affected signal that is mixed with the unaffected signal. The more Depth, the more 'flangy' it sounds.
Regen - This controls the amount of Regeneration (also known as Feedback) in the circuit. The 'jet engine' flange sounds are achieved by increasing the regeneration.
Rate - This controls the rate of oscillation. The higher the rate, the faster the pedal will cycle through the sweep of the flange.
Another standard feature is the Alternate Regeneration Path (ARP) Switch. This switch inverts the polarity of the Regeneration signal, resulting in a truly unique modulated effect.... it becomes a throaty, yet shimmery growl, like a cross between a flanger and a talk box.
Other features include True-Stereo Bypass, soft Easy-Grip knobs, and Expression Pedal control.
Barracuda is housed in a sturdy, solid metal enclosure. The faceplate is anodized aluminum, with laser-etched graphics for a lifetime of use.
Each Barracuda pedal is made by me, and only me. I want your experience to be perfect, and that means my product has to exceed your expectations. Every unit gets my full attention, and my only hope is that you love it as much as I do.
Power Requirement: 9V, DC
Power Connector: 2.1mm barrel
Polarity: Tip / Negative (-)
Audio Connector: 1/4" phone
Current Draw: ~90mA
Dim: (h)4.6" x (w)3.6" x (d)2.5"