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

LievenDV is a reverb nut and enjoys discovering innovating technology. Besides that he's a singer-songwriter; solo and in a band.

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?

TWA Great DivideEnough japping, plug in a random guitar, clean, clean amp settings, no other effect. I notice that when all the volume sliders are in their neutral position, I have a bit of signal loss.

Switched on I notice that the sound has a little subtle distortion in it. I'm sure you can tweak that out with the internal controls. Yes; you can tweak a whole lot of INTERNAL pots as well. Being already intimidated by the front-end of this beast, I dared not to open it.

Of course, like a madmen, you begin trying some settings with the basic volume sliders and I notice that adding a good deal of +1 octave and a little of the -1 octave already brings out a new, interesting tone. More importantly, you don't want to play this clean.

You want to add fuzz, distortion, delay, reverb to create that compelling synth sound.

Although I was playing guitar, I got inspired to lay down some bass lines with it.

I threw in the SYN and SUB voices. The cool thing about these is that you can chose how high or low they are ( -1, -1.5, -2 or -2.6). You get some interesting sounds in no time although it takes some time to tweak them to something usable. People producing their own songs should check it out too, this might give you that extra edge you were looking for instead of that same clean bass or added distortion. Finding loops and things on the bottom 2 strings never was this fun. It had me improvising a line like in the Doctor Who theme by Orbital.

If you go to lead stuff, you 'll have to know what you're playing in order to sound a bit ok. The GD-02 give you fresh sounds doing double stops, even combined with bends and all other 2-note options but it doesn't work well on chords with 3 or more notes in it. Of course it works best when doing single notes but you'll get some "warble" now and then; when a low or high octave doesn't get interpreted well. Also here I presume some internal tweaking would clear this out; as levels on guitar and gain might have an influence on the circuitry interpreting your signal.TWA Great Divide

While the higher octave is very usable, it's a bit harder to mix in a lower octave without the risk of getting muddy tones. Also; you want to experiment whether to place it after or before your distortion in your signal chain. There is no absolute truth in taste but for me it was best after the distortion.

I find the more extreme settings on the high octave a bit "fizzy" but much depends on the device your are plugging in. I tried a single coil guitar but I suppose a humbucker equipped plank would produce a different tone on that setting.

This pedal is good for hours of fun so make some room in your agenda for this one. As soon as you start to fiddle around with the Syn and SUB voices and their options, the whole shebang of adding +1 and -1 octaves starts over because it all adds up to a sum.

It's not the easiest pedal to get working but it sure is one of the most fun units I tried up till now. If you're not afraid to get into experimenting, you will be rewarded with creative new possibilities. Now plug in your sisters old keyboard, your harmonica-mic or anything else you can lay your hands on and start creating because this thing begs for other instruments as well.

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