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Apex Distortion - Wonderful Audio Technology

Jun 24 2022
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The Apex Distortion by Wonderful Audio Technology is a modern take on the classic RAT-style circuit.

According to Ralf from WAT?!, this is not a direct RAT clone but rather a fine-tuned, modern take on this classic topology.

While it features the fabled old-school LM308 chip, everything about this pedal has been tweaked to make this more versatile at low and high gain settings. It has a nice low-end growl while maintaining a crisp attack and articulate highs.

Playing with the Apex feels great under the fingers. It feels much more responsive to picking dynamics than a basic RAT, but still can hit hard when played aggressively or with the gain dialed up.

I preferred higher gain sounds with the tone dialed up a bit. I think this sits really well in the mix.

And it works great on bass as well (the bass in the backing track uses only the Apex).

Recording Notes

Main Guitar

Bass

  • JMJ Mustang, tone 100%, played with pick
  • Apex on a low to medium gain
  • Strymon Iridium (round mode with OwnHammer AMPG IRs) as demoed here
  • Boosted a little around 120 Hz and 2.5 kHz

Guitar Overdubs

  • K'mo Memphis (middle position)
  • CBA MOOD on a reverse octave up delay setting
  • Walrus Audio Slö in dream mode for modulated reverb
  • Apex on medium gain

These shoegazey sounds are my favorite at the moment. You can kind of make out a melody, but everything is drowned in noisy reverb and the octave up delay is jumping around it. I've also automated the panning to wander from left to right to make it feel more spaced out.

Noise Pad

Same as the overdubs, but with the Walrus Audio Polychrome at the end and the Slö on a latching reverb, creating this endlessly sustaining pad.

You can't really hear this but you will notice when it's gone. It fills out the second part of the loop and adds some more texture.

Drums

  • GarageBand Drummer Gavin on the Brooklyn kit (indie rock style)
  • Kick and snare treated with the GarageBand stock RAT-style pedal plugin to add grit and punch
  • Medium compression

Everything was “mastered” with a bit of compression, exciter and limiter.

Links

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