Modulation Shootout

Aug 30 2021
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fairfield circuitry shallow water

In this shootout, I'm providing some side-to-side comparisons between multiple types of modulation effects.

There are phasers, choruses, vibrato, flangers and probably a few more to come.

The purpose here is again not to find the "best" pedal, but get a good idea of what different modulation sounds are like. Then pick the type and model that appeals most to you.

Fairfield Circuitry Shallow Water

This is not just a fancy chorus/vibrato pedal. It has a very specific character that makes the sound very vibey and atmospheric. The random modulation and dampening (which is controlled by how hard you pick) gives it a very particular sound.

It can do just chorus/vibrato, but it would be a shame to get it just for that.

NativeAudio Midnight

The Midnight Phaser is, like most NativeAudio pedals, one of the most customizable pedals of its kind. You can control mix, feedback, depth, rate, waveform and it has tap tempo and a foot-switchable ramp feature.

If the Midnight does not produce a sound that you like, maybe you don't like phasers ;)

Walrus Audio Julia

The Julia is a clever and yet simple chorus/vibrato. Especially the d-c-v blend knob and the lag knob let you fine tune it from lush and subtle to spaced out and seasick.

Walrus Audio Polychrome

Another trendy and clever design by Walrus that made flanger cool again. It has a similar layout to the Julia, also featuring a blend knob (here it's d-f-v).

I purposefully set the "Lush" settings to tune the Polychrome to a chorus sound. When you compare the Polychrome back-to-back with the Julia, I'm not sure which chorus sound I like best.

My favorite feature is the random modulation. It makes everything sound more natural – as if the sound is going through some magic liquid.

Signal Chain

  • Epiphone SG Special with Lollar Firebird pickups (neck pickup)
  • Pedal in the shootout
  • Strymon Iridium (Chime)
  • Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
  • Garageband

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