historic but misunderstood
Harmonic tremolo lives under many names: vibrato, harmonic vibrato, harmonic tremolo, vibe, univibe, and so on. In every instance, the goal remains the same, i.e. to change the pitch of your notes in a cyclic way
(rather than changing the volume like a regular tremolo) while putting the lows and highs out of phase.
That separation between frequencies evokes the Leslie cabinet, and it’s not just by coincidence: the first harmonic tremolos, including the Univibe and the built-in vibratos from old Magnatone amps, have been designed to emulate the Leslie. But those newer references have of course become sought-after effects in their own right, and a few makers have designed their own version since then.
taking it even further
The Ages’ attack follower can work in two different ways. You choose whether it impacts the rate or the depth according to how hard you hit the strings.
Secondary settings allow you to adjust every parameter in the most minute way for unprecedented results. Imagine making the effect faster by strumming harder to make your bridge or solo more intense (and the rate automatically decreases until it reaches the one you originally set up with the tap tempo), or making your tremolo less present by playing softer in order not to make your rhythm parts too busy.
opening up the scope of possibilities
For the first time we’re using a microcontroller in one of our pedals. However, we’re not making any compromise sound-wise, your signal path remains 100% analog. That new element gives us infinite possibilities when it comes to sound and settings.
For example, that new pedal’s footswitches have several functions. Therefore, you may interact with them via short or long pushes. We also have pushed the trimpots concept to its maximum with hidden settings. You may access additional settings by keeping the bypass footswitch pressed, such as hidden LFOs. This is what we call the Trimpot mode.
OUT, the output level for the tremolo.
Up to +6dB can be added without additional saturation.
DEPTH, the intensity of the tremolo.
At minimum settings, there’s almost no tremolo to be heard. At maximum settings, the tremolo cuts off the sound completely.
TONE allows you to change the cut frequency of the harmonic tremolo.
For a darker or brighter tremolo.
SUBDIVISION, the rotary knob on the bottom right-hand corner featuring four positions.
The first position doubles the tempo you’ve set before.
The second position leaves the tempo at the speed you tap before.
The third position divides by 2 the tempo.
The last one divides by 3 the tempo.
ATTAQUE, a 3-position switch to set the envelope detector.
Up the attack changes the tempo of the tremolo.
In the middle position it changes nothing.
And down the attack changes the depth of the tremolo.
TAP, there’s no RATE knob, everything is done with the Tap Tempo. You just need to tap on the footswitch twice for the system to calculate the tempo and apply it to the current effect. However, three to five taps will be more precise, and the pedal will calculate an average before applying it.
FEEDBACK, the tremolo goes into self-oscillation after holding the Tap Tempo footswitch for more than 500 ms when the pedal is turned on. The oscillation comes in gradually and then stops in a very elegant way
once you release the switch.
ON/OFF, turns the pedal on and off with a single push.
When the pedal is switched off, the red LED blinks lightly.
When it is on, the white LED blinks intensely.
It blinks in time with the tremolo’s RATE.
TRIMPOT MODE, to access new hidden settings, hold the switch for more than two seconds.
The LED turns blue.
The knobs control other settings that will be detailed later. To exit Trimpot mode, don’t touch any knob or switch for more than ten seconds, or tap the switch again. A short push is enough to exit this mode.
BIAS_B, to saturate the modulating signal (LFO) on the bass side, 7.2/10.
BIAS_T, same thing on the treble side, 6/10.
GAIN_B, to increase the bass range until it saturates, 9/10.
GAIN_T, same thing for the treble range, 8/10.
TAP, if you leave it in the upper position, you can plug the Spinner with the mini jack input at the back of the pedal, and those two will be able to communicate. Push the switch down towards TAP to connect an external tap tempo switch. This will deactivate the Spinner. Unplug and plug the pedal’s power supply back when changing that switch’s position for that change to be taken into account.
BDWTH, 4 switches allow you to choose the frequencies you wish to modulate through the harmonic tremolo. The default setting is 1010, 0 being the down position and 1 the up position.
The first two switches adjust the bass side.
The last two switches adjust the treble side.
Our favorite setting boosts any sound between 400Hz and 2kHz on the bass side, and the treble side is boosted between 4kHz and 6kHz.
Those switches can be used to get a wide and neutral bandwidth
from 20Hz to 2kHz and from 2kHz to 20kHz.
OUT is fully analog. Therefore it will not be impacted to the Trimpot mode and will continue to set the output volume for the tremolo.
DEPTH becomes THRESHOLD, the threshold of sound necessary to trigger the envelope detector, i.e. how hard you have to hit the strings for the filter to kick in. With a threshold of zero, you have to hit the strings really hard to get the effect. With a threshold set at maximum value, any tiny sound will trigger the envelope.
TONE becomes ENVELOP, which finely sets up your envelope detector. For example: set up your four-position rotary on RATE, which means you’re looking the interact with the rate of the tremolo. If the ENVELOP trimpot is turned all the way up, the tremolo will accelerate every time you play since you’ve set it up at more than 50% of the knob’s course, and a 100% setting will trigger a strong acceleration. If the trimpot is set up at 60% (or 1 o’clock), it only accelerates slightly. Conversely, if it is set up at 0%, the tremolo will slow down dramatically every time you play. At 40% the tremolo will slow down only slightly.
Both switches give you access to the LFO selection, which allows you to choose between 7 LFOs! The last one you’ve selected will be the one saved in the pedal’s memory and used by the tremolo.
The chip can easily be removed and changed at any time. This allows you to update the firmware, but mostly… We will be offering new chips featuring new waveforms!
stereo mini jack
Just like the Element, the Ages has an additional mini jack plug at the back.
It can be used to plug the Spinner in. It will automatically communicate with the Ages. You may also plug an external tap tempo like our Tap. In order to do that, you need to switch the Tap trimpot down. Once you’ve done that, the external and the built-in Tap Tempo switches can communicate and simultaneously control the pedal.