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WAVES TAP TEMPO OPTICAL TREMOLO
The Waves is our tremolo with tap tempo. We spent almost two years developing and testing this pedal, distilling all of our knowledge in electronics and programming, in order to make it sound as cool as it looks.
It has an organic tone, characteristic of an optical tremolo circuit. It is able to generate several waveforms, it can be controlled by an expression pedal and even has an stereo output, so you can make panning effects, opening endless creative possibilities.
The Waves has five knobs and a toggle switch. The switch selects the waveform within three positions: sine, triangular and square. The Shape control changes and distorts the waveform, generating sawtooth, ramp and distorted sine waves and even change the proportion of time that the sound is on, or cut on the square wave. With this combination, you get to create an infinite range of different types of tremolo. From a short well marked square wave tremolo, like a helicopter, passing through an increasing ramp wave, that resembles reverse delays, to even a subtle slightly distorted sine wave tremolo, just like the ol’ tube amps.
The Depth control changes the amount of the effect, from a very subtle change in volume to muting the sound completely, and the Level control changes the output volume. The latter is very important in a tremolo, since depending on the shape of the wave, the volume perception is different.
The other two controls, Rate and Div, modify the speed of the effect. You can manually change it with the Rate control, or by tapping at the tap footswitch, so pedal syncs to your rhythm. The Div control sets the subdivision of time marked by the tap tempo or by the Rate. Consequently, you can make a faster/slower tremolo sync on top of the tempo of any song by tapping in a easy and precise speed. The Waves speed goes from a very slow and lush tremolo, with periods of several seconds until tremolos as fast as soundwaves, exhibiting an odd and disharmonic behavior, identical to a ring modulator.
On top of all these features, the Waves has a ‘secret’ operation mode, the Hold mode. Usually when you step on the pedal bypass, it switches on the tremolo and is only shut down when you step again. But if you hold the tap tempo switch, it activates the Hold mode. Therefore, the effect is only activated when you hold the bypass pedal. So as soon as you take your foot off, it cuts the effect. That is, the pedal only works while you’re holding your foot onto it. It’s a very interesting feature, opening room for a lot of creative possibilities, and it is another creative tool in your sounic arsenal, ideal to be used as a fast, momentary tremolo.
The Waves has a digital brain, but everything else, including the audio signal path is fully analog: The digital circuitry controls the tap tempo and logic, and the analog circuitry manipulates the guitar signal to generate the tremolo effect. The sound signal is never transformed into digital and the two circuits are separated by a custom optical component. All this to bring maximum flexibility without compromising in any way the sound. Lock, stock and barrel, what we get is flexibility, without ever compromising the tone.
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