Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Guest Review: Effector 13 Test Pattern (By Robert Furtkamp)

This is an initial observation and review of a Devi Ever "Test Pattern" fuzz pedal. Basic features are simple: a volume control, an Intensity Knob (which goes from oscilation/feedback at the lowest level and goes to really hard gating and odd at the far end), and a gate on/off switch. Turning the gate on and off opens up the pedal's sound but at the expense of the trademark pseudo-tremolo.

Construction is solid; baseplate comes off without issue which can be an issue with that type of pedal enclosure. Paint job is decent as well; it's a substantial improvement even in basic black over the bare enclosure that's standard. Wiring looks very clean. Outside of that, let's face it, nobody cares about the cosmetics much. It's a pedal and will live under your feet or in a rack drawer for eternity.

I can't tell the sonic difference between the pedal on AC or battery power, which is a good thing - not all fuzzes in this range sound right with one or the other.

A few basic notes before the sound samples. For what is basically a sonic destroyer fuzz pedal, the noise level is actually quite low - the self-generated noise/hum that is reminiscent of an old black and white TV watching UHF channels at 3 am is sedate and soothing in its own way, and chances are if you're going to use this pedal for the sonic destrution it's capable of, you're not going to quibble over a little bit of wierd.

The tick, tick, tick of the Test Pattern on some settings goes away nicely the minute the signal has something to play with. If it bothers you, put in a bypass loop or learn to work around it. It's worth it. This is not the fuzz pedal to bring with to slam out "Spirit in the Sky" at the local open mic though.

I've tried to go beyond the typical blues-riff or Black Sabbath from hell fuzz demo and show the pedal in its more natural environments, as well as interacting with other effects. The Test Pattern really comes into its own in conjunction with other stuff; it's not a grab this one thing and go to the show item.

Enough of me, on to the samples.

The basic pedal runthrough. I've used the same Fender Jaguar and Hot Rod Deluxe for all of the samples included, using the clean channel with minimal reverb. I've intentionally not changed any amp settings, and provided a baseline of the sound without the Test Pattern (and without additional effects in later cases). Since I'm not a video guy, I've included a rundown of what I've done at each point in the samples. Yay.

Gear demo: Devi Ever Test Pattern - Initial stuff by rfurtkamp

0:10 enter test pattern, min intensity, switch up
0:30 1/3 intesity, switch up. pitch shift/tune as knob turns.
0:55 halfway, switch up. enter stutter. Interestingly, stutter goes mostly away when run into

another fuzz (not in this demo)
1:23 100%, switch up
1:53 100%, switch down
2:23 halway, switch down
2:49 minimum intensity, switch down
3:14 flip switch up to oscilation.

Gear Demo: Test Pattern w/ Bluebox & Reverse Delay by rfurtkamp
Left Channel: Nothing other than fuzzboxes.
Right Channel: 381ms reverse delay (Digitech Timebender)

0:00 Baseline (Left clean, right 100% reverse delay [381ms Digitech Timebender])
0:11 Enter Test Pattern. (1/3 intensity, switch up)
0:30 Bluebox (Oct/Fuzz blend @ 2:30)

The venerable MXR Blue Box does odd things with the Test Pattern; the tremolo tick vanishes and the double gating effects interacting ironically makes the Test Pattern a bit more tame.

Unlike a lot of effects though, you can still hear the character of the Test Pattern underneath the Blue Box, which says something about how mean the Test Pattern is. The right channel reverse delay is largely just to illustrate how well the Test Pattern interacts with otherwise touchy effects; I know a lot of distortion and fuzz units that don't really work well with it.

Gear Demo: EH Frequency Analyzer into Test Pattern with multitap delay by rfurtkamp
Frequency Analyzer (3:00 shift, 4:30 fine, 2:30 mix) -> Test Pattern (Intensity just above minimum, in feedback range, switch up) -> Digitech TimeBender 856ms 4 tap tape echo sim

0:00 Baseline
0:22 Enter Test Pattern

The basic smooth ring modulator effect gets some very mean spikes with the Test Pattern in its feedback loop range. It is no longer the smooth jazz/Devo ring mod of old once the fuzz kicks on, and that's a good thing.

Gear Demo: Test Pattern & Boss GL-100 by rfurtkamp

Test Pattern (50% intensity, switch down) -> Boss GL-100 in HM-2 clone mode

0:20 Enter Test Pattern
1:11 Enter GL-100

The joy of this Test Pattern setting is that you can manipulate the spitting and inherent noise in the Test Pattern in real time. Adding distortion post-Test Pattern smooths out a lot of the spiky ugly in the Test Pattern, which can be good and bad.

Gear Demo: Test Pattern + Digitech Snyth Wah + Digitech Time Machine harmonized delay by rfurtkamp

Digitech Synth Wah (Snyth 4, knobs all at noon) -> Test pattern (2:30 intensity, switch up) -> Digitech Time Machine 572ms 4-tap Space Echo Sim on verge of self-oscilation with Octave Up (left) / Octave Down (right) on each repeat.

0:00 Baseline ugly
0:25 Enter Test Pattern

A more extreme example of how the Test Pattern can be used to add a certain flavor of ugly to an otherwise non-toxic fake keyboard sound.

All in all this is an interesting pedal; it won't replace the others on your board, that much is certain, but for the person who's got everything or is looking to add a particular type of mean edge to their sound, the Test Pattern does wonders.

Thanks to Robert Furtkamp for this awesome review of a really cool little pedal! Right now these Test Patterns are pretty scarce, Devi will most likely being making more in the future sometime though so be on the look out for them.

1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed the read, and SO many demos. Thanks for sharing.