Thursday, January 26, 2012

Review: DMB Lunar Echo

The DMB Lunar Echo is an analog delay with a sweet, sweet tone and tons of modulation options from subtle to sounds you've never even heard from a delay before. Keep on reading to find out about this killer analog delay.

The options presented by the Lunar Echo can be a little daunting at first but are pretty easy to make sense. Players will find a ton of cool features in this (very tall) box. Control-wise, there are five knobs for the delay volume (or mix), the number of repeats (or feedback), the delay time and speed and depth controls for the modulation section. Also featured are two switches to subtly or drastically change the nature of the delay. The hi-fi/lo-fi switch changes the brightness and fidelity of the repeats, the lo-fi option also will self oscillate quicker and repeat more. The other switch changes the mode of the delay from Normal (no modulation) to Tape (tape echo emulation with some very sweet sounding subtle modulation) and Wrecked which just makes this delay go crazy and is highly interactive with the Speed and Depth controls. The Lunar Echo also features top mounted jacks with an FX loop (A/B/Y cable required) so you could add a ring mod or anything you can think of to the repeats. Also included is an expression jack for controlling the delay time of the Lunar Echo. Build quality is also excellent, I can't see many players complaining about a lack of hardware features here, the Lunar Echo brings just about everything a delay user loves to the table. Oh and I almost forgot, the Take-Off switch adds an exponential amount of feedback and naturally self oscillation to your sound, yeah, it's pretty awesome!

The Sounds
The Lunar Echo has all of these great features but how does it actually sound? It sounds great! My favorite setting was maxing out the Level, Tails, and Feedback controls with the switches set to Tape mode and Lo-fi mode. The Lunar Echo just seemed to repeat forever with a slight, controllable oscillation that just added to the texture but didn't complete destroy the sound or decay of the delay. I found the Hi-fi mode to be a little disappointing though, as it just didn't stand out very well in the mix and made the delay feel kind of weak. Let's face it though, users interested DMB Lunar Echo probably aren't looking for a high fidelity, digital delay, they want that sweet tape emulation and the crazy wrecked noises! Speaking of the wrecked mode, it's absolutely insane what sounds it makes, most probably not usable for playing more traditional styles of music, but if you're a little more experimental, you'll love it. The pitch bending sounds awesome and the speed and depth ranges allow you to dial in just the right amount of chaos. Stomp on the Take-Off switch and things get even more crazy, it's really something you just have to hear for yourself!

Here we have the Lunar Echo in Tape mode with Lo-fi repeats. I also kick on the feedback switch at the very end for some self oscillation. The signal is just guitar--Lunar Echo--Amp

Here we have the Lunar Echo in Wrecked mode for some crazier sounds. The signal is just guitar--Lunar Echo--Amp

Here's a more experimental noise track I improvised using the Lunar Echo at the end of the chain in Wrecked mode, you can find a more detailed description on the track information on the Eel Fist SoundCloud. The volume and feedback swells are me engaging the Take-Off switch.

Final Say
The DMB Lunar Echo is an impressive delay with a plethora of useful features (some that I wasn't able to use*) and it sounds amazing. It's definitely one of the better delays I have played but I do have a few minor gripes. The Hi-fi mode just seems to be really weak (maybe I was doing something wrong though) and although the Take-Off switch is a great feature, it's very loud. I wish there was a control for how much feedback the Take-Off switch added. Aside from these minor problems I had, I still highly recommend the Lunar Echo to anyone looking for a tape-style delay (that controlled oscillation is just perfect) and any experimental artist out there who could make some crazy noises using the Wrecked Mode along with some effects in the FX loop of the pedal. Head over to DMB Pedal's website for more info on how you can get your own Lunar Echo.

*Note- I was not able to use the FX loop or Expression input as I do not have the proper equipment or cables.

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