Sunday, 29 November 2015

Wampler Nirvana chorus - a very good all-rounder

A very simple review - it's a damn good chorus. 

Not my first choice for Smithsian jangle and picking, not as hyper-squidy as the Diamond Halo chorus, the Nirvana does most things well. One of the better chorus pedals I've had. 

Decent pitch vibrato as well. 

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Mooer Yellow compressor - is it really up to the standard of the Diamond compressor?

When I'm not flouncing around trying to play blurry guitarnoiserock from 1991, I like to play weak chord sequences and to pretend I'm Johnny Marr. For some time I played through a lovely JC-120. Ignore the hiss, love the chorus, and embrace solid state, people. It was a cracking pedal platform and not as heavy as you'd think (at least the 3rd series weren't. I did have a 1st series temporarily that had been butchered by the previous owner. He'd thrown two Celestion speakers from the 70's in there that had magnets built like the average Samoan prop forward. The whole amp weighed nearly 50 kilos). 

So jingle-jangle Marrology picking... what compressor? For ages, the Diamond compressor has been my favourite. Stuff like the Keeley 4-knobber and all of the usual names squash the top end and you lose that sparkle. The Diamond dials it back in with the Tilt EQ. It still sounds nice and open, it's not a big squashed compressed sound, but it adds thickness in the right areas. 

I bought the Mooer Yellow to see if the claims were true. 

In short, I disagree. 

For £30 the Moeer Yellow offers you a lot for your money. The first thing that hit me was just how small it was. I've had bigger buttplugs than the box this came in. When hooked up to the DAW, it's quiet enough, definitely not unreasonable in the noise floor department. It definitely isn't as nice sounding as the Diamond. Ovni Labs reviewed the Diamond and the Mooer Yellow, and I'd agree with everything said there. The Diamond has a fullness that the Moeer simply doesn't have. In my pedal test, I ran the Moeer on its own then compared that to playing directly into my favourite software compressor, Klanghelm's MJUC. I preferred going into the software compressor which is not something I ever said when I had the Diamond. 

That said, the Moeer going into MJUC is rather good. 

Is this worth £30? Yes. At that price it is a ridiculous bargain. Does it beat the Diamond compressor? No. 

Yamaha Magicstomp reverse reverb and my continuing quest for My Bloody Valentine fabulousness

For years on gear forums, people have claimed that the algos from the Yamaha SPX90 can be found in the Magicstomp. This includes the much vaunted Early Reflections reverse reverb programs so beloved by shoegaze nerds like myself.

To get the best out of the MS, you need to use the software editor. It is somewhat hard to find since the Magicstomp website came down but I did find the stuff I wanted and got it working eventually (you have to set the Midi I/O in a specific way - Yamaha software used to be very quirky. The drivers for the 01X were completely hideous). Editing city, here I come...

So what did I discover? Well, the Magicstomp doesn't sound like the SPX90. The bypass is as bad as people say so throw it in a true bypass loop. The reverse is pretty good actually, not as clanky as the SPX90 and not as thick as the Midiverb II, but it isn't bad at all.

I created a quick demonstration below. First the bypassed sound then the reverse reverb on its own. I threw a Boss HM2 pedal into the MS then tightened everything up using Klanghelm's MJUC compressor.

Finally I added some pitch variations using MVibrato by Melda Productions. The step sequencer allows for some very erratic variations. As I play a modded Epi Dot and so don't have a JM/Jaguar type trem system, MVibrato is my pitchbender.

It's not a great demo and doesn't pretend to be. So there!

Hopefully over the weekend I will have an EHX Cathedral to experiment with.