Welcome to ambient guitar heaven! In this video, we craft a pedalboard that's designed specifically for one job: Creating sonic dreamscapes on guitar. Here, we'll be exploring sounds with the brand new Sloer pedal by Walrus Audio. So... Want to make your guitar into an ambient symphony? Let's check it out!
Walrus Audio Sloer: https://amzn.to/3R7k30x
TC Electronic Sub'n'Up: https://amzn.to/3PnBzeP
Boss SY-1 Synthesizer: https://amzn.to/3EmLzzN
EHX Attack/Decay: https://amzn.to/3LargsW
So… I’ve put together an entire pedalboard just for reverb and it sounds incredible!
Howdy friend, you’re here in the studio with Luke from GuitarIQ.com. In today's video, we're going to be talking all things ambient reverb. In particular, we're going to be taking a look at the brand new release from Walrus Audio. This is their new Sloer, or Shloer, or Slooer pedal—depending on how you want to pronounce it. The kind and creative folks over at Walrus Audio recently sent this out to me to check out. As you're about to see, it’s a compact, multi-algorithm, powerhouse of ambient goodness. But this is not going to be a standard pedal demo. The Sloer pedal has been out for about a month or two, as we speak. And there are already some fantastic demos online walking you through all of the sounds, settings, features, and functions of this pedal. So in today's video, I thought we might attempt something a little more adventurous. Of course, if you do just want to jump straight to the sound samples, I’ll be sure to leave timestamps in the description for everything—feel free to jump around. But for those of you who want a little bit of context for what you're looking at, then stay with me for a few minutes as I tell you a little tale of my recent explorations in reverberation and what led me to this point. And I guess the thinking behind the little pedalboard you see in front of you.
So I'm currently in about the 50th iteration of my brand new studio pedalboard build. And I've been thinking a lot about the question: What makes ambient reverb sound so good? Because, I don't know about you, but I distinctly remember the first time I heard a guitar player using a high-quality, ambient, modulated, shimmery-type reverb. I remember not being entirely sure what I was listening to. Is this a reverb? Is this a pad? Is there some kind of synth player in the background that I can't see? What exactly is going on here? And I think that feeling really captures what we love about ambient reverb. It creates the illusion that there's more going on in the sonic spectrum than what we're actually playing. Almost as though the reverb kind of becomes its own instrument. And in planning out my pedalboard, I was thinking about what this might look like if I actually treated the reverb as its own instrument.
So the first thing I wanted to do was isolate the sound of the reverb from my main signal chain. And that's essentially what you're looking at here. This is not my entire pedalboard. This is just a small mock-up of the reverb section. The idea is I'll eventually run something like this in parallel with my main guitar sound. That's going to allow me to capture, and record, and mix the sound of my reverb independently from the sound of my guitar. It’s also going to allow me to run different pedals into my reverb without affecting my main guitar sound. The second thing I wanted to do was work out some way of differentiating the sound that I'm feeding into the reverb from my main guitar sound. To really lean into this idea that the reverb is kind of operating as its own independent instrument. To do that I'm using the Boss SY-1. This is a synthesizer pedal. It has over 100 different sounds on it. Everything from pads, to strings, to organs and a bunch more as we're about to hear. And these two pedals really form the heart of this idea. A synth engine feeding a great ambient reverb, that’s eventually going to be set up to run in parallel with my main guitar sound.
But as you can see here, I haven't quite stopped there. I've gone a little more overboard. There's a few other elements. First up, we have the Attack/Decay by Electro Harmonix. This is capable of a number of different things but I'm basically using it for two separate jobs. First up, this allows me to dial in an automated volume-swell effect. Which is a really handy sound to use in conjunction with something like pads and strings—it sounds really nice. Secondly, the Attack/Decay has an inbuilt compressor on board. Which is dialed in to give my guitar as much sustain as possible. It's not quite the same thing as holding, you know, an infinite sustain on a synthesizer. But at least it's a step in the right direction. This is obviously feeding my synth pedal. The main thing to note here is that the mix of the guitar is dialed all the way out. So in the sound examples you're about to hear you're only going to be hearing the sound of the synth pedal feeding the reverb. The idea being, of course, that eventually this is going to be running in parallel with my main signal.
Now, between the synth pedal and the reverb I have a somewhat curious inclusion. This is the TC Electronics Sub’n’Up. This is actually an octave pedal. Why am I using an octave pedal after a synth pedal? Well, I’ve been experimenting with the idea of using a pedal like this to add a bit more weight or gravitas to the sounds I'm using from the synth pedal. And I'm almost using it a bit like a creative EQ. Where those lower octaves allow me to decide how much body or weight the sound has. And that upper octave allows me to determine how much presence or cut the sound has, all before it feeds the reverb pedal. And that leads us finally to the crowning jewel of the entire pedalboard which is of course a fantastic sounding ambient reverb. The original Slo, or Shlo, or Sloo pedal from Walrus Audio seems to have been a really popular release from them. And the new Sloer pedal basically takes everything that was great about the original and makes it even better. We now have more algorithms to play with, we have more control over the sound of the reverb, we also now have (crucially) stereo inputs and outputs.
Okay, so hopefully that gave you a little bit of context for what you're looking at here. Let's jump to the sound samples. I think what I'll do is dial in a number of different sounds I like using the SY-1. And then I'll use the Sloer pedal to complement what the SY-1 is doing—just to showcase a bunch of the different algorithms and sounds and settings that the Sloer pedal is capable of. I'm going to leave the mix of this pedal set pretty high. One, so you can clearly hear what the Sloer pedal is doing. And two, because it just sounds so damn good—so why wouldn't you? The signal chain for today couldn't be simpler. My guitar is running straight into the Attack/Decay. And on the output of the Sloer I'm running straight into my audio interface. There’s no amps, or cabs, or cabinet simulation, or anything like that happening. What you're hearing is a full-resolution, full-frequency capture of the pedals you see in front of you. So with that, let's take a listen:
Okay, so hopefully that was able to showcase some of what the Sloer pedal is capable of. And hopefully you're also able to gain a little bit of inspiration for some of the creative ways you can use reverb on your pedalboard at home. As the Sloer pedal is new on the market, I thought it would be interesting to just conclude with a few initial Impressions— having had this in the studio for a little while. First up, I think this thing sounds absolutely incredible. The reverbs are very smooth and silky. They have a lot of depth and character to them. They never feel overly harsh, or brittle, or anything like that. It’s actually really hard to get a sound from the Sloer pedal that doesn't sound good. Which, in my opinion, is the mark of a fantastic reverb pedal.
Design wise, I think this occupies a really interesting space between a smaller reverb stomp box and a larger big-box style reverb workstation. Something like the Sloer pedal is going to give you a lot more versatility and options than you're usually going to find on a standalone reverb stomp box. But at the same time, this pedal is much smaller and much easier to use than a big-box reverb workstation. There's no menu diving, there’s no Bluetooth connectivity, there’s no accompanying apps that you need learn. For the most part, what you see is what you get. Which is a good thing in my opinion. One of the hidden benefits of the Sloer pedal, is that the power consumption is really reasonable. A lot of high-quality reverb pedals nowadays will take anywhere from 200 to 500 milliamps. Which sometimes means you need to upgrade your power supply. The Sloer pedal is rated at a minimum of 100 milliamps. Which means this is likely going to work with most power supplies on the market nowadays. Which, for me, is a big plus.
And finally, just a couple of things to consider if you're thinking about purchasing the Sloer pedal. First of all, this is not a MIDI capable pedal. Now, for me, that doesn't really matter. But if you're someone who wants to incorporate MIDI into your setup, that’s certainly something you need to keep in mind. And secondly, it kind of goes without saying, but this is really designed for the ambient-minded guitar player. If you're someone who just wants a subtle, realistic bit of spring reverb to a company you're playing. Or, if you just want a nice, short, natural room sound. This pedal isn't designed to give you those type of sounds, right. This is really designed to give you those big, lush, epic, ambient, never-ending reverb tones. So if that's what you're looking for, and if you liked some of the sound samples that you heard today, then I would absolutely recommend checking this out. That was my look at the brand new Sloer pedal by Walrus Audio.
Well, thank you for sticking around once again to the end of the video. As I mentioned at the start, this pedal was sent to me to check out. But this was not a paid promotion or a sponsored advertisement. No money has changed hands. All thoughts and opinions are my own, as always. If you did like this pedal and you want to find out some more information, I'll certainly leave some links in the description. If you liked this video and you want to see more content like this, then I would encourage you to subscribe to the channel to be notified of future uploads. And finally, I warmly invite you to head over to the website GuitarIQ.com. To check out some of the books and other learning resources we have waiting for you over there. Covering everything from fretboard memorization, to chord theory, to warm-ups and workouts, and technique fundamentals, and a whole lot more. That is GuitarIQ.com. Well, that’s it from me. Thank you for watching and I'll see you in the next video!