Analog outboard gear isn't as expensive as you think! In this video, we check out one of the most creative, interesting, and inspiring ways to get in the hardware game—on a budget anyone can afford. Sound too good to be true? Well, let's find out...
Hey friend, you're here in the studio with Luke from GuitarIQ.com. Now, those of us who like to dabble in the fine art of home recording, often love the idea of being able to incorporate real bits of analog hardware into our tracking and mixing. Unfortunately, as we all know, high-end studio equipment can be incredibly expensive. Which can make it seem almost unattainable for a lot of people. But fear not! In this video, I hope to demonstrate for you that some of the most interesting, creative, inspiring, and fun to use pieces of analog hardware aren't only incredibly affordable but they also might include things that you already own.
For those of you who can tell where I'm going with this, of course, I'm talking about using guitar pedals as analog outboard effects. To help demonstrate this idea we're going to be checking out the brand new Mutation Phasor II by Warm Audio. A big thanks to the team over at Studio Connections for sending this out to feature in some video content. It's companies like them that allow creators like me to make videos like this. So I'll be sure to link to their socials in the description. Make sure to check them out if you get a chance.
Now, this pedal is a fantastic example of what we're going to be looking at today. Just because something is branded as a guitar pedal, doesn’t mean that it only sounds good on guitar. In fact, the original Mu-Tron Phasor pedals from the late 70s, that this is based on, weren't really designed for guitar players at all. They were predominantly designed as synth effects. So in today's video, I thought it would be really interesting to hear this in action, not just on guitar, but on a bunch of different elements in the mix: Guitar, bass, keys, synth, and even drums. Just to experiment with the different sound and character we can get from a pedal like this on different elements in the mix.
So just for a bit of context, the knob at the top here is labeled “Rate.” This controls the speed of the modulation. The knob in the middle is labeled “Depth.” This controls the amount of modulation. The knob down the bottom here is labeled “Feedback.” This is a really interesting part of the original circuit design. It essentially controls the intensity or resonance of the phaser effect. So in the samples you're about to hear, I'll try and demonstrate a bunch of different presets. From slow, to medium, to fast modulation. Just to give you a bit of a feel for what this pedal is capable of.
So for those of you who are curious to know how I've set this up—in terms of using it as a piece of analog outboard gear with my DAW—I’ve done a really in-depth tutorial walking you step-by-step through the whole process that you might find useful. I’ll link to that in the description. As we go through the sound samples, if you like what you hear, be sure to click on that “Like” button to let me know. And to help appease the all-powerful YouTube algorithm. And with that, let’s hear this thing in action!
Well, there you have it. That was the Mutation Phasor II in action. Hopefully, that was able to give you a bit of a feel for what a really great analog modulation pedal like this can add to certain tracks in your mix. Now, for me this is the first time I've had a good chance to sit down and play around with an old-school, Mu-Tron style of phaser circuit. So I thought it would be interesting just to conclude with some general Impressions on this specific pedal. First of all, for those of us who are used to a simpler single-knob Phase 90 style of pedal, you’ll notice something like this is much more versatile. When we crank that feedback knob, we almost take the phaser sound into more auto-wah type territory. When we crank the depth knob, we can get that phaser to sound almost a little more reminiscent of something like a uni-vibe pedal. And when we crank the rate knob, it takes this pedal from being a phaser into almost, you know, ring mod territory. It’s really interesting. As you saw there, for all of those sound examples, I wasn't really cranking this above 12 o’clock. Just because of how intense this effect can get. Which, of course, might be exactly what you're looking for.
As for the design of this pedal, clearly this thing is MASSIVE. It’s built like a tank. Understandably, the size of this pedal might be a bit of a concern if you're thinking about pedalboard real-estate. But keep in mind ,compared to the original Mu-Tron style of phaser (believe it or not) this thing is about half the size of the original. So, at least by late 1970s standards, this could almost be considered a mini pedal—if it helps to think of it that way. Personally, for me, I really like the size and aesthetic they've gone for on this pedal. Particularly, in the context of what we're looking at today, I love that this pedal feels less like a guitar pedal and more like a small, retro piece of studio equipment. It definitely doesn't change the sound of it at all. But it certainly makes it more fun to use! Anyway, hopefully you found this video somewhat interesting and/or helpful. That was my look at using modulation pedals as analog outboard effects featuring the brand new Mutation Phasor II by Warm Audio.
Well, a big thanks once again for sticking around to the end of the video. As I mentioned at the start, this pedal was sent to me to check out and to feature in some video content. But this was not a paid promotion or a sponsored advertisement. No money has changed hands. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own, as always. If you are interested to find out some more information on the Mutation Phasor II, I'll certainly leave some links in the description. If you like this video, and you'd like to see more content like this, then please consider subscribing to the channel to be notified of future uploads. And finally, before you go, I warmly invite you to head over to the website GuitarIQ.com to check out some of the books and learning resources we have waiting for you over there. Covering everything from fretboard memorization, to chord theory, to warm-ups and workouts, to technique fundamentals, and a whole lot more—that is GuitarIQ.com. Well, that’s it from me. Thanks for watching and I'll see you in the next video!