I wonder if Duane gets royalties?


Geez, the hits just keep on comin'.

It's not like I need another vibratolo, but I like this feature set, the graphics are great, and I'm wondering if the Eddy might be both more flexible and organic-feeling than the Earthquaker Aqueduct.

I've been Aqueducting for a couple of years. I'm happy with the sound - and I like the variety of modes - but it has just a touch of latency. Not enough to throw me off - just tick me off. It feels artificial. I'm guessing it's digital, possibly another Spin FV1 toy.

The Eddy is "classic" EHX bucket brigade, touted as all-analog (probably a dig at the Aqueduct). And it has more knobs! plus an expression jack...

• knobs: Rate, Depth, Mode (to select waveforms and envelope target)
• waveforms: Sine, Triangle, Ramp, Square, & LFO-modulated Random
• envelope targets: Depth, Rate, Pitch

There's no mix, level, or tone control. But as all the interesting stuff (other than the Square and Random wave modes, which are cool) is in the envelope functions, which respond differently based on how hard you whack the strings, here's EQD to explain their intricacies:

• Envelope-Controlled Depth mode: Speed of sine wave is adjusted with Rate. Depth sets sensitivity - the point at which the effect kicks in as you play. Your attack sets the intensity of the modulation. The harder you dig in, the more pronounced the effect.

• Envelope-Controlled Rate mode: Input level (i.e. pick attack) controls sine-wave LFO rate. The harder you play, the faster it goes. Rate sets sensitivity of the envelope. Depth sets LFO intensity.

• Envelope-Controlled Pitch mode, or “The My Bloody Valentine setting.” If your instrument doesn’t have a tremolo bar, it does now. In this mode, the LFO is set to sine, and frequency modulation is controlled by pick dynamics, not the LFO. • In this mode, Depth sets wet/dry mix - the only mode that has wet/dry mix. Set to taste to for touch-sensitive dynamic vibrato, chorus, flanger, or tactile pitch drops. Full counterclockwise is all dry, full clockwise is all wet. With this control set to noon you will get a 50/50 mix with a small amount of phase cancellation. • Rate sets sensitivity and overall range of the pitch bend.

So not many knobs, but clever duties for the knobs in each mode.

The Aqueduct does nice enough straight vibrato (other than the latency), but most of the real joy is in the way the envelope modes are implemented.

• knobs: Volume, Tone, Shape, Rate, Depth, Envelope
• toggles for vibrato or chorus mode (so, mix); envelope target (Rate or Depth)

Instead of four waveforms and a randomizer, you get a balanced 50%-duty sine wave (with Shape knob centered), and oppositely lop-sided sines (like 10% and 90% duty or so) at the far ends of the dial. Thus asymmetrical, loping, waves are possible. The question (for me) is whether the continuous adjustability of the wave through the travel of the knob substitutes for the other waveforms on the Aqueduct.

For me the dynamic sensitivity is the first calling card for both pedals: regardless what else they do, that's the reason I'd use these pedals and not some other pitch wobbler.

Earthquaker's is pretty deeply featured, and has the magic dynamic pitch bender. Here's what EHX says about Eddy's:

ENVELOPE knob sets how your playing dynamics affect modulation (either Rate or Depth). With knob centered, envelope has no effect. CW from center, harder playing results in a faster rate or higher depth (depending on the state of the ENV/EXP switch). The further the knob is turned, the more dramatic. CCW from center, harder playing results in a slower rate or lesser depth.

When using Envelope to for Rate or Depth, those knobs set the “base level” of that control: where it is at when you aren’t playing or are playing softly. Then, playing harder results in an increase or decrease from that level (based on position of Envelope knob.

The envelope cannot drive the rate or depth much past the maximum/minimum range of the knobs. For example, if Rate knob is relatively high (and ENV/EXP switch set to Rate), and the Envelope knob relatively high, you won’t hear a strong effect because rate is already close to its maximum before taking into account the envelope. But if you have Rate set to minimum and the Envelope set to maximum, you get drama.

Also, Rate and Depth can be controlled by an expression pedal instead of Envelope.

I'll assume the rate and depth envelopes work as well as on the Aqueduct. But there's no pitch mode (therfore, sadness).

In the Yay for Eddy column, I know the Volume and Tone controls would be useful - and the Aqueduct entirely lacks them.

But there will be no substitute for comparing the pedals side-by-side, as that's the only way to know if the EHX has any latency, or its bucket-brigade guts mean it feels more "organic." If the Eddy just plain sounds gooier - in conjunction with its other functionality - I spect that will be enough to make me keep it.

I just don't know how much I'd miss Aqueduct's square wave (which is great at British sirens), random mode (which would be all-important and sufficient reason to keep the pedal on all the time, just for subliminal and unpredictable animation - except for the annoying latency), and the undeniable voodoo of attack-dependent pitch bending.

Those three functions are likely enough to make me keep the Aqueduct too.

Nother words, despite the no-more-pedals pledge I took earlier this afternoon when the Pladask Feber came ... looks like I'm off the wagon again.

And good golly, it's only 99.00 new!

OK, I'll get one.

I should also mention that I love Bill Ruppert's demos. He's both a great player and an effective effect presenter. After getting the pedals, I'm always satisfied that they do what Bill demonstrated, too.

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