historic but misunderstood
Harmonic tremolo lives under many names: vibrato, harmonic vibrato, harmonic tremolo, vibe, univibe, and so on.
In every instance, the goal remains the same, i.e. to change the pitch of your notes in a cyclic way
(rather than changing the volume like a regular tremolo) while putting the lows and highs out of phase.
That separation between frequencies evokes the Leslie cabinet, and it’s not just by coincidence:
the first harmonic tremolos, including the Univibe and the built-in vibratos from old Magnatone amps, have been designed to emulate the Leslie.
But those newer references have of course become sought-after effects in their own right, and a few makers have designed their own version since then.
our vision of the harmonic tremolo
However, it remains a rare effect that’s not part of everybody’s catalogue,
and it’s even harder to find a pedal that combines a big analog sound with the advanced options that only the digital technology can offer.
This is why Anasounds came up with the Ages, a hybrid pedal offering many possibilities while keeping a purely analog signal path.
It all began with sound. We had a precise color in mind and so we set out to design our own filters to achieve it.
a complete and living harmonic tremolo
The output control is typical of the way analog circuits can add a slight halo of saturation if the players wishes.
Once we reached that sonic goal, we tried to make the interface as simple as possible while keeping it highly flexible.
There is no knob to control the rate of the effect since it is done with the tap tempo footswitch (and three available subdivisions via the central switch).
But the Ages sets itself apart even more by adding an attack follower than can work in two different ways.
You choose whether it impacts the rate or the depth according to how hard you hit the strings.
Secondary settings allow you to adjust every parameter in the most minute way for unprecedented results.
Imagine making the effect faster by strumming harder to make your bridge or solo more intense
(and the rate automatically decreases until it reaches the one you originally set up with the tap tempo),
or making your tremolo less present by playing softer in order not to make your rhythm parts too busy.
under the hood
And then there’s every other option that is not seen but still makes the Ages even more deep and flexible.
By keeping the tap tempo footswitch pressed down, you create a loop that makes your harmonic tremolo go into self-oscillation,
which should be very pleasing to the sonic adventurers.
By keeping the on/off footswitch pressed down, you have access to the Trimpot mode with extra settings.
The central switch and envelope switch give you access to extra LFOs for different sounds,
the Tone control determines whether the envelope increases or decreases the effects and in what amount,
while the Depth control becomes an attack threshold that determines when the envelope kicks in.
Finally, as always with Anasounds, you can remove the back plate and the pedal and mess around with internal trimpots.
Those determine the bandwidth of the effect by cutting off lows and highs at strategic frequencies,
which will be ideal for an effect that is not too bass-heavy if you’re using it with a high-gain sound.