Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Splendid Ear Torture

Attention all you wicked visionaries, audio madmen, and fiendish tone hounds. Looking for a way to bring about all those sick and twisted sounds that hide inside the dark corners of your mind? Let us introduce you to Electro Faustus, a group of gifted madmen with a knack for designing some strangely beautiful and off-the-wall musical gadgets. Let's face it, in all of us there lives that hunger to create something unique and different. It's those odd little undertones that we incorporate into our music that gives our sound that something special. Sometimes we may shy away from noise boxes, oscillators, and other strange gizmos simply because they can be a pain to dial in or operate. The cats at Electro Faustus have put an end to this annoying ritual by coming up with a collection of straight forward, easy to use gear that not only sounds great, but covers a wide range of tonal possibilities. As a fan of cats like Zappa, Naked City, Fantomas, Pink Floyd, and Hawkwind, I found this gear to be quite exciting and dead on the road to psychedelic heaven. We will be taking a look at all of the Electro Faustus gear one gadget at a time, exploring their possibilities, and taking things to the next level. Let's proceed on this journey shall we?

(Duel Oscillator)

* Output: Feeds to amp, other effects, etc...
* On/Off Switch: Also works for machine gun effects
* Rate: Controls Speed of oscillation
* Frequency: Controls oscillation frequency
* Power: Runs on single 9V battery

There couldn't be a simpler, better sounding, easy to use oscillator out there. In the time it took me to pull this thing out of it's box and plug it in I was creating bugged out screams, screeches, and freakazoid squeals. You're instantly transformed into a musical mad scientist with this fantastic gadget. It seems lately more and more players have been in touch with their experimental side, me included, and gear like this is perfect for working out trippy background ambiance. Like I said, it didn't take much to get this going, simply plug in and let your imagination go. The first thing I did was plug it straight into my amp to see how it sounded on it's own. Once plugged in I realized it had lots of output, you definitely don't have to worry about having this baby heard when you gig with it. I ended up adding a volume pedal to control the output which gave me the ability to do swells and what not. The Rate knob will go everywhere from slow beeps, squeaks, and chirps, to laser gun effects, howls, and psychedelic space ship noise. The Frequency knob covers a huge range of tones that will let you dial the EF101 into whatever key your playing in, or just use it to go back fourth from high and low tones. Once I got a hang at getting what I wanted from it (which was faster than all hell) I broke out my guitar and mixed it into the EF101's sounds. First I dialed in a steady pulse to the tempo I was playing at, then matched the key I was in and that was that. It made the acoustic guitar and myself sound much more interesting and gave us an entire new vibe. This eventually gave me a bunch more idea's for killer sounding background noise and I was off to the races. I plugged in a phaser after it along with the volume pedal which totally worked beautifully. I set the phaser's depth at 100%, slowed the rate to an eerie wave, and controlled the overall sound with the volume pedal. The sound was unbelievable! More importantly that I was able to get that cool of a sound that quickly is what really impressed me. In fact I think I emailed Electro Faustus right after that to let them know how cool of a gadget the EF101 was. From here my mind started racing and I took the thing and went bananas. Next to go in the chain was a wah wah pedal, this combined with the phaser and EF101 got me some twisted sounding arpeggiator effects. All I did was set the beep of the EF101 to a medium tempo, matched the phasers rate to the tempo with the depth all the way up, through a bit of reverb on the amp, and rocked the wah back and fourth. The end result was freakin awesome! After this I found insane ways to use this thing with delay pedals, fuzz boxes, reverb units, tremolos, and even to trigger other effect units. One of my favorite ways to use the EF101 was with a delay and volume pedal. What I did was set the rate as far as it would go so that it becomes and endless tone, like the eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee sound your TV makes when you get the "This is a test of the american broadcast system...." announcement. With the delay and volume pedal you can slap in, swell it in, and crank out some of the most hellish sounds you'll ever hear. Every way I used this thing was pretty elementary, I'm sure there are much more complex and twisted ways to use an oscillator. This just goes to show how quickly and easily you can get great sounding usable sounds from it. A few days after the EF101 arrived I ended up using it in a solo acoustic gig I played. I set some marks to show me where the keys were for each song, brought a bunch of pedals to plug into it, and had it plugged in to the venue's PA system. It ended up being one of the coolest shows I'd ever played. I had everyone's attention, strangers, friends, other acts, and even the club promoter came up to compliment me on the sound. All I did was add in a little of the EF101's magic. Just goes to show how much a little noise can do for you. After that the EF101 quickly became a regular tool for my music, my band's, and our little recording studio's. There really are no limits with this simple little box, everyday I figure some cool way to add swirling layers, artistic noise, or splendid ear torture to my music. Behind your tunes as an accent tool is what makes this gadget so cool, and really where the EF101 shines and works it's best. I will be making some videos of the Ef101 in due time and once I do I will make sure to share them with you. I want you guys to see just how killer of a tone-tool this thing really is, you can't loose. For it's price ($39.95) you cannot beat this thing. It makes for a perfect gift to give your music buddies, and an affordable way to own a great sounding oscillator. Analog War Cry is going to make it their mission to go through all of the Electro Faustus gear and make sure to share the info back with all of ya'll. So make sure to check in with us in a few and until then make sure to check out the Electro Faustus video demos on Youtube and EF website. There are also some really really cool audio demos with graphics on of all the gadgets on the Ef website. I highly suggest you check out this gear, you will thank me for it. So to all of you screamers of the night, tone wizards, space rockers, and musical alchemists... Here is another way to get your rocks off.

For more info on Electro Faustus go to www.electrofaustus.com or click the direct link in our sidebar. We will be looking at more of this wonderful gear in the near future so make sure to keep your eyes peeled. We'll be back soon with some more EF fun.

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