Grrrrrr!! FEA Labs releases Growler pedal for bass
(Dave Molter | Posted 2010-05-05)
Looking for a mean, nasty sound from your bass without spending a ton of money or upgrading your stack? The FEA Growler has something new to offer.
The Growler was designed as an enhancement pedal to provide a true analog, even-order harmonic tone to the notes of a bass guitar. This tone is mostly comprised of a generated second harmonic of the input signal. These even order harmonic tones are blended with the original signal to make a rich full tone.
This even order harmonic tone also makes the sub audible or low amplitude notes from a down tuned bass guitar more audible. Most bass rigs do not efficiently reproduce the fundamental frequencies of the lowest bass notes. By adding more of the even order harmonics, the amplifier and speakers appear to be louder and more efficient.
How It Works
The FEA Growler generates this harmonic signal by using an analog four quadrant multiplier, also known as a Double Balanced Modulator. Since this harmonic generator is based on a true multiplication function, the Growler has no tracking issues. Due to the exponential function of the modulator, the lower amplitudes of the harmonic partials in the note decrease in amplitude exponentially as their frequency increases. The generated signal by itself has a hollow sound (lacking the fundamental and the higher partials), but when added with the original dry signal a pleasing textured tone is created. The FEA Growler will not make your bass guitar sound like a regular guitar, because some of the harmonic structure of the bass note exists in the generated signal.
The Growler has a toggle switch that allows the user to add asymmetrical soft clipping to the generator amplifier. This asymmetrical clipping adds more harmonic content to the generated signal. It can be heard as a very soft distortion or fuzz sound.
The same Silonex AOI’s (Analog Optical Isolators) that are in the FEA Optical Compressors are used in the Growler compander circuitry. The compander (compressor / expander) circuitry compresses the amplitude of the signal to a workable level for the harmonic generator. Then the compander takes the output of the generator and restores the amplitude back to the original signal level. This compander is an essential part of the Growler due to the exponential amplitude function of the generator. Otherwise, the output of the generator would not be musically useful in this application. The Growler compander circuitry has been carefully designed to allow an exaggerated attack to each note played. This gives the Growler an aggressive punch to the tone giving the bass guitar a livelier sound.
The FEA Growler has a input level toggle switch that adds a 6dB gain to the input amplifier. This is useful to allow low output instruments to drive the compander circuitry harder for better effect of punch and growl.
•Compact size: 4.5" x 3.5"
•Activation footswitch (stomp switch) with direct bypass when the pedal is not active
•Channel selection footswitch (stomp switch) for easy activation of either channel as needed
•Variable dry, wet channel 1, and wet channel 2 controls for adjusting the mix of the original signal (dry) with either of the analog harmonic signals (wet)
•Input level toggle switch to boost the input signal by +6 dB and allow for more intense tone processing settings on both channels
•Asymmetrical clipping toggle switch to add soft clipping to the generated harmonic tone on both channels
•Variable brightness level control on channel two to add more highs to the harmonic tone as needed
•Generator filter toggle switch on channel 2 to change the low bypass filter from 250 Hz to 1 kHz, allowing the harmonic generator circuit to process more of the original signal
•TRS (tip ring sleeve) insert jack to allow for outboard processing of the harmonic signal using external effects or equalization
•Direct output jack that provides the unprocessed (dry) signal for additional signal path and mixing options
The Growler is available direct from FEA LAbs for $189 USD plus shipping and handling. www.fealabs.com
Complied from information on the FEA Labs website.