So now we’re looking at the effects section, and one thing becomes clear, the selection of effects is cut down from those available in the last edition of Revalver, with some models missing that have been part of the package since 2001. Some of the new models are oddly cut down as well. There is an unfinished feel to the effects section, the artwork look clumsy and there are odd omission in the effects chosen, no digital delay pedal, a limited choice of filter pedals, only 2 OD pedals and no proper clean boost. Some pedals like the the Wham! (I did like the name) have a very limited range of controls. I hope the pedal section will get an update soon as there are gaps, certainly Tonestack by Yonac has a much wider range of effects.
Of course many of these gaps will be handled by a brilliant tool that has been one of Revalver’s trump cards for years, a VST host. Got a VST effect or amp? Slot in the host and it will work flawlessly in Revalver. Of course this is only as good as the effect you have, but there is a huge range out there, free and paid for. It is a brilliant, simple idea and frankly, how good would this be in say Jamup.
So, with my Lite-Ash Strat, I set up a test model amp, a Peavey Masterpiece – and went through the pedals.
The Chorus is a lovely, subtle thing, with a sweet, liquid quality (calm down!) Things get too wobbly once you are past 6 o’clock on the dials but tone it down and it as good a modeled Chorus as I’ve seen.
Next up is the Analog Flanger. I think this one is pretty special. It is very musical and love a clean tone, single coils seemed to work very well with it.
The Pressor (so called because it is……a compressor!) is subtle, and once again musical. This is a word I’ll be using a lot and it is not always what you find in modeled gear where the temptation can be to push an effect as far as it will go. The feel here is different, effects are voiced to work with the amps in a way that may not push boundaries but is nearly always intensely usable. There is also a more aggresive compressor called the Slammer, but the simple gentlness of the Pressor was more to my taste.
The Tremolo is a tremolo, a good one with a saturation knob that dials in a bit of very 1966 germanium dirt.
The Digital Flanger is a little anemic next to the glorious Analog Flanger but a solid model.
The Analog Delay is not the warmest analog model I’ve ever played but it has a decent tone and a drive knob that adds a lovely warmth to the basic tone.
The Square Phase is simply fab and it really is as simple as you can get, one knob but the tone is very, very good indeed.
The TS808 is a Tubescreamer clone that does the job and the Sheriff is a meatier OD pedal good for heavy blues but a way short of hard-core metal.
You also get convolution based reverbs that sound pretty solid and a signal splitter that will…split your signal.
So all pretty good so far, nothing that will knock you socks off, but well designed models. But here it gets a bit more ambivalent. The Treble Boost does exactly that, it boosts the treble so much that both single-coils and humbuckers both sounded harsh and weak. There is none of the harmonic richness of the effect in the latest Jamup effect pack and this is an effect that Revalver have had for a long time.
The Budda Wah also seems oddly thin and the Wham! pedal, with it’s single wet signal knob also has a shrill tone.
So a mixed back, most effects are perfectly respectable with a few absolute standouts, yes I mean you Analog Flanger and Square Phase, but some of the effects are pretty rough, and at a time when we expect pretty much perfection for effects on our Iphone, we expect even more for a full-fat desktop modeler.
Come back tomorrow when we look at the amps…will we have more luck here?