Tone Report Weekly Issue 115 - Page 65

verb algorithm is that it sounds big and clear from clean tones to filthy. This is more from the Robin Guthrie School of ambient treatment than say, Neil Young. I am happy to report that the “mother algorithm,” on which all the Atmospheric treatments are based around, sounds more ethereal and expansive than any verb pedal in recent memory, while always leaving the analog dry signal magically defined. I listened in awe as every tiny micro touch of string-speak and picking nuance bloomed out into little fluffy clouds of dissipating beauty. With a medium decay and a squeaky clean tone; I was compelled to play Joey Santiago’s super suave intro riff to The Pixies classic “Ana.” Pure ‘90s daydream bliss gushed out of the speakers. Tapping both footswitches, I engaged the green LED tier of Atmospheres. This is where the Intensity knob became useful. Starting in the Modulated setting, I set the Blend and Decay fairly high, left the subtle high frequency Dampening at noon and dialed in a bit of modulation with the Intensity knob. If one is after a Kevin Sheilds-style intergalactic teakettle rush of ambient movement, this is it right here. Lilting folds of melancholic modulation twisted even the simplest of riffs into a Martian sunset of sound. Though this is my favorite extra atmosphere, the Shimmer and Echo proved very useful indeed. The former is the best shimmer this side of Eventide (nothing is worse that a badly designed shimmer) and the latter is like a diffused repeater that remains rhythmic without ever obscuring the groove. The Tremble verb is my second favorite atmosphere and holding down the Select switch ramps up the intensity to maximum gradually—this trick works great for hands-free dynamics with the Voices and Infinity settings as well. WHAT WE LIKE The Specular Reverb 2 has a vastness and clarity that belies its small footprint. This is due in no small part to a design philosophy that builds upon psychoacoustic principles rather than physical space replication. Strapping on headphones and running in stereo will blow minds. Analog dry signal, pre-set storage and pure, singular Specular sound make this a Top Tone Award candidate if I have ever heard one. Shoegazers and ambient Avant-gardists can stop the search here. This is a small key to a big world. CONCERNS Reading the manual is mandatory with this piece, but operation soon becomes second nature. 65