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4ms Noise Swash Distortion
Overall Rating
Submitted: November 12th, 2002
by Anonymous Reviewer
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Sound Quality
Unlike some other folks here, I found it easy to get your standard fuzz/distortion tone, kind of like an MXR with the knobs cranked up. I seem to remember being able to do it with either the pre or post on, but not both, because that usually equals sonic destruction. yes, everything is very, very interactive with everything else, but that's how you end up getting the really hideous, amazing tones. I recommend that if you come across a cool sound, write down the position of the knobs. The noise gate is a great touch, great for distortions that decay instantly, which is a great effect. I've used it with guitars and bass, where I have a killer synth bass sound in conjunction with a phaser, with drum machines, and most recently with synthesizers. I had my keyboard player use it for a recent recording, and it helped create tones like I haven't heard ever. Later, we looked at the waveforms on ProTools, and the usual square waves that one would get from a distortion box were there, but also with radical peaks and valleys and angles more akin to what you would get with waveshapers in modular synthesis. The studio owner offered to buy it on the spot. I gave him the 3ms website address instead. I've used it live, and it works, though I am somewhat nervous about its' reliability. It feels a bit fragile. Also, being an impatient person with a poor memory, I don't know how much time I want to spend moving the knobs around between songs. On the other hand, for an improv/noise gig, this sucker gets used constantly. Most of the time, it doesn't play well with other effects, though I have been able to use it with phasers (as I said, fake synth bass) and delays from time to time. This thing has so much output, though, I'm worried about blowing up anything in front of it. If you like randomness and crazy tones, you need this.
Reliability/Durability
I think I can depend on it. I've used it on gigs, but I'm a little wary of busting it out all the time because it feels a little fragile. The footswitch is somewhat awkwardly placed next to some of the knobs so it can be hard to turn on in a hurry. Still, I've done at least 15 gigs with it with no problems. Plus Dann says he'll fix it for as long as he's alive. That's nice.
Price/Value
General Comments
This thing is great, and I'd like to get another one with some different modifications. I also own a Triwave Picogenerator, which is amazing too. If you're looking for a distortion that's unlike any other, this is it.
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