Tremolo has always been one of my favorite effects. The EarthQuaker Devices Night Wire is much more… Harmonic tremolo doesn’t really describe all the sounds that this pedal can produce. It combines traditional tremolo, filtration, and phasing allowing for Uni-Vibe-like phasing, auto-wah envelope filtration, and shimmering tremolo all with four knobs and two toggles in a small pedal.
Inspiration with every spin of a knob or toggling of a switch with this one!
A traditional harmonic tremolo, like the early ones that first appeared in some of Leo Fender’s Brownface amps, works by splitting the signal using high pass and low pass filters basically separating bass and treble frequencies then modulating them. The Night Wire takes this traditional harmonic tremolo approach and adds features allowing the center point of both filters to be adjusted for different tones. This is what makes the Night Wire unique and doing something new and original, but always sounding strangely familiar. From Link Wray’s “Rumble” to The Smiths’ “How Soon Is Now.”
This pedal is absolutely amazing. The Night Wire can provide great conventional tremolo sounds, but can produce impressive vintage electric organ sounds, touch sensitive uni-vibe throb and am nice funky auto-wah. It just screams 70’s era Curtis Mayfield! The more extreme settings will remind you of a 60’s sci-fi movie that will make you want to play your guitar for hours.
The filter frequency has three modes controlled via toggle switch: Manual, LFO and Attack. In Manual mode, the center point can be set to a fixed position with the frequency control. In LFO mode, the filters are continuously swept and the frequency control adjusts the speed.
When the two toggles are set to Attack mode the filters are dynamically swept according to pick attack and the frequency control acts as a range control, much like a standard envelope filter.
Earthquaker Devices Night Wire Harmonic Tremolo Pedal Features:
- Traditional tremolo with adjustable filters
- Filter Frequency has Manual, LFO, and Attack modes for tonal variety
- Filter Frequency Manual mode sets center point to a fixed position with frequency control
- Filter Frequency LFO mode continuously sweeps and frequency control adjusts the speed
- Filter Frequency Attack modedynamically sweeps the filters responding to yourpick attack and frequency control sets the range
- Tremolo section has Manual and Attack Modes
- Tremolo Manual mode uses rate control to set the speed
- Attack mode responds to pick attack
Rate Toggle: This toggle lets you select between two ways to control the speed of the tremolo. Attack lets you adjust the speed by pick attack. In this mode, the Rate knob controls the sensitivity of the dynamic tremolo. The higher the rate and harder you pick, the faster the speed will rise and vice versa. In Manual mode, the Rate control adjusts the speed like a common tremolo.
Frequency Toggle: This toggle lets you select one of 3 different ways to control the center frequency of the filter section. In LFO mode, the frequency is continuously swept by an LFO. In this mode, the Frequency knobs adjusts the speed of the LFO. In Manual mode, the frequency is determined by where the Frequency knob is set. In Attack mode, the center frequency is dynamically controlled by pick attack and the Frequency knob adjusts the sensitivity.
Level: Sets the output level, unity is around noon.
Depth: Adjusts the depth of the tremolo. More clockwise, less counterclockwise. When fully counterclockwise, the amplitude modulation will be removed and the Night Wire will function as a fixed filter, envelope controlled filter or phaser depending on where the frequency toggle is set.
Rate: In manual mode, this controls the speed of the tremolo. Faster speed clockwise and slower speed counterclockwise. In Attack mode, this controls the sensitivity of the dynamic tremolo. The higher the rate and harder you pick, the faster the speed will rise and vice versa.
Frequency: Controls the center frequency of the filters in manual mode: higher clockwise, lower counterclockwise. In LFO mode this controls the rate of the sweep: faster clockwise and slower counterclockwise. In Attack mode this controls the sensitivity of the envelope: lower Frequency gives slower rise and lower peak, higher Frequency gives faster rise and higher peak. Simple, right?
4.75″ x 2.50″ x. 2.25″ with knobs
Our pedals take a standard 9 volt DC power supply with a 2.1mm negative center barrel. We always recommend pedal-specific, transformer-isolated wall-wart power supplies or multiple isolated-output supplies. Pedals will make extra noise if there is ripple or unclean power. Switching-type power supplies, daisy chains and non-pedal specific power supplies do not filter dirty power as well and let through unwanted noise. Do not run at higher voltages!
Current draw is 30 mA.