I must confess I am a big fan of pedals that don’t typically do what you would expect them to and offer a unique point of difference and spin on what is otherwise a standard effect. The effect in question is Tremolo and this I can say is not your typical Tremolo.
Jamie’s designs at Earthquaker Devices follow this thought process of treating the effect in a non-generic way to create unique and interesting versions of effects that to me inspire a different approach to your playing and writing.
This “repeat percussions” device has been labelled as a more choppy and hard tremolo, similar in many ways to the old Vox Repeat Percussion. This was certainly noticeable when comparing it to my old Dunlop Tremolo; the Dunlop delivered slower and faster trem rates but didn’t have the definite character and more pronounced attack that the Hummingbird did.
The Dunlop had me playing your typical tremolo material which it works great for whereas the Hummingbird was making me want to write a new album or at least a small list of B sides.
The controls at a glance:
Depth- controls amount of modulation just a touch to full chop
Rate- speed of the LFO
Level- input/output level – Yes it has a level control!
Mode- fast/slow switch for LFO rate
I tend to steer clear of really fast modulation rates on most effects but the ‘fast mode’ on the Hummingbird was very interesting. I found myself far too often using this to shape really great guitar sounds similar to that of which you would achieve with a ring modulator pedal. With the level control at 11 o’clock the output delivered matched my Les Paul, which leaves plenty of headroom left to boost your signal if desired.
One of my favourite things about this pedal was that as you increased the depth control it moves the repeats into a very noticeable vintage synth style oscillation which gives this pedal its unique character unlike many other Tremolos on the market.
If you’re after a tremolo pedal which has more character than you can poke a stick at and confuse people as to what instrument you are playing this might just be the device for you.
Review by Danny Yoghurt