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Source Audio Ultrawave

Multiband Distortion Pedal By Paul White
Published July 2021

Source Audio Ultrawave

This powerful digital stompbox is far more than just a distortion pedal...

Source Audio’s Ultrawave pedal, a member of their One Series line, expands on an idea explored by Craig Anderton back in the 1970s when he built an analogue, four‑band fuzz device (the Quadrafuzz) in order to produce fuzz with fewer intermodulation artefacts. Then, in 2007, Bob Chidlaw took the concept of multiband processing and experimented further using foldback distortion curves rather than just clipping or nonlinear saturation, which introduces some interesting harmonic complexity. The outcome was the Source Audio Multiwave distortion unit, but Ultrawave takes advantage of today’s powerful DSP chips to put a serious amount of multiband processing into a compact pedal that can be used to process mono or stereo signals. The Ultrawave requires an external power source to operate, and a suitable 9V PSU is included.

I’ll say at the outset that if your dream of tone heaven is sounding like Angus Young or Paul Kossof, Ultrawave probably isn’t for you. While it does have a gentler side and can produce a few conventional distortion‑type sounds, it is really geared towards the experimental musician who is keen to explore more synth‑like sounds. You can use Ultrawave as a single‑band processor, but in multiband applications you have a choice of splitting into two, three, four, eight or 10 bands, which generally produce...

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