EarthQuaker Devices is no slouch when it comes to cramming multiple effects into a singular pedal to create infinite soundscape possibilities. The company’s popular Afterneath pedal explored the cavernous depths of reverb by adding some mind-bendingly cool short delays.
The new EarthQuaker Devices Transmisser uses reverb as a launch pad to take us through galaxies of radiant modulation and adds a resonant filter to push that reverb into undulating hyper-drive.
The Transmisser features six knobs and an expression pedal jack for you to pilot its celestial sounds. From the top, the decay (reverb length), darkness (tone) and freq (resonant low-pass filter) knobs influence the character of the reverberated signal. Freq is factory set at the threshold of oscillation, and you can use an expression pedal to sweep through its chaotic wails. The lower-tiered knobs of warp (system slew control), rate (modulation speed) and mix (blend) govern the behavior of the reverb processor. The pedal is true bypass and powered by a nine-volt adapter.
There’s no splashy spring reverb to be found here because the Transmisser’s deeply modulated reverb builds like a giant tidal wave that endlessly overlaps and pulverizes, washing over chords and spreading out single notes into sonic oblivion. It’s like having a personal sci-fi movie soundtrack generator. The reverb’s luminosity can be as colorful as the northern lights or as dark as a black hole.
I was able to coax chilling gasps of horror and ethereal ripples that rapidly overwhelmed my amp and sounded as if I was floating in space. The knobs interact cleverly enough to allow for some control to bring me back to down to Earth, but my shoegazing heart reminded me that, with all the ambient sounds of deep space and atmospheric oscillation at my feet, I may want to continue orbiting with the Transmisser for a little longer.
STREET PRICE: $225
MANUFACTURER: EarthQuaker Devices, earthquakerdevices.com
THE BOTTOM LINE: The Transmisser is a beautifully conceived soundscape pedal. Its modulated reverb blasts into a resonant filter that chews up your signal at light speed and scatters it into infinite ambient space.