Pigtronix unveils the Gloamer – a polyphonic amplitude synthesizer for “cinematic string sounds, asymmetrical tremolos, and angular stutter effects”

Pigtronix has always had a taste for adventure, for getting weird with effects pedals. Like, when it drops a pedal such as the Constellator, a modulated analog delay pedal that can dial in some real dreamy sounds, that’s the company being vanilla. 

Its metier is typically more bonkers, like the Space Rip guitar synth pedal, the Moon Pool tremvelope phaser, or this, the company's latest outré creation, the Gloamer.

The Gloamer is described as both a polyphonic volume swell and compressor and an all-analog amplitude synthesizer. In short, it is not A.N. Other overdrive pedal. Basically, it can play around with the attack and decay of any sound source – electric guitar, bass guitar, bassoon if you can transfer its signal via 1/4” jack – and all the while retain the fidelity of that core sound. 

You can set the attack for a slow gear effect, in which the volume gradually swells in response to your picking, allowing your guitar to take on the character of a bowed stringed instrument. What Jimmy Page could have done with a Gloamer on his 'board circa 1971, right?

When the Decay function is brought online, however, things get really wacky. The Decay takes over from where Attack left off and fades out the note before starting the attack process again, effectively creating a tremolo effect – albeit with an asymmetrical waveform. All this presents a number of possibilities for strange, off-kilter undulations, for sending your tone – and in turn your audience – through the wormhole.

Pigtronix Gloamer

(Image credit: Pigtronix)

As ever with Pigtronix’s more exotic pedalboard delights, the Gloamer is a pedal that is easier to use than it is to describe, and might in its own way present a compelling case study in why the guitar gear demo was invented in the first place: we strongly advise you to check out the sounds in the video above.

They are pretty far-out. As Pigtronix says, put the Gloamer into work and you’ll “become the string section you’ve always wanted to hire but can’t afford."

As for the controls, besides Attack and Delay, there is a Volume knob to set the maximum amplitude peak of the swell, a Blend for layering in uncompressed dry sounds with the effect, and there’s an onboard optical compressor that is controlled via Compression, and a Sensitivity dial for setting how much input signal is needed for reseting the Attack/Delay cycle. 

The Gloamer has a dual-footswitch enclosure. One engages the effect, the other toggles the Decay function on and off. LEDs alert you to when the Attack/Delay cycle is primed and ready to go. 

It has top-mounted jacks, with the usual 1/4” ins and outs joined by a sidechain input for connecting an external control source for the Attack/Delay cycle.

The Gloamer is available now, priced $279. See Pigtronix for more details.

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Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to publications including Guitar World, MusicRadar and Total Guitar. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.