Walrus Audio debuts a dedicated wall of noise pedal – meet the Melee, a joystick-controlled distortion and reverb

Walrus Audio has unveiled the Melee: Wall of Noise, a combined distortion and reverb pedal that can be controlled in real-time using an onboard joystick.

Said joystick highlights the Melee’s simplified control set, which is designed to inspire rather than frustrate. The ’stick is used to adjust the level of distortion by moving it up and down, while shifting it left and right adjusts the reverb mix.

Three reverb programs – Ambient, Octave Down and Reverse – are onboard, cycled by hitting the Bypass and Sustain footswitches simultaneously and adjusted via global Tone and reverb Decay toggles. Varying degrees of modulation can also be added to the wet signal by holding the Bypass switch and moving the Decay toggle.

There’s also a toggle to adjust the signal routing: running distortion into reverb is the conventional wisdom, but reverb into distortion yields those visceral blasts of noise that nothing else can quite capture.

Walrus Audio Melee

(Image credit: Walrus Audio)

Naturally, Walrus has equipped the Melee with a Sustain footswitch to ramp up the reverb trails, which can be set to momentary or latching operation. The bypass footswitch will also function as a momentary switch if you press and hold it – neat for quick distorted reverb explosions.

There are three bypass modes onboard – DSP, DSP+True and true bypass – and the whole thing is powered by a 9V power supply, 200mA minimum.

Of course, Walrus Audio has experimented with joysticks in the past on the Janus Fuzz/Tremolo, but the Melee is an altogether noisier proposition, and further bolsters the company’s reputation as the post-rock pedal brand to beat.

The Melee is available now for $299 – head over to Walrus Audio for more info.

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Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism from Cardiff University, and over a decade's experience writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as 20 years of recording and live experience in original and function bands. During his career, he has interviewed the likes of John Frusciante, Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, Matt Bellamy, Kirk Hammett, Jerry Cantrell, Joe Satriani, Tom DeLonge, Ed O'Brien, Polyphia, Tosin Abasi, Yvette Young and many more. In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.