Walrus Audio Fable Granular Soundscape Generator review

This ambitious pedal allows you to tell your own sonic story by sampling and chopping your sound and manipulating the fragments into shifting soundscapes

Walrus Audio Fable Granular Soundscape Generator
(Image: © Future / Phil Barker)

Guitar World Verdict

If you’re looking for quirky and ethereal qualities, you’ll find them right here. This is certainly a pedal that can create otherworldly soundscapes, but they don’t have to be completely outlandish, because you have a Mix knob to dial things back.

Pros

  • +

    Wide variety of textural soundscapes.

  • +

    Very effective Tone knob.

  • +

    Tap tempo.

  • +

    Dive/Rise performance feature.

Cons

  • -

    Mono only.

  • -

    No preset storage.

  • -

    No expression pedal facility available.

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It’s only a few months since the release of the Lore Reverse Soundscape Generator, but Walrus Audio is back with another ambience pedal that shares exactly the same format with an identical set of controls. 

This time, however, what you’re getting is a ‘Granular Soundscape Generator’ based on the digital processing technique of micro-sampling, where short samples called grains are read from a delay buffer and can then be manipulated in a number of ways to achieve a range of effects.

Utilising two onboard DSP chips, the signal runs through two separate effects in series, the Feedback and Regen knobs providing feedback paths for each, and there are five different selectable granular delay programs.

Program 1 offers Reverse Delay into a Reverse Granular algorithm that plays grains backwards. Basically, before engaging either feedback path, you get a load of glitchy repeats, their timing set with the Time knob or tap tempo. These can be completely transformed from woolly to glassy via the Tone knob, which incorporates both low- and high-pass filtering. 

Advancing the Feedback and Regen knobs lengthens and extends the trail, so you get a whole long-lingering murmuration of shifting and pulsating ambience going on. To this you can also add modulation (with adjustable rate and depth) for an even more complex stew. 

This mode alone has so much variation on the theme to get engrossed in – including the X knob for adjusting grain size – that it may be some time before you try the other four: Forward Delay into Octave Up Granular; Analog Delay into Octave Down Granular; Multi-Tap Granular into Multi-Tap Granular (Grain-Verb); and Forward Delay into Randomized Pitch Granular.

All of those, though, are sufficiently different to warrant their inclusion in the pedal and are ripe for sonic exploration with a heady cascading mix of delay, pitch shift, modulation and glitchiness.

Walrus Audio Fable Granular Soundscape Generator

(Image credit: Future / Phil Barker)

Specs

Walrus Audio Fable Granular Soundscape Generator

(Image credit: Walrus Audio)
  • PRICE: $299 / £305
  • ORIGIN: USA
  • TYPE: Ambience pedal
  • FEATURES: Buffered Bypass, switchable Trails mode, tap tempo
  • CONTROLS: Feedback, Regen, Mod, Mix, X, Time, Tone, Program selector, Bypass footswitch, Tap footswitch
  • CONNECTIONS: Standard input, standard output
  • POWER: 9V DC adaptor (not supplied) 300mA
  • DIMENSIONS: 92 (w) x 121 (d) x 57mm (h)
  • CONTACT: Walrus Audio

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Trevor Curwen

Trevor Curwen has played guitar for several decades – he's also mimed it on the UK's Top of the Pops. Much of his working life, though, has been spent behind the mixing desk, during which time he has built up a solid collection of the guitars, amps and pedals needed to cover just about any studio session. He writes pedal reviews for Guitarist and has contributed to Total Guitar, MusicRadar and Future Music among others.