Thursday, July 23, 2009

Explain The Effect: Tremolo

Tremolo is one of my favorite effects. It is (a) tremulous effect produced by rapid repetition of a single tone. It's so cool that it's built into the best Fender amps, like the Vibrolux and the Twin Reverb. It is clear that Leo Fender didn't have great understanding of musical terms, calling tremolo vibrato and vice versa, but that's OK with me.

My tremolo is a Danelectro Cool Cat Tremolo. When I went looking for a trem, I tried a few more trems, including the EHX Stereo Pulsar, but I couldn't dial in what I considered to be a Fender tremolo on the the others, and that's what I really wanted.

You can get a generalized warble with 'em, which is where I normally go with it. You can kick the speed up to max and get a stuttering effect. All good things. But the thing I'm mostly trying to put together these days is kicking the speed back a little, hiding my fingerpicking in the quiet spots so you can't hear the attack. It can sound like an arpeggiated 70s synth a bit, although I don't know that I captured it here, with the acoustic sound of the guitar coming in too clear. I do know that I've captured the sound of my mic distorting. I was going over a couple of standard chord progressions, nothing clever, but I think I can put this into something.

1 comment:

Dave Jacoby said...

Of course, you can follow the ElectroHarmonix link and hear how a guitarist used the Pulsar to sound like Pink Floyd's "On The Run" from Dark Side, so tremolo as arpeggiator is not such a new concept.