The Break Box distortion is a high gain drive pedal – with a few extra tricks up its sleeve!
Based on the Rainger FX El Distorto overdrive pedal from way back in 2009, the Break Box has the back half of a Tonebender added to it, the circuit taken directly from the Freakenbender – our Colorsound collaboration. The result is a stompbox with lots of low-end, good amounts of mids (not scooped), and some searing highs. Distortion goes from a light crunch to a high-intensity heavy distortion.
Hold any note and chord for a second or more, and a chorus effect fades in – audibly growing the sound. This pedal has active sustain, transforming it from in-your-face dry chunky attack into a 3D room-like churning howl! It’s like a wave coming from behind and pushing you on…..
You can adjust the chorus speed – from a slow twist to a fast psycho-wobble. Every long note-bend in a solo has extra flavour and meaning, every feeding-back chord now has movement. Because of the delay in the chorus appearing, you can play fast chords or note clusters – keeping all the accuracy and precision of modulation-free sound – with a glorious chorus bloom fading in on the longer-held bits.
However, even with all this going on the Break Box is totally quiet when it should be; a noise gate unobtrusively shuts down any hiss and hum when you’re not playing.
But hang on – hold down the turntable pad on the pedal, and your guitar is transformed into a trigger for a record scratch sound! Like a DJ cueing up the guitar track that follows, you can keep the scratch short and choppy, or longer with the classic forward/reverse movement. The ‘pitch’ control adjusts not only the pitch of the scratch but also the speed (like when scratching vinyl for real). The sound is not a recording – it’s generated inside the pedal itself. A gentle random pitch variation keeps it sounding less ‘sampled’ and more human.
Strum dampened strings (ie go ‘wacka wacka’) for short triggers, or play an actual note for the longer up-down scratch.
The distortion part of the circuit is entirely analogue – tweaked over time to give the best sounds in all kinds of situations. The scratch, noise gate, chorus and chorus fade-up system are all digital.
There’s a hi/lo trigger sensitivity switch – to help active-output instruments trigger more controllably. The On/Off footswitch is true bypass.
The whole thing is housed in another Rainger FX custom enclosure, provocatively asymmetrical, in the tastiest pink and black.
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