Mar 28, 2018

Robert Keeley Engineering’s Dark Side packs a lot of effects in one pedal:

  1. Multi Head Tape Delay
  2. Modulation section featuring Rotary/Flanger U-Vibe/Phaser
  3. Fuzz

Brett Kingman took another look at this 2016 pedal in the video below.

Here’s Mike Herman’s take.

The individual pieces that make up the Dark Side workstation are Fuzz, Delay and Modulation.  The Fuzz side of the Dark Side is a big fuzz style distortion based on a 1977 op-amp style.  We used something similar in our Psi Fuzz.  This one is completely and radically different.  We made what seemed like endless changes to extract the nuances of earlier transistor based fuzzes.   We gained it way to down to fit the time period and the style.  This is a more transparent Big Fuzz.  This one lets your guitar sing with sustain, yet retains the essence of you guitar whether single coil or humbucker based.

The next core element in the Dark Side pedal is the Delay and Modulation side.  You can select between a multi-head tape delay effect or between a combination of 4 different modulation sounds.  The Dark Side delay has 12 different syncopated delays.  They are rhythmic and have the tonal quality of the old spinning drum tape delays.  The Dark Side has many subtle filters to get the tape delay setting to have the feel and warmth of the original machines, yet gives you range of control to have modern features like expression pedal control for the number of repeats.  You can use it for creating a feedback oscillation delay.  Extremely subtle modulations in the delay make it very musical.

The next atom in this workstation is the modulation effect.  There are four parts to this effect.  Flanger, Rotary Speaker Cabinet, U-Vibe, and Phaser.  You can blend between the “Electric Lady” Flanger and a Les-Rotary cabinet, creating new sounds.  You can find that perfect blend between a vintage sounding opto-coupler based U-Vibe and the little orange phaser.

There is also an Expression Pedal port on the pedal.  It is highly recommended to have an expression pedal handy.  You can make many adjustments on the fly that just increase the fun and functionality of the pedal while you’re creating music.  It has to be a TRS style expression pedal.  We suggest something like the M-Audio or Moog expression pedals.

You spoke and we listened!  Make America TRS-Free Again.  Okay, we heard you, you can’t switch order on the fly during a gig.  You never used the TRS cable to insert effects.  You just tossed the cable aside.  You all said YES when we said effect-order switch.  New units have a simple push button switch to change the order!  Mike Hermans did a new video with the effect-order switcher.

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