May 16, 2014

Leslie rotary speaker lovers prepare yourselves the Rotoron by Pigtronix is here.

How many times have we all said to ourselves, “Man those rotary speakers are sweet, but who can afford them let alone move them without risking horrible injury.”  Well those days have come to end friends.

Pigtronix has combined frequency modulation, phase shifting, tremolo and bucket brigade-based chorusing in an all-analog dream machine. The Rototron captures the beautiful warbling tones of the legendary 122 and 147 Leslie speakers and perfectly maintains all the warmth, fatness and depth of the real thing.

Unlike some digital simulators this all-analog machine allows for massive amounts of gain boost to be put behind it without compromising the tone. Thus this unit is truly indispensable if you are trying to capture the psychedelic stereophonic spirit of the 1960’s.

Although the Rototron has an impressive amount of tonal possibilities it’s interface is extremely intuitive and is easily mastered within minutes of being out of the box.

At the bottom of this unit are the bypass switches, marked engage, and the slow/fast switch that toggles between two independently controllable rotation speeds. At the left of the knob row is the ramp control. This controls the rate at witch the rotations speed up or slow down when the slow/fast switch is activated. The next two switches control the speed of the slow and fast settings of the rotary simulator. Last in line is the depth control, which affects the intensity of the tremolo effect. Like I said intuitive controls.

Some additional control options require expression pedals and a momentary remote switch. There is the possibility of controlling the speed of both the high rotor and low rotor. This is done by plugging an expression pedal into each of the control ports in the back of the unit.

However if you only have room for one expression pedal on your board you are in luck because Pigtronix is also releasing the

Dual Expression Pedal which can control two parameters simultaneously.  Anticipating everyone’s needs the Dual Expression has the ability to speed up one rotor while simultaneously slowing down the other. Like the real Leslie cabinets there is a brake option. You control this with the use of either a momentary or latching remote switch. Just as you would expect this slows the speed of the rotation until coming to a complete stop.

Ultimately what I like the most about this pedal is its versatility on all instruments that you can hook it up to. I primarily play electric vibraphone in the bands I am in so having a machine like this is much appreciated in my pallet of sounds.

When you combine all it’s rotary simulation power and send it through the awesome stereo capabilities of this pedal and you have an indispensable musical tool that you wont want to imagine being with out. –Grayson Fiske

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