Sep 26, 2018

Phasers, phasers, what’s the matter with phasers in 2018?? So many manufacturers are trying to come up with the ultimate phaser pedal or a really bizarre version of it!

Add to the list German manufacturer KMA Machines, whose Horizont has been appearing in several videos in our YouTube feed.

With its 10 toggle switches, 8 knobs, and two footswitch, this baby, we have to say, looks like a powerful Swiss army knife able to deliver any phaser sound you may dream of – and that seems to be exactly the intention of the manufacturer:

The Horizont offers a plethora of new and exciting options for all the interstellar tone chasers out there.

To start with, it features a digital LFO with eight waveforms: Ramp Up/Down, Sine/Triangle/Square wave, a sweeping waveform, Sample & Hold and a random slope waveform going from 20s down to 40ms.

Then the fun begins:

Envelop Generator

One of the most intriguing parts of the Horizont is its envelop generator, which can be activated through the SWP switch:

It transforms your input signal into a control source to modulate the speed of the digitally controlled LFO or lets you manually phase for a resonant touch wah-like sound, depending on the state of the SWP– and Spurtcontrol switch.

In other words it lets you dynamically control the speed of the sweep (Spurtcontrol switch on ENV, harder picking means slower/faster rate), AND the actual phase sweep (SWP switch set to ENV). The phase sweep can be set upwards or downwards and can also be blended with the LFO by flicking the toggle to LFO+ENV.

When in ENV mode, Fuel (Sensitivity) and Decay controls allow you to find the right setting for your performance’s dynamics.

EMPH Mode

The EMPH (Emphasis) function, which is said to “transform your [pedal] into an all-noise from universe receiving station” (whatever that may mean!) is inherited from the company’s previous model, the Astrospurt Phaser, but was reworked and refined. It sounds like it has something to do phaser eating itself:

The four toggle-switches [on the left] determine the stage in which the phase-shifted signal is fed back into itself, while the REG (Regeneration) control sets the feedback amount. We also smoothed out the overall sound of the EMPH mode for a more pronounced, and crisp vocal-like tone. Each of the different switch variations and turn of the REG control will yield different results, letting you discover new wild, fuzzy and noisy galaxies as you travel deeper down this sonic wormhole.

Stereo output, Mix knob, Expression and CV controls, an FX-Loop right in front of the phase-shifting line and 18V internal circuit voltage round up a machine that seems to be well worth the price tag of 289 €.

Besides the more common phaser controls, the Horizont offers a plethora of new and exciting options for all the interstellar tone chasers out there. To greatly broaden the range of phasing tones available, we implemented a digital LFO with no less than eight different waveforms: Ramp Up/Down, Sine/Triangle/Square wave, a sweeping waveform, Sample & Hold and a random slope waveform going from 20s down to 40ms.

The implemented envelope generator is one of Horizont’s absolute key features. It transforms your input signal into a control source to modulate the speed of the digitally controlled LFO or lets you manually phase for a resonant touch wah-like sound, depending on the state of the SWP- and SPURTCONTROL-Switch.

Set the SPURTCONTROL switch to LFO to let the SPURT knob adjust the internal phasing speed. However, by flicking the switch to ENV (Envelope) mode, it allows you to dynamically modulate the speed along the full LFO speed range, based on how loud the input source is (e.g. when you attack the strings hard). You can also combine the SPURT knob and the envelope by flicking the toggle to LFO+ENV where SPURT then sets the minimum speed. For even more control, you can even plug in an external expression pedal/CV-source (0-5V) to alter the minimum speed on-the-fly or you can use the TAP TEMPO switch to set the speed to fit in with the tempo of your music.

The EXP-Mode switch also lets you choose between a ma-
nual phasing mode, controlled by an expression-pedal or an external CV source. Setting the EXP-Mode switch to the middle position will disable any external expression control.
The SWP (Sweep) switch lets you decide to use either the LFO or the envelope of your instrument signal to control the phasing.

The envelope can be set to upwards or downwards op-
eration via the ENV switch, seeing the LFO either slowing down or speeding up, or flipping the orientation when phasing manually from lows to highs and vice versa. In conjunction with the FUEL (Sensitivity) and the DECAY controls, the envelope can be tailored perfectly to your needs.

We kept the EMPH (Emphasis) mode from our original Astrospurt Phaser, but have reworked and refined it extensively for the Horizont. The four toggle-switches determine the stage in which the phase-shifted signal is fed back into itself, while the REG (Regeneration) control sets the feedback amount. We also smoothed out the overall sound of the EMPH mode for a more pronounced, and crisp vocal-like tone. Each of the different switch variations and turn of the REG control will yield different results, seeing you discover new wild, fuzzy and noisy galaxies as you travel deeper down this sonic wormhole.

In order for you to levitate through spacetime, we’ve also added a stereo output to the Horizont. You can switch between a standard stereo output or a panning output, via the STEREOPAN switch. Synchronized with the LFO speed, the upper cycle of the LFO sends the signal to the OUT1 and the bottom cycle to the OUT2. This is without a shadow of a doubt the most liquid and astonishing phasing experience you’ll ever embark upon. But wait, there’s more! Stop and take a deep breath, set the MIX control to fully clean and the Horizont is transformed into a Tremolo on-the-spot, with all the other aforementioned features.

Last but by no means least, we equipped the Horizont with an FX-Loop right in front of the phase-shifting line. This enables you to add your own secret sonic weapons to this spaceship, seeing you create your very own unique phasing sounds. We’ve also increased the pedal’s headroom drastically by boosting the internal circuit voltage to 18V, from the regular 9V input, to give the cleanest phasing possible no matter what instrument or line source you use.

But don’t be fooled by all of these seemingly complex features, the Horizont is a super intuitive next generation phaser that’ll see your tone take flight in seconds flat. Whether you are looking for traditional phasing sounds, experimental synthetic soundscapes or super dynamical sonic endeavours, the Horizont will have you covered to infinity and beyond.