There are names on the market that have a certain meaning to each of us (at least that is the way it is for me). Each and every effects pedal I own has some story behind it and carries a special significance. The background can be connected to my own experiences, to the people I played with, the pieces I created or the brands that always have something new to say. The latter is particularly important for me, since I want my stompboxes to be different from the crowd. That’s the feeling I always get when I experiment with the products from Walrus Audio. They state that they want their products to be just as interesting to look at as they are to play. These words are not just a bulk of symbols written on paper – they carry out this pattern from a pedal to pedal and make sure each of them is eye-pleasing. Today we are going to talk about Descent – a versatile beast that combines so many things you might get lost in its essence. It has beautiful design, diverse sounds and wonderful quality to it – what else could we ask for? If you are willing to treat yourself and splurge on something that will take you to another universe, then keep on reading!
Walrus Audio Descent is a pedal that you won’t usually expect. Though there are quite a few feature laden stompboxes out there, we still don’t tend to presume that such properties are likely for a single unit. This baby has too much to offer in my opinion and I’m sure you will agree with me once you read this article till the end. So, this fella is essentially a reverb pedal – it has three different modes that let you travel through the world of reverberations. Hall, Reverse and Shimmer steep your sound with unique colors and Octave effects is simply an icing on the cake. It increases the possibilities of this bad boy dramatically and makes everything even more inspiring. Descent enables you to go an octave up or down and mix it with the reverb to create the perfect potion. In addition, this puppy has the ability to store 3 presets – giving you the option to pre record desired pieces and recall them whenever needed. Keep in mind that this is a digital pedal so do not expect any analog qualities from it.
Things get higher up in gear when it comes to the connections. Descent has a mono input and stereo outputs, enabling you to route this baby to two separate amplifiers and make your reverb even more spatial. It also has a Remote input, which can be utilized to connect a two-footswitch controller. This way Walrus leaves you with the possibility to save up some space on your pedalboard. In case you are into external controlling options, this baby has you covered – it has a separate input for the expression pedal so that you can achieve those smooth transitions from setting to setting. Since Descent requires 130mA (minimum), it can only be operated with a power supply.
If you suffer from anxiety, the control section will definitely give you an attack at first glance. It is crowded with controls that let you fine tune your sound the way your heart dictates. It will take you some time to go through all the settings and find that sweet spot, but it is definitely worth it. It is worth noting that some of the controls change their functions depending on the reverb mode, so don’t get confused if some encoders perform differently when you switch from Hall to Reverse or Shimmer. I will start with those that do not change throughout the modes and then discuss the rest in each mode.
Dry Mix – lets you modify the volume of the original signal;
Wet Mix – blends together dry and wet signals;
Dry Signal – since your original signal is affected by octaves and then reverb, this control allows you to determine how much of the dry signal is affected by reverb;
+1 – goes one octave up;
-1 – goes one octave down;
- Hall and Shimmer – enables you to alter the amount of time it takes for your signal to fade away;
- Reverse – acts as a pre-delay control;
- Hall – controls the diffusion of reverb;
- Shimmer – takes care of the reverb feedback;
- Reverse – acts as a reverb time;
- Hall – acts as a filter for higher frequencies and lowers the threshold as you rotate it clockwise;
- Shimmer – alters reverb diffusion;
- Reverse – acts as a tone control.
Once you figure out those variable functions (which can be a huge pain in the neck on stage) you can move on to actual sounds. Walrus Audio Descent sounds natural and organic, with defined reverb in all three modes. You have the chance to employ spatial and expansive sounds with ease and listen to your notes play back to you from far away. Octave Up makes your reverb even shinier and brighter (especially in Shimmer mode), while Octave Down will beef up your sound with lower end. The combination of these two effects just makes sense since the results are out of this world. You can get anything from slow reverb to warbly, lush sounds that are even more defined once you subtract or add an octave. Descent is definitely for those who are ready to spend hours on end tweaking interminably to explore all the colors of the effect. If you want something quick and easy, this will not be the one for you.
On the whole, Walrus Audio Descent is a fantastic reverb and octave pedal. It has multi-faceted features and combines different types of reverb with octave up and down effect. This means that you have countless sounds to work with – all you need is patience and time. Once you go through the whole thing, see how controls and modes interact with one another, then you will be able to see what makes this one so special. Take a risk and go for Descent. Good luck!
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