Take a look at your pedalboard. You probably have three or four overdrives and fuzzes hooked up – and are looking to find the cash and real estate to add more. Hold your horses and consider instead Swedish maker Elektron’s Analog Drive.
Yes, it’s large and needs 12-volt power. But then again it holds eight separate analog overdrive circuits, with the ability to adjust input gain and output level, plus dial in and EQ your sound – and then save up to 100 favorite presets.
Oh yeah, not to mention options to run MIDI as well as expression pedals for midrange and gain.
You can operate the Elektron manually – using one of the eight overdrive circuits, then setting and adjusting all your levels – or with the presets. The options are almost endless, and the eight circuits include: Clean Boost, Mid Drive (think Ibanez Tube Screamer), Dirty Drive (from a gated sound at low volumes to old-school fuzz at high), Big Distortion, Focused Distortion, Harmonic Fuzz (read, full-throttle fuzz), High Gain, and Thick Gain (as in truckloads of gain).
The Elektron’s presets definitely offer benefits. With its Gain and Level controls, the Elektron has a lot of variability and each of the eight circuits “likes” different settings; so, if you want to seamlessly move between circuits and maybe bypass the drive for a song segment, presets are a great benefit to maintaining a consistent output level. Plus, with footswitches, you can move between presets, going from, say, a mellow verse to an all-out, full-attack solo.
In addition, the Elektron’s EQ is eminently flexible, with Low, High, and dual Mid controls, providing fully parametric midrange, and you can dial in tone to your heart’s content.
Indeed, the Elektron may just be only overdrive pedal you need. It takes care of business.
This article originally appeared in VG July 2017 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.