Death By Audio is one of those guitar effects pedal brands that does things a little bit differently, so when it launches a pedal called Disturbance, a pedal it describes as lockable LFO modulation, you can bet your bottom dollar it’s not a common or garden variety chorus pedal we’re dealing with.
The Disturbance is really a 3-in-1 modulation, allowing players to select between a comb filter, a phase shifter and a flanger, with a performance-friendly Trip footswitch that freezes the LFO’s sweep when depressed.
The sounds this creates definitely skew extreme, with each of the three core flavours of modulation capable of going fully nuts... Michael Keaton smashing vases with a fire poker nuts.
Idneed, the target demographic for a stompbox like this might well be checking out the demo video and internally wracked with indecision as to which of their fuzz pedals will best complement it.
But there is plenty of range in this too. The Disturbance’s Tensity knob is the key to how out-there you want to push each of the modulation voicings, controlling feedback amount and the “structure” of each effects.
Each extreme of the Tensity dial yields very different personalities of that effect. Pop the Disturbance into Fazer mode and it can create blissfully mellow filter scoops or go full-on trippy psychedelic like the craziest 8-stage phaser pedal you've heard.
There is a duality to the flanger that sees it function as your gateway to “watery, multi-tap delay matrixes”, the likes of which add lovely texture and movement to your electric guitar tone, or if the hour is nigh, it’s gone midnight and you need something to lift a track and grab the audience’s attention, it can do the screaming flange thing, alive with the pulse of distorted feedback. The filter is all about deep swells and and can be set up for high-pass or low-pass.
The enclosure has top-mounted I/O jacks, a side-mounted CV output, and while the sounds are crazy the control setup is tidy and logical. There is a three-way switch for selecting Filter, Flanger and Fazer modes, a Speed knob, a Center Point select dial, Width and the aforementioned Tensity. The pedal is true bypass and is powered by a 9V DC pedalboard power supply.
Disturbance is hand-made in New York City, priced $250 now and is available now. See Death By Audio for more details.