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Keeley Electronics and Primus guitarist Larry LaLonde join forces for the Artist Series Edition Le Bubble Tron

Keeley Electronics Ler Bubble Tron
(Image credit: Keeley Electronics)

Keeley Electronics and Larry ‘Ler’ LaLonde of Primus have collaborated on a new signature edition of the Bubble Tron flanger, phaser and filter pedal.

The Larry ‘Ler’ LaLonde Bubbletron comes in a reworked enclosure, with a new paint job and a slightly augmented set of controls. The envelope filter mode is now accessed on the top of the enclosure via the three-way mini-toggle mode switch, with the sample/hold filter now accessible via an internal mini-switch.

There are knobs for Resonance, Sensitivity, Depth and Level, with each performing a little differently depending on which mode is active.

Sound-wise, the Bubbletron remains off the wall, dynamic, at times random, and a fantastic contemporary tribute to the classic MicMix DynaFlanger, as used by Frank Zappa. If you are looking for a compact guitar effects pedal to perform that '70s and '80s Zappa flanger sound, this would do the job.

Keeley Electronics

(Image credit: Keeley Electronics)

Indeed, the Bubbletron is a perfect tool for getting weird. You can set the DynaFlanger effect just as you like it but the flanger’s delay time all depends on how hard you hit the strings. 

The louder you get with your electric guitar, the longer the delay time and the more pronounced the flanger gets. The a negative feedback mode hollows the effect out, making it more vocal, while the positive feedback mode is a thicker and smoother, more classic sounding flanger.

The DynaMoPhase mode is similarly off-road. It runs two phasers in parallel but with opposite sweeps, and once more there’s a dynamic condition to how this perform; once you’ve rate the LFO speed for the first phaser line, strap yourself in, because the depth will be controlled by how loud you play, with the send phaser also reacting with another layer of modulation in which the harder you play the crazier it gets. 

Dialling the Rate control all the way back allows you to run it with just the one DynaPhase line running, with everything reacting to your playing.

Finally, there’s the LervelopeFilter. Adjust the Resonance dial to set the Q value. It can be precise and narrow or wider and less discriminating, while the Depth control is on hand to help find the sweet spot between the hi- and lo-pass.

With a filter and flanging pedal that relies on dynamics, that Sensitivity control will be crucial in adjusting for your picking attack and indeed your guitar’s pickups. Start with it all the way counterclockwise, then adjust it until the pedal responds how you like it.  

Once more there are easter eggs inside, with an internal mini-toggle for selecting a modern or vintage analog filter mode, the latter rolling off a little high-end, and a mini-toggle for choosing between Bank 2 and Bank 1 of your effects, where you can add classic flanger and a standard eight-stage phaser to the Bubble Tron’s tricks. 

The Larry ‘Ler’ LaLonde Artist Series Edition Le Bubble Tron is available now, priced $229. See Keeley Electronics for more details.

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.