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Pigtronix introduces new compressor-equipped automatic volume fader, the Gloamer

Pigtronix Gloamer
(Image credit: Pigtronix)

Following up the recent release of their Star Eater “all-analogue, dual footswitch super-jumbo fuzz,” New York sonic adventurers Pigtronix have unveiled their newest stompbox – the Gloamer.

Deriving its moniker from the word ‘gloaming,’ the Gloamer is an attempt to capture the essence of twilight, or as Pigtronix puts it, “the surreal, glowing time of night between sunset and total darkness.”

When guitar atmospherics are called for, an obvious choice is to go down the delay and/or reverb route, but the Gloamer offers another option by controlling the signal envelope.

Employing a Slow Gear (opens in new tab)-style Attack function along with a sustain-enhancing optical compressor, the signal can be faded in to produce bowed effects.

Guitar players have been using guitar volume controls and volume pedals for decades to produce similar sounds, but it’s a technique that takes some mastering and is not always practical.

The Gloamer offers similar ‘violining’ volume swells, fade outs and more, including some cool tremolo effects courtesy of the unit’s Decay control.

Pigtronix Gloamer

(Image credit: Pigtronix)

Sitting somewhere between dynamics and modulation, Pigtronix’s Gloamer “polyphonic amplitude synthesizer” will appeal to those looking for new set of colours to add to their effects palette.

Because it may not be immediately obvious how the Gloamer operates, here’s a brief rundown of the controls…

Engage switch: Toggles compressor and attack on/off (signal fade in)

Decay switch: Toggles decay on/off (signal fade out)

Volume knob: Sets the signal peak volume

Compression: Determines the mix between dry and compressed signals. Swings from 100% dry in the fully counterclockwise position to 100% wet maxed out. The compressor is useful because it provides punch and allows for smoother fades.

Blend: Determines the mix between dry and processed signals. As above, this goes from 100% dry when set to minimum to 100% wet in the fully clockwise position.

Attack: Sets the signal fade-in time from silent to peak (peak set by Volume knob as above)

Pigtronix Gloamer

(Image credit: Pigtronix)

Decay: Sets the signal fade out time from peak to silent. An “auto-reset” function causes the Attack cycle to begin again straight after the Decay cycle has finished (as long as an input signal is present), allowing for some interesting tremolo effects.

Sensitivity: Sets level of input signal required to reset Attack and Decay cycles. Muting the signal will reset the Attack function automatically, but if Sensitivity is set too low it can trigger prematurely.

Another interesting feature of the Pigtronix Gloamer is its Sidechain input. This allows an external source (rather than the guitar signal itself) to trigger the Attack and Decay cycles.

Visit Pigtronix (opens in new tab) for more information.

Rod Brakes is a music journalist with an expertise in guitars. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a writer covering artists, industry pros and gear includes contributions for leading publications and websites such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Guitar World (opens in new tab)Guitar Player (opens in new tab) and MusicRadar (opens in new tab) in addition to specialist music books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.