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Designed for guitarists, keyboardists, or any instrumentalist sporting the appropriate 1/4" connection, the Walrus Audio Bellwether is a bucket-brigade delay pedal, giving you tap-tempo functionality and subdivisions in the order of quarter-note, eighth-note, dotted-eighth, and triplet values. It’s been engineered to approximate warmer, analog delay tones of the sort achieved by the AD999 and the Boss DM-2.
An onboard tone control passes your processed repeats through a high-cut filter, so you can thicken the sound of the delay as needed. The Bellwether Analog Chorus engine can be accessed with a toggle switch. Once on, the depth and rate knob will help you apply sonic vacillations to your signal of the sort often heard on Americana records. You can furthermore use the time, repeat, and chorus controls to secure anything from a classic hillbilly slap-back echo to a full-on self-oscillating delay—with a signal level hotter than your dry tone, if that’s what you prefer.
You’ll also note the expression jack on the side, into which you can plug your favorite expression pedal, so long as it sports a TRS connection. You can then control either the number of repeats or the length of time between repeats with your ancillary pedal. A toggle switch allows you to determine which of these parameters you’ll be manipulating with your footswitch. If you'd like to plug external effects into the wet signal path, you can do so via the effects loop and a single TRS Y-cable.
The tap-tempo footswitch at the bottom of the pedal works exactly as you’d expect, and you’ll also note the tap in 1/4" jack, which allows you to plug external tempo-controlling signals into the pedal. The Bellwether sports one mono input and two mono outputs, meaning you can run this pedal into dual destinations for stereo echoes. A 9V PSU, available separately, is needed to power the unit.
Controls at a Glance
Level Knob: The Level parameter controls the level of your repeats. At its lowest setting, you’ll hear no repeats. Turn the parameter clockwise to bring up the volume of your repeats. With the control pinned all the way clockwise, your repeat volume will be higher than your dry instrument signal.
Tone Knob: This control will cut the treble of your repeated, wet signal. When the knob is at its lowest setting, you will hear a full tonal range from high to low. This is optimal for playing a more rhythmic delay style. Turn the dial clockwise to hear the high-cut applied. Limiting the highs passing through allows you to achieve classic analog/bucket brigade sounds, making the repeats sound darker and more saturated. This type of setting works well for a smoother, darker, more saturated trail of echoes.
Tap Div Knob: Here, you can dictate the subdivisions the Bellwether produces relative to your preferred tap-tempo or time parameter. Each zone around the knob is marked, with the lowest setting being quarter notes. At 10 o'clock, you’ll get eighth notes, at 2 o'clock, dotted eighth notes, and at 4 o'clock, triplets, which are all relative to the Time parameter or Tap Tempo.
Time knob: This parameter controls how soon your delayed repeats will begin to sound. The shortest time possible will be when the control is at the minimum setting. Turn the dial clockwise for a longer delay time. You’ll generate 1000 milliseconds of delay time when the control is at maximum.
Repeats: This controls the number of repeats you’ll hear. Dial this parameter to the lowest setting to hear one dominant echo. As you turn the control clockwise, the number of repeats will increase.
Mod On/Off Toggle: This toggle engages or bypasses the Analog Chorus Engine. This feature is applied only to your repeats, modulating only the wet signal.
Depth: When the Mod toggleswitch is set to On, the Depth control regulates how deep the modulation sways below the note your instrument is playing. For minimal depth, keep this knob at lowest setting possible. For a deeper modulation, turn the dial clockwise.
Rate: When the Mod toggle is on, the Rate control regulates how fast the LFO moves. The fastest rate happens when the control is at its lowest setting. Turn clockwise to stretch the rate out and hear more spaced-out, slower waves.
Time/Repeats Expression Toggle: This switch dictates whether your optional expression pedal, having been hooked into the TRS EXP jack, controls the Time or Repeat parameters of the Bellwether.
Bypass Footswitch: This turns the effect on and off.
Tap Footswitch: Tap this switch to set the time of your repeats.