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Home Entertainment Fender Dual Marine Layer Review

Fender Dual Marine Layer Review

Fender and reverb go collectively like gumbo and rice. Traditionally, the spring tanks within the firm’s amplifiers and tube-driven outboard models have outlined the Fender reverb sound. However in 2018, when Fender launched the Marine Layer digital reverb, it didn’t embrace a spring reverb emulation. The brand new Dual Marine Layer doesn’t have a spring emulation both. As a substitute, it’s brimming with sounds and capabilities well-suited for much less retro-reverb expressions, together with thick refrain textures and shimmer reverb, and has a soft-relay maintain change that permits momentary creation of ambient beds. It’s additionally able to some very elegant, subdued reverb colours, plus just a few that may successfully stand in for spring and plate sounds in a pinch.

The Ring of Inexperienced

The Dual Marine Layer is clearly not a classic design train. A change on the pedal’s crown allows illumination of the LED place markers on the knobs—an actual asset on darkish phases. And like all new-generation Fender results, the Dual Marine Layer is available in an anodized aluminum enclosure that bends (a bit an excessive amount of, maybe) to the tech-industry’s prevailing minimalist design ethos. And whereas the kelly inexperienced enclosure is extra enjoyable to have a look at than, say, an iPhone, it lacks the design inventiveness of an previous Fender amp or one the corporate’s curvaceous, basic guitar designs.

Surprisingly, for a pedal of this dimension, the management structure and capabilities are fairly easy. The highest row of knobs contains controls for damping (which darkens or brightens the reverb tails), reverb decay time, modulation depth, and impact degree, and is devoted to reverb A. The second row of knobs, save for the maintain management, is an identical and assigned to reverb B. A small 3-position toggle change selects between corridor, room, and shimmer reverb algorithms. The maintain knob controls the depth of the reverb mattress created by holding down the soft-relay momentary maintain footswitch.

Many gamers that flip to larger stompboxes for deep performance, programming capabilities, and scores of I/O and routing choices could also be puzzled by the scale of the enclosure used right here. There aren’t any stereo I/O choices, no MIDI or USB connectivity, no results loop, and simply three reverb modes. However in real-world efficiency and song-creation conditions, the beneficiant spacing between controls and switches—and the convenience with which you’ll be able to alter and transfer between them with out triggering one thing unintentionally—is invaluable. On this sense, the Dual Marine Layer is really a performance-centric pedal.

Extra House Than Surf

The Dual Marine Layer appears constructed primarily for modern reverb purposes—the type with extra-expansive, dramatic tendencies, replete with harmonic overtones. However whereas a devoted spring reverb mannequin is actually missed right here, there are lots of methods to extract mellow and extra conventional textures.

The beneficiant spacing between controls and switches—and the convenience with which you’ll be able to alter and transfer between them with out triggering one thing unintentionally—is invaluable.

Probably the most typical of the accessible voices—and maybe essentially the most forgiving—is the room reverb. It’s able to very intimate, small-scale reverb sounds that don’t drown in harmonizing overtones and are much less inclined to digital artifacts. It’s additionally an ideal platform for exploring the Dual Marine Layer’s controls, that are delicate, extremely interactive, and able to nice nuance when you’re acquainted.

In room mode, setting the reverb time and impact degree pretty excessive whereas preserving the dampening at brighter settings and the modulation to a minimal yields a reasonably passable approximation of classic spring reverb. However in the event you use the damping management to darken the sign, take the extent down, and cut back the delay time, you get a cultured, subdued studio room reverb sound that’s a killer distinction with spring-style sounds in an A/B arrange. Dial the modulation and the impact degree again up once more and you’ve got a raft of refrain tones {that a} younger Johnny Marr would love.

Corridor mode’s expansiveness underscores the significance of the damping management. At darker damping settings, even lengthy delay occasions and aggressive impact ranges make the corridor extra evocative of a small however reflective chamber—energetic, succinct, and a bit mysterious. Take the damping management to its brightest ranges, nevertheless, and the little chamber turns into a jumbo jet hanger. The high-octave content material in these extra-bright damping settings could make excessive reflections sound a bit too choral and twee at occasions. However the sensitivity and vary of the time and degree controls are such that middle-ground colours are considerable, diversified, and simply reworked into chamber- and plate-style sounds.

Shimmer reverbs normally depart me chilly. However right here once more, the vary of the DML’s controls yield surprises. Darkish damping settings and modest delay occasions de-emphasize the typically scorching excessive overtones that may make shimmer verbs sound tacky, yielding seems like an extended plate as an alternative.

The Verdict

When you get a grasp of the Dual Marine Layer, it’s a pleasure to make use of. There are just a few irritating limitations contemplating the impact’s dimension. You possibly can’t use totally different voices for reverbs A and B, as an example. And a few potential consumers will lament that Fender didn’t use the additional area to accommodate extra presets or spring or reverse reverb emulations. Alternatively, the economical design makes the Dual Marine Layer further simple to make use of and further enjoyable. And in the event you’re not obsessive about pedalboard area, you’ll discover a trove of cool sounds to work with.

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