Roger Mayer’s VOODOO VIBE
NEW!VOODOO-VIBE REVIEW Get the latest scoop on the Voodoo-Vibe from guitargeek.com.
The Voodoo Vibe is our latest evolution of the famous Uni-vibe units as used by Jimi and Robin Trower.The Uni-Vibe was originally designed for electronic organs to replicate the rotary speaker effect of a Leslie unit and made by a Japanese company in the 60’s. The unit’s best-known user was of course Jimi who used the Uni-Vibe at Woodstock and it’s’ underwater sound’ is identified on such tracks as ‘Machine Gun’. The Supervibe was the next evolution and this rack-mounted unit and incorporated the modifications that I had developed for Jimi plus some further updates. The Supervibe’s enthusiasts have included Stevie Ray Vaughan and Robin Trower. The Voodoo-Vibe goes much further in expanding the basic good filter sound of the original but with a host of new features that make the Voodoo-Vibe today’s choice of player such as Page and Clapton. These new features and of course the fact that the unit includes a TREMOLO function together with the usual Chorus and Vibrato. The Voodoo-Vibe is housed in a deep rectangular die cast enclosure-is totally analogue in operation featuring none of the nasty zipper type noise and graininess associated with the digital variety of devices that simulate chorus and phasing effects. The guitar tone is maintained throughout the range of effects, which capture all the subtleties of playing technique even as the signal decays away.
Electronically the Voodoo-Vibe is totally analogue in operation with Class A discrete circuitry for all the audio stages and has a signal to noise ratio of over 120dB which is 12dB better than a compact disc. The circuitry produces warm, full, but still transparent tones and is also much less prone to background noises than the original Uni-Vibe. It also has dual low impedance outputs, which allow parallel path processing and the ability to drive long cable lengths without high frequency loss or level change. The dual outputs are also active in the Bypass mode. On the top of the box are seven controls with “chicken head” knobs. The Function control offers a choice of chorus, vibrato and tremolo. Speed is firstly set by the Range control giving three sine waves and three triangle wave speed ranges: slow, medium and fast. The precise speed being adjusted by the Fine control. Then we have the Intensity control which sets the level of effect and Output, which determines the output. Symmetry controls the ratio of the rise time to the fall time of the modulation signal being used. For example when using slower speeds you can make the sound build up slowly and cut off quickly creating a helicopter type “woof-woof-woof” sound. Bias is most effective in the chorus mode and enables the filter to be centred on different frequencies, emphasising either the bass or treble frequencies within the sweep. Also if the Intensity or amount of modulation is reduced to a minimum the Bias has the effect of providing new different phase type sounds. The Bias control when used in the Tremolo mode can make the modulation very chopped sounding and is usually accompanied with a variation of Symmetry producing some very unique tremolo effects. Speed can also be controlled from an external volume pedal that is plugged into the two jack sockets on the back.
Powering is from either a single 9 Volt battery or mains adapted power supply (not included). Extensive internal filtering assures quiet and correct operation with commercial adapters. The on/off switch is a top quality rugged USA footswitch and the status LED clearly visible.
The Voodoo-Vibe has many advantages over the original without sacrificing none of the original’s good points but eliminating the many short comings and lack of flexibility. The added features have received acclaim from those that have used of tested the device. It truly provides sounds and areas of experimentation that were previously unavailable so it makes sense if you are adventurous to dip into the modern aspects of analogue modulation.
“…subtle, deep and rich chorus that doesn´t detract from the guitar´s signal. It is beatifully guiet, there´s no sea-sick swooshing in the background and the coloration added to your signal chain – apart from what´s intended – is minimal. Experimenting with the speed ranges and other parameters, you enter a world of chorus tones you may well not have heard before. The tremolo tones sound remarkably rich too..” “…the richness of this unit´s chorus – not to mention the depth and range of tones available – is beyond what I´ve previously encountered. Add to that the vibrato effect, and for many players who´ve never encounter vibrato on an amp, you´ll again be entering some new, yet strangely familiar-sounding territory. The quiet operation and very musical sound is a refreshing change, too. This really is a pro-sounding device, ideal for studio use…” “As it stands though, the VOODOO-VIBE is a powerful device allowing you to enter a decidedly new Twilight Zone world of modulated effects.”
The Guitar Magazine Vol.5 issue1 Jan /-95
“it´s tremolo and vibrato modes are utterly amazing. Here the bias and symmetry controls unlock a universe of wave and pulse manipulation that must be heard to be believed. Add to this the ability to bring these controls to bear on triangle waveforms, and you´ve got the fuel dragster of modulators. It would be hard to imagine a trem sound that the Voodoo-Vibe can´t clone, and if you´re into the more mutant side of trem and vibrato effects, this box will do it to ya like no other.”
Guitar Player Apr /-96
“We are most definitely not talking Boss CE-2 chorus pedal here…” ” Background noice is virtually nonexistent and the chorus itself is much, much different from anything previously encountered from any modern unit. The type of chorus effects one can obtain from the Voodoo-Vibe ranges from an unobtrusive wash through to a spookily authentic Hendrixian burble – and virtually any point in between.” ” on this unit, the trem effects are very impressive. Although the trem mode can be quite violent at extreme triangle wave settings, the overall impression is one of great warmth, especially with the smoother, friendlier sine wave configuration.” ” The slight pitch modulation (Vibrato) recalls the similar sound one can obtain from a Vox vibrato system, it has much of that kind of sweetness..” ” The Voodoo-Vibe is a smashing unit, but I sincerely hope that its amazing potential will help it find favour beyond the current retro fad. As its rapid adoption by the likes of Jimmy Page has proved, the Voodoo-Vibe has a distincly professional edge.” “This unit simply renders most previous chorus units watery and ineffectual while opening out whole new areas of sonic possibilities never previously imagined.”
Guitarist April / -95
“I try working with effects and making effects work for me. “When I Was a Child” just came out of using this Roger Mayer Voodoo-Vibe pedal. I set it up and just started playing around with it. Before long, I had the first part of the verse, and then I though up the chorus afterwards. But it was really dictated by the effect and being inspired.”
Jimmy Page interview Guitar World June 1998
Michael Gilreath (internet -96)