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Electro-Harmonix has a history of making filter effects, and their Blurst pedal goes back to those days, with added modern functionality.
The volume and blend controls affect the overall output and mix of the effect, while the resonance knob sets the filter’s resonance, and volume of the filtered sound. The speed of the modulation is controlled by the Rate control, while the Range sets the range of the modulation frequency response. At the right it sits at the lower frequencies, and increasing it, brings it into higher ranges.
Modulations work off of LFOs and the shape can be set from triangle to rising and falling saw tooth wave forms. There is a tap tempo footswitch, and the repeats can be set to triplet, dotted eighths or quarter notes. Pretty awesome stuff.
It works like a classic envelope filter, but it the modulated signal is driven not by a player’s attack, but by an oscillator. On its own, it has the feel of a chorus pedal mated with an auto wah, giving birth to an over-the-top warble and pulsing effect. Connect it to an expression pedal, and one of the controls is now run by the pedal: range, rate or filter. Adding this “on-the-fly” control to any of these functions really opens the Blurst pedal up, and makes the effect feel less stationary.
Pairing this with other effects is where it really shines. All those options are subtle on their own, but really become evident when combined distortions, overdrives and fuzzes. Adding in an expression pedal, it becomes a cross of a hyper tunable wah wah and a Univibe. With a delay, it can conjure up swirling, pulsing soundscapes that can be blended in with a dry signal for great effect. It’s not really a “meat and potatoes” effect, more like the “special sauce” that spices things up.
At $135, it the new Blurst pedal from Electro-Harmonix offers up a lot. An additional expression pedal wouldn’t break the bank, but NOT using one certainly cuts off a lot of opportunities to make this stompbox really do its job well.
Highly adjustable. Works great with other effects.
Really needs an expression pedal for maximum use.