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Alexander Pedals Defender Galactic Digital Drive

Written by

Jed Van Wyngaardt

The Defender is a fresh take on digital overdrive from a pedal that doesn't pull any punches or make any excuses for being digital. A trained ear might mistake the Defender for an analogue drive!

Simple but Versatile

The Defender has the look of a familiar drive with it's Level and Drive controls - both of which are fairly intuitive to use. Where the Defender really gets interesting is when you start to use the alternative controls to switch through different presets which will all affect your tone in different ways.

You can also use the 'Light' and 'Matter' knob to affect all of these different presets and find your tone: 

  • (WARP) - Adjusts the speed of the WARP control. With this control at minimum the Defender will warp between the red and blue settings instantly. With the control at maximum the pedal will take approximately 10 seconds to warp.
  • LIGHT - Controls the treble or brightness of the distortion effect or the cutoff frequency of the filter if FLT is selected.
  • (BLEND) - Mixes the clean signal (fully counter-clockwise) with the distorted signal (fully clockwise). This is a really crucial control for using the Defender with bass or low-tuned guitars, allowing you to dial in some clean signal to increase the articulation. 
  • MATTER - Controls the bass or depth of the distorted tone or the resonance / feedback of the filter if FLT is selected.
  • (TWEAK) - Adjusts the special effect for each distortion mode. Varies for each effect, check out the descriptions below!
  • Select Button - Tap to choose a new effect mode or hold to engage the ALT controls:
  • The upper LED shows the distortion effect selection.
  • OD - Overdrive with a clear midrange character. This mode ranges from transparent to gritty with a sweep of the Drive knob. Try this mode with the Blend control near noon for a great soft-clipping boost.
  • DST - Distortion with a darker, smoother tone. Gets hairy really quickly and loves to party.
  • FZ - Splattery, sizzly fuzz tone. Don’t even bother trying to get this one to clean up, it sounds kind of like a toy robot being fed into a garbage disposal.
  • Once you’ve selected your distortion, you can choose from one of three special effects. Any distortion effect may be combined with any special effect. Please note that the special effects only work on the distorted sound, and not on the clean blend signal.
  • PIT - Polyphonic octave shifting, applied to the distortion signal only. The Tweak control adjusts the blend between octave down, distortion, and octave up. This effect is killer for sub-octave riffing or screaming fuzz freakouts.
  • SPC - Space modulation using a short time delay on the distortion signal. Tweak controls the delay time from zero to a short slap-back. Try using the Warp function to sweep the delay time for manual flanger sounds.
  • FLT - Super-tweakable resonant lowpass filter, ideal for synth or wah textures. Light controls the cutoff frequency and Matter controls the resonance or sharpness of the filter. Tweak mixes between the filtered sound and the unfiltered sound.
  • Want to get a distortion effect without the special effects? Just select the distortion sound you like (OD, DST, FZ) and select PIT as your special effect. Hold the Select button and turn the MASS / TWEAK knob to its midpoint. The pitch effect will be bypassed and you’ll just have dirt.

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