Darkglass has become the go-to brand for modern bassists, with their popular Microtubes pedals offering immensely powerful and focused distortion tones. The Microtubes X Ultra is another model to join their enviable lineup; an all-encompassing stompbox that offers cutting-edge overdrive, unrivalled tone-shaping, D.I. connectivity and switchable I.R. cab simulation.
Here's what Darkglass says about the Microtubes X Ultra:
In 2018 Darkglass Electronics launched their Microtubes X series of versatile multiband drive pedals to great acclaim. The new Microtubes X Ultra rounds out the range and greatly expands on the already immense versatility of the X pedals, for those players that want the ultimate studio or live bass fly rig in a pedal format.
Featuring all the great controls that the X Series is known for, allowing users to select exactly what frequencies they want to compress and saturate for the low and treble respectively, Microtubes X Ultra has four major additions providing an additional layer of flexibility, while maintaining the same compact footprint, making it an extremely complete tool for the modern bassist.
- Selectable Clean Channel/ Unique Multiband Bass Distortion
- Pure Analog Signal Path
- Variable LF compressor
- 6-band Graphic EQ
- Balanced XLR output with switchable IR cabinet simulation
- Connect to your PC/Mac to load different Virtual Cabinets (one at a time) via Micro-USB and free ‘Darkglass Suite’ software
- 3.5mm Headphone output and Auxiliary input, perfect for practicing etc.
Distorting bass has always been a very challenging engineering endeavour. In order to achieve a punchy and aggressive distortion, that is also full and fat-sounding, you really need to reconcile two contradicting conditions. The tightness comes from attenuating bass frequencies before saturation, which will also result in a very thin signal, however boosting the lows can also result in additional, unwanted fuzz. To solve this paradox, audio engineers have been using multiband distortions in the studio for a few decades now.
With the Microtubes X Ultra, the audio is split by two variable low-pass and high-pass filters at the very start of the signal chain. The high-pass signal (mostly the mid and treble tones) is distorted using CMOS circuitry, just like our other regular Microtubes pedal circuits. The low pass-signal (all bass) is left clean and then is processed by the variable built in compressor. This lets the high frequencies be all crunch, attack and full of rich harmonics, all while mixing back in the undistorted lows to add gargantuan size to the overall mix. The result is virtually unlimited fullness, size, aggression and definition, regardless of how old the strings are or even if your instrument is just boomy or thin sounding.
Microtubes X7 Ultra adds a 6-band graphic equalizer with perfectly tailored mid controls for maximum tonal flexibility. Plus, by equipping the pedal with our award-winning impulse response cabinet simulation module, to the already über versatile multiband distortion engine and graphic equalizer, all helps to make Microtubes X Ultra the complete rig-in-a-box for studio and live performing.
Pressing the Distortion footswitch, selects a Clean channel that bypasses the low pass filter, all while leaving the full range, clean signal, compressor, EQ and cab-sim engaged, so you can now switch from a crystal clean to massive distortion with a simple stomp. In addition, the Auxiliary Input and Headphone Output, with cab sim, makes the pedal perfect for practicing. This allows you to connect your PC or mobile device to your pedal to play along with your favourite songs and backing tracks in total silence.
- High-pass frequency: Controls the cutoff frequency to be distorted, ranging from 100 Hz (for thicker, fuzzier saturation) or 1 kHz for ultra-sharp definition
- High Drive: Sets the amount of distortion for the high pass side
- High Level: Sets the output volume of the distorted high-pass signal
- Low-pass frequency: Controls the cutoff frequency to be mixed back to the high-pass side Ranging from 50 Hz (for only sub-bass) and 500 Hz to preserve some clean mids
- Low Comp: This control is also used to control the compression amount when the compressor is enabled for clean signal
- Low Level: Sets the output volume of the low-pass signal
- Master: +-12 dB - sets the overall volume of the unit.
- Low shelf: +-12 dB @ 80 Hz
- 250 Hz: +-12 dB
- 500 Hz: +-12 dB
- 1.5 kHz: +-12 dB
- 3 kHz: +-12 dB
- High shelf: +-12 dB @ 5 kHz
- Input: 6.5mm / ¼” Jack
- Main Output: 6.5mm / ¼” Jack
- Direct Output: Balanced output via XLR connector with switchable ground lift - Cabinet Simulation can be switched with the Cab Sim push-button
- USB: Connect to Darkglass Suite (PC/Mac) to load impulse responses to the pedal
- Output impedance: 1k Ohm
- Powered by optional 9V PSU (9V DC, centre -, 2.1 mm, ~200 mA current draw)