The EarthQuaker Devices Night Wire is what is known as a harmonic tremolo. This is a variation on the standard tremolo circuit where your low and high signals are split meaning you can achieve some really interesting tremolo effects that move and phase like no other pedal.
How Does It Work
Before we can really dig in to why this pedal is so good you have to have some understanding of what a harmonic tremolo is. Basically you split up the low and high signals using LPF and HPF filters to set the frequencies. These then modulate together creating some really cool phase and zero point effects that don't normally appear on your normal tremolo pedal.
Plenty Of Control
Even with just the 4 control knobs you have enough to get a lot of different sounds right out of the box. When you add in the two small switches as well that change how the frequency and rate knobs work. For the Rate control you can have it in either Attack or Manual mode. In manual mode the Rate control sets the speed as you would expect. In attack mode the rate is judged by how hard you pick and then the rate control becomes a sensitivity setting.
There is a similar control for the Frequency knob where in Manual it acts as you would expect. In LFO mode the frequency is constantly moving thanks to an LFO in the pedal, while the Frequency knob controls the speed of that LFO. Finally you have attack mode where the frequency is set by your pick attack and the frequency knob again controls the sensitivity of that attack.
Here's what EarthQuaker Devices say about the Night Wire Pedal
The Night Wire is a feature-rich harmonic tremolo. What is harmonic tremolo- In short, the signal is split into high pass and low pass filters, then modulated with an LFO that is split 180 degrees. The Night Wire takes the traditional harmonic tremolo a few steps further by allowing the center point of both filters to be adjusted for different tones. The filter frequency has three modes: Manual, LFO and Attack. In Manual mode, the center point can be set to a fixed position with the frequency control. In LFO mode, the filters are continuously swept and the frequency control adjusts the speed. In Attack mode, the filters are dynamically swept according to pick attack and the frequency control acts as a range control, much like a standard envelope filter. The tremolo section has two modes, Manual and Attack. In Manual mode, the speed of the tremolo is governed by where the rate control is set. In Attack mode the speed is controlled by pick attack and the rate controls the sensitivity; the harder you pick, the faster the rate and vice-versa. The tremolo can be subtle and shimmery or full-on throbbing depending on where the depth control is set. With the depth set to zero, the Night Wire will act like a fixed filter, phase shifter or envelope-controlled filter depending on which mode the filter frequency is in. It also features a cut/boost volume control to get your levels just right. Each Night Wire is hand made one at a time in the moonlit village of Akron, Ohio.
This device is true bypass and uses relay based "soft touch" switching. Audio will not pass without power.
- Rate Toggle: This toggle lets you select between two ways to control the speed of the tremolo. Attack lets you adjust the speed by pick attack. In this mode, the Rate knob controls the sensitivity of the dynamic tremolo. The higher the rate and harder you pick, the faster the speed will rise and vice versa. In Manual mode, the Rate control adjusts the speed like a common tremolo.
- Frequency Toggle: This toggle lets you select one of 3 different ways to control the center frequency of the filter section. In LFO mode, the frequency is continuously swept by an LFO. In this mode, the Frequency knobs adjusts the speed of the LFO. In Manual mode, the frequency is determined by where the Frequency knob is set. In Attack mode, the center frequency is dynamically controlled by pick attack and the Frequency knob adjusts the sensitivity.
- Level: Sets the output level, unity is around noon.
- Depth: Adjusts the depth of the tremolo. More clockwise, less counterclockwise. When fully counterclockwise, the amplitude modulation will be removed and the Night Wire will function as a fixed filter, envelope controlled filter or phaser depending on where the frequency toggle is set.
- Rate: In manual mode, this controls the speed of the tremolo. Faster speed clockwise and slower speed counterclockwise. In Attack mode, this controls the sensitivity of the dynamic tremolo. The higher the rate and harder you pick, the faster the speed will rise and vice versa.
- Frequency: Controls the center frequency of the filters in manual mode: higher clockwise, lower counterclockwise. In LFO mode this controls the rate of the sweep: faster clockwise and slower counterclockwise. In Attack mode this controls the sensitivity of the envelope: lower Frequency gives slower rise and lower peak, higher Frequency gives faster rise and higher peak. Simple, right-
- Please use a standard 9 volt DC power supply intended for musical instruments with a negative center 2.1mm barrel.