The Old Blood Noise Endeavors Sunlight is a mono-to-mono wild textured reverb pedal; the full review shows that it harmonizes well with synths.
My effects with synths journey continues today with a new test candidate. After taking a closer look at the Walrus Audio SLÄRP pedal, the reviews are available here (SLÖ, ARP-87), I’ll stay in America and say hello to Old Blood Noise Endeavors.
A Boutique pedal company that specializes in outer-space, wild effects pedals that go in a more unconventional direction than classic effects. My choice for today is the Sunlight reverb pedal.
A big thank goes to Klangfarbe.com, who kindly loaned me the pedal to test it. After testing, I gave back it to the shop. Thanks very much. Let’s start with an unboxing.
The pedal is delivered in a beautiful, colorful package with the short version of the company name OBNE on it. The package contains the pedal, a fold-out manual with example patches, a nice pick for guitar players, and other small goodies.
A 9V power supply is not included. But that is standard in the pedal world. Only a few companies add one.
Old Blood Noise Endeavors Sunlight Review
As soon as you unpack it, the striking design of the Starlight pedal catches your eye. This was created with great attention to detail. We are greeted by a mystical lady, who could have sprung from a Lord of the Rings film, who probably uses here the sunlight as a source of energy.
The interface scores with its simplicity, which guarantees hands-on fun. There are five potentiometers, three are fixed and two are basically macro controls, a switch for selecting modes, and two foot-switches. Of course, it’s primarily a guitar pedal, but does it also harmonize with analog and digital synths?
Signal Path & Unique Modes
Sunlight by Old Blood Noise Endeavors is a mono-to-mono pedal and is one of the most special reverbs I’ve played along with. Mono to mono is perfect for guitar players, less so for electronic musicians as many synths are stereo synths. Solutions: either just work in mono synths or just buy two. All in stereo would of course be better.
There are two footswitches, one for bypassing (on/off) the effect and another which can be mapped with an alternative function. There is also an expression input on the right side.
The highlight of the Sunlight pedal are the newly developed algorithms, three in total: Tape, Comb, and Pass. In detail, you get:
- Tape: a modulation reverb inspired by the unique shifty and wobbly character of old tape machines.
- Comb: a combination of four delay lines that are placed after the reverb. This gives you the effect o short delays so comb filtering.
- Pass: a bandpass filter applied between two reverb paths, where a random sample & hold function sets the cutoff frequency.
Each effect also features a freeze function for diving into atmospheres and textures.
The left-side switch selects the individual algorithms, and two top-level pots (rate, and depth) are used to control them. Depending on which algorithm is active, the parameters have other functions.
- Tape: rate and depth set the lopsided vibrato applied to the reverb.
- Comb: rate sets the four delays while the depth adjusts the feedback or resonance of the delays.
- Pass: rate controls the S&H function and depth sets the range of the cutoff.
Mix, decay, and input are fixed and are the same for all three algorithms. The mix is a classic dry/wet mix control, decay sets the decay or the feedback for the reverb, so in higher settings, it goes endless and input controls the input signal that goes into the reverb.
The most important thing about a review is how it sounds and what’s possible with the pedal. To do that, you have to understand the pedal. That’s no problem here, even for absolute beginners. Big plus point for the Sunlight interface. It’s super fast and easy to use. Tweaking parameters is a lot of fun here and you can basically “touch and feel sounds” and don’t get lost in menus.
There are three algorithms. Three very different ones, each serving a different sound field. For the test, the synths flowed directly from its output into the pedal input. No extra, or shaping before the input.
Tape, A Dreamy, Shaky Adventure
Starting with the “Tape” which is a rather subtle one. This is at moderate settings as well as extreme. At higher settings, you can feel the movement in the reverb making it more flexible and organic. It’s like an eggy chorus/vibrato modulation adding to the reverb timbre.
But one of the unique features of the Sunlight is the built-in feedback circuit in the input control, allowing to add overtones to the signal. It gets particularly pleasing with higher parameter values where the reverb drifts and gets a dreamy character. Perfect for making ambient dream pop with a haunting character.
Comb & Pass, A Wild Textured Trip
Then “Comb” is certainly one of the algorithms that you perceive more clearly that something is on top of the reverb cake. I like the mixture a lot, especially at high-depth values. Here you can achieve flanger-style effects giving your reverbs a lovely overtone boost.
With small values, you get swooshes in the reverb tail. This algorithm harmonizes nicely with synths as it is a very sound design-focused effect. It’s not your classic reverb, it’s a special effect.
“Pass” is arguably the wildest algorithm of them all. A lowpass/high-pass combination is active in the reverb that generates a sequencer-like modulation in the reverb tail. This effect works particularly well with synthetic sounds.
With higher values, you can not only give a simple pad sound depth and width but also structure through the moving filter. And if you turn up the input, the feedback looper becomes active and the whole thing gets a spherical, ghostly sound. Pass is a very wild algorithm producing reverbs that are hard to be compared with other reverb algorithms. It’s very original and unique.
The Sunlight was convincing in the test. Old Blood Noise Endeavors have created here a very original reverb pedal with its own sonic charm and qualities. The originality of the pedal stands out especially when testing. It’s not trying to mimic a legendary reverb like the Lexicon. It also does not join the almost endless list of bread-and-butter reverbs.
Sunlight is a reverb pedal that is suitable for adventurous sound designs. It gives your sounds depth and space that are beautiful, high quality, and clear but with a special twist. Just a pity that the pedal only works in a mono-to-mono configuration. All that originality in stereo would be even more exciting.
- unique algorithms
- algorithm sound quality
- built quality
- hands-on menu-less interface
- original pedal design
- harmonizes well with synths
- mono-to-mono signal path/reverb
Old Blood Noise Endeavors is available now for $219/249€ worldwide. Thanks again to Klangfarbe.com for the loan of the pedal.
More information here: Old Blood Noise Endeavors
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