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Earthquaker Devices' Fantastic Forthcoming V3 Afterneath Otherworldly Reverberator is actually an entirely new pedal with its 9 New Modes

Ambient EffectsDigital ReverbEarthQuaker DevicesReverbSpacey Reverb+-
2020GPXEQDAfterneathV3700.jpg

I must confess that I foolishly overlooked this pedal in my recent NAMM Show coverage. Obviously Walrus Audio had recently just relaunched its Julia Chorus with new artwork, top-mounted jacks and new soft-touch footswitch, making it a very largely just cosmetic change exercise which I did not feel was particularly newsworthy in amongst all the genuinely new and differentiated devices. So when the V3 Afterneath materialised - I noted the new artwork and footswitch - but failed to register the tiny Mode button added to the centre of the pedal.

 

The Afterneath has always been a fantastic slightly leftfield ambient reverb - and these new Mode additions - which were initially a by-product of the Afterneath Eurorack Module development process - elevate the pedal to another level entirely.

 

The Afterneath has been on my nice-to-have wishlist - hitherto quite a few steps below the Chase Bliss Dark World and Walrus Audio SLÖ which inhabit similar format - while I feel that these new changes bring it up to priority acquisition status alongside those two other named reverbs. The Afterneath funnily enough may very well be the first of those 3 that I actually end up acquiring and placing in my pedal-chain.

 

Obviously there was a lot learned during the the exercise of developing the Afterneath Eurorack Module - and every pertinent change applied there has found its way across to the pedal format. The Eurorack Module has a few more knobs - an additional Input dial, and 4 additional level dials to more finely calibrate the mix/degree of Drag, Mode, Diffuse and Length - and we have a few more jacks/inputs too. The thing to note is that this is the most significant update to the Afterneath since it was launched - and you have far more variables now to control its output.

 

The 9 New Modes are as follows :

  1. Unquantized
  2. Unquantized with Slew / Lag
  3. Unquantized Volt / Octave (Voltage-Controlled Oscillator)
  4. Chromatic Scale
  5. Minor Scale
  6. Major Scale (Lydian)
  7. Pentatonic Scale
  8. Octaves & Fifths
  9. Octaves

Note that the LED colour is supposed to change in sequence to reflect selected Mode, but I don’t believe the final sequence was in place at the Show as I could see colour repetition on Mode cycling in demos. In theory you should be able to distinguish easily between 10 different hues in an LED, the Empress EchoSystem uses 7, so 9 should not be a problem for a 1:1 colour-specific mode - but those details haven’t been revealed yet.

 

It is important to focus a little on the main Parameter controls too - as the legends/titles/labels used may not be immediately comprehensible to everyone :

  • Length = Degree of Decay
  • Diffuse = Spread of reverberation - from sharp/tight focus to much more spread out
  • Dampen = Sort of Tone control - starts off Bright and mellows out towards Dark
  • Reflect = Degree of Depth and Feedback - the essential size of the Reverberation space or ’Cave’
  • Drag = Separation between delay lines - CCW gives you more scattered ping-pong style delay, CW brings you back to Reverb / less separation
  • Mix = Dry to Wet mix - never goes quite fully Wet, but close enough

So from initially being somewhat non-plussed about just some seemingly elementary cosmetic changes - I am now actually rather quite excited by this. This is just the sort of functionality and feature set I like to see in compact pedal format - and it elevates the Afterneath from being a sort of specialist reverb curiosity to being quite a leading atmospheric texture generator contender. It’s gone from being a nice-to-have on my wishlist to an essential acquisition. I will be using it on rotation in the #33 mostly Chase Bliss Audio Glitch Pedal slot - and will be looking to acquire one at or around April 15th when it is scheduled to be released - priced at $200/£200.


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Stefan Karlsson
Stefan Karlsson
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