019 | Walrus Audio Julia: A Closer Look at this Analog Chorus/Vibrato Pedal | Transcript

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Scott Schwertly:
Hello, and welcome to episode 19 of the Sonic Renegades podcast. We're exploring Renegade pedals that have changed the music landscape. Up for discussion today, the Julia chorus in vibrato pedal by Walrus. If you love those chorusy type sounds, you're going to love this discussion. Hey, everybody. Welcome to another episode of the Sonic Renegades podcast. I guess you can call this a special episode since it's sort of the social distance version of the podcast, but I'm Scott Schwertly with Siren Pedals. I've got my colleague Eric, and we're actually dialing in remotely for this episode. Eric, how's everything going over there building pedals at home?

Eric Wilson:
It's going great. I haven't gone crazy yet, so that's good.

Scott Schwertly:
Awesome. Well, glad to hear it. I know just like every other industry out there, us here in the guitar pedal world have been equally impacted by everything. So we actually had to close down the shop a couple of days ago, pack everything up, and work from home. So it's been an interesting ride, but productive nonetheless. So for all of you out there that are maybe listening from home, we hope that you're able to get through this and battle on through it just like we are sending positive vibes, thoughts and prayers your way, obviously in this a very unique time. So on a lighter note, we thought we would cover just a more lighthearted pedal for you guys today. I know Eric, this is one of your favorites, recovering the Julia chorus and vibrato pedal by Walrus. And I know Eric, you do a lot in the worship space and I know this contributes a lot to just your tone, but yeah. I know you're a huge fan of it.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. I first got into chorus pedals, I had a BBE Mind Bender, and then this was my next step, and I immediately fell in love with it. Typically, I'll listen to Ryan Adams or bands like Turnover. And it really helps me get those tones and it just sounds really good. I haven't found a setting on it that I can't use.

Scott Schwertly:
Nice. Yeah. I don't personally own this pedal. It doesn't exist on my board, but everything I've read about it, everything I've heard about and seen it, I mean, it just gets praises across the board. I know everybody, folks like yourself are huge fans of it and really excited to unpack this pedal for you guys today. So obviously you're probably dialing in right now to learn about tone and sounds, but I thought we're obviously talking about a Walrus pedal, so I just wanted to quickly just pay tribute to Adam Forrester, who's actually the person who did the artwork for this pedal. You're probably familiar with his work if you're familiar with Walrus and if you love the Walrus brand, but I know he did the artwork for the Deep Six pedal, the Red, the Warhorn, the Iron Horse, and all beautiful looking pedals. Obviously here at Siren, we appreciate great artwork as well. So just from aesthetics, it's such a beautiful pedal. I mean, I really love what they've done with the artwork.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. Walrus is one of those companies that every time they release new limited additions, I always am really tempted to go buy it.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. I mean, yeah. They're always amazing, and I've been a huge fan as well. So obviously the artwork, the quality of their knobs. Yeah, and I mean, artwork's one thing, but then they also sound amazing. But before we get into tones and just the way it actually sounds, one thing to note is this pedal did come out in 2016. It's been super, super popular ever since it did launch. And it's really gotten a lot of just sort of renewed enthusiasm, because I knew just a few months ago at [inaudible 00:03:57] they rolled out with V2 with updated artwork. So not only does version one look great, but version two looks cool. In fact, I actually probably like version two a little bit more. It's just that I really love that the revisions they made to it from an aesthetic standpoint, but yeah. Just a beautiful pedal and beautiful sounds and people that share in that enthusiasm and passion, some of your favorite artists, some names that you probably would recognize. I know Anthony Gonzalez of M83, I know I've been a big fan of M83 for quite some time. I know he uses this pedal.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. I saw Cory Wong also uses it. And then Mark Lettieri from Snarky Puppy. I don't know if you've ever listened to them.

Scott Schwertly:
Oh, nice. Yeah.

Eric Wilson:
But he uses it as well.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. Awesome. And then I know there's even some unique musicians or guitarists like Yvette Young of Covet. She uses this pedal as well. So I mean the list goes on and on. I mean there's so many famous musicians, talented musicians.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. I know in the worship space, there's so many people that have these on their board or if it's not on their board, it's sitting on a secondary board somewhere.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. It seems like everybody at my church, if I ever go up and talk to one of the guitarists afterwards, it seems like I always see this pedal on their board. It's almost like a staple in the worship scene. But again, just a Testament to the great product that Walrus has put out on that front. Awesome. So what we want to do now is for those that are just getting exposed to this pedal, it's a pretty simple pedal use. I mean, I guess there's some complexities to it since you're dealing with this whole idea of LFO or low frequency oscillators, and you're dealing in that chorus by broad a world. So it can be a little bit confusing for newbies, but we'll just quickly walk through what you can expect if you were to have a Julia in your possession. And I know Eric, since you've used this pedal a lot more than I have. I'll let you just walk through just some of the basic elements that come with it.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. So typically when you have a chorus pedal, you'll have a rate knob and then a depth knob that controls your rate and your depth of your chorus signal. And a lot of times it will have a toggle that switches between a vibrato sound and a chorus sound. So what Walrus did is they added a lag knob to this and we'll get into that later, but they also have the DCV knob that blends between your dry and your vibrato signal, instead of doing more of a switch.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. So basically what you're looking at here is really a chorus pedal on steroids for the fact that they've added these extra features. So to summarize the thoughts here, you're really dealing with four knobs and one toggle, right? So you've got your rate knob, your depth knob all standard, but where you get those additions are the lag knob, the DCV knob, which is dry chorus, vibrato. That's what the acronym stands for, for those folks that are new to the pedal world. And then you've got that toggle switch, which you can go up and down. So you've got basically two away form options, right? So you've got the sign if you go up, and then saw away from, if you go down.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah.

Scott Schwertly:
You mentioned you typically like to be down, right? When you play.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. I just find it's a little more dramatic.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. So again, just the fact that it's got that option is great and everybody's got their personal preference, so yeah, it's great in providing that diversity and capturing the right tones that you're looking for. And I know Eric, that lag knob. I know when you talk about this pedal, that seems to be one of the things that you really light up about. You just love what that lag now is all about. Right? Because it really just intensifies the chorus sound that you're trying to capture. Correct?

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. I feel like the lag knob is really what gives this pedal character that sets it apart from other chorus pedals, because typically you have your run of the mill chorus, you have your depth, you have your rate and that's it. But when you add in that lag knob, it makes it to where you can really dial in some more unique sounds or crazier sounds, and it makes it to where you can really go for, if you're going for a specific sound, you can make sure to dial it in when you add in the added controls.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. So it's really the shining star for sure. And I know a lot of people, when they talk about this pedal, they talk about that they like that it gives them more control. I think a lot of that control also comes from that DCV knob. Right?

Eric Wilson:
For sure.

Scott Schwertly:
And again, for those that are trying to capture all this, that DCV knob again, is dry chorus vibrato. It basically allows you to control how dry you want to be to how wet you want your sound to be, which is great as far as flexibility, which is great. So, yeah. I mean, if we really had to summarize it, it's sort of rate and depth, your standard status quo, chorus pedal type stuff. But when you throw in that lag knob and that DCB knob with that toggle switch, that's really where you're getting into the bells and whistles, which really make this pedal shine. So with all that said, to give you guys a sample of what this thing actually sounds like, we're going to go and plug it in here. Eric, which guitar do you think you're going to plug in today?

Eric Wilson:
I'm going to use a Strat for this one.

Scott Schwertly:
Nice. In fact, I think in our 19 episodes, we have yet to use a Strat. So this should be fun. So given that we are working remotely today, we are not using the Tele that's at the shop. Again, we're both working from our homes. So yeah, we're going to actually, in this case, Eric's going to plug into the Julia with a Strat, and we're going to take this thing for a test spin.

Eric Wilson:
All right. That was the Walrus Julia. I love pretty much every sound I can end up pulling out of that pedal.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. I mean, it's lovely. It really is hard to beat that pedal. Right?

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. I don't think I've found something on there that I've disliked the sound of.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. I mean, it's again, just Testament to why so many people actually own this puddle. Sounds like that, it's the reason why it exists on a lot of people's boards. So, yeah. Got to love it for sure. Well, awesome. Well, that's what we wanted to cover today with the Walrus Julia chorus, vibrato pedal. Join us next time. We're going to actually be talking about the Chase Bliss Thermae pedal. If you're not familiar with this one, it's basically just sort of a crazy pitch shifting delay type pedal. You're going to love it. It's such a unique tone, unique sound. Definitely excited to be unpacking for that. Unpacking that one for you guys next time. And speaking of Chase Bliss, I mean obviously given the times that we're in right now, just hat tip to them.

I know recently they ran a special promotion or program where for 24 hours, they were donating all the proceeds from the sale of their blooper pedal to struggling musicians right now. So again, just kudos to them. And hopefully we can reciprocate the love back by covering a pedal like this. So just again, hat tip to Chase Bliss and all the great things that they're doing in the pedal space and the pedal world. So really looking forward to unpacking the Thermae for you guys in our upcoming episode. Speaking of episodes, we want to hear from you guys. If there are certain pedals you want us to cover, give us a shout out. You can email us at helloatsirenpedals.com. We would love to hear your recommendations on pedals that we should cover here on this podcast. We welcome all your feedback and suggestions.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. Try to send us one that we have never heard of.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. We welcome the challenge. So we love pedals here. So, yeah. We're always open to exploring new ideas and new tones and new sounds. Well, awesome. Well, thanks again for joining on this episode. We look forward to seeing you next time. Stay safe, stay healthy and we'll see you next time.

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