024 | Meris Mercury7: A Closer Look at this Reverb Pedal | Transcript

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Scott Schwertly:
Hello, and welcome to episode 24 of the Sonic Renegades podcast, where we're exploring Renegade pedals that have changed the music landscape. Today we've got a fun one. This is the Meris Mercury 7 Reverb pedal. If you loved Blade Runner, if you love all those space like sounds, you're going to love this discussion. And we'll see you on the other side.
Hey everybody, Scott Schwertly and Eric Wilson with Siren Pedals. We're here today to talk about the Meris Mercury 7 Reverb pedal. This is definitely a delight. It's a fun pedal to have. I know, Eric, you've had this one for awhile.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, I've had this one. I put this one on my board last year around this time, when I kind of re-did everything. And I've been in love with it ever since. So yeah, it's a lot of fun, gets all the space sounds for you.

Scott Schwertly:
Oh yeah, definitely. A galaxy of sounds abound with this pedal, for sure. I guess some people would say, I guess what I'm learning, most people tend to love this pedal just because of its, sort of the diversity that's provided. But I guess you can also on the opposite end of that, you can say it's kind of an acquired taste if it's not your thing. But if you love that sort of unique reverb, this is definitely the pedal to have.

Well, you're actually the person that introduced me to this pedal. I had no idea about its history, about it being Blade Runner inspired. That's pretty cool. I never thought about a pedal been inspired by a movie like that.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. I didn't realize it until... I had gotten the pedal and I wanted to learn more about it. And I had listened to a [inaudible 00:01:51] of downloads and everybody mentions like blade runner but, honestly, I had never actually seen the movie. But once I went and watched the movie, you can actually understand what they mean by they're pulling their inspiration for it from that.
So it's really cool. It's a really great pedal. It's got a lot of really good sounds in it. Got to kind of dig through it, but it's a good one.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. I know when you first mentioned it to me, I was like, oh, this is so unique. So I actually went and jumped on iTunes and searched the 1982 Blade Runner soundtrack, and even current Blade Runner soundtrack. But I know specifically the 1982 version is what inspired this. And yeah, I can definitely hear the similarities between that and what this pedal is all about. So definitely unique, very cool for sure.

Well, for those of you out there who are not familiar with Meris, it is kind of like a Strymon equivalent, or the company is. And the reason why is obviously one of the founders from Strymon actually created Meris back in 2013.
So a little history about the company. They're based in Los Angeles, California. Comprised, really, of three folks. Primarily, though, two of them being Terry Burton and Angelo... I'm probably going to butcher his last name, Angelo Mazzocco. Terry Burton, as I mentioned, was one of the founders of Strymon, did some time at Line Six. Angelo also worked at Line Six. They became friends there. And when Terry started to get bored and wanted to do something a little bit different in 2013, he reached out to Angelo and the rest is history.

They ended up creating Meris, and created all the wonderful projects and pedals, things that we all love and adore today. And kind of the really interesting fact that I found out, I think you saw this as well, that Terry's wife, Jenna, actually is responsible for most of their artwork and design, which is really cool.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. Didn't she work for... I think I was reading, because I saw that too. I think she was working at General Motors or something like that, or Disney?

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. General Motors, Disney, Dragonframe. Actually back in the day did a little bit of stop motion, Lego stop motion. So for those not familiar, Dragonframe, it's basically software that you can use for stop motion. So yeah, she's got a really impressive just resume and portfolio of great design work. And obviously it translates into what you're seeing with Meris pedals which are all, all look fantastic. So if you love that high end sort of boutique type pedal, not only the way it sounds, the way it looks, Meris definitely fits that entire dynamic.
So with all that said, just again, background information on that. So this pedal that we're going to talk about today, sort of the older version of it, it's predecessor actually goes all the way back to 2013. Which is the 500 series, which was kind of like the pro version.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, yeah. So it was a 500 series unit that you would have to buy, you would have to put in a 500 series rack. And then you got to know how to work all that kind of stuff. So really great that they now put it into a pedal [crosstalk 00:04:59]. But they did that in 2017, right?

Scott Schwertly:
Correct. And then that's now the stereo version and it's the pedal that, yeah, we're going to be talking about today. Which is a fairly complex pedal I guess, in its own right. But it's going to be interesting to see how this episode goes. Because there are so many different options and I think there's like 16 different presets. And yeah, there's a lot to talk about.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, for sure. There's a high cut, low cut control, shimmer, different pitches. You can make it just pitch all the way up. It's a lot of really interesting stuff that I hadn't really seen before [crosstalk 00:05:39].

Scott Schwertly:
... For sure. It's intense. When I was researching it for this episode was I was... Yeah, it's kind of intimidating. There's a lot to learn, for sure. Well, if you're curious about folks that actually are using this pedal right now, some famous names. You've got people like Tyco, Yvette Young from Covet. This one was shocking... I know Eric and I, we were joking about this before this episode started. But Mark Hoppus, apparently, of blink 182 uses it.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. Hey, whatever works.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, right. And then Eric, I know you're obviously big in the worship space. I know you've got a lot of friends and peers and colleagues that have used this pedal quite a bit.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. I was probably the first of my friend group to breakdown and buy it. Just because I really wanted to hear it for myself because I didn't know anybody who owned it. But I know a guy over at, I think it's Hillsong, Nigel Hendroff. He's also a really big session player. But I've seen one floating around in his board. And I know Michael Pope, who's another session player here in town, I've seen one on his board in the past. So lots of guys getting their hands on them, lots of guys using them, seeing what they can do with it.

Scott Schwertly:
Yean, I mean, it definitely fits that environment for sure. So as we mentioned kind of earlier, it definitely competes with Strymon pedals. It's definitely in that same sort of category.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. It's definitely... Yeah, the only thing is I would argue that it's a little more specified. So whereas... Like I owned a Big Sky, and the one thing I really appreciate about this, over like a big sky, is I felt like with the big sky everything sounds good, but everything sounds, it sounds good. With this pedal, it only does a couple things, but it does it so well. It sounds so good. It's one of those things where it's like it only has like two different modes, but what you can do with those is so... There's so much to it to where you don't need the extra stuff because you like how this sounds so much.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, for sure. For those that want to hear more of it beyond the demo that we're going to actually provide for you guys today, Angelo, one of the founders, as we mentioned of Meris actually does there, he's got this video on YouTube that's superb. And he kind of walks you through all the different features and just the sounds and the tones. It's beautiful, it's a great pedal.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah.

Scott Schwertly:
So those are some of the artists that we've talked about. Again, really popular in the worship space. Obviously some other famous musicians are using it. If we had to sort of pinpoint flaws, I think probably the only thing, really, that stands out to me is because it is so complicated. I know, Eric, you mentioned that the manual is probably a bit intense to get through.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, as far as manuals go, it makes sense. It's not like the manual is super confusing. There's just a lot there. And it's one of those pedals where it's like if you buy it, you probably need to read the manual or you're definitely not getting your money out of it. So a really great pedal, but it can be a little bit intimidating if you're not into digging through manuals and figuring out how to do stuff like that. So if you're like a plug and play kind of person, this is not the pedal for you.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. You can't just spend 10 minutes with it and think that you've got it down.

Eric Wilson:
Although even if you do that, it still sounds great. It's just you won't be able to unlock the full potential of what it can do if that's all you're doing with it.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, so let's go and actually talk about the full potential of this pedal, because it can do quite a bit. As we mentioned it, it's got a number of presets. Specifically, it's got 16 internal presets. The great thing about the manual, it has all the diagrams for that stuff so you can kind of work your way through it. But definitely a lot of features. And I know, Eric, since this one resides on your board I'll let you walk everybody through all the different knobs, and really just kind of what you can expect when you turn this thing on.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. So obviously I will not be able to get through all of it. So I highly suggest going and watching that video on YouTube.

So there's two modes on it. There's the Ultraplate and the Cathedral. So the Ultraplate is going to be your kind of like faster build up, complex, still complex for a plate verb. And then your Cathedral is going to be your longer buildup. But then you have six knobs and then as well as you have a swell switch.

So as far as the knobs go, you have your decay knob, which controls your overall decay time. The modulation knob which controls your overall modulation and your signal. You have the mix knob that can go from all the way dry to all the way wet. And then you have high and low controls which how your different high frequencies and low frequencies react to the reverb. And then you have a pitch vector control that can add in either like a shimmer effect, an active down effect. And then it also has... It has a fifth as well. And then it also has a pitch up pitch down setting that's really cool.

But all of these controls are, there's more depth to them. Because then you get into the secondary controls. So you can control... You can get in and go and control the speed of the modulation. Or you can control how much of the pitch ends up in your reverberated signal. Or you can mess with more of the things that have to do with the different high and low frequencies. So overall there's just a lot going on. And then you add in that swell control, which acts as kind of a boss slow gear kind of effect, which is really cool. And you can even control the rate at which that swells in, or how fast or slow that does that.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. I mean, this pedal really has a sort of reputation for being really more than a pedal. It's kind of like an additional musical instrument, based on all the different things that you can do. And again, kind of these galaxies of sounds that come from it.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. I know my friend, he does like movie scores and things like that. And he uses this thing all the time. So he uses it... He'll run stuff out of his computer, through it back in. So it's not just for guitar players. It's also for anybody that really could use this kind of reverb in whatever kind of music they're making.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, for sure. Yeah, definitely a ton of different options here. And if you guys are curious about actually getting one of these, they're not too expensive. In fact, it's obviously, not obviously, but it's actually a little bit more affordable than let's say a Strymon. But something like this will set you back about 299, so not terrible.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah.

Scott Schwertly:
So if you're wanting this kind of sound and you want this on your board, yeah, 300 bucks. Not too bad and obviously a lot less than that if you can find it used on Reverb or somewhere else.

And if you're curious to see what this pedal actually now sounds like we're going to do that for you guys now. Eric, which guitar are you going to go with today?

Eric Wilson:
I'll probably play the Les Paul today.

Scott Schwertly:
Nice, nice, awesome. Well, looking forward to hearing this one. And yeah, we're going to go and plug that in right now. And we'll see you guys on the other side.

Eric Wilson:
That was the Mercury 7 reverb. There's a lot to it, and that's not even half the sounds you can get with it. So I totally recommend just going and finding more recordings, more videos of it, because it's a really great pedal to checkout.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. It's fabulous. I mean, you had me hooked when you said Blade Runner a few weeks ago. So I'm tempted to now get one myself. It sounds so good., I love it.

Well, that's what we wanted to cover for you guys today. That is our introduction to you guys about the Meris Mercury 7 reverb pedal. It's a fantastic one. Go check it out. We love it obviously.

And join us next time. We're going to be talking about a fairly popular one. It's the Electro-Harmonix Soul Food. So if you love the Klon Centaur and everything related to the Klon Centaur, and you love looking for Klon Centaur clones, or equivalents, or pedals that are inspired by the Klon Centaur, this is probably one of the most affordable ones that you can get. I think it's only like 99 bucks. And you can have something kind of in that same vein.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. If you love the Klon and you're broke, this is the episode for you.

Scott Schwertly:
Exactly. So yeah, we're looking forward to covering that one for you guys. And again, if you guys have any recommendations, suggestions, pedals that you guys want us to cover, we always welcome them. We're just continuing to add them into our list and we'll be knocking them off one by one. So we appreciate the love. We appreciate you guys listening and we'll catch you in the next episode.

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