God City Instruments is the brainchild of Kurt Ballou, guitarist of yesteryear’s metalcore band Converge and producer and owner of a studio in Massachusetts under the same GCI namesake. While the GCI Brutalist is not his debut pedal, it proudly stands as the first creation that has undergone over a decade of meticulous craftsmanship.
Designed in collaboration with Electronic AUdio Experiment, the Brutalist is a high-gain distortion accompanied by a boost-only active Baxandall EQ. But the real enchantment lies in the dynamic duo of band-pass and all-pass filters, working hand in hand to conjure up mind-bending distortion textures. Picture everything from colossal, scooped brick walls of fuzz to sultry cocked-wah lofi lead tones, and even near-saw-like bass tones.
Andy has some interesting things to say about it in his video below:
The main distortion is akin to a cranked amp and provides excellent dynamics thanks to its 18v internal headroom from a standard 9V power supply (150mA minimum). The active 2-Band Baxandall EQ is boost only, so flat settings for Bass and Treble are actually counterclockwise but they’ve been fine-tuned to be subtle, so as to agree with both clean and dirty amps. For more extreme voicings, just activate the left footswitch to run the distortion through a Band-Pass filter (B) at the beginning of the circuit and an All-Pass Filter (A) at the output. Band-pass makes it possible to dial in cocked wah or aggressive chainsaw and its wide freq range allows the Brutalist to agree with bassists too!
Finally, the All-pass filter acts somewhat like a parked phaser and you’ll find extreme scooped sounds plus many unexpected synth textures as it interacts with various band-pass settings.
Have a listen to how it sounds in the videos below.