Born in full pandemic crisis (June 2020) from a rib of what can be called the equivalent to Frankenstein in pedal form (Rainger FX) Intensive Care Audio is a new London-based company with a name for the ages.
They already have three cool-looking black pedals in their roster bearing names inspired by hospital jargon, and come packaged in medicine bags with prescription-style instructions.
To give you an example, their Death Drive is described this way:
The DEATH DRIVE is an original, all analogue overdrive and distortion pedal for the treatment of Bland Guitar Syndrome and Excessive Aural Dryness. Used regularly it can provide effective relief from these, and other music and instrumentation related conditions.
This “playing doctor” game continues in the naming of the knobs:
DESTRUCTION: Gain. At lower settings it provides natural, tube-like overdrive/distortion full of vintage character; turn it up for a pleasantly compressed and saturated – but still defined – distortion.
DRIVE: 2nd gain, interacts with the Destruction knob to allows fine-tuning the amount of saturation.
MOOD: Pre-gain tone knob. Voiced to provide a useful range of EQ coloring.
You might have gathered that this is no ambition of being the transparent or glassy kind of drive: sludgy and dark, the Intensive Care Audio Death Drive is a high-gain pedal with its own voice that can cover a lot of ground from overdrive to distortion.
Check out how it sounds in the video below.
1. What DEATH DRIVE is, and what is it used for:
The DEATH DRIVE is an original, all analogue overdrive and distortion pedal for the treatment of Bland Guitar Syndrome and Excessive Aural Dryness. Used regularly it can provide effective relief from these, and other music and instrumentation related conditions. All Intensive Care Audio pedals are built in London, England, using high quality components and featuring soft touch, relay based trued bypass.
The DEATH DRIVE features 4 controls, there are therefore a range of available remedies.
EGO: Controls the overall volume of the effect. The DEATH DRIVE is a high output device, suitable for pushing tube amplifiers further into breakup.
DESTRUCTION: Ranging from subtle to extreme, the destruction control dictates the severity of the distortion. At lower settings it provides natural, tube-like distortion full of vintage character. At higher settings the distortion becomes pleasantly compressed and saturated whilst still retaining clarity and individual note definition.
DRIVE: Operates as a secondary gain control. Used in conjunction with the Destruction control it allows you to fine tune the exact saturation of your signal. The two gain controls are interactive and provide a wide range of tonal remedies.
MOOD: Controls the pre-gain tone shaping of the distortion. It has been deliberately voiced to provide useful tone shaping within the full range of the control, meaning there are no useless settings at either extreme.
2. What you need to know before using the DEATH DRIVE:
Do not use:
-If you are allergic to unorthodox sounds
-If you have high levels of normality in your blood
-If you have the habit of accidentally plugging in the wrong power supply (Use only high quality 9v centre negative power supplies)
-If you play with aggressive or temperamental drummers.
How to take the DEATH DRIVE:
The dose needed to treat guitar effect deficiency will depend on how low your levels of guitar effect are. Your doctor will advise you on the length of time to use the DEATH DRIVE.
For adults this is usually 1-2 hours, twice a day. Using pedals after meals is recommended to avoid dizziness.
If you forget to use the DEATH DRIVE, use it as soon as possible and continue to use it as normal.
DO NOT take a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose as this can cause irreversible MIND BENDING (Mindbendinitis)
3. Possible Side Effects:
Like all medicine, this medicine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.
Serious side effects:
-Involuntary time signature changes
-Nausea and or vomiting
-Difficulty passing riffs
-Thinking you are better at your instrument than you actually are
-Looking down your nose at other peoples gear
Supply using only 9v centre negative supply.
Current Draw: 95mA