Ring modulators are a type of effect that only the more daring guitarist can tolerate which had a surge in popularity in the middle part of the last decade (the 2010s). The Dr. Scientist Phreak updates that format with some neat new, DSP-powered features.
The most important feature of this pedal, in our opinion, is the Tuning Mode, which tunes the ring mod frequency to the input signal. This is a crucial feature (although not new to this pedal) that allows to have more musical results from an effect that can otherwise sound very dissonant on most notes.
Even though it only features three knobs, the Phreaq can do a lot of different things thanks to its three modes of operation:
The Set mode provides a classic ring modulation experience, allowing manual adjustment of the modulator frequency.
On the other hand, the LFO mode injects dynamic movement into your performance with eight LFO shapes, including sine, saw, stepped, and random, allowing the player to craft ring modulations with unique character and fluctuations.
Alternatively, the Env mode dynamically responds to your input source’s dynamics, adjusting the ring mod frequency in sync with louder or softer signals.
The circuit also features 7 hidden DSP effects for richer sounds, including reverbs and bitcrushers, while a Multi-footswitch allows for special effects like momentary sweeps, freezing envelopes, and LFO tap tempo.