Posted by
Sep 6, 2017

One of the edgiest “emerging” manufacturers of guitar pedals, Hungry Robot specializes in effects that sound, in two words, droney and ambient-y.

Most spaces used for religious functions (or retreats) tend to transform any sound into a cascade of ghostly reflections, so we are not surprised by the fact that their latest pedal is called The Monastery.

As it turns out though, this name was not chosen because of the way a monastery would sound (it’s not a reverb!), but rather by an instrument you would expect to find in it: a pipe organ.

 The Monastery is inspired by the rich, multi-layered, timbre of vintage organs.

The Monastery is a “Polyphonic Octave Generator that allows for simultaneous octave up and octave down with minimal latency and excellent tracking anywhere on the neck, even with multiple notes.” Each horizontal row of knobs is a channel, with controls for mix (left knob) and ratio between octave up / octave down (right knob).

It also features a dual preset function that lets you switch between presets at the tap of the right footswitch, a feature that can be useful in songs where the transaction to a different part would require new settings.

This is a pretty simple but rather unique pedal, come and try it this upcoming weekend (September 9-10) at the 7th Brooklyn Stompbox Exhibit!

Check out the video by The Living Room Demos below.

Guitar: Fano PX6
Amp: Tone King 20th Anniversary Imperial
Cables: Toaster Cables
Patch cables: Mulder Audio

The Monastery is a Dual Preset, Polyphonic Octave Generator that allows for simultaneous octave up and octave down with minimal latency and excellent tracking anywhere on the neck, even with multiple notes.  The Monastery is inspired by the rich, multi-layered, timbre of vintage organs with its subtle Leslie warble.

The Monastery features highly intuitive controls.  I deviated from the standard three knob “Dry,Up,Down” controls used in many octave pedals and went for a more intelligent crossfade/pan arrangement.  The biggest advantage of this setup is that the volume remains at unity-gain no matter where you set the knobs.  The left knobs are the “Dry/Wet” controls.  They adjust the ratio of wet and dry and can go from 100% wet to 100% dry with an even split at twelve o’clock.  The right knobs are the “+/-” knobs.  They work in a similar matter, but control the ratio of octave up and octave down.

The most compelling aspect of The Monastery is the dual preset function.  You can seamlessly cycle between two presets with the right footswitch.  The top LED denotes which row of controls is active.  If the LED is lit, the top row of knobs is active.  If the LED is unlit, the bottom row is active.