by ian rapp
While Erica Synths Dual FX module is geared towards being part of their larger Drum Series modules, I’ve been loving it so much on everything else, that I had to force myself to try it out on drums sounds, which, naturally, it sounds great on. Developed in collaboration with KODEK and Gary Worsham, it’s not one of those modules that will do a million things, has tons of modulation options, or has infinite sounds, and that’s one of its main attributes. You can throw something in there, and without too much fuss, time, or tweaking, get a great sound and move on.
The Dual FX uses the Spin FV-1 chip and has two channels with 8 effects each: Mono Delay, Stereo Delay, Hi-Pass Delay, Big Reverb, Saturated Reverb, Stalker Reverb, Ripper, and Dual Pitch Shifter. Each channel has 2 parameter knobs, the first of which can be controlled via CV, a dry/wet mix knob, a save button, and an effect select button, as well as stereo outs for each channel. Channel 1 is normalled into channel 2 which makes it super easy to cascade effects, and you can also run each channel separately. You can save one preset per channel, and saving stores every aspect of the effect and is as easy as holding down the SAVE button for a couple of seconds. Recalling the saved preset is done by hitting SAVE quickly. That’s pretty much it. For the most part, once you’ve figured out how to navigate it, there’s not much more to figure out, and the Dual FX is really geared towards, and excels at, being a performance tool. It’s really dead simple to use, and I think the simplicity of the layout and minimal options serves this module well, albeit with a few minor caveats.
Two LEDs towards the bottom of the module [one for each channel] seem to indicate when the input signal is too hot [there’s no mention anywhere identifying what these LEDs do, so I was never 100% sure], and the Spin FV-1 chips that are used in the Dual FX can at times overload, so I found that I needed to attenuate the input sometimes to keep it from distorting.
Sometimes when I look at my rig, which is [I think] moderately sized, I check out how many of the modules in it need memorization, and how much. With so many button combos, unmarked parameters, hard to read labels, deep OLED menus, Easter Eggs, etc., a lot of times, I’m taken out of the groove when my memory isn’t functioning at 100%. There’s a lot to remember to get the most out of certain modules, and with some, step away for a week or so, and you’re toast! With the Dual FX, since each channel has 8 different effects and there’s no menu, you need to either have the included cheat sheet handy, or remember how each effect is labeled. There are three LEDs above the Wet/Dry knob, and depending on how they’re lit up, that’s all you have to go by to tell you which effect is on. I wish there were some way to have that information on the panel itself instead of needing it written down or memorizing it, but the more I used it, the easier my favorite delay and reverbs were to remember. Honestly, memorization isn’t my strong suit, so I just keep the cheat sheet handy, and I’ve actually built out a little nook in my system to store stuff like this for easy access.
As for the sounds, the reverbs are gorgeous, the delays versatile, the dual pitch shifter is gnarly, and it’s SO EASY to use—even if your brain space is maxxxxed out. Dark and mysterious, creepy and angry, simple and elegant; it’s all in there. And while the sounds are the main aspect of why I use it so much, at only 10 HP, having two channels of effects is the reason it hasn’t left my rig since I got it.
I’m really pleased with the Dual FX. I’ve had it for close to a year now, and I use it on almost every patch. If you’re looking for an easy to use, great sounding, space saving effects processor with two channels, then this might be your jam.
10 HP +12V 118mA -12V 61mA