Pedal Month has now become Pedal Indefinite Period of Time. So continuing on, I give you the 4ms Atoner.

I have had this for a few months now and it still is a bit of a mystery to me. It is, essentially, to fuzz what chorus is to delay (I think at least, it’s hard to say what exactly it is). It contains some kind of fuzz-like crackle/pop distortion (4ms in this video describe it as sucking the bits out of your sound) modulated with an envelope follower and LFO. I have yet to figure out exactly what it is good at, or how I’ll use it in any of my musical output, but I nonetheless seem to spend hours with it whenever I turn it on, entranced as I am by its peculiarity.

The only downside to it I’ve found thus far is that the output is really quiet relative to what goes in. Not a big issue, it just means that I need something afterwards to boost gain. I’ve mostly been using it alongside the Spectacular Aenima, which I’ve found to add a nice chirpy quality to all of the little pops and clicks the Atoner emits.

Here’s what it sounds like:

clip #1
clip #2

The first clip is a cheesy drum synth line from one of the built-in drum bits in the Kaoss Pad 3 run through the Atoner at various settings and followed by the Aenima. The Atoner is responsible for all the changes in texture. I forgot to record the cheesy drum loop dry (or rather couldn’t bear to) but you can make it out fairly clear later on in the clip.

The second clip is a phrase run through the Atoner and followed by the Boss CS-3 sustainer to boost the signal. The first three iterations of the loop are with the Atoner turned off but the compressor turned on. This second clip may be a little on the tedious side, but I wanted to put something up that might give a fair idea of how the Atoner sounds on its own.

Musically it’s an odd little box. I doubt it will ever become central to my setup, simply because its character is a bit elusive. As a noise pedal, it generally falls to the subtle side. But, of all the gear I own, it is the one that best approaches being an art object unto itself. It simply is beautiful, both the custom art and the build quality are really something else. It’s also worth noting it is big, roughly the size of a house brick. Here’s what mine looks like, top and bottom, click on the pictures to see full size:

They also have a rather lovely photo of it up at the 4ms site.

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