- Published: 23 April 2022 23 April 2022
Hello, Effects Fans!
Today we announce our new Moonquake module. The GT Moonquake compares to the 4ms Tremulus Lune optical tremolo.
The Tremulus Lune appears to be discontinued from 4ms Pedals, although you may still find a new one here or there. 3ms and Commonsound are earlier names for 4ms Pedals, and some early Tremulus Lune builds show those brands. The pedal was also sold in kit form and became popular in the DIY pedal-building community, leading to many other "brands" and versions of the circuit, from builders of all skill levels. Kit builds are sometimes available but may be of widely varying quality. Even the production builds vary in quality, some of which perhaps shouldn't have been released due to build quality issues. We've only seen a few of these pedals, all of which had dodgy construction. The brand new one we purchased for testing is noisy enough to not really be usable, probably from layout and construction issues.
So how did the GT version turn out?
First, tremolo is probably the simplest effect there is. You can do much the same thing by just turning the volume up and down, which is really all tremolo is. Even in the GT world of customizations, this circuit goes well into "tweaker paradise", with 6 controls instead of the normal 1 or 2. That's pushing it for regular use, but convenient for when you're searching for "your tremolo". We like our tremolo simple, so we're a bit at odds with the purpose of this circuit. Many, many players enjoy this tremolo, so our opinion is just one.
Setting aside the amazing array of controls, how is it? Well, to us it is still a noisy circuit. However, there is a Gain control that lets you dial down the gain AND the noise. To get to "quiet" you have to dial the Gain to "barely on", which might get you below unity volume, or pretty close to it. Once you dial back the Gain to unity volume or minimal boost, the circuit becomes much more manageable. We won't attempt to describe the huge variety of tones you can get by adjusting those other 5 knobs to the millions of potential settings. It's hard to imagine that you can't find your tremolo sound in there somewhere. Can you find it twice is maybe the more interesting question.
Most tremolo circuits have only a couple of controls, but the Tremulus Lune has half a dozen, most rarely found on any other tremolo circuit. It's odd to think of that many ways to control volume changes, but they are there. The Tremulus Lune circuit has some popular modifications that are included. The first is that external Gain control, instead of the normal internal trimmer. This makes it easier to adjust for unity volume, or other volume settings for that matter. The Gain gets pretty high and can lead to distortion if you crank it up. Cleaner settings are in the "barely on" range of the Gain control. It is also key to controlling the noise in the circuit. All those controls are a tweaker's paradise, providing options that we haven't seen in other tremolo circuits. It can take a while to find settings you like, but maybe also the wide variety of unusual settings will provide you with some unique effects that you enjoy.
You can see more details about our Moonquake module at: Moonquake. Or look for it in the Tremolo Modules section under Products -> Modules -> Modules By Type.