Belt it with big shoegazey chords and lead lines
We had a look at the brand new, updated version of the shoegaze BEAST delay/fuzz unit, the Air 2.0 from Dogman Devices.
Dogman is a pretty fresh company, started in 2019 out of Oxford, Ohio by Lance Giles, and NOW located just up the road in Rushcutters Bay, Sydney, Australia since shifting over here to focus on a law degree. Welcome to Sydney, Lance!
So what we’ve got here is primarily a delay pedal where the fuzz section kicks in on the delay repeats. At first I was a little unsure about how I’d use this thing, but once I started belting it with big shoegazey chords and lead lines it all started making sense for making a rich, lucious wall of sound that usually takes multiple pedals to achieve.
It’s a Princeton Technology Corporation PT2399 chip based design, a revered digital delay chip. It stands out because it’s limited in bandwidth, meaning frequencies get rolled off and your repeats get kinda compressed. Which, after saying that out loud, kinda makes it sound like it’d do something a worn tape delay might do.
Usually these chips are limited to about 340ms maximum delay time, however with some clever filtering you can extend that out, which is exactly what Dogman has done with these units.
Besides now being in a powder coated, UV printed box rather than the hand polished and engraved enclosure, one of the main differences between the Air 2.0 and the original is the addition of a switch to select between short and long delay time. The Air 2.0 now has wrenched a couple of seconds worth of delay out of the chip, and the degradation on the repeats sounds glorious.
As the unit is labelled in pictures, I’ll run through them real quick to decipher the hieroglyphics for ya.
First up, the X is your wet dry balance, the stormcloud is the amount of fuzz on the delay repeats, the hourglass is the delay time, and the circle is the number of repeats/feedback.
As for the switch, the single dot is for short delay, and yep, the three dots is your long delay.
On your footswitches, over here on the left is your fuzz on/off, and the right side is delay.
At first I was kinda confused, if you activate the fuzz side without the delay you’ll get no audible change, but after playing with the pedal for a couple of minutes it all starts to make a lot of sense.
Internally we’ve got a TL072 op amp amplifying your signal, a PT2399 chip looking after our delay circuit, these larger capacitors doing our signal filtering, and I’m guessing our distortion is looked after by these transistors, with some clipping from these diodes.
And without sitting down with a multimeter I’ll hazard a guess there might be a little bit of a push from sending some of the signal back into pin 13 on the PT2399.
And there we have it, the Dogman Devices Air 2.0 Delay/Fuzz unit! At first I found it a little unusual, but after sitting down for a few minutes I found that it’s a great box for creating fantastic soundscapes and massive walls of sound.
Whilst you can keep adding to pulsating, feedbacking layers by using your wet/dry knob to let your clean signal through, The storm knob for fuzz really whips things up to, creating an even bigger crest of audio.
It’s definitely not a ‘traditional’ device, and that’s why it stands out – it’s a cool, weird creative unit for building huge beautiful and grotesque textures. I guess you can also use it as a traditional delay if you really wanna play it dull, and against what it was built for.
In fact, the soundscapes this thing invokes I reckon could easily take the place of multiple pedals in your chain
The Dogman Devices Air 2.0 retails for $225 US, is available directly from Dogman Devices, and powered by a negative tip Boss style 9v adaptor. If you’re keen to learn more, head on over to the Dogman Devices website.