The Ultrawave from Source Audio looks unassuming enough, but underneath the hood, there’s a universe of tone. Engineering the Sound tested it out.
Source Audio is a company on a mission: to get players to reimagine a ‘classic’ guitar tone. With the release of the Ultrawave Multiband Distortion Processor, the company has fulfilled its mission and then some.
But, you wouldn’t know it by laying eyes on this humble stompbox. Slim, dark, and definitely not oversized, it would fit in rather anonymously on any pedalboard. This non-plussed exterior, however, conceals a multitude of possibilities.
On the surface of the Ultrawave lie four knobs, Drive, Level, Sustain (Bass – when the alt switch is active) and Treble (Mid – again, alt switch). Stereo ins and outs adorn the pedal’s sides.
Things get a little strange when you spy the central switch. The Circle, Triangle, and Square modes unveil the three central personalities that fuel the Ultrawave. This kind of architecture will be familiar to synth fans and presents a glimpse of its true power.
When you plug the pedal into your computer — via USB with the provided cable — things begin to make a lot more sense. An awe-inspiring array of parameters unfolds, including comprehensive EQ, compression, no less than 44 distortion types, tremolo, multiband processing controls. The list goes on.
Using these tools, you can dial in smooth, clean, and compressed tones, classic envelope filters, subtle boosts, apocalyptic fuzz, underwater stereo vibrato, and so much more.
If you’re the kind of player who likes to rock up, switch on, and tap into an old-school tone straight away, maybe this pedal will be a challenge. But if you love to truly nerd out of sounds in the studio, the Ultrawave has endless potential — providing your imagination can keep up.
To take one for a test drive, head over to Turramurra Music.