Inspired by the original Shin-Ei Uni-Vibe that came with an expression pedal, the modern Uni-Vibe pedal boasts a much more compact design and incorporates several modern embellishments to further the legacy of the classic unit.
You’ll likely find all kinds of switches and controls on the pedals discussed today as they offer multiple Chorus, Vibrato, Phaser, and even Flanger-like sounds that are fully customizable and ready to transform your guitar tone into something otherworldly.
The consensus is to put your Uni-Vibe pedal before your overdrive/distortion units to get the best out of it. Of course, you can always experiment to see what works best for you.
Univibe Pedals: Top 13 For Unique Feel 2023
1. Keeley Electronics Dark Side
If you’re a Pink Floyd fan, you instantly relate to the name and imagery on the user interface.
Paying tribute to the infamous “Dark Side of the Moon” record released by Pink Floyd in 1973, The Dark Side from Keeley Electronics is an effects processor capable of delivering many effects. As is evident by the detailed control layout, the pedal has everything you need to create Uni-Vibe sounds.
As you sit down to dissect the pedal, you’ll notice how well-endowed the unit is. Divided into different sections, the Dark Side gives you access to multiple effects like Uni-Vibe, tape delay, phaser, fuzz, Rotary, and Flanger.
The top panel is where you’ll find all the connections. Starting from the left, the first thing appearing on the panel is the output jack for connecting to an amp. Next is the input jack for connecting your guitar to the Dark Side unit. The pedal is powered by 9V of power through the power input on the top panel. There’s also an expression pedal input here for controlling various parameters.
Towards the right is the Fuzz section. Full of valuable controls, this section can be activated using the dedicated “Fuzz” footswitch on the right. Starting from the top, the pedal has a “Level” knob to control the volume of the Fuzz effect. Below it is the “Fuzz” knob that acts as an intensity control. Turning the knob to the right will enhance the fuzz effect. Lastly, the “Filter” knob can control the effect’s tone.
The “Mod” footswitch on the left activates the modulation section. The controls found here are intuitive and react according to the selected effect to change the relevant parameters. Above the footswitch is a toggle switch that helps choose between Flanger/Rotary, Delay, and Phase/Uni-Vibe effects. This area has a separate “Level” knob to set the volume of the modulation effect.
- Mod Section: Phase/Univibe
The “Blend” knob is pure magic. Turn it to the extreme left for wavering phase effects and fully right for classic Uni-Vibe mode. Anything in between will blend the two effects at varying ratios. You can also adjust the intensity of both effects through the “Depth” control and the speed of the effect using the “Rate” knob.
- Mod Section: Flanger/Rotary
When the switch is set in the Flanger/Rotary setting, turning the Blend knob clockwise will deliver rotary sounds. Turning it the other way will create impressive flanging tones. Here too, you can use the Depth knob to enhance the effects and the Rate knob to set the timing of the Rotary or Flanger.
- Mod Section: Tape Delay
In the central position, the switch activates Tape Delay. Configured as a standalone effect, the Blend knob helps select various tape head combinations. The first four dots around the circumference of the Blend control depict each of the 4 available tape heads. The following five dots will help select two tape heads at once. Next, the 10th and 11th position is for selecting heads 1, 2, 3 and heads 2, 3, and 4, respectively.
The Dark Side is a wonderful multi-effects unit that offers a truckload of easily selectable and adjustable effects. You can create profound flanging effects, exciting rotary modulations, oscillating phases, infinitely repetitive delays, and the classic Uni-Vibe effect you love and crave.
If you already have separate pedals for flanger, delay, and rotary on your board, you may not want to spend a hefty sum just to access the illusive Uni-Vibe effect. However, considering what all the Dark Side can do, you could just keep it as a primary effects processor and remove the others to make room for it on your rig.
2. Tc Electronic Viscous Vibe
Surely this little emerald box of joy will make it onto your pedalboard sooner or later.
The Viscous Vibe is a durable pedal with many fun features that may not be evident just by looking at its modest control layout. Delivering a pedal during an age where modern technology keeps reinventing itself by leaps and bounds, Tc Electronic has truly created a masterpiece.
Bringing a new meaning to the word “customization,” this Vibe pedal can be tailored to cater to the needs of the modern musician. A feature associated with more comprehensive effects processors, you can connect this unit to an application and implement all sorts of crazy things.
- Intensity & Volume
The two smaller knobs represent “Intensity” and “Volume.” The purpose of both knobs is similar. With the Intensity control, you can enhance the modulation effect to make it more saturated or cut back on it to deliver a more subtle effect. Finally, the third knob controls the effect level to make up for any loss of volume when the modulation effect is activated.
- Volume and Type Switch
The largest knob on the pedal controls the “Speed” parameter. As various sound wave patterns have peaks and troughs, the Speed knob varies the distances or time between these peaks. Right next to this is the toggle switch that selects the effect type. The upper position activates the chorus. Once selected, you can set a light chorus effect to thicken the tone of your chords and solos or crank up the Intensity and Speed parameters to create profound phaser effects.
Like most TC Electronic pedals, the Viscous Vibe is Toneprint enabled. The company has always considered ways to provide innovative solutions to satisfy your guitar-playing needs. In essence, the folks at Tc Electronic like to forward their effects pedals to various artists and mainstream musicians to see how they prefer to operate these units. The preferred settings of guitar Gods like Vai, Paul Gilbert, and John Petrucci are then made available as “Tonesprints” for you and me to download and implement.
Another thing the Toneprint app can do is provide complete control over the controls on the user interface. This means that you can not only change what each knob does but also specify how narrow or wide the parameter range can be. This way, you can truly make the Viscous Vibe your own.
A 9V battery can power the Viscous Vibe, but you must remove the backplate to insert it. If you have a 9V power supply, you can plug it in through the power input on the top panel. You’ll also find a USB port that can be connected to a computer to update the firmware. The pedal also offers quarter-inch stereo inputs and outputs on either side. The single footswitch turns the pedal on/off.
In this day and age, it’s great to have an app that lets you fully customize your Viscous Vibe pedal and download artist-endorsed patches directly onto the unit for free. In addition, stereo outputs are great for such effects as they enable you to simultaneously send the output signal to multiple amps.
Something odd about this pedal is that it takes about a second to turn off. This ok when jamming in a studio, but in a live performance, you’ll need to time yourself accordingly. Another suggestion for the next iteration would be to distance the type switch from the Speed knob to ensure that it isn’t moved inadvertently when switching from Chorus to Vibrato.
3. MXR M68 Uni-Vibe Chorus/Vibrato
With two pedals squished together into one, the M68 will have you Uni-Vibing in no time.
Covered in all black with contrasting white branding and fonts, this offering from MXR measures 2.5 inches by 4.5 inches by 5.5 inches. The defining characteristic of the M68 is its simplicity and ease of use, thanks to its user-friendly layout.
With all the wide array of sounds this chorus/vibrato pedal dishes out, you’ll be able to recreate classic vibes from the era when Hendrix was bending the laws of music on a daily basis. You’ll surely get a kick out of the tones you can get from this versatile unit.
- Layout & Level
There’s nothing to it. The pedal has three large control knobs for “Level,” “Speed and “Depth.” As Uni-Vibe pedals are notorious for loss in volume when you dial them in your effects chain, a separate volume control is great to have at your disposal to compensate for this loss.
- Vibe Button
The tiny button beside the Level control toggles the pedal into different modes. In the default setting, you’ll hear a Chorus effect duplicating the original signal, adding slight pitch and time shifts, and merging into the dry signal to introduce thickness to the overall sound.
- Speed & Depth
Immense customization can be done through the “Speed” and “Depth” sections. Depending on which mode is selected, the Speed controls the rate of the modulation. Similarly, the Depth knob is about intensifying the chorus or vibrato effect. If you want to turn the effect off, turn the knob clockwise. To the other extreme is where you’ll hear the most profound modulation.
This pedal is quite basic and very easy to operate. Simply plug in a 9V power supply or pop in a 9V battery through the base plate and press the single footswitch to activate the unit. Your instrument cable goes into the quarter-inch input on the right panel. You can connect to the next pedal in the chain through the output using a patch cable or link directly to an amplifier.
Like most pedals from the MXR range, the M86 is solidly built and creatively engineered. The circuitry hidden inside can dial in rich chorus effects and wavering vibrato sounds to add multiple tonal options to your guitar setup. The pedal works well with clean tones and sounds exceptionally great with some distortion thrown in.
The Vibe button on the M86 is a bit oddly placed. It’s easy to disturb the Level or Speed knobs by mistake when trying to press the button in a hurry. In addition, while MXR has done a decent job with their Uni-Vibe pedal, it still falls slightly short compared to the classic Uni-Vibe used by Hendrix and other greats like Pink Floyd.
4. Jam Pedals Retro Vibe
Jam Pedals have some of the most beautiful-looking pedals on the market.
However, when it comes to pedals, there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye. An effects unit must do what it claims and do it well. The Retro Vibe is full of surprises, as you’ll find lots of goodies concealed by its colorful exterior.
Striving to deliver the classic Uni-Vibe sound, the Retro Vibe uses NOS 2SC828 transistors for amplification. It also combines photocells, resistors, and a bulb to accurately depict vintage tones. Endorsed by big names like Andy Timmons, Ruban Nielson, and Julien Kasper, this baby will rock your pedalboard hard.
- The Switch
The pedal boasts a simple two-knob interface with a toggle switch in the middle. The “C” and “V” flanking the switch stand for Chorus and Vibrato. This gives you several tonal options, including aggressive vibrato effects and doubled-up choruses that fatten your tone. You can even get the Retro Vibe to sound like a rotary speaker.
- The Controls
Apart from the switch that selects the different modes this pedal has to offer, you’ll find a couple of knobs for further tweaking your tone, depending on which option you choose. The knob marked “D” can help enhance the modulation effect or make it more subdued. The second knob labeled “S” controls the speed of both effects. This control lets you increase or decrease the time between the different peaks of vibrato. You can even create phaser-like sounds by tweaking the two available knobs.
- The Connections
The pedal can be powered through the 9V power input found on the right panel. The panel also has a quarter-inch input where your guitar connects. The output jack to the left will transfer your output signal to the next pedal in the chain or to an amplifier. Finally, the input section also has a very handy expression pedal input. Connect an external unit to gain expressive control of the speed parameter.
- Fun Facts
The pedal uses true bypass technology, so you won’t hear any change in your sound when the unit is off. The Retro Vibe has a power consumption of 80 mA and measures 4.7 inches by 3.7 inches by 1.3 inches. If you’re in the market for a Uni-Vibe pedal but can’t decide, just head over to the Retro Vibe’s webpage and interact with the TonePedia section to play with several variables to hear how the pedal sounds.
Delivering exciting chorus, phaser, and vibrato sounds, the Retro Vibe will undoubtedly be a regular feature on your pedalboard. Now you can experience a modern take on the Uni-Vibe sounds from the late 60s in a pedal that looks amazing and is exceptionally easy to use. You can also customize the artwork on the Retro Vibe to make it your own.
While an expression pedal combined with such effects adds a new dimension to your playing, the Retro Vibe only allows you to control the speed parameter. At this price point, it would’ve been nice to have another expression input or maybe an app to choose which parameter to control through an external unit.
5. JHS Pedals Unicorn V2 Uni-Vibe
Compared to the original Unicorn from JHS pedals, the Unicorn V2 keeps things nice and compact.
Measuring 1.6 inches by 2.6 inches by 4.8 inches, the pedal brings back the same adjustable parameters in a more pedalboard-friendly size. This modest-looking unit has something unique inside its metallic exterior, thanks to the ingenuity of the think tanks at JHS.
The Unicorn offers analog sound and employs bulb-driven, photocell modulation technology making it the first of its kind to do so. The dual footswitch design means that you can set the tap tempo with the switch on the right and activate or bypass the unit with the other.
This beautiful sky-blue pedal with the unicorn logo on it features four knobs. On the top left is the knob that controls the “Volume” of the pedal. The volume can be increased by rotating the knob to the right. You may notice that the signal starts to clip when the knob is turned to the far right. However, this is deliberate, so there’s no need to be alarmed. This is a characteristic found on most pedals designed for the Uni-Vibe effect.
- Depth & Speed
The “Depth” and “Speed” controls are essential in dialing in the required characteristics of the Uni-Vibe effect. When controlling the effect’s intensity, the Depth knob comes into play. The next thing to adjust is the modulation Speed or rate. If the tempo has already been set using the tap tempo feature, the tempo value dialed using the Speed control will be given precedence.
Contrary to what you might think, the “Ratio” control doesn’t blend the wet/dry signal. This knob works closely with the set tempo. In essence, you don’t need to go crazy trying to tap the tap tempo footswitch at lightning speed for fasters song passages. Simply turn the Ratio knob to set quarter, dotted 8th, 8th, or triplet notes.
- Dry/Wet Toggle
While most pedals have a “Blend” or “Mix” knob for this purpose, the Unicorn V2 keeps things straightforward by providing a switch to toggle between the two settings. If you want access to the vibrato effect, pick the “Wet” setting. Similarly, if you want a flavor of some Classic Uni-vibe goodness, the “Dry” setting will get you there asap.
The top panel has single quarter-inch jacks for the instrument input and amp output. The pedal’s right has a handy expression input. When an external unit is connected, you can assign the Speed parameter to it for some exciting applications. The same expression jack can also be programmed to accommodate an external footswitch for setting the tempo.
With a new take on UNI-Vibe sounds, delightful vibratos, and aggressive phase shifts, the Unicorn V2 takes its work seriously and delivers an interface that makes everything effortless. The helpful Ratio knob will set the tempo according to subtle subdivisions if the tap tempo doesn’t get you where you need to be.
The Unicorn V2 does seem to struggle with a few things. Firstly, using it with high-output pedals or humbuckers will create clipping issues. Of course, you could turn down your guitar and increase the pedal volume to work around this problem. Also, the internal switch (although it may not be used frequently) is cumbersome to get to.
6. Electro-Harmonix Good Vibes
Here’s another pedal that takes inspiration from the vintage Uni-Vibe units from the golden era of music.
The Good Vibes pedal has a lot of good stuff hidden under its rugged black exterior. The pedal dishes out phenomenal analog goodness for warm chorus and vibrato tones. Another great feature is the immense headroom you’ll experience thanks to the boosted power rails inside.
Throw in some photocells like the original Uni-Vibes once had, and you’ve got yourself the perfect blend between vintage tonal characteristics and modern ingenuity. The clever usage of knobs and switches keeps things some yet detailed so you can tweak the sound to your heart’s content.
- Volume Knob
The top row has three knobs. Starting from the left, the self-explanatory “Volume” knob controls the overall output volume. Turning the volume control to the right will increase the level, even adding a slight gain to your signal, which seems like a standard feature on most Vibe pedals.
- Effect Switch
Below the Volume control is a switch that helps select two modes, Chorus and Vibrato. The Good Vibes can be an excellent choice if you’re into thick, profound chorus sounds that complement your guitar work. Not only that, but you also get a vibrato setting for delicate to erratic vibrato manifestations.
- Intensity & Speed
The following two knobs on the Good Vibes pedal are related to tone shaping. Depending on the chosen mode, you can set how subdued or enhanced the chorus/vibrato effect is. Also, you can easily vary the rate of both effects using the Speed control. When this knob is turned fully clockwise, you’ll experience the most emphatic variations.
- Expression Pedal
Towards the right side of the unit, the expression pedal input can be found. The folks at Electro-Harmonix have done things right, as, with a flick of a switch, you can choose which parameter to assign to be controlled by an external unit. The options here include Speed and Intensity. The toe-down position is where both these parameters will max out.
- Other Facts
The standard quarter-inch input and output can be found on either side of the unit. In addition, the Good Vibes comes with a DV 9V power supply and cannot be powered through batteries. The power consumption of this Univ-Vibe pedal comes down to 45 mA. Considering what this pedal from Electro-Harmonix is capable of compared to others on the list, the price is very affordable.
The Good Vibe is easy to control and is loaded with fun features. You can instantly throw in some chorus or vibrato sounds into the mix by flipping a switch. All the essential Intensity, Speed, and Volume controls are at your fingertips to adjust both modes. Furthermore, you can assign more than one parameter to the expression pedal.
The masterminds behind this pedal have done several things right in the implementation of this pedal. At this price point, few could complain about its functionality. Two small things could be added, including a blend control to control the wet/fry ratio and battery operation.
7. EarthQuaker Devices The Depths V2
As the name suggests, this pedal will let you dive deep into the vintage Uni-Vibe feel.
The Depths V2 is a highly adaptive pedal that gets along with several electric instruments. If your guitar has single coil pickups, humbuckers, or active pickups, the V2 is well-equipped to manage the situation efficiently.
You can play clean tones or add an overdriven or distorted signal. Whatever you fancy, the Depths V2 will make it happen. You can dial in tons of cool sounds with all the available controls. Feel free to visit the product webpage to come across several suggestions, including “Classic Vibe,” “Dripping Wax,” “Rotating Speakers,” and “Smoke Filled Room.”
Adorned with a fascinating image of an octopus right in the center of the interface, the pedal offers five knobs to control various aspects of your Uni-Vibe sound. The “Level” knob is all about controlling the volume. The knob acts as a regular volume control up until the 1 o’clock position. Beyond this setting, the control will boost your signal.
Above the Volume is the self-explanatory “Intensity” control. Simply use this knob to dial in how intense or gentle you want the effect. Anything from the far left to the centered position will be reminiscent of the classic Uni-Vibe effect, which is gentle and articulate. However, as you move past the 12 o’clock position, the effect becomes more enhanced.
- Voice & Rate
The “Voice” knob is more like an equalizer control that helps choose the tone of your sound. When turned to the right, you’ll observe a fuller sound with a pronounced lower end. Conversely, as you dial back, you’ll end up thinning the sound bringing the focus more on the mid-range frequencies. It all comes down to your preference and what the situation demands.
Finally, the “Throb” knob does something unique. This is where your pickup selection comes into play. Use the control to dial in pulsating Uni-Vibe sounds. The best way is to switch to the neck pickup and dial in some distortion. Furthermore, adding some lower-end warmth through the Voice knob will make the overall sound even more interesting.
- Dimensions & Connectivity
The Depth’s V2 measures 2.25 inches by 2.5 inches by 4.62 inches and requires 21 mA of power. All the connection jacks can be found on the pedal’s top panel. The panel hosts a quarter-inch input, a 9V power input, and a quarter-inch output jack for connecting an amp or an external effects unit.
The pedal is compact and seems economical for what it can do. The Voice control isn’t a standard feature on most Uni-Vibe pedals. In addition, the Throb knob can be handy to enhance the sonic characteristics when working with different pickup selections and distortion.
The decision-makers at EarthQuaker Devices missed the trick by not offering an expression pedal input. With all the V2 is capable of, having the option to control various parameters through an expression input would’ve been great. Also, sadly the unit cannot be powered by a 9V battery.
8. Dunlop Rotovibe Chorus/Vibrato JD4S
Here’s a Uni-Vibe pedal that looks very different from the others reviewed so far.
Instead of fishing for Uni-Vibe pedals that offer an expression input to help control your sound during different musical sections, why not get a specialist expression pedal capable of the classic Vibe sounds of the 60s?
Built like a tank, the Rotovibe from Dunlop has a bright red metallic base on which rocks a solid treadle lined with a rubber grip for your foot to rest firmly. The pedal also has rubber feet underneath, so it stays stationary when you rock it back and forth.
- Chorus & Vibrato
The Rotovibe is very easy to use and offers two different effects that can be controlled with the treadle. On the right is a button that can be toggled to switch between Chorus and Vibrato settings. The knob is adequately sized and can be easily pressed with your foot. Made famous by Jimi Hendrix, the Rotovide is impressive in its sonic delivery and dishes out classic shimmer sounds and rotary speaker effects.
Once you’ve decided on the flavor of the sound you want to experience, you can use the large knob on the right panel to vary the “Intensity” of the chosen effect. Again, the large size helps as you can, more often than not, accurately rotate it with the base of your shoe when performing standing up. Moving this knob in a clockwise direction will intensify the effect.
- Footswitch & Connections
In addition, the treadle offers a broad sweep and activates the unit when the toe end is pressed down until the footswitch clicks. The “Rate” or speed of the effect is controlled via the treadle. In the heel-down position, the rate value decreases. Press down the toe-end to make the rate go crazy fast. The right panel has a quarter-inch input for your guitar.
Having a pedal like this on your pedalboard can be a lot of fun. The Retrovibe handles the jobs of two separate pedals and provides a wide sweep range to express yourself as you like. The pedal can recreate anything from Hendrix-inspired phase shifts and rotary vibes to the iconic sounds from classic Pink Floyd songs.
As a full-fledged expression pedal capable of delivering vintage Uni-Vibe tones, there’s much wrong with this unit. The available knob and button controls do a decent job. Perhaps if there were an option to assign other parameters to the treadle, that would spice things up even further.
9. Jam Pedals Ripply Fall
Another beautifully crafted pedal from Jam Pedals, the Ripply Fall, is fascinating in its functionality.
If you’re familiar with the company’s product line and have followed its journey, you’ll quickly realize why this pedal is named the Ripply Fall. Very detailed in its layout, this unit brings together two of Jam Pedal’s highly acclaimed WaterFall and Ripple pedals.
The WaterFall unit combines vibrato and chorus effects to deliver lush sounds that add a new dimension to your playing style and tone. Conversely, the Ripple provides whacky phase shifts and rotary speaker-like sounds to create astoundingly unique soundscapes.
- Speed Control
As seen on most pedals from the brand, the knob controls are labeled with single letters. There are two different colored knobs labeled “S,” both of which alter the Speed of the effect. But why need two of them? Well, the blue knob on the left changes the speed of the phaser effect, while the red one alters the rate/speed of the vibrato/chorus circuit.
- Depth & C/V Switch
The knob to the far right labeled “D” controls the depth of the two WaterFall effects. But how to decide which effect’s depth is adjusted? The answer to that is simple. The switch in the WaterFall section can be flipped to select either Chorus (C) or Vibrato (V) effects. So, the Speed and Depth controls will change depending on the pedal’s mode.
- +/- Switch & Internal Trim Pot
In addition, there’s another switch in this section labeled “+/-.” In the absence of the Intensity knob, this switch will control how subdued or intense the selected effect is. Also hidden inside the colorful exterior is a tiny trim pot that can be used to set the maximum speed of the WaterFall section.
The Ripply Fall pedal has three footswitches as the layout is divided into two sections. The left footswitch activates the Ripple effect and the right switches on the WaterFall section. The central footswitch is unique. Once you’ve set the maximum speed from the internal trim pot, pressing the multiplier switch drastically enhances the WaterFall section’s speed.
On the right side is the input jack to plug in a guitar or bass. The left has an output that goes into the subsequent effect or an amp. The Ripply Fall has two more inputs that are very exciting. Both these allow connection with an external expression unit. Through the right expression input, the Depth of the WaterFall circuit is controlled.
The pedal is a bit bulky, measuring around 5 inches by 4 inches by 2 inches and having three footswitches. The power consumption comes to 26 mA, and the internal circuit has true bypass, so your tone won’t be affected when the unit is off.
The Rippy Fall is essentially an effects processor of sorts. It combines chorus, vibrato, and phaser effects, all in a convenient unit that offers multiple buttons and switches to create mesmerizing sonic outcomes. The dual expression inputs make things even more exciting and customizable.
The pedal adds a lot of versatility to your repertoire and brings a lot of tonal options to your pedal board. That is if you’re not working with high-output humbuckers. If you are, you may face some noise, especially in the lower register. Furthermore, it’s powered by a 9V power supply but cannot be run on batteries.
10. Walrus Audio MAKO Series: M1 High-Fidelity Modulation
The Mako Series from Walrus Audio comes with all the bells and whistles.
The pedal range includes the ACS1 Amp/Cabinet Simulator, the R1 Hi-Fi Stereo Reverb, the D1 Hi-Fi Delay, and the M1 Hi-Fi Modulation, which are incredibly detailed and still remarkably compact. Apart from the ACS1 unit, all others feature a program knob that offers a wide array of choices.
The intelligent controls on board adjust automatically depending on the selected program, and the multiple switches on the interfaces offer further fine-tuning and adjustments for each program. No wonder the MAKO series is immensely popular and passes all tests with flying colors.
- Rate & Depth
Starting from the top row, the low-frequency oscillator’s speed is set using the “Rate” knob. Turning the knob to the right increase the modulation speed drastically. The “Depth” controls the modulation intensity by adjusting the low-frequency oscillator’s amplitude.
- Tweak Section
The “Tweak” section comprises a three-way selector switch and a knob. Whichever parameter is selected through the switch, the Tweak knob will let you further manipulate it. These parameters include “Shape,” “Division,” and “Type.” You can access several waveforms through the Shape setting, including square, sine, and triangle. The quarter, quarter note triplet, and eighth note subdivisions can be set using the Divisions setting. Finally, when the switch is set to the Type setting, you can access three variations of each selectable program.
- Tune Section
The “Tune” section is configured similarly. Here too, you’ll see a Tune knob that controls one of three modulation options that can be selected using the Tune switch. These include “Tone,” “Symmetry,” and “X.” The Tone setting allows you to modify the dullness or brightness of your sound. The Symmetry setting works hand in hand with the Tweak section. Whatever waveform is selected using the Tweak switch, the Symmetry knob will alter its shape.
The “Lo-Fi” knob has vast applications. There are six Lo-Fi options that can be dialed in or removed by pressing the left “Bypass” footswitch and rotating this knob. These include “Env,” “Drive,” “Space,” “Age,” “Noise,” and “Warble.” The Env is a dynamic parameter that manifests the current Tone setting (brightness/dullness) according to the playing intensity. Drive adds warm analog overdrive to your sound.
The central knob is where the M1 earns its stripes. There are six selectable programs here that include: Chorus, Phaser, Tremolo, Vibrato, Rotary, and Filter. What’s even great is that you get three variations of each program by setting the tweak switch to Type and using the footswitch to cycle through.
- Modes: Chorus
The first program is “Chorus.” The types on offer here are “Traditional Chorus,” “Series Chorus,” and “Tri-Chorus.” You can dial in lush, smooth chorus sounds, dual choruses, and even three choruses running in parallel for oddly satisfying layered sounds. Use the X factor to manipulate the tuning and add pitch shifts.
- Modes: Phaser
The “Phaser” program is based on phase sounds from the 70s. Choices can be made between the “2-Stage,” “4-Stage,” and “Uni-Vibe” settings there. Here the X setting will manipulate the feedback, or the intensity of the phase added back to the input signal. You can create subtle to more profound phaser sounds here.
- Modes: Tremolo
The third setting around the dial is “Tremolo.” The options here include “Traditional Tremolo,” “Harmonic Tremolo,” and “Pattern Tremolo.” Harmonic Tremolo has great warmth, while Pattern Tremolo” is about blending several tremolo patterns for a sequenced, pulsating effect.
- Modes: Vibrato
Next is the “Vibrato” section. You’ll witness three variations here, too, including “Traditional Vibrato,” “Vinyl Vibrato,” and “Tape Vibrato.” When using the Tape Vibrato setting, you can vary the waveform shapes for all three settings and use the X factor to modify the left/right phase wow and flutter.
- Modes: Rotary
The “Rotary” program includes a “Traditional Rotary” setting, “Horn Only,” and “Drum Only.” The first setting emulates the liquid sounds of a traditional Leslie speaker. As evident by their name, the other two settings rotate only the Horn or the Drum. A wealth of parameters can be adjusted in this mode, including cab simulation, depth, rate, symmetry, space, and tap/skip.
- Modes: Filter
The “Filter” program offers “Lowpass,” “Highpass,” and “Bandpass” filtering options. With the first two settings, you can adjust the modulation of the lower frequencies. The thirst type varies the frequencies randomly for filtering. The controllable parameters are filter resonance, setting the center frequencies, and enveloping.
- Presets & Connections
Finally, the switch under the program knob labeled “A|B|C” lets you save up to three presets. Moving on to the connections, the right panel has stereo inputs. On the left are the 9V power port, stereo outputs, and a USB port for firmware updates. In addition, the top panel also has “Midi in” and “Thru” jacks.
Perhaps one of the most comprehensive pedals on the list, the M1 hardly puts a foot wrong. With 6 different programs, multiple program variations, tons of parametric adjustments, and 3 savable presets, the possibilities are truly endless. The pedal will also sufficiently take care of your input/output needs.
Granted that many features are hidden under the hood, the price indeed reflects that. You can weigh in on the options and see if the M1 is right for you. Also, if you don’t have enough patience for such a detailed pedal, there are more straightforward Uni-Vibe pedals on the list.
11. Fulltone Mini-Deja’Vibe
The Deja Vibe pedal from Fulltone looks plain and simple but has many features.
The company claims to have employed many components found on the original classic Uni-Vibe pedals from the late 60s and early 70s to accurately recreate the sought-after effect. Indeed digging deeper into that subject will unveil some exciting revelations.
Suppose your curiosity gets the better of you, and you screw open the metallic chassis. In that case, you’ll likely find 2SC828 transistors manufactured by Panasonic, photo-resistors, and even a tiny light bulb that takes voltage to create various sonic characteristics. You can also adjust the voltage directed to it by adjusting the internal trim pot.
- Vibrato & Chorus
There are two switches in the upper row of controls. The effect type can be selected using the “Vibrato/Chorus” switch. The Chorus effect is designed to emulate Hendrix-like sounds that combined phaser and chorus, as heard on the famous “Machine Gun” track. The Vibrato effect is all about incorporating pitch-shifting vibrations into your sound without adding any phase.
- Volume & Intensity
You get access to several variables for whichever mode is selected using the toggle switch. Set the “Volume” of your Chorus or Vibrato using the aptly named knob. The straightforward “Intensity” knob will make the chosen effect more pronounced or mellow, depending on the requirement.
The oddly placed “Speed” knob sits right at the edge of the pedal where a second footswitch would be. Because of its large size, you can adjust it with your foot when playing standing up. The nearby LED will blink according to the set speed.
- Modern & Vintage
The “Modern” vs. “Vintage” switch affects the tone of the effect. In the Modern setting, you’ll witness a much brighter, open-sounding effect. However, flip the switch to relive classic Uni-Vibe analog tones that provide the utmost warmth. This setting works well with clean tones or slight dirt. With full-on distortion, the Modern setting is the way to go.
- Power & Connections
A 9V power supply powers the pedal. Unlike most units, the propriety power supply is included in the package. Other connections on the Deja-Vibe include a quarter-inch input for your guitar and an output jack to connect to the next effects unit or an amp. The single footswitch to the left powers the unit on and off.
With the available controls, you can dial in four variations: Vibrato, Chorus, Vintage, and Modern. For all these, you get a volume control for level adjustment and a knob to adjust the intensity. Fulltone has meticulously selected circuit components that precisely replicate the classic Uni-Vibe sound.
With any Uni-Vibe pedal, it is a crime not to offer an expression pedal input, as you can get so much more out of the unit that way. Some pedals allow you to assign multiple parameters to an external unit. However, the Deja Vibe allows none. Also, some will notice that the unit lacks mid-range representation.
12. Eventide TriceraChorus
Meet the TriceraChorus pedal that gives you three Chorus effects in a single box.
Recreating the chorus tones resounding through the 1980s, you get all sorts of thick, deep, lush-sounding modulation effects thanks to the cleverly designed circuit board inside this emerald-colored box of fun. And once you find the sound you like, you can easily save the settings as a preset.
Hence the name “TriceraChorus.” So as you can see, you get a detailed user interface with six adjustable parameters. But on closer inspection, you’ll see how each knob has dual labeling underneath. Pressing the soft button in the top row activates alternate functionality.
- Mix/Mix Env
First and foremost is the “Mix” knob. This is where you can dial in the three-chorus voicings. The range for the traditional Chorus effect is from the far left to the central position. When the knob is centered, you get 100% Vibrato. As you move clockwise beyond the central position, the Chorale range begins.
- Rate/Rate Env
The modulation time can be set using the “Rate” knob. A range of 0.1 to 20Hz is available here. The Rate can also be controlled through an external footswitch or Midi device. In its secondary setting, the Rate knob controls the Rate Envelop, which helps set the envelope level sent to the low-frequency oscillator.
- Detune/Pitch & Left/Center/Right Knobs
The last knob on the top row controls the stereo “Detune” effect’s mix with the dry signal. As the knob is moved clockwise, you’ll hear more of the Detune sound in comparison. The second function lets you change the pitch of the left and right channels by +/-40 cents. However, the center channel remains unaffected.
All three of these knobs control the Depth of the modulation for each of the Left, Center, and Right channels. In their alternate functionality, however, they act much differently. The knob marked “Left” controls the “Delay” time. The maximum value that can be set is 200 milliseconds.
The left footswitch can be set to latching or momentary. This means you can either activate and deactivate the effect each time you press the switch or have the selected effect activated for as long as the footswitch remains pressed. The other switch can scroll through the various presets or add a “Swirl” effect, creating phaser/flanger-like modulation.
- Inputs/Outputs & Other Stuff
The back panel is full of multiple options. The quarter-inch input jack can choose between mono and stereo settings. Next are the stereo outputs and an input for the expression pedal. The TriceraChorus takes in guitar and line input which can be toggled by another switch.
Three different Chorus effects, a trifecta of different voicings, and plenty of options to create every variation of Chorus you’ve ever heard. What’s not to like about this one? The expression input gives you even more options for assigning parameters, and the momentary/latch features are both very usable.
Will all options you get with this one, there will always be a few users out there who would prefer a more simplistic device with a more direct approach. Also, the interface templates you get with the TriceraChorus may not be a great value addition if you prefer experimenting independently to find your way.
13. DryBell Vibe Machine V-2
The Vibe Machine will let you create lush-sounding smooth Choruses and warbling Vibratos.
Also, the basic-looking interface will have you creating mesmeric soundscapes in no time. However, as you read on, you’ll notice how things are not as simple as they seem. There are tons of other unobvious features the internal circuit can handle that cannot be seen in plain sight.
The hefty price tag may initially dissuade you, but as you start exploring the options, you’ll slowly realize that the Vibe Machine brings forth great value for money. The pedal will surely find its way on your pedal board as it is built to last and delivers impressive Vibe tones.
- Type Switch
Before you start using the Vibe Machine, it’s best to get familiar with the two available switches. Firstly, the pedal has a dedicated switch to toggle between the “Chorus” and “Vibrato” settings. Once the effect type is selected, the available knob controls can be expected to control various aspects accordingly.
- Tone Switch
Next to the effect type switch is the tone switch. The options toggled through this switch include “Original,” “Bright,” or “Custom.” The switch can be set to the original setting to match the warmth of classic Uni-Vibe pedals. If you prefer a more treble-enhanced sound, the Bright setting should be activated. Finally, the Custom setting opens doors to some customization. The Custom trim pot on the side panel can alter the brightness range.
The top row of controls includes the “Intensity” knob. Once the Chorus/Vibrato effect is set, the Intensity control can set how drastic or mild the effect will be. However, one thing to note here is that the intensity range for both effects is different, so you’ll need to find the sweet spot to get things right. As the intensity knob moves past the noon position, things get more intense.
The “Speed” knob is like a rate control and changes the speed of the Chorus and Vibrato effect. You can create rotary speed ramps by connecting an expression pedal to the Vibe Machine pedal. You’ll experience gradual oscillation that will match the movement of the external expression pedal.
- Trim Pots & Connections
The side panels on the pedal are loaded with various trim pots that provide further adjustment options. Flipping the pedal over reveals the base plate, which shows all the parameters you can fine-tune. We have already covered the functionality of the Custom trim pot. The other variables include “Volume,” “Grit,” “Chorus,” “Range,” and “Sym.” The base also has brief descriptions of what each trim pot does.
The pedal has a standard quarter-inch input on the right. Next to this is another quarter-inch input designed for expression pedal connectivity. With this option, you can let your creativity run wild by throwing speed ramps into the mix. The left panel has a standard output jack for connecting an amp or the next pedal in the chain.
Dubbed the “Smallest Vibe Machine there is” by the good people at Drybell, this pedal is fascinating in its tonal prowess. Not only do you get adequate controls that can be foot-controlled, but you also find several trim pots on the sides to dive deep into more intricate adjustments. In addition, the pedal has an expression input which is great.
The pedal seems to cover all the bases well. You’ll get a plethora of options and a lot of controls at your disposal. The only downside to it is the price tag. You may find other Uni-Vibe pedals with similar features for a lot less.
Jam Pedals Harmonius Monk
Here’s the product of the collaboration between Jam Pedals and Dan and Mick from “That Pedal Show.”
You’ll find half of their faces on the side panel. The perfect blend between harmonic Uni-Vibe sounds and traditional tremolos, the Harmonious Monk pedal is impressive. Dan and Nick have incorporated lots of features into the pedal for the modern guitar player.
Like all Jam Pedals, the Harmonious Monk is decorated with funky artwork that’ll surely cause it to stand out on your pedalboard. Each pedal is hand-crafted in Greece while giving special attention to detail to ensure the highest quality standards.
- D & S
As seen as a standard trait on most Jam Pedals, the different knobs on the Harmonious Monk are labeled with individual letters. The “D” knob controls the Depth or intensity of the tremolo effect. Turning the knob up will increase the intensity of the effect. Next to this is the “S” knob or Speed control. Use it to set the rate of the tremolo. Clockwise increase the effect’s speed.
- L & M
The row below has the “L” and “M” controls. You can set the volume level by rotating the L knob clockwise. A useful parameter on modulation pedals is the Mix control. Turning the M knob will control the ratio between the original and processed signal. Cranking the knob fully will eliminate the dry signal to deliver pure modulation. If you wish to turn the effect off, turn the M knob fully counterclockwise.
- The Switches
Another common feature on most Jam Pedals is the +/- toggle switch. This switch provides a wide speed and depth range to intensify the tremolo effect. When in the lower setting, the effect becomes more subdued. The left footswitch is also handy for cutting the selected speed in half or doubling it.
- Internal Trim Pots
If you think the controls on board are not enough for adequate tone shaping, you only need to pop open the Harmonious Monk to access three trim pots that act as a three-band equalizer. You can quell harsh frequencies or enhance them to suit your guitar rig and amp response.
On this impressive pedal from Jam Pedals, you get essential Depth, Speed, and Mix control to create a wide range of modulation effects. The switches on board help control the intensity and select Amplitude and Harmonic varieties. Want more tonal adjustments? Pop open the metal exterior for the relevant trim pots.
If you’re impressed with the pedal and are considering getting your hands on it, maybe the newer version would be the right way to go. The Mk2 offers a more detailed LFO section that allows you to choose between three waveforms: Square, Sine, and Reverse Sawtooth low-frequency oscillation.
After going through today’s selection of pedals, you may have concluded that a Vibe pedal is just what you need to enhance your playing style and take your guitar playing to another level. Let’s quickly recap why each pedal could be a great addition to your collection.
The Walrus Audio M1 unit from the Mako Series is one of the most comprehensive pedals on today’s list, as it provides 6 adjustable effects, including chorus, phaser, tremolo, vibrato, and more. The Keeley Dark Side is also highly gifted and offers effects like Flanger/Rotary, Phaser/Univibe & Delay, with many control options.
If multiple chorus variations are what you’re after, the TriceraChorus from Eventide can be a great option. The simplest in operation, the MXR M68 has an uncomplicated interface and is very easy to use. The Tc Electronic Viscous Vibe, JHS Unicorn V2, Jam Pedals Retro Vibe, and The Depths from EarthQuaker all combine simplicity with great performance.
If having more controls on an effects pedal excites you, so you can go on a deep diving expedition to unearth various features, the Jam Pedals Harmonious Monk, Fulltone Deja Vibe, and DryBell Vibe Machine could be right up your alley. For multiple modes and effect types, you can also explore the Jam Pedals Ripply Fall and Good Vibe from Electro-Harmonics. Finally, the Dunlop RotoVibe is the only full-fledged expression pedal-based Uni-Vibe unit on the list.
Sultan Zafar is a guitar player from Islamabad, Pakistan. He has been playing music with various mainstream musicians for over 20 years. He is a song writer and music producer. These days he spends his time exploring different music genres and collaborating with fellow musicians on various projects. Read more..