You know that smooth, ulra-compressed synth-bass tone that vibrates the floor and massages your intestines? If that’s what you’re looking for, think twice about the TWA Great Divide. First, you’ll have to read through the hilarious but essential manual, which warns that this sucker can be an “erratic, noise-belching behemoth.” Next, you’ll have to get the right power adapter—any 9-volt, 100mA power supply will do; no batteries, thank you—and only after that should you plug in and pull down the Great Divide’s faders.
The main faders have straightforward names: sub controls the TWA’s bone-rattling sub, –1 oct is the octaver, dry handles your clean tone, +1 oct is a fuzzed-out, octave-above voice, and syn is synth-like. In general, a little +1 oct went a long way, but –1 oct’s muscle and tracking were impressive, and it was cool to be able to add as much (or as little) of my clean tone as I liked. Next, I checked out the wonderfully non-digital sub and syn voices, which tended to “run on” even after I’d stopped playing (compression helped). The five varieties each of the sub clock and synth clock, from –1 octave to –2 octaves plus a 6th, are weird and unique, and the env switch for the +1 oct voice is subtle. The syn switch on the pedal’s left side offers sawtooth, pulse, and square waveforms, each with its own woolly, analog texture. Throwing caution to the wind and blending faders, clocks, and waveforms led to radical new possibilities. Things were getting kinky, and I hadn’t even messed with the internal trim pots or plugged in an expression pedal yet. My bandmates loved it.
Some pedals offer a bevy of immediately “useful” tones right out of the box, while others, like the Great Divide, heap rewards on those curious enough to patiently tweak. Ready to walk the edge? Hop onboard—there’s a galaxy of freaky fuzz-nasty sub-woofer-killing glitch tones waiting to be explored.