Catalinbread | Soft Focus Shoegaze Reverb
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Classic ’90s shoegaze got its name from guitarists who seemed to fixate on their shoes, but in reality were fixated on complex pedalboards that typified the genre’s thick, washy walls of sound. The Catalinbread Soft Focus Shoegaze Reverb channels this legacy, but cuts down on the required footwork with reverb, chorus, modulation, and enticing octave-up reverb all represented in one compact device. The Soft Focus is based on the extensive analysis of a quintessential rackmount multi-effect patch that shows up on numerous shoegaze classics, including Slowdive’s Souvlaki. In true Catalinbread fashion, the developers went the extra mile to improve the patch’s design with a mix knob, a lower noise floor, and an improved signal quality with the effect bypassed. Want shoegaze at the touch of a button?
At its core, the Soft Focus is a heavily-modified plate reverb. The symphony, modulation, and verb knobs offer multiple ways to enhance and alter this reverb with various flavors of washy sonic depth. You can control the verb time, adjust the rate and modulation of the chorusing effect, and sprinkle octave-up sounds to saturate the reverb’s wash. Results are dreamy, thick, and potentially downright massive when paired with your favorite dirt pedal. And while the Soft Focus was made with shoegaze in mind, the addition of a mix knob gives some new vital control that the source patch lacks. The Soft Focus can give your tone slight flavor without drifting into shoegaze territory, or you can fully dive into otherworldly sounds!
- Based on a famous patch used by quintessential '90s shoegaze bands, including Slowdive
- Essentially a heavily modified plate reverb with tweakable modulation and more
- Expands on the original patch’s functionality while addressing some flaws by adding a mix control and improving the bypassed signal quality
- 3 sections: chorus modulation, octave-up for reverb shimmer, and straightforward reverb
- Mix control lets you retain dry signal for better control over articulation
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