For the discerning guitarist, a volume pedal is an instrument unto itself — and it should be chosen with the kind of care a violinist puts into selecting a bow.
If you’re looking for a new volume pedal, check out the UK-designed Sonus Voluum. It just debuted at NAMM 2014, and it looks awesome.
Think of the Voluum as an android: the sound path is all-analog, but the controls are digital. It’s the perfect marriage of analog warmth and digital precision. The Voluum’s also got a versatile array of built-in tremolo, gate, compression, and limiter effects, so it takes care of all your volume control needs in one convenient package.
One of the most important yet overlooked qualities in a volume pedal is the feel.
With that in mind, the Voluum’s pedal glides as smoothly as the door of a German car, with tension you can quickly and easily adjust with an allan key. Set the pedal’s foot action to your exact specifications, anywhere from floppy to tight. The Voluum also uses Sonus’s unique pedal sensor design so it’ll never wear out or get scratchy.
All of the Sonus Voluum’s components are protected by a rugged cast aluminum case that’s built to survive road wear.
For those classic rhythmic pulsations. The tremolo can add a subtle shimmer to your sound or it can create extreme volume sweeps. You can also set the Voluum for two simultaneous tremolo effects, so you can take this thing up to your evil laboratory to perform bizarre polyrhythmic experiments.
Unlike some standalone tremolo pedals, the Voluum’s tremolo can be set to a precise bpm setting. You can also set the Voluum’s expression pedal to control the tremolo — set a low speed and a high speed, then use the pedal to rev the tremolo up or down. This way you can create crazy ear-catching effects that sound like a plane propeller speeding up and taking off.
A gate is an essential effect that silences buzz and hum in your rig. This is especially important when using high gain distortion or lots of stompboxes.
The Voluum gate also features envelope effects that respond to your playing. These triggered effects can automatically swell volume to create the kinds of soundscapes usually reserved for synth pads. Mix in some reverb and delay to create expansive, watercolor-like washes of sound.
The Voluum comes with its own onboard compressor, so every note of your fast clean passages and solos will ring out clearly. Use the compressor to boost your sustain, protect your amps and speakers from damage caused by volume spikes, and make your fingertapping technique sound great (if you’re into that kind of thing).
The Voluum’s expression pedal can be used to morph compression settings, so you can just rock the pedal forward and back to switch between your solo and rhythm guitar sounds.
Volume pedals don’t have to be boring
A volume pedal may not seem like the most fun guitar pedal purchase you can make, but a pedal like the Voluum adds enough interesting effects and versatility to make the purchase a lot more fun. The Voluum also packs many studio and love stage treatments into one convenient box.
If a space the size of a volume pedal opens in your pedalboard anytime soon, the Voluum might be just what you need.