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Distortion, Feedback, and Delay: Rock-Inspired Crunch with Spire Studio’s Echo Fuzz

by Charley Ruddell, iZotope Contributor July 9, 2019
Reach for Echo Fuzz when you want to bring a biting, noisy edge to a track.

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Distortion, feedback, and delay—the dynamic trio of rock music effects. These effects have persevered through the ever-changing palette of rock music. From Hendrix’s frenzied feedback rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” to Nirvana’s distortion-drenched Nevermind, the dynamic trio—as abrasive as they can be—always seem to resonate with the wild child in us all.  

While you can impart a harder sound with the drive settings of the Tube 30 and Verb ‘65 amp simulators, the inclusion of Echo Fuzz gives you that biting, noisy edge you get from a distortion pedal or amp preset. While all options are good, Echo Fuzz offers a walloping sound that includes the dynamic trio entirely at your disposal. 

The Echo Fuzz simulator is built on a crunchy distortion signal impacted with an adjustable long-tailed delay and adjustable feedback option. Echo Fuzz also includes a tone option that either brightens or darkens your signal. It’s the rock enthusiast’s Spire Studio effect we’ve all been waiting for. 

There are a variety of choices for using Echo Fuzz in your music. Sure, it’s great for ripping guitar leads, but it’s also a wonderful option for beefy rhythm guitar sections. Not only could it serve heavy or hard rock songs, but also indie rock, funk, heavy metal, punk, or any other variation of guitar-based music. 

Let’s take a look at some examples of the Echo Fuzz in action. 

Echo Fuzz indie example

This example places Echo Fuzz in both a rhythm and a lead role. The first four measures use two rhythm guitars set to the Verb ‘65 and Tube 30 amp simulators. Two additional guitars panned left and right and washed in Echo Fuzz are introduced in measure five. It adds a nice layer of crunch to the mix without overriding other instruments.

The lead guitar on this example has the feedback toggle maxed out to create an extended decay on each note. The overall sound with the added Echo Fuzz is full and bright.

Echo Fuzz rhythm example

This example shows Echo Fuzz in a more alternative or psychedelic style. The single fuzzy riff acts as the centerpiece, while the bass, drums, and synth mingle around it. The tone toggle is turned to about four o’clock, which gives the signal a crispy high-end bite. The delay toggle is turned all the way down to make the guitar completely dry. Though the tone is heavily distorted, the guitar’s delivery is crisp, clear, and centered. 

Echo Fuzz blues example settings

Echo Fuzz lead example

Here, Echo Fuzz is used as a melodic double lead, eight measures in. The tone toggle is turned to around ten o’clock, giving the sound a more round, bass-driven tone. The delay is cranked, but the delay time is set to a lower rate to give the leads a longer, slower rhythmic tail. Because the tone is heavier on the low-end and the distortion toggle is maxed out, the Echo Fuzz guitar sounds uniquely synthetic.

Echo Fuzz lead example settings

Echo Fuzz blues

Echo Fuzz creates an excellently driven sound for guitar solos. The example below is a simple twelve bar blues featuring an Echo Fuzz solo. The delay and feedback are completely off, the tone toggle and distortion are around 12 o'clock. The tone is crunchy but the solo is direct and coherent. 

Conclusion

With the dynamic energy of Echo Fuzz, finding a rock sound for your songs in Spire Studio has become infinitely easier. Channeling delay, feedback, and distortion into one cohesive sound allow for an amplitude of crunchy tones in a wide variety of settings. Whether you’re an aspiring rock musician or a producer looking for some extra crunch, Echo Fuzz delivers a hard-edged intensity right to your own Spire Studio.  

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