Whilst the designs of the Dub Machines devices take full advantage of their digital engines, their sonic power stems from analog gear and the inspiration it provides. This means that once we‘ve studied, analyzed and recreated the analog circuit with DSP... we start again!
At the heart of our design process, the technical model is subjected to 'creative hearing' - we fine- tune everything by ear and challenge the model with creative ideas that transcend its original design. This can mean adding a dirty digital rectifier or pumping sustain into a pure and buttery reverberation system – the only concern being the Surreal Machines sound aesthetic, which is truly our own...
We started with technical schematics and listened to samples, recordings, and measurements of the distortion, hysteresis, frequency response, errors and noise. We then sampled the noise of an actual hardware unit and resampled the mechanical movement that gives the delay its Wow and Flutter.
After listening to this for a while we realized that since we are in the digital domain it was no problem to add slight stereo imperfections and modulations. So now users can get the classic mono effect via the Width parameter or can open the stereo image up and let the echoes slightly bounce in and out of phase.
We added convolution for the reverb for actual reproduction of a great sounding spring sample we made. Again we stereo-fied it. That is when we really started having fun. Not only did we sample four springs, we also added samples of plates, classic digital halls and a few left field character- changing samples like an amp and a cardboard box.
We went ahead and added a way to route the reverb not only in the standard parallel system that original hardware units tend to have, but either pre or post echo as well.
DIFFUSE employs digital feedback network techniques with a nod to some legendary analog hardware from the 70‘s-90‘s.
It is based on a classic reverb design used in the early digital delay units. We also looked at many well-known software implementations and patched something entirely new together.
We took some of our best research from the Magnetic project and fused it together with the classic reverb design.
But we wanted it to function as a delay too…
So we decoupled all the parameters and simplified them into elegant macros to give the user complete control over smearing, echoes and dampening all within easily manageable means. Lots of nonlinearities, and really smooth tape style delay changes.
Of course we could not resist adding some crazy features: a digital Rectify to add some top end and sizzle and a specially designed dynamics tool Pump to duck the delay out of the way of the dry signal and pull it back up again for long sustained trails which don‘t get in the way of the music.