Hands-On Review:Combining vintage effects with cutting-edge DSP capabilities!
First they stuffed a roomful of vintage amp sounds into affordable combos. Then they dazzled us with the organic direct tones of the pod. Now Line 6 adds two new modeling stompboxes to their string of hits!
Line 6 deserves credit for coming up with it first. It's a hot idea - modeling the sounds of the coolest, best-selling stomp-boxes of all times, and putting them all in one box. With their patented modeling technology, that's exactly what they've done. Get ready to meet the first digital modeling stompboxes!
The new DL4 is devoted to delay and echo effects, and the MM4 is devoted to modulation effects. Both are compact and easy-to- use, and each holds a huge hunk of the tonal heritage of the last 30 years of guitar effects. Put them together and you've got a carpet full of classic stompboxes!
They capture the sounds of the originals with their expertly created models - 16 in each - but this is only their starting point. Once you've selected a model, you can further alter its basic sound by adjusting selected parameters to get variations upon the original. Once you have a sound you particularly like, you can store it as a preset for later instant call-up (the DL4 stores three presets, the MM4 stores four).
Programming is a breeze.
You select a model and adjust it with the other knobs. All are self-explanatory, except for the Tweak and Tweez knobs that control different parameters depending on the model, but it's easy to get familiar with them. Once you find the sound you want, you simply step on one of the footswitch buttons and hold it for three seconds to store the sound in memory.
In addition to these functions, both the DL4 and MM4 allow use of an expression pedal to move between two sets of parameters, one configured for the heel position and the other for the toe position. As you move the pedal, the altered parameters move smoothly between the two settings, creating unique effects. This function in particular takes them far beyond the original pedals.
Both units also feature true bypass. In this mode, switching relays route the signal directly from the input jack to the output jack, so your tone remains free of any processing or conversion. The delay modeler also has an optional bypass mode that allows the DSP to remain engaged, so delays will trail away when switched off.
The DL4 Delay Modeler
The DL4 gives you a dream collection of classic delay stompboxes and effects units. It is packed with classics like a tube echo based on the Maestro EP-1, a tape echo modeled after the Maestro EP-3, a model of the multi-head Roland RE-101 Space Echo, an analog echo based on the Boss DM-2 plus one with modulation based on the Deluxe Memoryman. Other effects include a dynamic delay effect made popular by TC Electronic's 2290, an auto-volume effect, a sweep echo (a Line 6 original), a Lo Res delay based on the 8-bit resolution delays of the early '80s, rhythmic delays, real time reverse echo, and stereo delays. In addition, there's a 14 second loop sampler with its own built-in 800 ms independent digital delay.
The delay programs provide up to 2.5 seconds of delay time. In normal delay operation, the 4 footswitches are used for tap tempo and switching between the 3 user programmable presets. When you're in Loop Sampler mode, they control record and loop-play functions of overdub, play/stop, play once, 1/2 speed playback and reverse playback. But it is the models themselves that make the DL-4 such a treat. In a word, it's loaded.
The MM4 is similar to the DL4 in many respects. Like the DL4, it contains sixteen different models. These include the modulation effects of classic pedals and also some models taken from classic amps: an opto tremolo based on the trem circuitry of '65 Deluxe Reverb, a bias tremolo from the '60 Vox AC15, a phaser based on the MXR Phase 90, a dual phaser based on the Mutron Bi-Phase, a panned phaser based on the Ibanez Flying Pan, a four-stage phase shifter based on the now legendary Uni-Vibe of Hendrix fame, a rotary drum based on the Fender Vibratone, and a rotary drum and horn effect from the Leslie 145.
Plus more all-time greats!
Also included are models based on the following legendary effect pedals: the MXR Flanger, the A/DA Flanger, a chorus from the Boss CE-1, and a dimension model based on the Roland Dimension D. It also has a tri-chorus based on the elusive Song Bird/DyTronics Tri-Stereo Chorus, a pitch vibrato from the Boss VB-2, a ring modulator and panner. Like the DL4, the MM4 treats you to a virtual candy store of classic vintage effects.
These are must-have pedals, especially for those of us who yearn for all those vintage pedals we once owned. Each box is like a choice collection in itself, and quite reasonably priced, especially considering that here you get all good stuff and none of the throwaway effects you get with most multi-effects units. Line 6, creators of many modeling masterpieces, do it again! The DL4 and MM4 Modeler Stompboxes put more on the floor - vintage effects and DSP magic!
|DL4 Delay Modeler||MM4 Modulation Modeler|