I had a blast reviewing Meris' Ottobit Jr. Bitcrusher and Mercury7 Reverb pedals [Tape Op #123]. The three-person company (steered by inventive folks formerly of Line 6 and Strymon) has been turning heads with its intense, expanded spins on stompbox classics. I was glad to hear they had a delay pedal - known as the Polymoon - and gladder when I was asked to give it a spin for review.

A reasonably sized, dual-footswitch (bypass and tap tempo) delay pedal that runs on a standard 9V adaptor, the Polymoon has up to 1200 ms of multi-tap delay time with six fully adjustable LFOs for many more comprehensive modulation effects than seen on typical delay pedals. Yes, you can get gooey phasing and icy flanging in on the pedal's all-inclusive echo/delay act.

As with its other pedal siblings, the Polymoon has three familiar control knobs: Time, Feedback, and Mix. These knobs are bolstered by three more controls that are a little more off the beaten path yet are still intuitive: Multiply (selects the number of delay taps), Dimension (creates a "smear/smoothing" effect on the delay taps/reflections), and Dynamics (sets the amount of flanger effect that can be dynamically added to the delay signal.) By holding down a small Alt button, each of these six knobs have secondary functions for accessing even deeper parameters such as Early and Late Modulation, Dynamic Flanger Mode, Feedback Filter, and more.

I had a chance to use the Polymoon on my guitar tracks for Jeff Berlin's Random Misfires album and really enjoyed the process and results. Jeff asked for some randomized, stabby guitar line overdubs with ever-changing echoing decay. I rolled the dice by holding the Alt button down while tweaking some of the knobs haphazardly, resulting in some crazy-yet-musical echoes that Jeff loved. Later I decoded what I did and discovered how cool Early and Late Modulation manipulation can be - triangle wave modulation can be added in varying amounts to the early or late (or both) delay taps. This struck me as a technique previously only achievable with multiple cascading effect units.

The Polymoon pedal is super-quiet and well built. With its switchable line/instrument level capability, expression pedal jack, MIDI I/O, and preset control (with external switch) capability, the Polymoon can keep up with the best rack-mount gear. In fact, according to Meris, its original inspiration was multiple cascading rack-mount delay units à la Frank Zappa and Belew, et al. I'd love it if Meris would consider creating rack-mount or tabletop versions of this, in addition to their other deep, singular pedals. In any case, all of this versatile profundity as well as stunning fidelity made me consider the multi-faced Polymoon to likely be today's ultimate hardware delay (pedal or otherwise).

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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