What do you do when the guitar player you're recording wants reverb on their guitar but doesn't have any on their amp? Do you "add it in the mix"? Screw that, add it to the amp. The Holy Grail is a digital reverb pedal with simulations of spring, hall and flerb. The spring is fairly realistic, especially at lower mix settings. The hall is big, usually too much, but makes for some deep, drenched effects. The flerb is a flanged reverb that is pretty horrible sounding-like some bad '80s guitar tones. The reverb/instrument mix can be adjusted all the way to pure wet, unlike most stomp boxes, and creepy underwater sounds can be found there. The drawbacks of this pedal include a healthy amount of hiss, noisy spots on the blend knobs on both units I tried and no way to control the size of the reverbs. I'd advise purchasing one from a retailer where you can try it out, as both units I used had defects- one made huge whooshing noises as the mix was changed and the other wouldn't pass any signal in bypass! ($136, www.electro-harmonix.com)

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

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