Monday, April 2nd, 2007 | 8:25 am and filed in Gear.
I was tempted to post this on April 1, because it sounds pretty ridiculous. The following post is real - No foolin’, suckah! However, If you’re easily offended by graphic language, please don’t read this entry or follow the links.
ok, you’ve been warned.
Eric Barbour is known for some pretty wild music electronics based on vacuum tubes, and the recent addition to his Metasonix catalog is the TM-7 Ultra Distortion Scrotum Smasher. Complete with controls like “Scrotum Up Ya Ass” and a “Double Scrotum” toggle switch to go from “Teabag” to “Blue Balls”.
So what the heck is this thing? To quote the creator, “The TM-7 is basically a mean, angry guitar preamp made of three vacuum tubes. Plus a feedback loop which makes the preamp unstable. There is nothing else like it. No, it does not sound like a Death By Audio pedal. No, it won’t make you sound like Steve Vai. It is unsuitable for 80s nostalgia cover bands, unless they like to do industrial versions of Duran Duran. Scrotum.”
The TM-7 can generate some very cool tube saturation when the “Smash” switch is engaged and the third tube is introduced into the circuit. The “Double Scrotum” switch controls a feedback loop which causes the unit to self-oscillate in a pretty horrible way that sounds like some kind of squealing animal. It’s a different kind of resonance that I personally wouldn’t use all the time, but toggling the feedback in and out results in some cool effects.
Even though the output of the TM-7 has been designed to work better with squalid-state devices, I found that running it into a transformer D.I. works better. I was getting some horribly uncontrollable clipping when running it straight into an audio interface, but running it through a St.Ives transformer (in a homemade passive d.i.), kept the levels fairly stable. The following clip is a little tweaking done with a TR-808 going into a Moog MF-101 into the TM-7 through the D.I.: