Elektron, a hi-tech music company from Sweden best known for its synths and drum machines, recently made its first effects processor – the Analog Heat, a desktop stereo distortion box with filtering and EQ, designed to take a line input.
Its latest product – and its first foray into the guitar pedal market – is the Elektron Analog Drive we have here and takes some of what the Analog Heat does and puts it into rugged mono stompbox form with high-impedance input to suit guitars.
What you’re getting here is an array of eight different distortion tones plus three-band EQ, all generated with analogue circuitry but with digital control, so you can store and recall all the knob-set parameters into the 100 onboard presets. There’s also external MIDI control of all parameters if you need it, and sockets to add a couple of expression pedals.
In width, the unit is about right for a pedal that sports three footswitches, but it is almost 18cm deep so will take up a fair bit of pedalboard space. You may also find that you’re tied to using its supplied adaptor because its power requirements may be more than your regular power distribution unit can handle (the supplied adapter is 12 volts, 1000mA and centre positive).
The centre footswitch is the standard bypass switch, but it’s also used to activate a new preset that you select via the outer preset up and preset down footswitches. Okay, so it’s two footswitch steps, but if you set up your patch order carefully and prime one ready to load, you can seamlessly change your distortion choice at the correct point during a song.
You can also scroll through presets and select them with the Preset knob, and if you just want to work from knob position alone, you just flick a switch to take you into manual mode.
Eight different distortion types are called up by a large rotary knob with separate knobs to balance the gain and output level. The EQ section offers low- and high-end tweaks on separate knobs, and a two-knob…