The Harmonic Antagonizer is not a traditional fuzz box. There’s no reverence for 1960s tradition here. No Germanium transistors. No NOS carbon film resistors. If you think fuzz should be smooth, or warm, or velvety… or polite then this ain’t for you. The Harmonic Antagonizer is a cold heartless sonic butcher.
Fuzz? Oscillation? Chaos synthesizer and tone destroyer!
The fuzz moniker is really inadequate. Being a non-traditional effect few familiar references will prepare you for the experience of the Harmonic Antagonizer. It turns any instrument in to a noise machine.
There are really three things going on inside.
Triggered oscillator- It turns on whenever it senses an input signal.
Square wave fuzz- It is always trying to overpower the oscillator and bend it to its will.
VCA (Voltage controlled amplifier)- Rather than fading out out in to a clean tone like most fuzz, the output level falls as the signal level diminishes.
It’s a constant never-ending fight between fuzz and oscillator. So yeah… what does that actually sound like?
The oscillator can get pretty wild and unruly. It can make things sound nasally, noisy, glitchy or even a faux bass synth. It can make things sound like a broken bit computer with pixilated decay. While the oscillator output is usually mathematically related to the note being played our brains may not always understand it without a reference tone. That’s where the square wave fuzz comes in handy. It’s the sonic glue that can hold things together when they get really messy. It’s also useful to let some bass frequencies through when the oscillator frequency is high. The VCA trails off the output as the input level falls. This means no hard gating.
It shares some characteristics with the NoiseBox which we retired in 2012. The original idea was to make something the Flaming Lips or Nine Inch Nails would use. (Steven Drozd used the NoiseBox extensively on 2009’s Embryonic.) If you want to know more about the differences and improvements click on the comparison tab to the left.
Sustain- Set higher for longer sustain. This is not a distortion or fuzz control. The effect is always Distorted, fuzzy and squared. Sound will fade out as notes decay.
Blend- Sets the mix of fuzz and oscillator circuits. Turn to the left for square wave fuzz. Turn right for more oscillator.
Freq.- Manually set the frequency of the oscillator.
Sense- Envelope control of the oscillator. When turned to the right higher in put drives the oscillator in to higher frequencies.