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The Keeley Electronics Dark Side is a multifarious pedal with three distinct sections: Fuzz, Delay, and Modulation. The fuzz section was inspired by ‘70s op-amp style distortion, but is radically dissimilar to Keeley’s earlier Psi Fuzz pedal, which was a result of the same inspiration. Unlike its predecessor, the Dark Side’s fuzz has been painstakingly engineered to model the nuances inherent in earlier transistor-based fuzz pedals. This orientation effectively renders the Dark Side as a more transparent incarnation of the Big Fuzz: it emphasizes the sustain while preserving the integrity of the input signal.
The next section consists of Delay and Modulation. Here, users can select between four modulation sounds or a multi-head tape delay effect. There are twelve syncopated delays that possess similar sonic traits as older spinning drum tape delays. Additionally, this section features several filters that impart an even more authentic feel to the delay settings. Users can also attach an expression pedal for remote control over repeat amount or creating feedback-induced oscillation delays.
The Modulation section is comprised of four parts: Flanger, Rotary Speaker Cabinet, Phaser, and U-Vibe, each of which can be blended for the creation of entirely new sounds. Speaking of new sounds, even more can be created via the Dark Side’s TRS insert, which enables users to introduce any pedal they want into the delay path. Talk about options!