We were very impressed with Walrus Audio’s beautiful Julia chorus/vibrato pedal and it was difficult to imagine what more could be crammed into the format. Unbeknownst to us, Walrus Audio was already hard at work on the Julianna, which promises the player precious new textures with added functionality.
We should point out that everything the Julia does, the Julianna can do too. Should you be tempted to upgrade, there’s no danger of losing your favourite flavours. The Julianna is fully analogue and comes with customary depth and rate knobs. However, the depth knob hides a secondary ‘Drift’ function, which speeds up and slows down the rate of the LFO.
Walrus Audio describes it as, “Like having a little robot inside your pedal who can work the rate knob for you”. It’s a concept only marginally less outré than the effect itself.
The doors of perception swing wide open with the lag knob which, get this, allows you to set the centre delay time that the LFO modulates around from a smooth, tight modulation to “noisy and nauseating” detune at maximum levels. Handy.
The final knob, labelled ‘D-C-V’, is a blend from dry through chorus to vibrato. This means there’s an enticingly smooth transition along the dial and makes for some genuinely beautiful blends.
Whereas the Julia comes with a mini-toggle for ‘shape’, which allows the player to modulate the pitch of their signal with sine or triangle waves, the Julianna boasts an additional random wave LFO option for increased wooziness should you feel inclined. Walrus assures us that this, together with the drift control, leads to dizzying auditory highs. Time to text our mum to tell her we’re going to be home late tonight.
Having decided to double down on pretty much every aspect of the original Julia design, Walrus also provides a mini-toggle which, in conjunction with the tap tempo footswitch, lets you select a quarter note, quarter note triplet or eighth note multiplier for The Edge-style rhythmic pulses. Finally, the Julianna bristles with mono/stereo ins and outs, as well as a tap/expression pedal input making it pedalboard-friendly, despite its side-mounted jacks, and just as sonically dangerous in the hands of keyboard players as guitarists.
The Julianna cries out for stereo exploration, so we assemble a dual Vox set-up and stand at the apex of our tonal Golgotha with nothing but a Telecaster for protection. And it is beautiful.
At lower levels, the pedal brings a warm 3D shimmer to chord work that’s reminiscent of vintage Roland units. As we crank up the dials further and work the drift, shape and lag settings, we swoon gently into psychonautic soundscapes held forever safely in Julianna’s loving arms. Will we ever be set free?
Emerging, blinking, from our stereo reverie sometime later, we conclude this is one of the most engaging chorus/vibrato units we’ve encountered for a long time. Well played Walrus, well played.
- PRICE £225
- DESCRIPTION Chorus/vibrato pedal, handwired in the USA
- CONTROLS Rate, depth (drift), lag, D-C-V knobs, div and shape mini toggles, tap footswitch
- FEATURES Stereo ins and outs, tap tempo/expression pedal input, mains power only
- DIMENSIONS 64 x 52 x 120mm
- CONTACT face.be, walrusaudio.com