Wringing something new out of
a modulation pedal can be as difficult as
writing a fresh-sounding 12-bar blues tune,
but French stompbox maker Jacques Charbit
has attacked the problem by combining
three effects—Rotary (Leslie simulation),
Tremolo, and Uni-Vibe—into a new pedal
called the Kashmir ($199 retail/street
The controls consist of Rate 1, Rate 2,
Level, and Deep, along with a trio of minitoggle
switches: Trem/Rotate, Sync On/Off,
and Square/Sine wave. The tremolo has a
warm, tube-like sound, and by switching
to Rotate mode with the Sync switch on,
you can get lush, Hendrix/Trower-sounding
Uni-Vibe effects. Turning the Sync off in
Rotate mode opens up a world of effects—
including a convincing rotary speaker simulation
by adjusting the Rate 1 and Rate
2 speeds to replicate the sonic interaction
of a Leslie’s top and bottom rotors.
By further experimenting with the Rate
knobs and waveforms, I was able to produce
everything from underwater sounds,
à la the Stones’ “Let It Loose,” to complex
polyrhythmic chop effects.
The Level control provides make-up gain
for the psychoacoustic drop that can attend
modulation effects, and can also be used
to boost the output for Leslie-style grind
when driving an amp. The pedal’s SI.RE.T.
system (Silent Relay True-bypass) operated
as promised, leaving the straight tone intact
while providing pop-free switching. One
caveat was the internal noise gate, which
abruptly cut off the end of some long sustaining
It is getting harder and harder to teach
old effects new tricks, but with the Kashmir,
Jacques has managed to come up with
a novel approach to delivering a variety of
classic modulation sounds.
KUDOS Excellent tremolo. Thick Uni-Vibelike
sounds. Separate treble and bass "rotor"
speeds for Leslie effects add authenticity.
CONCERNS Audible gating.