Digitech is bringing back the infamous DOD FX13 Gonkulator
Gonkulator... The name sounds a little nasty, but luckily that isn't reflected in the effect it produces. At least, according to some. The DOD FX13 Gonkulator Modulator, the infamous grunge distortion/ring modulator for guitar players, is back! After some twenty years, Digitech reinvisioned the guitar effect with the remarkable name and sound as a stomp box.
Digitech breathes new life into the DOD FX13 Gonkulator
The effect has been around for 20 years, but the name has been around for much longer. The word 'gonkulator' was first used for a fake electronic device in the TV series Hogan's Heroes in 1968. Later, computer fanatics rediscovered the term, and used it to label their least favourite bit of hardware. Strangely enough, as a guitar effect, the Gonkulator became immensely popular amongst experimental contemporary guitarists.
With the 'Gunk' dial, you add gonk-like tones to your guitar sound. The Suck and Smear dials create distortion-like sounds that are mixed in parallel with the sound of the ring modulator. Finally, the Heave dial controlled the overall output level. With a little tweaking, the Gonkulator was excellently suited for creating noise effects. Mike Einziger from the band Incubus used the Gonkulator in the song 'Glass', for instance.
Suck, Smear, Gunk and Heave!
Following the decline in popularity of alternative rock and nu-metal in 1997, DOD pedals were discontinued. However, demand for these pedals soon started growing, and they remain sought-after to this day. Second hand pedals trade owners for considerable amounts of money, which might be the reason why Digitech, which owns DOD, decided to start producing this unique ring modulator again. Its name and look have stayed largely the same - rather unintuitively named dials (Suck, Smear, Gunk and Heave) included. However, the pedal is now available both as a stomp box and as an e-pedal for your iStomp pedal. The latter works the same as a prefab Gonkulator, but you download it from the App store and load it into any iStomp device. After that, you can simply replace the label and you're good to go.
A ring modulator mixes the waveforms of two frequencies (in this case in the range of 500hz and up) with each other. The combined 'multiphonic' tone creates a disharmonic sound, in which the original guitar tone is hardly recognisable.