Nick Jennison takes a closer look at two new mini stompboxes from Mooer Audio — the ambient/psychedelic reverb A7 Ambiance, and the D7 Delay. Could these be worthy additions to the already popular Micro Series from the Chinese manufacturer? Let's find out.
If you've followed our reviews of Mooer's GE series of multi-FX units, you'll have heard us waxing lyrical over the reverb and delay algorithms contained therein. They're rich, detailed and authentic-sounding, and for ambient and textural styles they're as good as anything out there. Given how partial I am to a bit of guitar-based soundscaping, you can imagine how excited I was when I saw the new D7 Delay and A7 Ambience pedals.
Each pedal squeezes seven algorithms into Mooer's mini-pedal footprint, and there isn't a dull sound in either pedal. Flanging reverse delays, step-modulated repeats, crushed lo-fi reverbs…these pedals are a whole smorgasbord of inspiring ambient textures.
The D7 ranges from a fairly straight-up tape delay to genuinely bonkers sounds like the pitch-shifting "rainbow" mode. The two "tweak" controls make it easy to manipulate the more outlandish aspects of the sound without having to trawl through immersion-breaking menus: from controlling the step modulation in the "liquid" mode to the bit reduction and the speed of the slow gear in the grungy "low-bit" mode, there are an unbelievable amount of tones available from the simple control set. Pressing and holding the footswitch allows for tap tempo operation, and there's a basic but functional looper thrown in for good measure.
The A7 offers a whole range of reverbs from simple plate and hall settings (albeit with huge-sounding spatial and modulation effects via the mysteriously named "X" and "Chaos" controls), all the way through to shimmer verb, lo-fi crushed spaces and slow-swelling dreamy pads. There's nothing here quite as bizarre-sounding as the D7's more "out-there" algorithms, but every mode sounds musical and inspiring. The shimmer mode is particularly impressive, with no crunchy artefacts present even with complex chord voicings. Holding the footswitch puts the A7 into infinite sustain mode - perfect for dreamy pads.
Pairing these pedals up, the possibilities are truly endless. You can save your favourite settings for each mode, which makes recalling specific sounds a breeze. Given how versatile these little pedals are for their size, you can justify having both on your board even if you only use them sparingly. You get a whole lot of dreamy ambience for a relatively small investment - both financially and in terms of pedalboard space.
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