With over 25 years and 30 releases under his belt, Devin Townsend has cemented himself as a legend in the progressive rock/metal world. A common thread across all of his work has been his use of expansive reverb and delay. It’s clear as day when you listen to any of his projects that these effects are an integral part of his signature sound. With that sound in mind, Mooer Pedals have stepped up to the plate and come out with the Ocean Machine, Townsend’s signature delay, reverb and looper pedal.
Mooer really set the tone with their micro pedals a few years back. They were great quality and packed a huge sound into a tiny casing. That ethos is mirrored with the Ocean Machine, because within minutes of playing, it was evident that the pedal provides so much to play around with. The triple switch pedal includes two independent delays with 17 different delay types, reverb with nine different reverb types and a looper with up to 60 seconds of recording time. I set out to spend a solid hour with the pedal to get around its features, but ended up lost in the abyss of tone searching for so many more.
Straight out of the gate, the Ocean Machine offers a plethora of factory presets that are all very impressive and showcase the wide array of tonal variety you can achieve. With eight banks of three presets, it was really easy to scroll through and find a few ideal patches to tweak using the controls at the top. Starting with a hall reverb/digital delay combination, I was impressed by how vibrant and warm the sound was without being overwhelming. From single note lead lines to large chord voicings, the sound was rich and clear with both a clean and heavily overdriven tone. What really surprised me was the more ‘out there’ effects that the Ocean Machine had to offer, specifically the modulating pitch delay and the bit crusher delay. Whilst they’re not effects that are applicable in a lot of settings, they were fun to play around with and spurred some interesting ideas that wouldn’t usually come to mind.
The versatility of the Ocean Machine is a true testament to Townsend and his legacy as an artist. Not only does the pedal shine when applied to a heavier and more saturated tone, but its vibrant and dynamic sound is perfect for a more subdued and delicate sound. You certainly don’t need to be a fan of the man’s work to enjoy this pedal which is honestly part of its brilliance. Rather than being typecast as a pedal for his fans and metalheads, the Ocean Machine is simply a great pedal that includes top tier delays and reverbs in spades. Adding a looper functionality to this already stacked pedal simply makes it seem too good to be true.
At the end of the day, you would be hard pressed to buy three individual delay/reverb/looper pedals for the $499 price tag that comes with the Ocean Machine. The depth and tonal variety that the pedal provides for its price point is absolutely unreal. It would be a welcome addition to any style of player’s pedal board and I look forward to seeing more and more people utilising it.
Hits and Misses
Mountains of tonal possibilities