maestro mariner tremolo review

With the ever-growing market of synth players and music producers using guitar pedals on their hardware synths and in their productions, more and more boutique companies are either breaking ground with new guitar pedals or revamping their timeless pedals to compete with the modern market.

Gibson is one such larger company whose iconic maestro line of pedals has been synonymous with personalized performance and a distinctive fuzz sound. Their rehashed Maestro line offers a complete set of ten new guitar pedals in almost every effect you can imagine. 

We recently received one of the Maestro Mariner Tremolo Pedals to review to discover if it deserves a spot in your pedal rack or music studio. 

So let’s dive in.

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What Is The Maestro Mariner Tremolo Pedal

maestro mariner tremolo review

The Maestro Mariner Tremolo Pedal is a classic analog tremolo effect with two distinctive options when affecting the sound; toggled between the two by a simple switch.

The first of these two options will be the classic tremolo effect, which is more of the standard tremolo effect that causes a light, LFO’d wobble to the signal’s output. This can be used in light amounts through the “Depth” parameter to create soft and delicate modulation in the sound or the depth can be ramped up aggressively to create a gated modulation and stuttering sound in the signal. 

If you’re looking for a tighter and more modern-sounding modulation option, then the harmonic tremolo is what you’re after. The secondary option on the Maestro Mariner Tremolo creates a far more mechanical-sounding effect that gives the signal far more aggressive and abrupt chops. 

Learn More About My Favorite Pedals To Use On Synths Here

Favorite Features Of The Mariner Tremolo Pedal

maestro mariner tremolo review

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After playing around with this tremolo pedal for a few weeks, using it both on my guitars and my synths, I came to discover a few things that really made this pedal stand out from the rest of the other tremolo pedals on the market today. 

Its Versatility 

This pedal’s streamlined layout and interface might make you think that it has limited functionality but that couldn’t be further from the case. In fact, there is a ton of room for experimentation and customization baked into this small device which can yield some truly amazing results once you get comfortable with its workflow. 

The Harmonic vs. Classic modes are just the start to the customization available on this pedal, and adjusting its parameters such as the “Speed” and “Shape’ in real-time while recording your synths and guitars creates some really interesting and off-kilter movements that fit right at home in genres such as melodic house and techno.

Its Movement

The way the sound behaves as it is run through this pedal is simply awesome. In true analog fashion, it has a way of being silky-smooth and gritty at the same time (which is a quality you would expect more from a saturation effect than a tremolo). 

Having used digital plugins like Ableton’s Auto-Pan for the majority of my own production career, having access to something as buttery as this felt like a true game changer. Sure, the smoothness doesn’t always behave like you want (which I will address here shortly), but the majority of the time the sound simply glides and wobbles through the production like nothing I’ve heard before. 

What I Wasn’t That Crazy About

Throughout my time getting to know this pedal, I came across one issue that might cause some frustration or hesitation for some people looking to use this pedal on their synths and guitars in a music-production setting. 

Here is what I found…

It’s Hard To Dial In For Production

I predominantly produce melodic house and techno music, which is fairly grid and beat-based. And while some slight off-grid and not-perfectly-timed modulation certainly adds character and humanization to the track, too much of a good thing often leaves the entire groove of the record feeling overly lackadaisical and off-beat.

And with that in mind, my main groove with this this was how it took some dialing in to get the LFO on the pedal to line up with the tempo of my track, meaning that it usually took a while before I found a groove and movement from the pedal that was workable in the production I was working on. 

Granted, I knew going into this review that this was far more of a classic guitar pedal instead of some modern FX box like the Microcosm, with full MIDI sync capability and more, so I wasn’t too thrown off by the lack of anything that would help the pedal find the groove. But I figured I was worth mentioning just for those other producers who think this will completely and utterly replace their plugin tremolo and modulation effects. 

Specs On The The Maestro Mariner Tremolo Pedal

  • Pedal Type: Tremolo
  • Analog/Digital: Analog
  • Effects: Tremolo
  • Inputs:1 x 1/4″
  • Outputs:1 x 1/4″
  • True Bypass: Yes
  • Power Source:9V DC power supply (sold separately)
  • Power Usage:41.9mA
  • Batteries:1 x 9V
  • Height:2.50″
  • Width:3.45″
  • Depth:5.04″
  • Weight:1.19 lbs.

Learn More About This Pedal While Supporting Our Team Of Writers Through Our Partnership With Sweetwater Right Here

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