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The Air Traffic Controller mixes a Rainger FX optimum distortion circuit with a white noise ‘hiss’ generator, and sends the sound through a low pass filter. The cut-off frequency of the filter is controlled in three possible ways; by the envelope of the note (the volume),
the pitch of the note, or in a random mode.
This gives variations ranging from a biting edgy funk tone, to airy whisps of sound (hence the name), from fusiony solo-ing with ‘synth tracking’ to dense shoe-gazy walls of distortion, guitar/electronic-percussion morphing… It’s a hugely flexible palette of sounds that’s never been possible before.
The white noise hiss mimics the dynamics of the guitar sound – loud at the start of the note, then dying away to total silence when the guitar does too. For a pedal with such a lot going on it’s incredibly quiet when it should be.
‘Distort’ adjusts the amount of distortion, ‘Air – Signal’ controls the blend of guitar to white noise (ranging from only guitar, to only white noise, and everything in between). ‘Resonance’ adjusts how noticeable the cut-off frequency is, while ‘Level’ decides the output volume.
The top end panel has a three-way rotary knob for filter-controlling options, a ‘DC in’ socket, and a ‘Hi/Lo’ button to allow for whether your guitar is passive or active (or keyboard use).
The ‘runway landing lights’ display pattern runs when a signal is present.