An Introduction to Walrus Audio: Their Pedals and Their Story

You’ll find Walrus Audio in the middle of Oklahoma—and smack dab in the heart of Tornado Alley, where more than 50 twisters touch down, on average, each year. And yet, even with potential destruction lurking behind every stormcloud, the Oklahoma City-based amalgam of musicians, circuit benders, and artists that is Walrus Audio has thrived there since 2011.

"The team has always been a group of friends," says Walrus president Colt Westbrook. "But it all started with mixing and matching different circuits until we arrived at something that stood apart and was both functional and dynamic. That’s what keeps it exciting. With analog circuitry, you just never quite know what is going to happen when you change out a part. Things that don’t even make sense on paper can turn into masterpieces, and things that do make sense can sound beyond terrible."

This commitment to constant tweaking and experimentation—and a collective willingness to put in the time and effort until each design lives up to its fullest potential—Colt says, is the key to Walrus Audio’s success.

"I think perfection is sort of a myth, so that’s not what Walrus is trying to achieve. Our design process is somewhat experimental, somewhat intentional, and occasionally accidental. I mean, not too many people get to experiment with guitar gear every day and we don’t take that for granted."

Over the years, the Walrus product line has expanded to include more than a dozen effects pedals. The lineup also features a variety of pedalboard-based tools and accessories, such as power supplies, true bypass loop switchers, and preset controllers.

The Walrus Audio Team

And the thing that all their products have in common? Looking (and sounding) awesome, of course.

It’s true that Walrus Audio boasts some of the most outstanding visual designs in the industry, but make no mistake—everything is made by a quality-obsessed group of builders who care about the details. These builders, friends and dreamers share a wealth of knowledge and talent, and are always asking how things can be done better.

"When those things come together," Colt says, "the possibilities are endless."

Learn more about all things Walrus Audio at walrusaudio.com.

Walrus Audio Pedals You Need to Know

Iron Horse Distortion

One of Walrus’ flagship drive designs, the Iron Horse is a fantastic take on the classic LM308 distortion platform. It seethes with gain, but can be dialed back for rich overdriven tones too. It also features a trio of clipping options and enough range to cover thick rhythm and punchy, high-intensity lead tones.

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Luminary Octave Generator

Now in its second iteration, the Luminary is a Sharc DSP-powered polyphonic octave generator that gives you full control over four separate octave ranges. Loaded with three onboard presets and a live mode, the possibilities are as massive as ever. Plus, with newly refined controls and a smart momentary bypass in its second iteration, it now has a more powerful low-pass filter and longer attack times.

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Julia Chorus/Vibrato

If you like pro-inspired gear, look no further than the Julia. According to the Walrus team, an obsession with the chorus-soaked Jazzmaster tones found all over Ryan Adams’ self-titled 2014 album actually led to a pre-show meetup with Ryan and his guitar techs in Tulsa. Out of that meeting came the Julia.

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ARP-87 Delay

To create the ARP-87, the team at Walrus started by trying to pack every delay sound they loved into one pedal. What emerged were four primary algorithms (digital, analog, lo-fi, and slapback) and a host of great ways to manipulate them. Tap tempo with a variety of ratios, modulation control, momentary features, and filtering await.

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Fathom Reverb

Build on a similar platform as the ARP-87, the Fathom is a feature-rich reverb with four unique algorithms and a variety of ways to customize them. Modes include an expansive hall reverb, a smooth plate, gritty lo-fi, and trippy sonar, where the reverb is fed both high and low octaves for a unique sound.

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