Vibrato vs. Tremolo

vibrato vs tremolo


Real Vibrato



Over the years the terms Vibrato and tremolo have been used interchangeably. This is somewhat inaccurate because they are two distinct effects. Tremolo is the amplitude change of the signal, or simply put, modulating the volume up and down in a cyclical manner. Vibrato is the pitch change of the signal or bending the note up and down. As a musician applies vibrato to their instrument they are changing the pitch, not the amplitude. Magnatone was one of the very first companies to produce a true pitch-shifting vibrato effect where the others were doing tremolo only, but calling it vibrato. This misnomer has been perpetuated over the years with most guitar players not knowing the difference and using the terms interchangeably.

The low Frequency Oscillator (LFO) is also a critical part of the effect. This component creates the sinusoidal rhythmic pulse that controls either the pitch change or the amplitude change. Most LFO’s have a limited range of speed and controllability, not so with the new Magnatones. The LFO has been fully updated to allow users to set the effect extremely slow while maintaining stability and consistency in the circuit. The more familiar faster settings also benefit from the consistency of this new design.

Impress your friends with your knowledge and your new Magnatone pitch-shifting vibrato!!