Pedals

Keeley Super Mod Workstation

I have to be honest—I’m a multi-fx skeptic. Whenever I see a pedal jam-packed with effects, I immediately assume that it’s probably, well, just okay.

And to be fair, that’s been my experience with the majority of what the multi-fx world has to offer. With very few exceptions, multi-fx units do one or two things pretty well and are fairly mediocre otherwise.

However, I’m happy to report that the Keeley Super Mod Workstation takes a sharp left turn from the pack and delivers a surprisingly solid overall experience. In short: there are no weak spots. It’s a well-thought-out smorgasbord of sonic handicraft.  

Get Drenched

The Super Mod Workstation is an exercise in swirly opulence. Loaded with two independent banks of eight effects that you can run independently or simultaneously, it’s a modulation lover’s wet dream.

Bank one features a tremolo with two blendable waveshapes, a harmonic tremolo that’s inspired by vintage brownface amps, a funky filter, classic phaser, rotary speaker simulation and Keeley’s proprietary 30ms Double Tracker. Oh, and did I mention the delays?

Yeah—it has delays. Two of them. And two reverbs. But that’s on bank two.

The second bank has the same harmonic tremolo as bank one—combine them for a delightfully trippy experience—as well as the phaser, digital delay and rotary speaker sim. Then, it adds a chorus/vibrato, a flanger and two spacious reverb modes to the mix.

So yes—you can run delay into reverb, phaser into flanger, double tracking into a rotary speaker and any other combination you like.

Controls

The Super Mod Workstation has a fairly straightforward control setup. You can set the overall output for each bank independently with the Level knob—a great feature—and change the Rate (speed) and Depth (intensity) for each effect, too. Then you hit the Morph knob, which changes something different on each effect.

For instance, Morph changes the shape of the tremolo from a pulsing square wave to a smooth triangle wave—blending the two as you go. It adds feedback to the phaser and flanger for increased resonance and, for the delays and reverb, acts as a mix control.

And what could possibly make it better, you ask? Well, how about tap tempo on bank one and expression control on bank two for on-the-fly changes? Done and done.

That said, it would’ve been really interesting to see some MIDI implementation here, but the unit is small, so perhaps that’s the tradeoff for its ultra-compact size. And, on the bright side, you can control the tap and expression options remotely via jacks on the back panel. So there’s that.

Sounds

Obviously, the most critical measure of a pedal’s quality is how it hits your ears—and after spending quite a while with each of the effects in the Super Mod Workstation, I can only repeat what I said in the opening: there are no weak spots. Everything sounds like it should.

The chorus swirls, the phasing is rich, the filter is as fun as it gets, the analog delay decays perfectly and the reverb can get downright cavernous.

And since I mentioned the delay and reverb, I want to give the team at Keeley a public high-five for integrating two effects those into this unit. Especially since you can combine them with the other effects, the Super Mod Workstation feels that much more complete as a result. Honestly, if need be, I feel like I could do a whole set with this, an expression pedal and my favorite fuzz pedal.

Kudos!

What we like:

For as much as it offers, the Super Mod Workstation is fairly intuitive. There is a slight learning curve for the effect-specific Morph control, but that’s entirely manageable and doesn’t get in the way of producing great sounds.

Concerns:

I love the compact nature of this pedal, but the switches are really close together. So, you either need precise toes or a space near the front of your pedalboard where you can keep the Super Mod Workstation within reach.

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