Rodec and Sherman are brands synonymous with producing high-end analogue equipment built to an extremely high standard. This means the build quality of their new collaboration isn’t really an issue. The real question is: does a hardware effects unit have a place in a modern studio or DJ setup? Ben Daly investigates.
In the flesh, the Restyler has an almost nuclear-proof build quality, with retro styling akin to equipment from a school science experiment. The Restyler is housed in a sturdy, wedge-shaped grey and white metal casing with a brushed aluminium faceplate. The near-military grade Restyler has a decent weight to it too without being bulky. The retro-styled Restyler has an understated modern twist, with its eye-catching blue, green, red and orange LED’s which offer a visual representation while in use.
The high-quality components used to make the Restyler are exceptional and this thing is definitely built to last. All the switches, faders, knobs, and buttons feel very robust and should be able withstand use from the heaviest of hands.
“The Restyler great for creating the classic low-pass, high-pass or band-pass filter sweeps as well as more unusual modulated filtered effects”
The font used for the text on the faceplate is definitely in keeping with the retro appearance as are the three backlit buttons (to change the slope of the filter), which look as if they could be used to launch a nuclear missile.
A lot of care and attention has obviously been put into the design and manufacture of the Restyler and it shows. The controls have been thoughtfully laid out with a generous distance between them so it doesn’t feel cramped or awkward to use. The user-friendly colour coded knobs make the Restyler easy to navigate, as do the lines marked out on the fascia to separate the controls according to function.
The two large knobs on the on the front panel have a grippy rubberised feel and are large enough even for the most sausage-fingered users.
The inputs and outputs of the Restyler are available in as many incarnations as you’d ever need, with XLR, quarter inch jack and phono (RCA) sockets on the back of the unit.
Connecting up the Restyler is simple enough, with the output of what you want filtered being plugged in to the input of the Restyler and the output of the Restyler plugged into a mixing desk, PA system, hi-fi, DJ mixer or other device.
In use the Restyler is very fun and easy to use and its immediacy is admirable. It’s great for creating the classic low-pass, high-pass or band-pass filter sweeps as well as more unusual modulated filtered effects. Amplitude and frequency modulation can be applied while the sensitivity and speed of the modulation can be easily manipulated. The modulation transient can also be altered between a sine and a square wave shape. Modulating the filters in these different ways can result in some captivatingly choppy, stuttered effects.
“In the flesh, the Restyler has an almost nuclear-proof build quality, with retro styling akin to equipment from a school science experiment”
Further controls on the Restyler include an input level, make-up gain, resonance and mix (dry-wet) knobs; low pass (LP), band pass (BP) and high pass (HP) faders for adjusting the amount of each filter; a mix tumbler switch for turning the audio processor on or off; a master frequency knob and a slave/trigger frequency knob.
The Restyler is perfect for live or studio use as well as in DJ sets to make your performances or productions more interesting and creative.This is a professional piece of equipment with a professional price tag – it has an exceptional build quality, from two companies with a long history in manufacturing high-end products.
Review: Ben Daly