They Did It Again! - The Walrus Audio MAKO M1

The MAKO M1 is finally here!

Click the link to watch on YouTube

Two years...that's how long it has been since Walrus Audio released the first pedal in their new MAKO Series.

The MAKO Series was a big step up for Walrus. Although they had been releasing fantastic pedals for years, the MAKO pedals represented new frontier: hyper flexible & compact digital pedals to rival the likes of Strymon and Line 6. And when you look at the amount of guitarists (myself included) that have adopted these pedals are centerpieces of their rigs it's clear they succeeded in their endeavor.

I knew it was only a matter of time before a Modulation-focused MAKO pedal came out. Lo and behold, 2022 was my year!

If any pedal company makes a good modulation pedal it's Walrus Audio. Need evidence? Julia, Julianna, Monument, Lillian, Polychrome...there's your evidence. And the M1 continues the long tradition of GREAT Walrus Audio modulation pedals.

Everything established with the MAKO Series is here: the enclosure, the control layout, features, etc. But the M1 has A LOT more "under the hood" than the previous MAKO series pedals. For example, each the D1 and R1 Mako pedals comes with six (6) effects programmed into the pedal. The M1 does indeed have six (6) effects programmed into the pedal BUT each effect program has THREE TYPES OF EACH EFFECT. So instead of just ONE type of Chorus you get two ADDITIONAL types of Chorus. The same is true for the Phaser, Tremolo, Vibrato, Rotary and Filter programs. And it doesn't stop there.

In addition to all the typical controls for your modulation sound the M1 has a secondary layer of adjustments for lo-fi guitar tones! So at once you can dial in an 80's style stereo chorus and then make a super filtered and warbly "listening to my grandparents old phonograph records" vibrato.

When I first got the M1 I immediately dialed in a Chorus sound similar to what is get from my Julianna and Chase Bliss Audio Warped Vinyl HiFi. And in less than five minutes I was rolling and having a great time!

But then I wanted something more adventurous. I dove head first into the Vibrato and went for the most seasick and crushed sound I possibly could. It wasn't hard and it was so much fun.

And of all the effects included on the M1, the Rotary speaker effect is just MIND BLOWING!!! Seriously, I've played quite a few "leslie type" effects pedals in my day and this one might be the BEST yet. Fast or slow, bluesy or grungy, it just sounds great!

Truly, there's a lot to love about the M1. Now, go click the video on the right and watch the full demo.

Click above to watch the full video!

I was a little bummed to see there was no Flanger programmed into the M1. I generally like to have chorus, phaser, and flanger on my board so I was hoping the M1 would be a "one-stop-shop". If I had my druthers I'd replace the Filter with a Flanger effect. Don't get me wrong: the Filter is really good and very fun to use. But I don't view Filters as a modulation effect. But that's just me...

You may also notice there's no "Mix" or "D-C-V" knob. There are a lot of great modulation pedals that DON'T have a control like this. The Phase 90, the Boss CE-2...classics! But more often than not, I use modulation pedals with a "Mix" control on my pedalboard and in the studio. I do this because it helps fine-tune the intensity of the effect. This extra level of adjustment can be handy when using modulation in a band context. The finer the adjustment the more likely you'll be able to use the effect on a recording or live. I'd like to see a control of that fashion implemented in a future firmware update. might just happen!

Lastly, there is so much you can do with this pedal that it's easy to see some guitarists getting "option paralysis". So I wouldn't call this a pedal for everyone. But it is an option for a lot of players.

All in all, the M1 is a fantastic addition to the MAKO Series.

Is it 100% what I expected? No. But what it does have that I didn't expect is great!

And now, some cool news: I'M NOW A SWEETWATER AFFILIATE. So you can use my links, shop as you like, and Sweetwater will give my a percentage of your purchase to support the channel. If you like what you heard from the M1, please consider buying once through Sweetwater using my link:

Wishing you Great Tone & Happy Stomping!