Fuse Audio Labs’ new Dozer-Drive plugin recreates two iconic guitar pedals, a certain circular fuzz box from 1966 and the little green overdrive from 1979. The beauty of this new plug-in is that you can run them in parallel, series or individually, plus there are some neat enhancements, including fat switches and even a Doom Mod mode to play with. Let’s dive in!
Fuse Audio Labs Dozer-Drive
Just after I received and set up a new Apple M1 Mac mini in my studio setup, Fuse Audio Labs sent me a copy of its new Dozer-Drive plug-in to try out. So I was able to try the effect on both the new Apple Silicon-based machine and also my everyday MacBook Pro which uses an Intel 6-core i9 processor. For this review, I used Logic Pro X on both machines and tried a few different audio interfaces, and combined Dozer-Drive with various combinations of amp sim plugins. These included Helix Native, Guitar Rig 6 and Amplitube 5, as well as by itself to see how it affected my guitar signal/tone.
The interface is super friendly. You have a neat blue coloured virtual pedal with two sides. One is for your fuzz circuit, the other for your overdrive pedal. At the bottom of the Dozer-Drive, just above the big red virtual LED, you have your Modes and this allows you to set your effect order: Fuzz-Screamer, Parallel or Screamer Fuzz.
Each side of the Dozer-Drive has a virtual footswitch used to engage each circuit individually. There is a master power on/off toggle switch at the top, centre of the plug-in itself.
The Fuzz section is based around a Fuzz Face-style fuzz, and you can switch between NPN/Silicon and PNP/Germanium emulation. You have two controls labelled Drive and Level, plus a Doom Mod switch. Fuse Audio Labs describe this last one as “shifting the operating point of the Fuzz section to give you the ultimate doom/stoner sound”, and it does a pretty good job of doing exactly that. Overall, I found the two fuzz circuits did a very reasonable job of emulating both NPN and PNP circuits, with the NPN giving you a more aggressive brash fuzz tone, as you’d expect.
This whole section is dedicated to the Maxon/Ibanez TubeScreamer-style overdrive pedal, with controls consisting of Drive, Level and Tone, along with a Fat Mod switch. The latter bypasses a virtual capacitor in the Screamer’s tone circuit for more low end.
The plug-in is super simple to operate. Each mode offers you a nice variation that has a noticeable effect on the tone. So just re-ordering the two effects or running them in parallel makes huge differences. If you need a little help getting started, Fuse Audio Labs has included 40 factory presets that cover a lot of ground. Overall, I found myself starting from scratch and dialling in the two sides by ear, as I would any hardware fuzz/drive pedals.
I got the most natural-sounding drive tones when combining the Dozer-Drive with various virtual amp plug-ins. On its own the plug-in sounded a little too thin. That’s not to say you couldn’t use it on drums, synths and samples. But on guitar, you’ll want to combine it with an amp simulation to get the most natural-sounding drive tones.
It worked perfectly on both Apple Silicon and the Intel processor with minimal CPU hits on both platforms. For the minimal outlay, this new dual-drive plug-in gives users some high quality drive tones. I could easily see myself using Dozer-Drive in my DAW setup frequently. I really appreciate a simple user interface. Importantly, it does sound like the effects modelled here, albeit with a much lower noise floor than the originals.
Value for money?
If you need to add some classic drive pedals for your DAW, then Dozer-Drive is certainly worth a punt. The price point is very enticing and comes in at way less money than some of my patch cables for my hardware effects pedals. The plug-in was developed by Reimund Dratwa who runs Fuse Audio Labs in conjunction with Honest Amp Sim Reviews. I think they have done a really good job of capturing the characters of these two classic pedal circuits.
Don’t be put off by the super low price. This little blue plug-in has some great tones available, and covers an awful lot of ground. From mild blues crunch, all the way through to extreme stoner fuzz, the Dozer-Drive has you covered. You can also download a 14-day free trial from the link below, so give it a go on your system.
RRP – USD 19 / GBP 16.50 / EUR 16.75
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