Fazertone offers The Klone, a FREE overdrive guitar pedal plugin for macOS and Windows.
I’m sure the name gave it away, but The Klone is based on the legendary Klon Centaur overdrive pedal.
Although it’s easier to find a Klon Centaur than a half-man/half-horse creature, the two share a similar mythical status. Finding one of Bill Finnegan’s iconic pedals in close to perfect condition is no easy task, and if you do, you better have deep pockets.
The demand for that natural sounding overdrive that comes, in part, from the Centaur’s built-in voltage converter and the dual-ganged gain pot has never gone away. It has led to multiple developers trying to replicate it in plugin form, like the Chow Centaur, Clon Minotaur, and now The Klone.
Fazertone has stayed true to the original with a basic (but nice-looking) GUI, with Gain, Treble, and Output knobs.
Fazertone tackled this recreation with a custom-built neural network inference engine. This engine is the result of extensive circuit analysis and machine learning that Fazertoe preferred over a traditional DSP approach. The Chow Centaur has a Neural Mode that utilizes the neural network approach, too.
I’d love to say I grabbed my guitar and rocked out with The Klone like Marty McFly or the Karate Kid himself, Ralph Macchio, that one time he beat Steve Vai in Crossroads. Sadly, my guitar playing leaves much to be desired. But, something I liked about Fazertone’s product info is that they included demos on other instruments.
I know using guitar pedals on keyboards and other instruments is nothing new. But I think many non-guitarists ignore plugins like The Klone, assuming it’s not for them, and it’s such a waste.
I’ve tried it out on synths, organs, and electric pianos, and I like it a lot. I especially like it on electric piano sounds because sometimes you don’t get the responsiveness from a preset or by using other effects.
The Klone gives me a quick and easy way to control the overdrive authentically through expression and dynamics. I can keep my tone relatively clean and bring out as much overdrive or crunch as I want by digging in more, which is what the Klon Centaur did best.
As before, I don’t have a Klon Centaur for a direct comparison, but I think The Klone is a worthy tribute, indeed. If any of you guitarists own or have used a real Klon Centaur, it would be interesting to hear your thoughts.
You can download The Klone free in AU and VST3 formats (AAX coming soon) for macOS (10.14 upwards, Intel/M1 compatible) and Windows 7, 8, or 10.
Fazertone is relatively new, and The Klone is a lovely freebie; hopefully, good things to come!
Download: The Klone (VST3/AU plugin format for Windows & macOS)