Watch the Univibe online guitar lesson by Jeff McErlain from Guitar Effects Survival Guide
The Uni-Vibe was released in 1968 and became an immediate favorite of Jimi Hendrix, David Gilmour, and Robin Trower. It is actually a phase shifting effect, but what makes it groundbreaking is its use of an LFO (low frequency oscillator) to create the sweeping effect. It also uses a photocell to control the speed of the sweeping effect. That is basically a little light bulb inside the unit that will pulse at whatever speed the rate knob is set to. Also the brighter the pulse of the bulb the more dramatic the effect. Unlike the unit I am using here, the original units were large, AC powered, and the speed was controlled with an external pedal. Vintage Uni-Vibe pedals are very expensive at this point but fortunately we can find some very high quality reissues. Famous uses of Uni-Vibe are “Machine Gun” by Jimi Hendrix, “Bridge of Sighs” by Robin Trower, and “Breathe” by Pink Floyd.