Check out the video review here, then scroll down for even more details about the new Dozer Drive:
Dozer Drive has an attractive blue-and-orange color scheme with an aged appearance; exactly the kind of vintage patina look I have grown to expect from Fuse. The MXR-style knobs are an aged white, and the two power LEDs above the Fuzz and Screamer are also a baby blue and bright orange. Lots of little toggle switches are everywhere, and a knurled mix knob sits in the top middle below the power toggle. Everything is easy to find and has a beautiful vintage appearance.
Though simple in operation, Dozer Drive has a lot to offer in the way of features. Let’s check them out:
The Fuzz section is an emulation of a vintage Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face, a guitar pedal that has many well-known players, including Jimi Hendrix. Besides the standard Drive and Level controls, there are two very cool additions: the Doom Mod, which provides a heavily clipping, raucous fuzz distortion; and the Transistor Switch, which lets you swap out between a Germanium or Silicon transistor with the flip of a switch, taking you from classic to modern tones with ease.
The Screamer section is modeled after a classic Ibanez Tube Screamer, and to my ears has the warmer TS808 sound. The Tone knob has a ton of range, just like the original, and the Fat Mod switch lets you bypass an internal capacitor to add some beefy low-end to the tone.
Routing and Blending
The Routing and Blending section of Dozer Drive is where the real Fuse Audio flavor comes out. The Mode switch lets you decide who goes first, the Fuzz or the Screamer, both of which impart interesting tonal differences, but the real prize is when you set it to parallel. In parallel mode, you can use the Mix knob to blend just the right amount of each pedal emulation, then with just a few slight twists of the drive knobs and resetting the mix to taste you can have a completely different tone.
From a usability perspective, I couldn’t find a tone I didn’t like in Dozer Drive. Flipping switches and twisting knobs even slightly changes the overall tone drastically and makes for a fun playing experience and a great addition to any pedal platform. It plays well with all the amp sims I tried it on, and though it doesn’t have MIDI, it does have automation hooks for triggering changes in your DAW in the middle of a track. The parallel routing in Dozer Drive makes this an absolute unit, with an infinitely variable and blendable tone between the two emulations in one pedal. I didn’t want to put the guitar or bass down, which makes it an easy 5 stars for usability.
Hear it in Action
Thie review is a little light on words because it’s a fairly simple pedal to use, so I thought I’d make up for it with lots of audio samples. Here’s a simple chord with the Fuzz emulation by itself:
And here’s the same chord using just the Screamer:
And, the real prize, the blend of the two:
Here’s a mix with Dozer Drive on both guitars and the bass:
And finally, here’s the same mix with Dozer Drive toggled off:
Fuse Audio Labs Dozer Drive Review – The Bottom Line
I feel like this whole paragraph could be summed up by saying “it’s a Fuse Audio Labs plugin for 19 bucks, buy it,” but I will add that at even double the price I would consider Dozer Drive a 5-star value. You can easily spend that much on a single emulation of one of these two pedals, so to get them both, plus the awesome routing options, makes this a no-brainer for value.
Once again Fuse Audio Labs has knocked it out of the park with Dozer Drive – a fun, gritty, dirty, and warm emulation, this time of two fan-favorite guitar pedals at an incredibly affordable price. What’s not to like? If you’re recording guitars in the box, or if you want to add some crunch to the tones you’re getting from miking cabs, this is a great tool to have in your virtual pedalboard. Paired with Fuse Audio Labs’ other pedal suite, this in an even better choice for adding unique flavors to your guitar mixes. I give Dozer Drive an enthusiastic 5 stars and an easy recommendation.