Score: 4.5 / 5
The Brainworx Black Dist is a plugin based on the ProCo RAT 2 which many call the Rat Box. The Rat box came out in the 70s but this version came out in 1988. It’s sort of an overdrive / fuzz / distortion pedal that can be used for about a billion things.
This pedal has been used for every genre under the sun and for literally every electric instrument ever created but not for it’s versatility as much as it’s signature sound.
David Gilmour, Obituary, The Arctic Monkeys and Bootsy Collins. That’s a random assortment of tones but also the first tones that came to mind that feature the Rat.
The GUI is simple and easy just like the real pedal. It doesn’t really look like a Rat but Brainworx has always used a uniform base graphic for their pedals to promote uniformity across their pedal series.
This is a very authentic representation of the real deal and I have used it on more than a few occasions to create stoner/doom tones. It really provides worlds of depth to the tone when it’s dialed in right but how the Rat gets dialed in really depends on the amp, the cab and other factors. While it does add its signature tone to any set up, you also need to cater your settings to the gear rather than something like a tube screamer where the settings are somewhat more universal.
Explaining what the Rat does is difficult, you really have to go listen to clips or try one for yourself but if you do or if you have experience with this plugin, the real deal or perhaps a clone, you’ll know what I mean by “signature tone”.
UPS / DOWNS:
If you are already a fan of this pedal and want it in plugin form, buy this immediately, it’s worth every dime but if you aren’t familiar, I really suggest you research it because you may fall right in with the rest of the masses of guitarists that swear by it.
The Rat Box has always seemed like a pedal that people either love or hate, it’s rarely in the middle. If you don’t love the Rat, Brainworx probably has another very high quality pedal plugin that will suit your needs.
See more – official Brainworx demo