ブラブラ (Burabura)

ブラブラ (BuraBura)

Japanese has a rich collection of words that are often translated as “onomatopoeia.” English has onomatopoeia too—words that sound like the thing they describe, like “plop” or “fizz” or when KRS-One says, “Woop! Woop! That’s the sound of da police.” Japanese has words like this, and also has a ton of mimetic words that are used in a similar way but don’t have an actual sound. Like くよくよ (kuyokuyo) is “the sound” of worrying. I’ve even seen it translated as “worrying about the past or trivial things.” グルグル (guruguru) is the sound of spinning around. もじもじ (mujimuji) is the sound of being paralyzed by embarrassment. There are thousands of these.

ブラブラ (burabura) is one of the few onomatopoeia that I can recall on demand, and has something to do with wandering around aimlessly. While the Japanese word does not equate to a literal sound, this pedal may be what it would sound like.


ブラブラ is a harmonic tremolo. A “standard” tremolo is an amplitude modulator…it’s like automating volume knob to go up and down a given amount at a given rate. That can be a cool effect too, but a harmonic tremolo works on a completely different principal. It splits the signal into two, runs them through low and high pass filters so that one only contains the highs and the other only contains the lows, then does the amplitude modulation thing on each of them, but out of phase such that as the lows are coming up the highs are going down and vice versa once they’re mixed back together. There are still pulses, like in a pure-amplitude tremolo, but it’s more swooshy and phasey sounding. The pedal is made from the BYOC Brown Face Harmonic Tremolo (named after the brief era of Fender amps that had a tube-driven harmonic tremolo) and modified with help from the folks at BYOC to have a “low gear” that will make it go even slower than stock. Slow and low; that is the tempo.

Vital Stats

くねくね (Meandering)
シング ライク トーキング (Sing Like Talking)
こぽこぽ (Gently Bubbling Water)
からんからん (Clang Clang)
外国語 (Foreign Language)


This sample starts with the Coronacaster into the ブラブラ with an amp on the edge of breakup, then there’s a second instance of the same guitar in the middle pickup position with a Do Attend in front of it.

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Mind your tone (this is a pedal joke)