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The Empress Zoia Lands April 15th! - or rather starts shipping then actually

BoostBoost and OverdriveChorus and VibratoCompressorDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDown-TunerDriveEmpress EffectsEQFlangerFuzzGuitar Synth and SequencerHarmonizerLooperModulationModulation WorkstationNoise GateOctaverOddball FuzzOddball ModulationOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingPlate ReverbReverbRing ModulationTremoloUtilityVolumeWah and Fixed Wah+-
2019GPXEmpressZoiaFinal700-min.jpg

Now definitively defined as a Pedal-format Modular Synthesizer, Sequencer and Multi-Effects unit. The control interface consists of a small OLED screen accompanied by a grid of 40 (5x8) 7-coloured LED backlit soft-touch buttons, 4 further control buttons for Secondary Functions, and a large Menu scroll dial. There are 3 footswitches to activate live playback and scroll through presets.

 

Essentially you have a building-block interface-led hybrid-modular-synthesiser where you chain ...

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Pedal Chain 2019 Future Plans, Acquisitions and Alternative Arrangements

12 Degrees of SaturationAleks K ProductionAutomatoneBearfoot FXBeetronics FXBenson AmpsBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionBufferChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorDecibelicsDelayDelay WorkstationDemon PedalsDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDr ScientistDriveDrolo EffectsDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEmpress EffectsEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQEventideFeaturedFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerHarmonizerJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperMarshall Style DistortionMeris EffectsMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMu-TronOCD Style OverdriveOctaverOddball DelayOddball FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePedalboard and Pedal-ChainPhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingPladask ElektriskRack Style ReverbRat Style FuzzRed Witch EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationREVV AmplificationShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSource AudioSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbStrymonTape DelayTC ElectronicThorpyFXTone Bender Style FuzzToneQuestTremoloTrue North PedalsTubescreamer Style OverdriveUtilityVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed WahWampler+-
2019GPXSKSignalChainMkII700-min.jpg

So it’s that usual post NAMM-haze time where I figure out the longer-term impact of NAMM, and how those new products will affect the layout, order and composition of my now sort of 40-slot pedal-chain. As noted several times - this was indeed a bumper year for really innovative and highly appealing new pedals - and I will look to accommodate a number of those as they materialise in the forthcoming months.

 

As I hinted in my last pedal-chain overview - while 2018 was very evidently...

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Pedal-Chain State of the Union Autumn Harvest & End of Year Upheavals

Abracadabra AudioAmbient EffectsBearfoot FXBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorCustom TonesDecibelicsDelayDelay WorkstationDiezel AmplificationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDigiTechDistortionDouble TrackingDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEchoverbEmpress EffectsEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQEventideFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGlitchHarmonizerJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveLo-Fi DelayMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMu-TronNoise GateOCD Style OverdriveOctaverOddball FuzzOpAmp FuzzOrigin EffectsOscillating FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingPlate ReverbPower SuppliesRat Style FuzzReverbReverb WorkstationREVV AmplificationRing ModulationRotary SpeakerShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSlicer and StutterSource AudioSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbStrymonTC ElectronicTech 21 NYCToneQuestTremoloUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed WahWamplerXotic Effects+-
2018GPXSKSignalChainMkVII700-min.jpg

UPDATE 1 - It’s often the case that just after you publish, something big happens which forces a change of stance. On this occasion it was the release of the truly amazing Wampler Pantheon Overdrive which has immediately found its way into Slot #10 of the chain. In fact I have sort of swapped slots #10 and #12 around - relegating the Spaceman Aphelion to a supporting role for now.

 

UPDATE 2 - Still no word from Jackson Audio on the delayed Bloom Compressor etc. - which means the ...

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35 of the Best Boss Compact Guitar Pedals - 2018 Update

Acoustic SimulatorAlchemy AudioAmbient EffectsAnalog DelayBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChorus and VibratoCompressorDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDriveDual-DriveEffects Pedal MakersEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionHarmonizerKeeley EngineeringLooperMaestro Style FuzzMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModified PedalsModulationMulti-DriveNoise GateOctave FuzzOctaverOverdrivePitchPitch-ShiftingReverbSilicon FuzzSpring ReverbSuper-Fuzz StyleTalk Box and VocoderTremoloTunersUtilityWaza Craft+-
2018AfBlg35BossCompacts700V3-min

So last year was the 40th anniversary of the Boss Compact Pedal (1977 - 2017) and I did a feature to commemorate that notable milestone. On that occasion I picked out 20 of my favourite Boss Compacts - past and present.

 

In the intervening time I’ve got more and more into Boss pedals - particularly modified versions, and have decided to extend the list to cover the additional pedals I am interested in. There is still a part of me that prefers the MXR-style enclosure, especially ...

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2018 Guitar Pedal Goals and Wishlists

12 Degrees of SaturationBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionCatalinbreadChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorCryBabyCustom TonesDawner Prince EffectsDelayDelay WorkstationDiezelDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveDunlop EffectsEmpress EffectsEQFlangerFoxpedalFriedman EffectsFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGuitar Synth and SequencerHamstead SoundworksHarmonizerJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveNoise GateOCD Style OverdriveOpAmp FuzzOrigin EffectsOverdrivePedalboard and Pedal-ChainPhaserPigtronixPitchPitch-ShiftingReverbReverb WorkstationRotary SpeakerSilicon FuzzStrymonTC ElectronicTech 21 NYCToneQuestTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveTunersUtilityVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed WahWampler+-
2018AfBlgSKSignalChainMKV700

So by the end of 2017, my chain was in a particularly good place and numbering 36 strong. In one of my more recent posts I had set out a rough future phase plan, but as always that got somewhat bounced with the unexpected arrival of the Hamstead Odyssey Intergalactic Driver - which turns out to be a superbly versatile OCD+ replacement / swap-out for my chain. Over Christmas I discovered a new favourite band - in the guise of In This Moment, which led to my acquiring my second MI Audio pedal - ...

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2017 New Guitar Pedals of the Year

Alexander PedalsAmptweakerBeat MachineBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoost and OverdriveBossBuild Your Own CloneBYOCChase Bliss AudioDelayDelay WorkstationDiezelDigital DelayDigital ReverbDigiTechDistortionDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEarthQuaker DevicesEchoverbEmpress EffectsFriedman EffectsFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGFI SystemGlitchGuitar Synth and SequencerHarmonizerHologram ElectronicsJ RockettJRADKeeley EngineeringKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveOddball FuzzOddball ModulationOscillating FuzzOverdrivePigtronixPitchPitch-ShiftingReverbReverb WorkstationSource AudioStrymonTC ElectronicUtilityWampler+-
2017AfBlgPedalsOfTheYear700

For me this has been a pretty bumper year for new pedals. Some of the much hyped ones are only fairly recently in distribution - like the much delayed Source Audio Ventris Dual Reverb, while we’re still waiting for the Pigtronix Mothership 2 to reach these shores. There were also many surprises throughout the year - like Boss’s resurgence and the dramatic increase in dual-effect and dual-footswitch pedals. We had the dual serendipitous launches of two very functionally similar ...

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9 of the Best Pitch-Shifter and Harmonizer Pedals for Your Consideration

BossDigiTechDwarfcraftEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixEventideFuzzHarmonizerMooerOddball FuzzPitchPitch-ShiftingTC Electronic+-
2017AfBlg9PitchShftrPedals700

It’s really cool that Eventide in its PitchFactor workstation pedal - has a big box equivalent to the usual modulation, delay and reverb types. Yet Eventide is alone in compiling / combining such a full range of pitch-shifting and harmonizing effects into one pedal - there really is no other equivalent to that collection of 10 modes - Diatonic | Quadravox | Harmonic Modulator | MicroPitch | H910 / H949 Harmonizer | PitchFlex | Octaver | Crystals | HarPeggiator | Synhonizer. Everyone else ...

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20 of the Best Boss Compact Guitar Pedals for Your Consideration

Analog DelayBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChorus and VibratoDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDriveDual-DriveEffects Pedal MakersEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQFlangerFuzzHarmonizerLooperMetal DistortionModulationNoise GateOctave FuzzOctaverOverdrivePitchReverbReverb WorkstationSpring ReverbSuper-Fuzz StyleTunersUtility+-
2017AfBlg20BossCompacts700

Note - Updated and expanded version [here]

 

I checked out the Boss 40th Anniversary Exhibition on Saturday and attended Rabea’s workshop later in the afternoon at House of Vans, at the back and beyond of Waterloo Station; that overall event has now drawn to a close. I was a little late in deciding whether and when to go and so missed out on the ’That Pedal Show’ live experience earlier in the day. I was also a might peeved I did not get one of the commemorative pin ...

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