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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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16 of the Best Glitch Effects Pedals

CatalinbreadCopilot FXDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbDrolo EffectsDwarfcraftEnvelope Filter and Auto WahGlitchGranular DelayHexe EffectsHexe Guitar ElectronicsLooperMalekko Heavy IndustryModulationModulation WorkstationMontreal AssemblyMWFXOddball DelayOddball ModulationPitchPitch-ShiftingPladask ElektriskRecovery EffectsRed Panda LabReverbRing ModulationSlicer and StutterSpacey ReverbThe King of GearTKOGUtility+-
2018GPX16GlitchPedals700-min.jpg

I’m sort of getting to full saturation point with drive, distortion and fuzz pedals - with my ’2018 Year of Fuzz’ coming to a close it’s time to direct my attentions slightly further afield and in new directions. I’ve always had an interest in sort of randomised textural effects - which means that my next significant area of interest will be that roughly defined by the category of ’Glitch’.

 

Most of the featured devices here are different types ...

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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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Meris round off their Quartet / Quadfecta with probably their most appealing pedal to date - the Enzo Multi-Voice Synthesizer

Ambient EffectsBitcrushing and Lo-FiDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbEffects Pedal MakersEnvelope Filter and Auto WahGuitar Synth and SequencerMeris EffectsModulationPlate ReverbReverbRing ModulationShimmer ReverbSpacey Reverb+-
2018GPXMerisQuadfecta700-min.jpg

I have to start this piece by reiterating that the fantastic Meris is really just 3 people - Terry Burton, Jinna Kim and Angelo Mazzocco - with the last mentioned the main sound engineer. They were initially known for making 500 series rack format effects but have since made more of a name for themselves by releasing their signature effects in medium enclosure stompbox pedals - not that different in format from Strymon’s mid-sized boxes.

 

2017 was a bumper year for them as they ...

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6 Compact Multi-Modulation Pedals for Your Consideration

Alexander PedalsChorus and VibratoEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlangerModulationModulation WorkstationMuza EffectsNux FXPhaserRing ModulationRotary SpeakerSouthampton PedalsTC ElectronicTremoloUni-Vibe and VibeZCAT Pedals+-
2018GPX6CompactMultiModulation700-min.jpg

When I wrote my 9 Best Modulation Workstations feature last year, I bemoaned the lack of compact-size multi-modulation pedals. In fact the only one I was really aware of then was the TC Electronic John Petrucci Signature Pedal - The Dreamscape, which I include here again as the only one of these 6 that I currently own.

 

In that same previous 9 best listing, I now own 4 of those covered - the Boss MD-500, Strymon Mobius and Eventide H9 Max besides The Dreamscape. I still have a mind to ...

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21 of the Best Pedals Introduced at Winter NAMM 2018

6 Degrees FXAlexander PedalsAnalog DelayBitcrushing and Lo-FiBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioCrazy Tube CircuitsCryBabyDelayDigital ReverbDistortionDriveDual-DriveDunlop EffectsEmpress EffectsEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGamechanger AudioGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerJHS PedalsKeeley EngineeringKlone and Transparent OverdriveLo-Fi DelayMad Professor EffectsMarshall Style DistortionModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMXRNeunaberOddball ModulationOverdrivePigtronixPitchPitch-ShiftingRainger FXReverbReverb WorkstationRing ModulationSamplerSeymour DuncanSpacey ReverbSuhrTape DelayTone Bender Style FuzzTubescreamer Style OverdriveUtilityWah and Fixed WahWalrus AudioWMD Devices+-
2018AfBlg20NAMMPedals700

Pedals are still my favourite guitar-related field - nothing yields the same degree of instant satisfaction as a smart pedal, and there were quite a number of intriguing ones on offer in this year’s crop. I started aiming for 20, then chopped and changed quite a bit - to end up with this current selection of 21. All of these hold significant interest for me and would be / are being considered for inclusion within my pedal chain and compact and mini collections - for which I currently have...

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Pigtronix doubles down on Compact Analog Guitar Synth Pedals with its new Ringmaster Analog Multiplier

Guitar Synth and SequencerModulationOddball ModulationPigtronixRing Modulation+-
2018AfBlgPigtronixAnalogSynths700

The NAMM promo videos are coming thick and fast now, and the second one below sees Pigtronix announce the arrival of the slightly quirkier twin brother to the Mothership 2 - the Ringmaster as the name suggests combines Ring Modulation into the synth mix, but it does a lot more besides - including - Analog Harmonizing, LFO Modulation, Sample & Hold Modulation, Pitch Tracking Ring Modulation and Pitch Tracking Tremolo.

 

The Mothership 2 has been on my wishlist for quite a while and I ...

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9 of the Best Ring Modulation Pedals for Your Consideration

Alexander PedalsDOD EffectsDwarfcraftElectro-HarmonixFairfield CircuitryModulationMontreal AssemblyRing ModulationSubdecay EffectsWay Huge EffectsZvex+-
2017AfBlg9RingModPedals700

Ring Modulation is quite the ’Marmite’ type of outlier modulation. There’s not a whole load of people that love this effect, but those that do really do. I have 3 pedals which do ring modulation - the Dr Scientist BitQuest, the Strymon Mobius, and the Boss MD-500 - all of those are more generalist modulation pedals - while the ones featured below are more specialist.

 

I rarely ever used the Ring Mod mode (Quadrature) on my Strymon Mobius, and although I can dial in ...

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