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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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9 of the Best Magnetic Effects Pedals

Big Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzKlone and Transparent OverdriveMagnetic EffectsModulationOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePitchRat Style FuzzSilicon FuzzTone Bender Style FuzzTremoloWah and Fixed Wah+-
2018GPX9MagneticEffects700-min.jpg

It’s a touch an unusual path, but I first came across British pedal brand Magnetic Effects courtesy of American Nick Jaffe’s JustNickMusic YouTube Channel - where he frequently named the White Atom as his all-time favourite fuzz - using it as an overdrive in low-gain, as well as a full-on higher gain fuzz, even on the more gated / velcro spitty side. So Magnetic Effects have been on my radar for a while and I had always intended to get the Flagship White Atom Fuzz which Nick ...

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9 of the Best Chase Bliss Audio Pedals - A Full House at last!

Analog DelayBoostBoost and OverdriveChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoDelayDistortionDriveEffects Pedal MakersEQFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionKlone and Transparent OverdriveModulated FuzzModulationMulti-DriveOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingReverbSilicon FuzzUtilityWah and Fixed Wah+-
2018GPXChaseBlissFullHouse700-min.jpg

With the recent launch of the superb and innovative Dark World Reverb Joel Korte’s Chase Bliss Audio can now provide you with a full pedalboard’s complement of stompboxes. It’s with some sadness that I bemoan the retirement of the still superb Spectre BKM Flanger - it obviously wasn’t shifting enough units to keep its place in the lineup - but I still love and support it!

 

I really don’t think that the Dark World will ever experience similar issues - who&...

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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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Pedal Mania IV - 2018 Mid-Year Update

12 Degrees of SaturationBarn3Bearfoot FXBoost and OverdriveBossChase Bliss AudioCryBabyCustom TonesDelayDiezelDistortionDr ScientistDunlop EffectsEmpress EffectsEventideFuzzGuitar Gear RetailHamstead SoundworksJackson AudioMI EffectsModulationMu-TronOrigin EffectsPedal ManiaPedalboard and Pedal-ChainPitchReverbREVV AmplificationSource AudioSpaceman EffectsStrymonTC ElectronicTech 21 NYCToneQuestUtilityWah and Fixed WahWamplerXotic Effects+-
2018AfBlgSKSignalChainMkIIII700SM-min

My pedal chain has never sounded better, and it’s the closest it’s been yet to achieving my end game of having the perfect pedal in every slot. Of course some slots are more multi-use than others, and some have a plethora of exceptional pedals available for rotation. While many slots have pretty much permanent residents now too.

 

There has been a lot of movement in the first 10 slots, with really only the Tuner at #1 and Compressor at #7 holding firm for now. Even though the...

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What Two Years of Tone-Questing Looks Like - Acquisitions, Passes and Still Probables

Big Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveBossChorus and VibratoCompressorCryBabyDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDriveDual-DriveDunlop EffectsDunlop UltexElectro-HarmonixFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGuitar AccessoriesGuitarsKatanaMarshall Style DistortionModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveOverdrivePaul Reed SmithPicks and PlectrumsPitchPRSReverbReverb WorkstationS-Style and Double-Cut GuitarsStrymonUtilityVolumeWah and Fixed Wah+-
2016AfBlgToneQuest700-min

As stated elsewhere, I got back into guitar again in September 2016, and initially had decided to keep it simple with a great guitar and a cool modern modelling amp. Yet I soon found out that this was not delivering the goods for me and decided in November 2016 that I should pursue the pedal / stompbox route also known as ’pedal platform route’.

 

A very great number of YouTube videos I watched in those early days, as well as pedalboard pictures on Pinterest featured Strymon ...

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Pedal Mania III - Pedal Chain State of the Union, February 2018

12 Degrees of SaturationBearfoot FXBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorCryBabyDelayDelay WorkstationDiezelDigital DelayDigital ReverbDigiTechDistortionDouble TrackingDown-TunerDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveDunlop EffectsEmpress EffectsEQFlangerFoxpedalFriedman EffectsFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGuitar Synth and SequencerHamstead SoundworksJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveNoise GateOCD Style OverdriveOverdrivePedalboard and Pedal-ChainPhaserPitchProAnalog DevicesRat Style FuzzReverbReverb WorkstationRotary SpeakerSinvertekStrymonTC ElectronicTech 21 NYCTone Bender Style FuzzToneQuestTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveTunersUtilityVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed WahWamplerXotic Effects+-
2018AfBlgSKSignalChainMkPAR700

It’s always amusing to set your pedal goals and targets right at the start of the year, and then have to amend them right after the various Winter NAMM announcements. In fact I did a status update at the end of last year, and at the start of this one - which is not a whole lot of days really, but so much as happened in the interim!

 

I kind of got inspired by heavier tones over Christmas - which prompted me to acquire another heavy distortion pedal - in the shape of the MI Audio ...

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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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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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