Filter content by area of interest
Amps
Boost and Overdrive
Delay
Distortion
Fuzz
Guitars
Modulation
Pitch
Reverb
Utility
All
All

Kim Bjørn and Scott Harper's Pedal Crush is the best book on Effects Pedals to date and the perfect Stocking Filler for Christmas!

Effects Pedal MakersGuitar Gear ResourcesKim BjørnKNOBSPedal CrushScott Harper+-
2019GPXPedalCrushFrontCover700.jpg

I’ve had Pedal Crush since it first came out. I kind of caught the tail-end of the Kickstarter campaign and had the book in my hands right at the start of December. I was considering how best I could feature / review and recommend said book, and I’ve decided to do it kind of as a skim-through rapid overview in 12 referenced pages.

 

Pedal Crush was written by Kim Björn of similarly stylish Patch & Tweak and Push Turn Move fame, and in collaboration with Scott ’KNOBS’ Harper - artful YouTuber extraordinaire.

 

The overall stats are as follows :

  • 800+ Pedals featured
  • 376 Pages
  • c250 x 250 x 30 mm Dimensions
  • 200+ Tips and Tricks
  • 50 Artist and Maker Interviews
  • 49 Chapters across 8 Categories
  • 1.8 kg in weight

General Overview and Serving Suggestions

The book can be be approached and consumed in several ways :

  • Coffee Table Tome - Page and Picture Skimming
  • General Read - Albeit largely a reference work, there are a number of narrative threads and interviews
  • Reference Manual - Lots of tips, tricks and insights

The style of the book is highly visually oriented with 100's of pedal pictures and dozens of illustrations - up to a dozen visual elements feature on near enough every page. It's not quite a D&K Visual Guide style work - but a long way along similar lines. There's so much that this book has in common with this Guitar Pedal X site - the various pedal roundups and references - we obviously adhere to the same sort of philosophy. And I was heartened to see so many brands featured / covered - tiny lesser-known boutique brands as well as the market leaders. The book is not quite fully catholic or all-embracing, but it would be churlish to focus on the omissions when everything is so positive and at such a high quality here.

 

Of the 800+ pedals featured, only around 140 of those overlap with my own collection of 400+ - so there is plenty of scope for further inclusion or more category-specialist books in the future. Also I felt there could have been a little more about some of my own takes on Pedalology - standardised enclosure sizes, mini pedals - and a lot more on Fuzz pedals. I also would have liked to have seen more on enclosure and graphic design - genre colour associations etc. which I have covered extensively on this site.

 

What I liked a lot in the book was seeing several different generations of a pedal's life-span where you see prototypes and early editions alongside current favourites. It really cannot be understated how much detail is covered by this book.

 

Generally though it is a really cleverly assembled, curated and crafted work with real attention to detail and a really rich, deep and wide-ranging coverage. I own most of the main Pedal Books as referenced in the back of Pedal Crush too - and while the 'Boss Book' is possibly still the benchmark reference work on pedals overall - obviously just concentrated on a single brand - Pedal Crush's eclecticism is very much on a similar level.

 

I think all guitar players would benefit from ownership of this book - even those who profess not to like or use pedals - you still need to understand the influence and development of pedals as part of the core guitar sound! You can get Pedal Crush from the official publisher - BJOOKS site.


Chapter Overview and Category Segments

INTRODUCTION - Pg 11

  • STOMPBOX ANATOMY - Controls | Connections | The Inside | DIY
  • AMPLIFICATION - Modeling | Profiles
  • EFFECTS CHAIN - The 4 Cable Method | Less Conventional Idea | Loop Switchers
  • SIGNAL MANAGEMENT - Routing | Boardsavers | Mixing | Creative Flow
  • POWER
  • CONTROL - Volume | Expression | MIDI | Tuning | Tempo | CV Control
  • PEDALBOARD
  • MULTI-EFFECTS - Task-Oriented | Hybrid Options | Board in a Box
  • FX BOARDS
  • SOFTWARE

 

GAIN - Pg 84

  • GAIN - Gain Staging/Stacking | The Stuff of Distortion
  • BOOST - Clean Boost | Dirty Boost | Boost EQ | Treble Boost | Preamp
  • FUZZ - Tone, Bend and Face | Octave Fuzz | Cult Favourites | Fuzzmakers | Oscillating Fuzz
  • DISTORTION - Enter the Diode | Power Amp Distortion | Distortion Designers
  • OVERDRIVE - Discrete Drives | High Voltage | Otherdrives | Transparent Overdrives | Amp Magic | Going Further
  • BICRUSHER - Sample Rate Reduction | Bit Reduction

 

DYNAMICS - Pg 143

  • ENVELOPE & DYNAMICS - Envelope Control | Envelope Shapers | Slopes | Manual Control
  • COMPRESSOR - Compressor Types | Limiters | Multi-Band Compression | Sidechaining | Parallel Compression | Expanding
  • NOISE GATE

 

FREQUENCY - Pg 167

  • FILTER - Filter Types | Following | Triggered | Modulated
  • WAH - Parked Wah | Auto Wah
  • EQ - Shelving EQ | 3-band | Parametric EQ | Graphic EQ | Exciters and Enhancers
  • TALKING PEDALS - Talk Box | Vocoder | Formant

 

TIME - Pg 191

  • DELAY - Oscillation | Tape | Multi-Tap | Oil Can | Analog | Digital | Effected Echoes
  • REVERB - Stereo vs Mono | Spring | Plate | Room | Chamber | Hall | Recreating Spaces | Altered Ambience | Abstract Reverb
  • FREEZE - Natural Feedback
  • GLITCH
  • GRANULAR - Granular Delay | Granular Loopers | Multi-Grain
  • DOUBLER
  • LOOPER - Multi-Track | Loop Effects | Lopers' Delights
  • GOING FURTHER IN TIME - Multiple Stages | Delay and Reverb

 

MODULATION - Pg 261

  • MAKING MODULATION - LFOs | Waveforms
  • TREMOLO - Harmonic Tremolo | Panner | The Classic Couple | Irregular Rhythms
  • FLANGER - Tape Roots | Meet the Comb Filter | Flavors of Flange
  • RING MODULATION - Splitting Bands | Intelligent Ring Mod
  • PHASERS - Stages and Poles | Vibrophase
  • ROTARY - Ramping
  • VIBE - Vibe vs Phaser | The Light Bulb
  • CHORUS - Voices
  • VIBRATO - Nostalgia Machines
  • MODULATION ONWARDS - DIY Modulation

 

PITCH - Pg 325

  • PITCH - Tracking
  • OCTAVE - Analog Octaves
  • PITCH SHIFTER - Polyphony and Dissonance | Detune | Frequency Shifters | Pitch Sequencers
  • HARMONY - Intelligent Harmonizing
  • SYNTH - Waveshaping | PLL | Instrument Converters | Tone Generators | Modularity

 

APPENDIX - Pg 355

  • TIMELINE
  • RESOURCES
  • GLOSSARY
  • ABOUT THE AUTHORS
  • COLOPHON & THE TEAM

Interviews - Artist's and Maker's Pedal Histories and Tips

Interviews - Artist's and Maker's Pedal Histories and Tips

Many of my favourites feature here, but there are some significant omissions too in terms of key characters in pedal history, development and innovation - yet a great many are represented here and the breadth and depth of these also underlines the all-encompassing nature of this book.


Page 15 - The Inside | Analog & Digital Internals

Page 15 - The Inside | Analog & Digital Internals

My first reference is from a double-spread covering the different formats of pedal construction - this illustrates the depth of detail and reference nature of the book.


Page 29 - Effects Chain | The 4-Cable Method

Page 29 - Effects Chain | The 4-Cable Method

From a fantastic double-spread covering the Effects Chain - and transitioning from Tuner on the Right through Compressor etc. and onto Reverb on the left. A great mix of illustration with some simple but great advice.


Page 54 - New Horizons for the Harp | A harpist's pedalboard - Lara Somogyi

Page 54 - New Horizons for the Harp | A harpist's pedalboard - Lara Somogyi

7, 8 or 9 strings too much for you - how about 47? It's not only Guitarists and Keys players making great use of these effects pedals, but various other woodwind, brass, and stringed instruments of course - including the Harp. Giving a multi-textural instrument even further nuances and levels of texture!


Page 70 - ZOIA - the infinite pedal

Page 70 - ZOIA - the infinite pedal

The story of probably the most advanced effects pedal to date - Empress Effects Zoia Modular Synthesis / Multi-Effects masterpiece. Empress's Steve Bragg gives a potted history of the birth and development of said pedal.


Page 85 - Gain staging / stacking

Page 85 - Gain staging / stacking

I'm a big fan and practitioner of gain-stacking and have lots of those pedals featured on the page - of course gain stacking is even more fun nowadays as you have switching devices which let you play in parallel as well as either-way series - to build up impossibly complex and articulate saturations and textures which weren't possible previously.


Page 86 - The stuff of distortion

Page 86 - The stuff of distortion

Another fantastic double-spread taking us through different circuits of distortion - Boost, Fuzz, and then on the opposite page (out of shot) - Distortion and Overdrive - just beautiful details here - really elegantly communicated!


Page 114 - RAT!

Page 114 - RAT!

One of my favourite distortion / fuzzstortion types where I have 15 representatives of the genre in the collection - with still the Wave Cannon and Earthbound Iron Pig to add - I probably also want an original red Rat at some stage too. There really should be a picture of the Jam Pedals Rattler here too as it is really that iconic for that style of Rat.


Page 124 - Tube Screamer

Page 124 - Tube Screamer

You cannot ignore the legendary Tube Screamer Overdrive - which is at the foundation of most pedal maker's early histories - near enough everyone has made one - several of my own favourites are featured on this page - and my former all-time favourite Foxpedal The City V2 is featured elsewhere in the same chapter - on page 135!


Page 134 - GAIN - Going further

Page 134 - GAIN - Going further

Yet another great double-page spread on different types of gain staging - series and parallel, boosted, disintegrated and oscillated.


Page 236 - GRANULAR - Multi-grain

Page 236 - GRANULAR - Multi-grain

I'm a big fan of all types of Granular pedals and a proud owner of both the Fabrikat and Cloudy featured on this spread. The Infinite Jet is also of course amazing but a little large for my preferences and practicalities. All these pedals need more presets!


Page 239 - Design with Conceptual Integrity - Curt Malouin of Red Panda

Page 239 - Design with Conceptual Integrity - Curt Malouin of Red Panda

A cool page showing the development of the first major version of the Red Panda Particle Granular Delay - I have and love this year's follow-up Particle V2 - which is improved in every area - with better algorithms, dual footswitches and 4 presets onboard - all in a smaller chassis!


Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

in previous years I've presented a selection of possible stocking fillers and Christmas gifts for guitarists. This year I'm only suggesting this one fantastic book. Everyone should have one - lots of Pedal vendors have bought copies for re-sale which are available via Reverb.com for instance for an average of around £65 equivalent including delivery.

 

You can always of course buy direct from the main creator and publisher via www.pushturnmove.com / Pedal Crush.

 

I've been dipping regularly into the books since I got it - and I will admit that it's size and hardback format makes it a somewhat challenging bathroom read - but I'm still persevering! It mostly sits right next to my desk / main centre of operation in any case.


Inspiration!

Inspiration!

It's nice to know that Guitar Pedal X helped inspire this book! (click image to enlarge)

 

I have always thought of it as the sort of book equivalent / companion to what I try to do on this site. And Scott 'knobs_demos' Harper is definitely a hero of mine.

Share to TwitterShare to Facebook
Add New Comment
You must be registered and logged in to comment
Profile
Stefan Karlsson
Stefan Karlsson
Guitar Pedal X
News Navigation

2020 50




















28 of the Best Compact Overdrive Pedals - 2020 Ultimate Selection
"Hello Mr. Karlsson, did you had a chance to try W"...
6 hours ago
9 of the Best Chase Bliss Audio Pedals - A Full House at last!
"Hey Tiago - I still really like Chase Bliss's "...
27 days ago
9 of the Best Chase Bliss Audio Pedals - A Full House at last!
"Stefan - apologies for jumping around old posts "...
27 days ago
12 of the Best Compact Tube Screamer-style Pedals
"Tiago - yes for sure it would be more versatile "...
28 days ago
12 of the Best Compact Tube Screamer-style Pedals
"Thanks, I am currently undecided between the F"...
28 days ago
12 of the Best Compact Tube Screamer-style Pedals
"The Jackson Audio Broken Arrow would be my own "...
29 days ago
12 of the Best Compact Tube Screamer-style Pedals
"How does the Jackson Audio Broken Arrow tube "...
29 days ago
The Kind of Pedal we would love to see Strymon do next
"In terms of doing an Iridium Deluxe - I would "...
18-Feb-2020
The Kind of Pedal we would love to see Strymon do next
"Paulo - I think there's two different areas here "...
18-Feb-2020
The Kind of Pedal we would love to see Strymon do next
"In a big iridium it would be amazing to have "...
17-Feb-2020
Waiting