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Boost and Overdrive

Mad Professor David Rainger of Rainger FX Wins NAMM 2020 with his quirky slightly-novelty Minibar Liquid Analyser Overdrive!

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We have to offer up thanks to the gear gods for a genius with quite such limitless fertile imagination. I can imagine Gamechanger Audio’s take on this would be quite different and more complex, but David is definitely not afraid of the stranger side of things - with none of his effects pedals being even remotely vanilla. And even though there are some practicality issues with the Minibar in its current format - it is nonetheless ingenious and effective in what it does.


David’s latest creation has only a single control on it - a volume knob! The Gain Structure and Tonality of the overdrive are determined by what sort of liquid you pour into its mini-bowl-like receptacle. At the base of the bowl you can see two sensors - which sculpt the tonality of the pedal depending on the density and viscosity of the liquid as well as its darkness and opacity / transparency. Different liquids and fluids will give you quite different tones - with denser and darker liquids producing more bass-heavy, gainier and generally darker tones. And the lighter ones giving you more treble-y lighter styles of overdrive - but do not that density and viscosity are key too, as you can get some very dense clear liquids.


For practicality sake I would have preferred some sort of swappable capsule approach here - as the need to clean out and dry the analysis chamber / receptacle for every change surely gets tedious after a while. The receptacle has a lid to it, so the unit is pretty self-contained as such, and obviously you can use your guitar’s control knobs for further sculpting - while you need an entirely new and different liquid if you wish to significantly change Gain or Tone.


There are obviously various ways Rainger FX could have gone here - like I say, I imagine Gamechanger would have come up with quite a different approach for the same sort of format. Being straightforward and easy translates to a relatively low cost of just £119. This is a genuine fun inspiration machine that most can afford - and probably good for when you are totally stuck in a rut. Yet I would imagine it would have rather limited touring applications!

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Stefan Karlsson
Stefan Karlsson
Guitar Pedal X
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