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Josh Smith's Pedalboard Dynamics and Essential Tone Components

BoostDanelectroDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDriveDunlop EffectsEchoverbEventideGFI SystemHarmonizerKing Tone EffectsLoop-SwitcherLovepedalMarshall Style DistortionModulationModulation WorkstationMorningstar FXMythos PedalsOctaverOverdrivePitchPitch-ShiftingPower SuppliesReverbReverb WorkstationTC ElectronicTubescreamer Style OverdriveTunersUtilityVemuramWah and Fixed Wah+-
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So I seem to have fallen into something of a Josh Smith ToneQuest phase of late. I’ve always been a fan of his core signature tone/s while not necessarily the biggest fan of his musical output per se. His first influence on me was his signature Eventide H9 Rotary preset - which settings I share in this post. I have somewhat fallen into using my own H9 mostly in Josh’s Rotary mode - with a few choice reverbs and delays too, but modulations generally coming from other parts of my ...

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28 of the Best Mini Fuzz Pedals - 2019 Edition

AnalogWise PedalsBig Muff Style FuzzDeadFXD-SoundDunlop EffectsEl Músico Loco FXEWS EffectsFree Fall DiverFunction F(X)FuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzHendrix EffectsIbanezJHS PedalsJimi HendrixKO AmpsLovepedalMalekko Heavy IndustryModulated FuzzMooerMXRMythos PedalsNFYFXOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOneControlOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzPigtronixRainger FXRat Style FuzzSilicon FuzzSuper-Fuzz StyleSviSoundTone Bender Style FuzzZvex+-
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When I started this roundup a few years ago, there were only 9 pedals in my selection, while this latest edition has 28 - which will likely be the maximum number I display here - I will just ongoingly swap in newer and more interesting pedals as and when I come across them - for future roundups.

 

I’ve long since singled out Fuzz Pedals as being particularly suitable for the mini format - and in fact my first long-term pedal-chain fuzz was the still excellent EWS Little Fuzzy Drive...

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Favourite Pedals released in and around Summer NAMM 2019

Alexander PedalsBig Ear PedalsBoostBoost and OverdriveDistortionDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveDunlop EffectsDwarfcraftFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGamechanger AudioGreer AmpsGuitar Synth and SequencerKorora AudioMad Professor EffectsMarshall Style DistortionModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMythos PedalsOctave FuzzOctaverOddball FuzzOddball ModulationOverdrivePitchPitch-ShiftingRat Style FuzzRing ModulationSilicon FuzzSinvertekSource AudioThird Man RecordsTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveUni-Vibe and VibeWampler+-
2019GPXBestSummerNAMMPedals700-min.jpg

I have covered off a number of my favourite Summer NAMM pedals already - including the Boss 200 range, RC-10R and SY-1, the Fulltone OCD Ge, the REVV G2, the Spaceman Effects Gemini IV, and Walrus Audio Kangra for instance. And there’s a couple more surprise ones I will be posting as dedicated features very soon - so stay alert for those! In the wake of one of the best ever Winter NAMM’s it was clear that the Summer NAMM could never match that degree of innovation - in fact most of ...

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Express Yourself! Smart Compact Solutions to Expression Control

Classic Audio EffectsDunlop EffectsExpressionOld Blood Noise EndeavorsSeafoam PedalsUtility+-
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This article was triggered by the recent release of the diminutive Old Blood Noise Endeavors Expression Slider - which has yet to reach distribution on this side of the pond. I’ve long held a love/hate relationship with expression pedals - where the only one acquired to date has been the Dunlop DVP4 Volume (X) Mini - which enjoyed a relatively short stint in my pedal-chain.

 

I really like the idea of TC Electronic’s ’MASH’ functionality - which brings the ...

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16 of the Best Octave Fuzz Pedals - 2019 Edition

AnasoundsBearfoot FXBeetronics FXBossCaroline Guitar CompanyDrolo EffectsDunlop EffectsFunction F(X)FuzzJimi HendrixKing Tone EffectsOctave FuzzRabbit Hole FXSolidGoldFXSpaceman EffectsStomp Audio LabsTsakalis Audio WorksVahlbruch FXWampler+-
2019GPX16BestOctaveFuzzes700-min.jpg

I’ve found myself increasingly interested in Octave Fuzzes these days, and in fact I have two slightly different ones right now in my pedal-chain - the Anasounds Crankled Bitoun near the front of the chain, and the Beetronics FX Octahive around half-way along - they both have quite different timbres and tonalities, and are furthermore set to sound quite different too, but both create incredibly thick and rich fuzz tones.

 

I really enjoyed JHS Josh Scott’s recent Octave Fuzz ...

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RIP Jim Dunlop - King of the Picks

CryBabyDunlop EffectsDunlop ManufacturingDunlop PicksGuitar AccessoriesGuitar HeroesJimi HendrixMXRPicks and PlectrumsPitchUtilityWay Huge Effects+-
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Dunlop Manufacturing is one of the many, as well as one of the chief family businesses in the general guitar industry / sector - setting the pace and scope of what’s possibly with quality gear alongside outfits like Ernie Ball for over half a century (since 1965). And while Jim’s involvement of late has not been so prominent as in previous years, he has nonetheless left an indelible mark on the brands that he developed, innovated and evolved.

 

Dunlop probably means a great ...

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The Best New Pedals In and Around Winter NAMM 2019 Show

Alexander PedalsAutomatoneBeetronics FXBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoDelayDemon PedalsDigital DelayDistortionDriveDumble Style OverdriveDunlop EffectsEventideExpressionFlangerFoxpedalFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayIbanezJHS PedalsKeeley EngineeringKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperLoop-SwitcherMetal DistortionModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveNeunaberOctave FuzzOctaverOddball DelayOddball FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingRainger FXRed Panda LabRed Witch EffectsREVV AmplificationRotary SpeakerSilicon FuzzSpaceman EffectsStrymonSuper-Fuzz StyleTape DelayTC ElectronicThorpyFXTremoloTsakalis Audio WorksTubescreamer Style OverdriveTWA EffectsUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityVemuramWamplerWren and Cuff+-
2019GPXNAMMPedalHighlights700-min.jpg

This year’s show has seen a bumper crop of interesting new pedals. In fact I was so dazzled by all the various cool pedals that I did not take note of much else - actually not entirely as there were a few synths weirdly that I liked the look of - including the new Teenage Engineering Modular Series in particular. There were very few guitars or amps though that properly piqued my interest.

 

Special thanks to Delicious Audio / Stombox Exhibit / 60 Cycle Hum and Premier Guitar in ...

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12 of the Best Uni-Vibe Style Pedals

Dawner Prince EffectsDigiTechDLS EffectsDryBell EffectsDunlop EffectsEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixFulltone EffectsJAM PedalsJHS PedalsModulationMXRRetroman EffectsTC ElectronicUni-Vibe and Vibe+-
2018GPX12BestUnivibes700-min.jpg

I have to confess that I used to be a touch confused between Chorus/Vibrato and Vibe/Uni-Vibe effects. In certain pedals there is a degree of overlap, but generally a genuine Uni-Vibe pedal is actually a sort of phaser / phase-shifter whose effect is generated by bulb-driven photocell modulation. The original Shin-Ei Uni-Vibe was developed in around 1967/8 to replicate the Leslie / Rotary Speaker sound. While it did not come nearly close enough to achieving that effect, it did nonetheless ...

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2018 Year of Fuzz Tone Quest

Basic AudioBearfoot FXBig Muff Style FuzzBossCatalinbreadChase Bliss AudioCrazy Tube CircuitsDr ScientistDr. No EffectsDunlop EffectsElectro-HarmonixFoxpedalFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzJHS PedalsMaestro Style FuzzMatthews EffectsModulated FuzzMonsterpieceOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOld Blood Noise EndeavorsOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzPLBR EffectsProAnalog DevicesRat Style FuzzShift LineSide EffectsSilicon FuzzSkreddy PedalsSolidGoldFXSpaceman EffectsSubdecay EffectsSuper-Fuzz StyleThorpyFXTone Bender Style FuzzVFE PedalsWalrus AudioZvex+-
2018AfBlgYearOfFuzz700-min.jpg

My big thing his year - apart from the usual pedal-chain ToneQuest has been my separate ’Year of Fuzz’ journey for which this article will probably be a Part 1, even though I’ve already reached most of the goals I set at the start of the year, and am somewhat over quota! When I first started down this road I really did not know too much about fuzz beyond Hendrix really. I did not realise how much fuzz was actually used on so many of my favourite records and tracks. I also love...

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Pedal Mania IV - 2018 Mid-Year Update

12 Degrees of SaturationBarn3Bearfoot FXBoost and OverdriveBossChase Bliss AudioCryBabyCustom TonesDelayDiezelDistortionDr ScientistDunlop EffectsEmpress EffectsEventideFuzzHamstead 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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