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Cooper FX Arcades Modular Multi-FX Workstation : Card Spotlight Series #7 : GRAINS

Cooper FXDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbGlitchGranular Delay+-
2021GPXCooperFXArcadesGrainsCard700V3.jpg

I’ve always loved granular delays - those disjointed skittery delay taps - since my very first encounter with the Montreal Assembly Count to Five. However I’ve oft times struggled to dial in the right balance of texture and effect to ensure that it fully delivers its character - without unduly interrupting or overly colouring the flow of music.

 

It can be quite tricky at times to dial such effects in fully musically - and some patience is definitely required for the process ...

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32 Key Guitar Effects Pedal Types - Preferred Compact Pedal per Type

Acoustic SimulatorAmbient EffectsAmp and Cab IR SimAnalog DelayBeat MachineBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionBufferChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorCrazy Tube CircuitsCryBabyDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDr ScientistDriveDrive WorkstationDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveDunlop EffectsEchoverbElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQFeaturedFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerJackson AudioJAM PedalsJHS PedalsKlone and Transparent OverdriveLo-Fi DelayLooperMaestro Style FuzzMarshall Style DistortionModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMulti-FXNoise GateOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOctaverOddball DelayOddball FuzzODR Style OverdriveOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePeterson TunersPhaserPitchPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbRat Style FuzzReverbReverb WorkstationRotary SpeakerShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSinvertekSource AudioSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbSuper-Fuzz StyleTape DelayTC ElectronicTimmyTone Bender Style FuzzTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveTunersTweed Style OverdriveUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityVolumeVox Style DistortionVS AudioWah and Fixed WahWalrus Audio+-
2021AfBlg32CompactPedalType700.jpg

It was only natural that the Compact Format Preferred Versions feature should follow the Mini examples. Again largely inspired by the recent ’12 Degrees’ projects.

 

Once more I’ve had a change of mind on some of the candidates and the preferred examples are slightly different to those previous references. Obviously new pedals have arisen, and priorities and preferences can shift fairly regularly based on prevailing mood.

 

That said, most of these are long-term...

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28 Key Guitar Effects Pedal Types - Preferred Mini Pedal per Type

Acoustic SimulatorAmp and Cab IR SimBanana EffectsBecos FXBitcrushing and Lo-FiBoostBoost and OverdriveChorus and VibratoCompressorDecibelicsDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDriveDSM NoisemakerEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQFeaturedFlangerFunction F(X)FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGlitchGuitar Synth and SequencerHotone EffectsIbanezKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperModulationMooerMr Black PedalsMXRNoise GateOctaverOneControlOverdrivePhaserPigtronixPitchReverbSilicon FuzzTC ElectronicTremoloTunersUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityVolumeWah and Fixed Wah+-
2021GPX28MiniPedalType700.jpg

This article is in part inspired by my features on ’Mini Pedals State of the Art’, and those various ’12 Degrees’ posts I did at the tail-end of last year. Moreover I have had quite a few readers recently asking me for my preferred recommended mini pedals on various pedal-chain slots.

 

I last did this sort of exercise 4 years ago - where TC Electronic was kind of the dominant player - covering 8 of those 20 recommendations, with Mooer fairly close with 6 entries...

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Free The Tone Delivers Smart Stereo Motion Loop Sample-Repeater-Shifter

DelayDigital DelayFree The ToneGlitchModulationOctaverPitchPitch-Shifting+-
2021GPXFreeTheToneMotionLoop700.jpg

Free The Tone’s Brand New Motion Loop Pitch Shiftable Short Looper reminds me of a sort of cross between a DigiTech Whammy Ricochet and Chase Bliss Audio Mood. At its core this seems to be very much a Micro-Looper style of pedal with extended Parameter control.

 

Essentially the pedal can sample up to 4 Seconds of sound - which you then manipulate in various ways. There are 4 main effects sections as such - Pitch, Loop Signal, Waveform and Delay.

 

The Pitch shifter gives ...

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Cooper FX Arcades Modular Multi-FX Workstation : Card Spotlight Series #6 : LOFI

Bitcrushing and Lo-FiCooper FXDelayGlitchModulationReverb+-
2021GPXCooperFXArcadesLoFiCard700.jpg

The 6th card in my series is very much core Tom Majeski territory as a number of his original hardware boxes operate in similar areas - just with a few more parameter controls at your disposal - this is more like a subset of that actually. This can in some ways be considered somewhat adjacent to the Generation Loss Card - with some interesting oddities thrown into the mix to spice things up.

 

Two of these modulations are likely my favourite Arcades algorithms to date - also in how they ...

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JHS 20 Year Pedal Challenge

Becos FXBig Ear PedalsBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveChase Bliss AudioCompressorCooper FXDelayDelay WorkstationDr ScientistDrive WorkstationEmpress EffectsEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGFI SystemGlitchJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-FXOCD Style OverdriveOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOverdriveRat Style FuzzTimmyTubescreamer Style OverdriveTweed Style OverdriveUtility+-
2021GPXJHS20YearPedalChallenge700.jpg

This is obviously a follow-up from the Josh Scott / JHS January 1st YouTube video as below. Where Josh carried out and exercise where he compiled the best pedals released over the last two decades - in 6 specific categories - Best Overdrive / Distortion, Best Fuzz, Best Time-Based Effect, Best Modulation, Best Compressor, and Best Weird / Other - all must have been release January 1st 2000 or later.

 

Along with his own take, he solicited opinions from Jamie Stillman of EQD, Matthew ...

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End of Year Pedal-Chain Update - Final Formation - Class of 2020

Acoustic SimulatorAmbient EffectsAnasoundsBeat MachineBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorCooper FXCrazy Tube CircuitsDelayDelay WorkstationDemon PedalsDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEarthQuaker DevicesEchoverbEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQEventideFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerJackson AudioKeyztoneKlone and Transparent OverdriveKMA AudioLo-Fi DelayLooperMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMetal DistortionMidValleyFXModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOctaverOddball DelayOddball FuzzOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitchPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbRat Style FuzzRedbeard EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationRotary SpeakerShimmer ReverbShnobel ToneSilicon FuzzSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbStrymonTape DelayTC ElectronicThorpyFXTimmyToneczarTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveTweed Style OverdriveUtilityVox Style DistortionVS Audio+-
2020GPXSKSignalChainPostNAMMEndOfYear700.jpg

And so here is the culmination of everything that happened to the pedal-chain in 2020.

 

There were quite a few more displacements than I had expected - all told 22 slots changed over this year - including 19 Brand New Pedals for 2020, then 3 slightly older pedals, and some incidentals.

 

The most significant shift, and the one that caused the most disruption was the arrival of Boss GT-1000 CORE in October. This is often the case when you bring in a big new pedal - and you need to...

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2020 Best of the Best New Guitar Pedals of the Year

Ambient EffectsBig Ear PedalsBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCooper FXCoppersoundDelayDemedash EffectsDigital ReverbDistortionDr ScientistDual-DriveEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahExpresso FXFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerHologram ElectronicsHot Cake Style OverdriveJackson AudioJAM PedalsKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMetal DistortionModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveNeural DSPNordland ElectronicsOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOctaverOddball FuzzOddball ModulationODR Style OverdriveOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitchPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbRat Style FuzzRed Witch EffectsRedbeard EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationShimmer ReverbShnobel ToneSilicon FuzzSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbStrymonTimmyTone Bender Style FuzzTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveTweed Style OverdriveUtilityVox Style DistortionVS Audio+-
2020GPXBestOveralOfTheYear700.jpg

So I’ve now completed 5 preliminary shortlists type articles featuring between 9 and 30 or so of the best pedals released in 2020 - in each of the following categories :

I sincerely apologise if I’ve overlooked any here, while I’m not sure they would have necessarily ...

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2020 Best of New Modulation, Pitch and Utility Pedals for the Year

Alexander PedalsAnasoundsBeat MachineBecos FXBig Ear PedalsBitcrushing and Lo-FiBossChorus and VibratoCompressorCooper FXCoppersoundDedalo FXDr ScientistDunlop EffectsElectro-HarmonixEmpress EffectsEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQFlangerFlower PedalsGlitchGuitar Synth and SequencerHamstead SoundworksHarmonizerHologram ElectronicsJAM PedalsLooperModulationModulation WorkstationMXROctaverOddball ModulationOld Blood Noise EndeavorsPhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingRock Fabrik EffectsRotary SpeakerSlicer and StutterSpaceman EffectsTC ElectronicTremoloUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityVS AudioWah and Fixed WahWalrus Audio+-
2020GPXBestOfYearModulationEtc200.jpg

This is the fourth of the preliminary roundups - before I reveal the 25 or so ’Best of the Best of 2020’ - it covers most other pedal genres not yet feature - including in particularly modulation and utility types. Note though that there will be a couple more surprises in the final reckoning!

 

Unlike the Delay and Reverb category I actually own a few of these, while other outstanding ones are very high on the priority list for next year.

 

I own 7 of these all-told - ...

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Cooper FX Arcades Modular Multi-FX Workstation : Card Spotlight Series #5 : GENERATION LOSS

Bitcrushing and Lo-FiChorus and VibratoCooper FXDelayEnvelope Filter and Auto WahGlitchModulationTape Delay+-
2020GPXCooperFXArcadesGenLossCard700.jpg

This Card is obviously largely based on Tom’s most celebrated pedal to-date - the Generation Loss - while it doesn’t fully replicate that experience, nor the added chorusing elements available via the Chase Bliss Audio collaboration variety of Generation Loss.

 

The first two modes essential split off two of the key elements of the Generation Loss - the Wow and Flutter side, and the Signal Fidelity / Degradation side. You then get two modes which combine both those elements ...

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