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
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...
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
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...
Analog DelayBoostBoost and OverdriveDelayDigiTechDistortionDOD EffectsDriveEffects Pedal MakersFuzzGuitar Synth and SequencerMetal DistortionModulationOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingPreAmpRing ModulationSilicon Fuzz
DigiTech’s latter sister brand DOD has delivered a number of pedal greats over the years, and since its foundation in 1973 by David Oreste Di Francesco. A lot of people focus on the early editions / 200 Series - while I’ve taken a slightly broader overview here - with the one concession really being the original 250 Overdrive/Preamp. Elsewhere I’ve gone for pretty much the latest viable editions - including the Blue reissue of the 201 Phasor - which also had Grey and Yellow ...
ArpeggiatorBanana EffectsGuitar Synth and SequencerModulationPitchPitch-Shifting
Hot on the heels of the Darkglass ADAM comes another wonderful modern confection of disparate parts - from those creative Japanese fellows at Banana Effects. I’ve still to get in a few of their minis - but his may be even more enticing still.
Actually a fantastic 8-Step Sequencer / Arpeggiator with all kinds of clever tricks up its sleeve - including numerous onboard presets and handy DSP subroutines.
I will give you a general features overview first - as below - which ...
DelayDigital DelayFree The ToneGlitchModulationOctaverPitchPitch-Shifting
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 ...
Amp and Cab IR SimAmpsBoost and OverdriveDelayDistortionFloor-AmpFuzzLine 6Modelling AmpModulationMulti-FXPitchReverbUtility
The amount of different versions of Helix is now almost getting to pandemic levels - with Line 6 offering up yet another variant - in the guise of the HX Stomp XL.
The stats for this really could not be any simpler - as what you are getting is essentially the exact same HX Stomp Unit - with largely all the same functionality and screen - but with 5 more footswitches - for more Stompbox mode switches, and the ability to select up to 4 different Snapshots.
All the ports on this ...
Envelope Filter and Auto WahFuzzModulationOctaverPhaserPitchWay Huge Effects
Dune fans will undoubtedly appreciate this theme a little more than most. And in fact the Atreides is based on Electro-Harmonix’s now vintage 1980’s Mini Synthesizer.
What we have here is a perfect complementary amalgamation of different modulations with a hearty Fuzz and Sub-Octave element. There are 7 lit-up sliders for which in the above visual I have highlighted in red text how they group / break down.
Essentially we have Output Volume, then Sensitivity and ...
Amp and Cab IR SimAmpsBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossCompressorDelayDelay WorkstationDistortionDrive WorkstationEQFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperModelling AmpModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMulti-FXNoise GateOctave FuzzOverdrivePitchPreAmpReverbReverb WorkstationTubescreamer Style OverdriveTweed Style OverdriveUtility
This is one of those articles that’s been a long-time coming, and where I needed to spend a rather large chunk of time getting fully under the skin of the pedal in question - the really quite superb, but also somewhat slightly flawed Boss GT-1000 CORE Guitar Effects Processor.
I must start by stating that I came into this project with somewhat lofty expectations, and there was some degree of naivety to my beliefs as to what was contained within this pedal, and more importantly ...
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
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...
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
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 ...