Effects Pedal MakersEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlangerFuzzGuitar Synth and SequencerModulationOscillating FuzzPhaserRing ModulationSlicer and StutterSubdecay EffectsTremolo
Subdecay is a brand which I’ve featured a lot on this site. All these pedals listed here have appeared or been mentioned several times on this blog, and it’s a surprise really that I don’t own more of these. In fact I have just two to date - the Harmonic Antagonizer and the Vector Analog Preamp - the latter of which falls just outside this preferential list.
There are several here I’ve been on the cusp of acquiring when another rising priority essentially took ...
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...
Abominable ElectronicsBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionCoppersoundDecibelicsDistortionFriedman EffectsFulltone EffectsFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionJAM PedalsKlirrton ManufakturKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModulationOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePushking PedalsRat Style FuzzReeves Electro Guitar PedalsSilicon FuzzSinvertekThorpyFXTone Bender Style FuzzToneTuga EffecctsTremoloWalrus AudioWay Huge EffectsZander Circuitry
And so it begins again! This time punctuated by Virtual NAMM / Believe in Music Week and some certain JA incident.
I will include a mini NAMM roundup here of what some of my favourites were. In the past I’ve done a separate highlights article on the subject - but there really weren’t that many releases this time around to warrant such - in fact I would estimate only around 10% of the volume released in 2020 and 2019.
I will also indicate where I think I’m ...
Bitcrushing and Lo-FiBoost and OverdriveDistortionDriveDrive WorkstationFuzzModulationMulti-DriveRing ModulationSource AudioTremolo
Final details are still somewhat scant at the moment - while it seems to be clear that the Ultrawave is some sort of revival and update of the old Soundblox 2 Multiwave Distortion. Where the signal is split into several different frequency bands which are individually processed, clipped, gained up and modulated - and then combined to spectacular effect.
How you can manipulate these different bands is really quite extensive and yields elaborate variants of Tremolo, LFO Wave Shaper and ...
Analog DelayDelayGuitar Synth and SequencerModulationPhaserPigtronixTremolo
Pigtronix has gained quite a reputation and track record for Mini pedals of late - particularly the trio of Disnortion Micro Fuzzstortion, Octava Analog Octave Fuzz, and Philosopher’s Tone Germanium Gold Compressor. The Class A Clean Boost, regular Philosopher’s Tone Compressor, and Gatekeeper Noise Gate are decent too - but not quite as appealing as the principal Mini Flagship Trio.
The 3 new Mini Pedals are all killer - and would be equally impressive at full-size - while...
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 ...
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
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 - ...
Ambient EffectsBeat MachineBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionChorus and VibratoDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionEchoverbEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlamma InnovationFlangerLo-Fi DelayLooperMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModulationPhaserPitchPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbReverbReverb WorkstationRing ModulationRotary SpeakerShimmer ReverbSlicer and StutterSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbTape DelayTremoloUtilityVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed Wah
Some of you will have seen Flamma Pedals featured quite highly on several gear forums of late, and several of you readers have been asking for my take on the subject. To my mind Mooer’s diminutive 7 Series was the first to do this kind of thing in incorporating 7 Presets, 5 Controls and a Select/Save button on the mini format.
I note that for the FSO2 Reverb - it has the exact same modes in the same order as the Mooer 7 Series equivalent - so I can only imagine that Mooer is ...