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The Empress Zoia Lands April 15th! - or rather starts shipping then actually

BoostBoost and OverdriveChorus and VibratoCompressorDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDown-TunerDriveEmpress EffectsEQFlangerFuzzGuitar Synth and SequencerHarmonizerLooperModulationModulation WorkstationNoise GateOctaverOddball FuzzOddball ModulationOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingPlate ReverbReverbRing ModulationTremoloUtilityVolumeWah and Fixed Wah+-
2019GPXEmpressZoiaFinal700-min.jpg

Now definitively defined as a Pedal-format Modular Synthesizer, Sequencer and Multi-Effects unit. The control interface consists of a small OLED screen accompanied by a grid of 40 (5x8) 7-coloured LED backlit soft-touch buttons, 4 further control buttons for Secondary Functions, and a large Menu scroll dial. There are 3 footswitches to activate live playback and scroll through presets.

 

Essentially you have a building-block interface-led hybrid-modular-synthesiser where you chain together the inputs and outputs of a series of available modules. For guitar players there are 20 pre-defined Effects Modules which allow you to use the pedal more as a Multi-Effects Workstation. But with patience and due diligence you can modify and assemble your own Patches / Effects or chains of effects via 64 presets which each can have 64 pages of 40 effects blocks. There is currently a constantly expanding library of 81 core Modules so far across 5 categories - Interface, Analysis, Audio, CV (Control Voltage/Parameter Adjustment), and Effects.

 

The number of Blocks per Module defines the number of key parameters under your control where each Module can be represented by anything from 2 to 8 blocks or so - and you can chain together various effects and control parameters to manipulate by various means for unparalleled effects / output / tone creation. This pedal possibly initially has more appeal to Modular Synth aficionados, but I’ve long seen the appeal in this too for more experimental guitar players.

 

It’s important to mention that you need to acquire yourself a microSD card read/writer which is compatible with either SDHC or SDXC cards - all patch updates and preset backups require at least one microSD card - which is supplied - but you need a reader/write to interface with.

 

Pre-orders are already opened, and I did not hang around - I’ve already been waiting for nearly a year and a half. I feel there may be a few glitches at the start, but as this develops and evolves it will be a truly phenomenal instrument all of and on its own.

 

When I started this second leg of my guitar journey I was considering going down the sort of MPC route with Ableton Live / DAW, but in the wake of Bowie and Prince decided to take up guitar again instead. This device sort of unifies both those approaches - and I can see this pedal or a pair even being used as performance devices themselves at some stage in the fairly near future.

 

I proclaimed this a game-changer when I first saw it, and I still stand by those sentiments. It won’t be for everyone - certainly not the ’Set-and-forget’ brigade. But for all us adventurous tweakers and experimentalists this is a godsend as such.

 

I’m prepared to put in the hard graft to be part of the vanguard of this movement, while I perfectly understand how others might want to wait and see how it all pans out first...


Key Features

  • 81 Modules and growing in 5 Categories - Interface, Analysis, Audio, CV and Effects
  • 20 Ready Made Effects Modules - Tone Control EQ, Delay w/Mod, Ping Pong Delay, OD & Distortion, Fuzz, Compressor, Gate, Plate Reverb, Hall Reverb, Room Reverb, Ghostverb, Reverb Lite, Phaser, Chorus, Vibrato, Flanger, Tremolo, Env Filter, Ring Modulator, Cabinet Sim
  • Crisp OLED Display Screen
  • Control Port and Midi Connectivity
  • Triple Footswitches for easy Patch Selection / Activation
  • Built-in Help/Quick Info at a Glance
  • SD Card Included
  • 64 Patches
  • 64 Pages per Patch
  • 40 Blocks per Page (Pair of Blocks used for Stereo Left/Right Signal)
  • 7 LED Colours : Blue, Green, Red, Yellow, Aqua, Magenta, White
  • Swap and Share Patches : via Patchstorage.com

Key Specifications

  • High-Quality Audio : 48kHz sampling, 24 bit conversion and 32 bit internal processing
  • Extremely Low-Noise Signal Path : >105dB
  • Input Impedance : >= 1MΩ
  • Output Impedance : 100Ω
  • Frequency Response (-3dB) : 10Hz – 23.4kHz
  • Total Harmonic Distortion : 0.22%
  • Output Headroom : +16.2dBu
  • Power Supply : 2.1mm connector, 9VDC center negative, 300mA
  • Length : 5.7"
  • Width : 3.75"
  • Height : 1.75" (Enclosure only)
  • Weight : 1.5lbs / 0.680Kg

Launch Video Highlights





Video 5

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