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End of June Pedal-Chain Update - Episode V - A Disturbance in the Force!

Ambient EffectsAnasoundsBig Muff Style FuzzBixonicBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBuffalo FXChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCooper FXDigital ReverbDistortionDr ScientistDriveEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlangerFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGFI SystemGlitchGranular DelayJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveKuro Custom AudioMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneModulationModulation WorkstationOctave FuzzOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePlate ReverbPreAmpRack Style ReverbRat Style FuzzRedbeard EffectsReuss EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbSuper-Fuzz StyleThorpyFXTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style DistortionVS Audio+-
2020GPXSKSignalChainPostNAMMJune700V3.jpg

June hasn’t been a particularly kind month to me - in fact it’s been something of a difficult period - I was going to call this piece ’The Darkness Lingers’ but didn’t really want that particular NLP on this blog - which I try to keep as positive as is practically possible.

 

A number of ventures and collaborations I was working on this month came a cropper when the other collaborating parties somewhat inexplicably and suddenly ended their involvement - ...

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Tom Majeski of Cooper FX Perfects the Usability and Intuition Formula with his new Card-based Arcades Modular Multi-FX Unit

Ambient EffectsBitcrushing and Lo-FiCooper FXDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbEchoverbEnvelope Filter and Auto WahGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerLo-Fi DelayModulationModulation WorkstationOctaverOddball DelayOddball ModulationPitchPitch-ShiftingReverbReverb WorkstationRing ModulationShimmer ReverbTape Delay+-
2020GPXCooperFXArcades700.jpg

I’ve long been a fan of Tom’s even though the only one of his creations I have to date is the Chase Bliss Audio Edition of his Generation Loss. I long considered his Moment Machine Pitch-Shifting Workstation, before I decided it was probably a little too large for my needs, and I had the recent Outward V2 on my imminent acquisitions list.

 

It’s as well really that I hadn’t hit the trigger sooner on that one, as Tom is obviously being influenced by the same ...

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2019 New Guitar Pedals of the Year

Ambient EffectsAmp and Cab IR SimBeetronics FXBig Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCooper FXCusack MusicDelayDelay WorkstationDemon PedalsDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEchoverbEmpress EffectsEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGFI SystemGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerHarmonizerJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveLo-Fi DelayLooperMarshall Style DistortionMeris EffectsMetal DistortionModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOddball DelayOddball FuzzOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitch-ShiftingPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbRed Panda LabRedbeard EffectsReverb WorkstationRotary SpeakerShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSinvertekSitekSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbStrymonTape DelayThorpyFXTomkat PedalsTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveUni-Vibe and VibeVox Style DistortionWalrus AudioWamplerWren and Cuff+-
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I’ve long mentioned that we’re living through the second golden age of effects pedals (some say ’Diamond Age’’), and as good as things have been - 2019 took it all to an entirely new level of excellence. I don’t recall any previous year where we’ve had quite the same degree of innovation and so many ingeniously appealing pedals - this year has been so fast and furious - it’s been difficult to keep up at times.

 

I noted in my End of Year ...

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2019 Pedal-Chain Year-End Final Arrangement!

12 Degrees of SaturationAleks K ProductionAmbient EffectsBearfoot FXBeat MachineBeetronics FXBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionBufferChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorCooper FXDanDrive PedalDelayDelay WorkstationDemon PedalsDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEchoverbEmpress EffectsEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQEventideExpresso FXFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerHarmonizerJackson AudioKeyztoneKlone and Transparent OverdriveLo-Fi DelayLooperMarshall Style DistortionMeris EffectsMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMu-TronNoise GateOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOctaverOddball DelayOddball FuzzOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbRat Style FuzzRedbeard EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationREVV AmplificationRing ModulationRotary SpeakerShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSinvertekSitek Guitar ElectronicsSlicer and StutterSource AudioSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbStrymonTape DelayTC ElectronicThorpyFXToneQuestTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveUni-Vibe and VibeVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed Wah+-
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I’m possibly writing this just a touch prematurely as at the point of writing - one of the pictured pedals hasn’t turned up quite yet, and it will be touch and go if gets released out of customs before the end of the year. That pedal being Sinvertek’s new N5+ Drive - featuring no less than 7 beautifully milled aluminium knobs along with 5 toggle-switches - and all within a compact enclosure format - but more of that later.

 

This year has mostly sort of gone to plan - ...

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2019 Year of Glitch - Final Overview and Impressions

Banana EffectsChase Bliss AudioCooper FXDelayDrolo EffectsGlitchGranular DelayHexe Guitar ElectronicsModulationMontreal AssemblyMWFXPladask ElektriskPLBR EffectsRed Panda LabSSD DevicesThe King of GearTomkat Pedals+-
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As mentioned several times throughout this year - this was supposed to be my ’2019 Year of Glitch’ (which actually covers a number of sub-categories) while in reality I was rather more widely actively engaged than that - and still somewhat carrying on with 2018’s Year of Fuzz theme - various pedal-chain upgrades and all my usual random tangents!

 

When I started the initial campaign over a year ago now - I believe I was on the brink of or had just acquired the first of ...

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Japan's Banana Effects is helping to redefine the role and status of Mini Pedals

Banana EffectsDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbEffects Pedal MakersGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerModulationPitchPitch-ShiftingReverbShimmer Reverb+-
2019GPX4MiniBananaEffects700.jpg

I had meant to do this article a lot sooner as Banana Effects have been on my radar for a while - back to a time when they were much more difficult to get a hold of. Nowadays though they’ve struck up a distribution deal with Amazon.com and they are available via Amazon in most countries - all priced at the equivalent of $199 / £189. So price-wise these are definitely smack bang in the middle of boutique territory - yet their diminutive form factor belies a true richness of features....

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17 Leading Pedal Builders Coordinate Blacked Out Stealth Black Enclosure Limited Editions for Black Friday Event Today!

Adventure AudioBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionCaroline Guitar CompanyChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoDeath By AudioDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDriveDunable PedalsEarthQuaker DevicesElectronic Audio ExperimentsFriedman EffectsFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayJHS PedalsKlone and Transparent OverdriveLand DevicesLo-Fi DelayLooperMarshall Style DistortionMeris EffectsMetal DistortionModulated FuzzModulationOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOld Blood Noise EndeavorsOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePitchPitch-ShiftingRed Panda LabReverbShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbTape DelayTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveWalrus AudioZvex+-
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Near the start of this week we saw several leading pedal builder brands go all mysterious on us posting an encircled (B) logo ident accompanied by the hashtag #BLACKEDXOUT on various social media. Many thought this to mean some sort of limited or black edition pedals for the Black Friday ’sales’, while I wrongly guessed it implied a Black Friday Sales boycott.

 

This afternoon all was revealed when 17 Brands together released all-black stealth-like enclosures for one or a few...

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Chase Bliss Audio Surprises Nearly Everyone with 'Not-The-Blooper' MOOD Micro Looper!

Chase Bliss AudioDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbDrolo EffectsEchoverbGlitchGranular DelayLooperModulationOddball DelayOld Blood Noise EndeavorsReverbSpacey ReverbTape DelayUtility+-
2019GPXChaseBlissMood700-min.jpg

As many commentators have noted - we were well aware that Chase Bliss Audio had an Overdub Looper in the works along with their forthcoming Benson Amps Automatone PreAmp MKII collaboration. What most of us did not know is that Joel was busy working with David Rolo and Old Blood Noise Endeavors on a sort of companion pedal or different take on the Blooper looper.

 

As is Chase Bliss’s way now - this was all launched today with much fanfare - with product already shipped and ...

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Early Summer Pedal-Chain State of the Union - the Final Formation?

12 Degrees of SaturationAmbient EffectsAnasoundsBearfoot FXBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionBufferBuild Your Own CloneBYOCChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorDelayDelay WorkstationDemon PedalsDigital DelayDigital ReverbDigiTechDistortionDouble TrackingDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEchoverbEmpress EffectsEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQEventideFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayGuitar AccessoriesGuitar Synth and SequencerHarmonizerJackson AudioJHS PedalsKeyztoneKlone and Transparent OverdriveLo-Fi DelayLooperMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMeris EffectsMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMu-TronNoise GateOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOctaverOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbRat Style FuzzRed Panda EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationREVV AmplificationRotary SpeakerShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSlicer and StutterSource AudioSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbStrymonTape DelayTC ElectronicToneQuestTremoloTrue North PedalsTubescreamer Style OverdriveUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed WahWampler+-
2019GPXSKSignalChainMKV700-min.jpg

This is one of those moments that I feel that my celebrated Pedal-Chain has reached another milestone of ’peak performance’. There are a number of new releases here - and probably all the big ones I was expecting this year - bar the Chase Bliss Audio / Benson Amps Automatone MKII PreAmp - which is due in the Autumn now - and still pending final pricing, but will probably take up the top spot on Slot #14 eventually. Also - my long-awaited Beetronics Swarm Harmonizing PLL Style Fuzz ...

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Best of Polish Guitar Pedals and Pedal Builders

AmpsAnalogWise PedalsBig Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveChorus and VibratoDelayDigital ReverbDistortionDriveEffects Pedal MakersExar ElectronicsFlangerFloor-AmpFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGigging AmpG-Lab Guitar LaboratoryGlitchGranular DelayHexe Guitar ElectronicsHome-Play AmpLongAmpMarshall Style DistortionModulationOccvlt PedalsOctave FuzzOverdrivePower SuppliesReverbSilicon FuzzSitek Guitar ElectronicsSuper-Fuzz StyleTaurus AmplificationTube AmpUtilityYankee Power+-
2019GPXBestPolishBuilders700V2-min.jpg

Poland was both trickier and yet eventually easier to rationalise than originally perceived. I have scanned through many a country now, and Poland seems to be the last of those with sufficient numbers of high calibre pedal builders to warrant a dedicated feature*. As noted before - these sorts of article take quite a lot of work to complete - and so this is the last of these I will be doing for a while.

 

* Note that USA and Japan are the leading pedal builders of the world still and too...

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