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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 WahEQEventideFeaturedFlangerFuzzFuzz 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 AudioSpacey 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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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 ...

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Pedal-Chain State of the Union Autumn Harvest & End of Year Upheavals

Abracadabra AudioAmbient EffectsBearfoot FXBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorCustom TonesDecibelicsDelayDelay WorkstationDiezel AmplificationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDigiTechDistortionDouble TrackingDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEchoverbEmpress EffectsEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQEventideFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGlitchHarmonizerJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveLo-Fi DelayMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMu-TronNoise GateOCD Style OverdriveOctaverOddball FuzzOpAmp FuzzOrigin EffectsOscillating FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingPlate ReverbPower SuppliesRat Style FuzzReverbReverb WorkstationREVV AmplificationRing ModulationRotary SpeakerShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSlicer and StutterSource AudioSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbStrymonTC ElectronicTech 21 NYCToneQuestTremoloUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed WahWamplerXotic Effects+-
2018GPXSKSignalChainMkVII700-min.jpg

UPDATE 1 - It’s often the case that just after you publish, something big happens which forces a change of stance. On this occasion it was the release of the truly amazing Wampler Pantheon Overdrive which has immediately found its way into Slot #10 of the chain. In fact I have sort of swapped slots #10 and #12 around - relegating the Spaceman Aphelion to a supporting role for now.

 

UPDATE 2 - Still no word from Jackson Audio on the delayed Bloom Compressor etc. - which means the ...

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35 of the Best Boss Compact Guitar Pedals - 2018 Update

Acoustic SimulatorAlchemy AudioAmbient EffectsAnalog DelayBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChorus and VibratoCompressorDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDriveDual-DriveEffects Pedal MakersEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionHarmonizerKeeley EngineeringLooperMaestro Style FuzzMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModified PedalsModulationMulti-DriveNoise GateOctave FuzzOctaverOverdrivePitchPitch-ShiftingReverbSilicon FuzzSpring ReverbSuper-Fuzz StyleTalk Box and VocoderTremoloTunersUtilityWaza Craft+-
2018AfBlg35BossCompacts700V3-min

So last year was the 40th anniversary of the Boss Compact Pedal (1977 - 2017) and I did a feature to commemorate that notable milestone. On that occasion I picked out 20 of my favourite Boss Compacts - past and present.

 

In the intervening time I’ve got more and more into Boss pedals - particularly modified versions, and have decided to extend the list to cover the additional pedals I am interested in. There is still a part of me that prefers the MXR-style enclosure, especially ...

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Buying Modded Pedals - 20 of the Best Types

Alchemy AudioAnalog.ManBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossCompressorDistortionDriveElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQFlangerFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionJHS PedalsKeeley EngineeringKinnatoneKlone and Transparent OverdriveKTRMaestro Style FuzzMarshall Style DistortionMatthews EffectsMetal DistortionModulationMXRNoise GateOctaverOverdrivePitchTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveUtilityXotic Effects+-
2018AfBlgModdedPedals700-min

I am a huge fan of Modified / Modded pedals, and often wait a week or two on EHX releases to see if JHS doesn’t have some key updates for me for a relatively minor additional cost. I have too many times foolishly overlooked modified pedals, having bought the Xotic trifecta in its original form, as well as way too many Boss pedals initially in their original versions - where there are often as many as half a dozen alternative / tweaked versions available for relatively meagre additional ...

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Pedal Mania III - Pedal Chain State of the Union, February 2018

12 Degrees of SaturationBearfoot FXBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorCryBabyDelayDelay WorkstationDiezelDigital DelayDigital ReverbDigiTechDistortionDouble TrackingDown-TunerDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveDunlop EffectsEmpress EffectsEQFlangerFoxpedalFriedman EffectsFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGuitar Synth and SequencerHamstead SoundworksJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveNoise GateOCD Style OverdriveOverdrivePedalboard and Pedal-ChainPhaserPitchProAnalog DevicesRat Style FuzzReverbReverb WorkstationRotary SpeakerSinvertekStrymonTC ElectronicTech 21 NYCTone Bender Style FuzzToneQuestTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveTunersUtilityVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed WahWamplerXotic Effects+-
2018AfBlgSKSignalChainMkPAR700

It’s always amusing to set your pedal goals and targets right at the start of the year, and then have to amend them right after the various Winter NAMM announcements. In fact I did a status update at the end of last year, and at the start of this one - which is not a whole lot of days really, but so much as happened in the interim!

 

I kind of got inspired by heavier tones over Christmas - which prompted me to acquire another heavy distortion pedal - in the shape of the MI Audio ...

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2018 Guitar Pedal Goals and Wishlists

12 Degrees of SaturationBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionCatalinbreadChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorCryBabyCustom TonesDawner Prince EffectsDelayDelay WorkstationDiezelDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveDunlop EffectsEmpress EffectsEQFlangerFoxpedalFriedman EffectsFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGuitar Synth and SequencerHamstead SoundworksHarmonizerJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveNoise GateOCD Style OverdriveOpAmp FuzzOrigin EffectsOverdrivePedalboard and Pedal-ChainPhaserPigtronixPitchPitch-ShiftingReverbReverb WorkstationRotary SpeakerSilicon FuzzStrymonTC ElectronicTech 21 NYCToneQuestTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveTunersUtilityVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed WahWampler+-
2018AfBlgSKSignalChainMKV700

So by the end of 2017, my chain was in a particularly good place and numbering 36 strong. In one of my more recent posts I had set out a rough future phase plan, but as always that got somewhat bounced with the unexpected arrival of the Hamstead Odyssey Intergalactic Driver - which turns out to be a superbly versatile OCD+ replacement / swap-out for my chain. Over Christmas I discovered a new favourite band - in the guise of In This Moment, which led to my acquiring my second MI Audio pedal - ...

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More Pedal Chain Delight - The Spice Rack Analogy

Big Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionCatalinbreadChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorCryBabyDelayDelay WorkstationDiezelDigital DelayDigital ReverbDigiTechDistortionDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveDunlop EffectsEmpress EffectsEQFlangerFoxpedalFriedman EffectsFulltone EffectsFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGuitar Synth and SequencerJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveNoise GateOCD Style OverdriveOctaverOverdrivePedalboard and Pedal-ChainPhaserPitchRat Style FuzzReverbReverb WorkstationRotary SpeakerStrymonTC ElectronicTech 21 NYCToneQuestTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveTunersUtilityVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed WahWamplerXotic Effects+-
2017AfBlgSKSignalChainMkXXXXIV700

The last time I wrote about my ’home studio’ pedal chain (February) there were a mere 25 pedals / slots in my signal chain, which I thought was about the right number at the time! I next built up and settled on 35 slots being more representative of what I needed for my purposes, before I decided that I had to add a Vox + Top Boost / Brian May -style flavour too - courtesy of the Catalinbread Galileo (slot 12). So I’ve ended up with my current arrangement of 36 pedals / slots -...

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20 Key Guitar Effects Pedal Types - Preferred Large Pedal per Type

Acoustic SimulatorAmptweakerBig Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveBossCarl MartinChorus and VibratoCompressorDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDriveEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixElektronEmpress EffectsEQFlangerFree The ToneFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionLooperMarshall Style DistortionModulationMulti-DriveNoise GateOctaverOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePhaserPigtronixPitchRat Style FuzzReverbReverb WorkstationSonuusSubdecay EffectsTech 21 NYCTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveTunersUtilityVolumeWah and Fixed WahWhirlwind EffectsXotic EffectsZvex+-
2017AfBlg20LargePedalType700

This article completes the fourth part of the quadrilogy which started with the compact pedal overview and was triggered by the 40th anniversary Boss article. If you’re going to go with a large enclosure pedal, you really need it to be of the all-singing and dancing variety, otherwise why would you be sacrificing so much pedal real estate. Traditionally large pedals have meant the big all-in-one workstations - i.e. your classic big box Eventide and Strymon, and now Boss solutions. ...

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20 Key Guitar Effects Pedal Types - Preferred Medium Pedal per Type

Acoustic SimulatorBig Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveBossCarl MartinChorus and VibratoCompressorDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDouble TrackingDual-DriveEmpress EffectsEQFlangerFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionLooperMarshall Style DistortionModulationMorley PedalsMulti-DriveNoise GateOctaverOverdrivePhaserPitchReverbReverb WorkstationSource AudioStone Deaf EffectsStrymonTC ElectronicTremoloTunersTWA EffectsUtilityVolumeWah and Fixed Wah+-
2017AfBlg20MediumtPedalType700

We’ve covered off Key Effects Pedals per Compact and Mini size, and here we go up a category to Medium. When I think of medium-sized pedals, the makers that immediately spring to mind are Strymon, Empress , Carl Martin and Way Huge (Dunlop) - for whom the medium-size enclosure forms the mainstay of their product offerings. All the newer Orange Amps pedals have been of medium size and same goes for Stone Deaf FX, and I guess in the early 70’s - before Boss came along with its ’...

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