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Best of New Guitar Pedals Released in and around the 2020 Winter NAMM Show

Alexander PedalsAnasoundsBeat MachineBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoDeath By AudioDedalo FXDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEarthQuaker DevicesEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFeaturedFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGamechanger AudioGated and Velcro FuzzGFI SystemGlitchJackson AudioJHS PedalsKeeley EngineeringKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMXROCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingPlate ReverbPreAmpRack Style ReverbRainger FXRat Style FuzzRed Panda LabRedbeard EffectsReverbRotary SpeakerSilicon FuzzSinvertekSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbSuper-Fuzz StyleTape DelayThorpyFXTone Bender Style FuzzTremoloUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityVS AudioWalrus AudioWampler+-
2020GPXWinterNammHighlights700.jpg

So despite the perilous state of the world, the first NAMM of the new decade actually turned out to be pretty stellar. I had thought that last year’s exceptional show might end up as the all-time high water mark - but this one turned out just as many pleasant surprises.

 

Slightly different to last year there were a more significant number of pedals announced and launched in advance of the show - while a lot of pedals at the show had very little by way of collateral and some are ...

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Red Panda Announces Updated More Compact Context V2 Digital Reverb with more Algorithms and Stereo Input and Output via TRS

Ambient EffectsDigital ReverbPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbRed Panda LabReverbReverb WorkstationSpacey ReverbSpring Reverb+-
2020GPXRedPandaLabContextV2700.jpg

When I first caught sight of the new pedal without reading the notes I looked rather disappointingly at the singular input and output, and the apparently just singular Preset onboard. This of course is the much improved and more compact version of the Context Reverb which brings it into line with the Tensor and Particle V2. Bizarrely though all of those are quite systematically different - with different control topologies and Preset executions. I really like my Particle V2 Granular / Pitch-...

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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+-
2019GPXNewPedalsOfTheYear700V3.jpg

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 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+-
2019GPX16YearOfGlitchFinal700.jpg

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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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+-
2019GBX19BlackedXOutMain700V2.jpg

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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Further Thoughts on Granular Synthesis / Glitch Style Pedals

Cooper FXDelayDrolo EffectsGlitchGranular DelayHexe Guitar ElectronicsModulationPitchPitch-ShiftingPladask ElektriskRed Panda LabTomkat Pedals+-
2019GPX6BestGranularSynth700-min.jpg

Following last year’s ’Year of Fuzz’, I declared that for 2019 I would shift my focus to Granular Synthesis or Micro-Sampler/Looper / Glitch Effects Pedals. To those ends I did a slightly more long-form overview in mid-December - ’16 of the Best Glitch Effects Pedals’ of which I’ve acquired 5 to date.

 

In fact I’ve honed the list down further to the six above, which I believe are currently the ’state of the art’ for this genre, with ...

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The Best New Pedals In and Around Winter NAMM 2019 Show

Alexander PedalsAutomatoneBeetronics FXBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoDelayDemon PedalsDigital DelayDistortionDriveDumble Style OverdriveDunlop EffectsEventideExpressionFlangerFoxpedalFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayIbanezJHS PedalsKeeley EngineeringKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperLoop-SwitcherMetal DistortionModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveNeunaberOctave FuzzOctaverOddball DelayOddball FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingRainger FXRed Panda LabRed Witch EffectsREVV AmplificationRotary SpeakerSilicon FuzzSpaceman EffectsStrymonSuper-Fuzz StyleTape DelayTC ElectronicThorpyFXTremoloTsakalis Audio WorksTubescreamer Style OverdriveTWA EffectsUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityVemuramWamplerWren and Cuff+-
2019GPXNAMMPedalHighlights700-min.jpg

This year’s show has seen a bumper crop of interesting new pedals. In fact I was so dazzled by all the various cool pedals that I did not take note of much else - actually not entirely as there were a few synths weirdly that I liked the look of - including the new Teenage Engineering Modular Series in particular. There were very few guitars or amps though that properly piqued my interest.

 

Special thanks to Delicious Audio / Stombox Exhibit / 60 Cycle Hum and Premier Guitar in ...

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16 of the Best Glitch Effects Pedals

CatalinbreadCopilot FXDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbDrolo EffectsDwarfcraftEnvelope Filter and Auto WahGlitchGranular DelayHexe EffectsHexe Guitar ElectronicsLooperMalekko Heavy IndustryModulationModulation WorkstationMontreal AssemblyMWFXOddball DelayOddball ModulationPitchPitch-ShiftingPladask ElektriskRecovery EffectsRed Panda LabReverbRing ModulationSlicer and StutterSpacey ReverbThe King of GearTKOGUtility+-
2018GPX16GlitchPedals700-min.jpg

I’m sort of getting to full saturation point with drive, distortion and fuzz pedals - with my ’2018 Year of Fuzz’ coming to a close it’s time to direct my attentions slightly further afield and in new directions. I’ve always had an interest in sort of randomised textural effects - which means that my next significant area of interest will be that roughly defined by the category of ’Glitch’.

 

Most of the featured devices here are different types ...

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2018 New Guitar Pedals of the Year

Ambient EffectsAnalog DelayBeetronics FXBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Driver Style OverdriveBondi EffectsBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionBufferChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorCooper FXDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDr ScientistDriveDryBell EffectsDual-DriveEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixEQFlangerFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGamechanger AudioGated and Velcro FuzzGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerHorizon DevicesJackson AudioJHS PedalsKlone and Transparent OverdriveLo-Fi DelayLooperMarshall Style DistortionMeris EffectsMetal DistortionModulationMulti-DriveOctaverOddball DelayOddball FuzzOrigin EffectsOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingPlate ReverbRed Panda LabReverbReverb WorkstationREVV AmplificationShimmer ReverbSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbStone Deaf EffectsSubdecay EffectsTape DelayThorpyFXTubescreamer Style OverdriveUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityVox Style DistortionWamplerWMD DevicesZvex+-
2018GPXPedalsOfTheYear700-min.jpg

2018 has been a really surprising year for pedals - there have been quite a few unexpected innovations along the way with also some of the usual production delays and holdups. As I write this I am still waiting for my long-overdue Jackson Audio Bloom to arrive - but I expect it will be worth the delay. I would have liked to have seen the Empress Zoia despatched this year too, as sort of predicted though - I feel that it will be pushed into next year - to coincide with Winter NAMM possibly - in ...

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16 Weird and Wonderful Guitar Noise Pedals

Adventure AudioBitcrushing and Lo-FiDelayDigiTechDr ScientistEarthQuaker DevicesEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlangerFuzzGated and Velcro FuzzGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerHexe EffectsIron EtherLastgasp Art LaboratoriesMantic EffectsMcSpunckle EffectsModulationMontreal AssemblyOddball DelayOddball FuzzOddball ModulationOscillating FuzzRed Panda LabSubdecay EffectsWMD DevicesZvex+-
2017AfBlgWeirdNoisePedals700

I’m getting really close to finalising the first proper sweep of my pedal chain - just getting to adding the final 2. Of course the Tone Quest never ends, but it can be broken down into distinct phases, and I’m at a point in the first phase - where I have acquired sufficient numbers and sufficient quality to be able to render any type of conventional guitar sound superbly - using all the different levels of overdrive, fuzz and distortion and all the relevant key modulations, delay, ...

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