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Steve Mac's Home Studio 'Wall of Sound' Pedalboard Dynamics and Essential Tone Components

Analog.ManAndy Betts MusicBig Muff Style FuzzBK ButlerBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossChorus and VibratoColorsoundCompressorCustom PedalboardsDelayDemeter AmplificationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDriveElectro-HarmonixEQFenderFlangerFree The ToneFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGiuseppe BagnaraGuitar Synth and SequencerIbanezKlone and Transparent OverdriveKorgLoop-SwitcherMarshall Style DistortionMJM EffectsModulation WorkstationMooerMorningstar FXOrigin EffectsOverdrivePete CornishPlate ReverbProCoRat Style FuzzRotary SpeakerSilicon FuzzSpring ReverbStrymonTape DelayThorpyFXToneQuestTube OverdriveTunersUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityXotic EffectsZoom FX+-
2020GPXSteveMacStudioBoard700.jpg

I would like to start by thanking Matt Knight and Joe Branton of Guitar Nerds who made this all possible and put me in contact with Steve Mac - guitarist and original member of the Australian Pink Floyd. This all stems back to the Guitar Nerds’ podcast for Friday 3rd July - an interview with Steve Mac, and the accompanying social media pictures of Steve’s home studio pedalboard - or literally ’wall of sound’.

 

I’m a considerable Floyd and Gilmour fan and ...

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TC Electronic Finally Reveals Details for its much teased Plethora X5 TonePrint Pedalboard Multi-FX Unit

Chorus and VibratoCompressorDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDown-TunerFlangerHarmonizerLooperModulationModulation WorkstationNoise GateOctaverPedalboard and Pedal-ChainPhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingReverbReverb WorkstationRotary SpeakerTC ElectronicTremoloUni-Vibe and VibeUtility+-
2020GPXTCElectronicPlethoraX5700.jpg

We’ve been waiting for the full reveal on this one for a while as the first teaser image for this was Insta’d on the 14th of September last year. There were some expectations that this might feature at Winter NAMM, but it seems it’s only now fully formed.

 

What we have here then is all of TC Electronic’s TonePrint-enabled pedals in a single unit and available across 5 any way configurable slots. This means you get all the different variations of effects from the ...

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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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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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Crazy Tube Circuits has Released 3 Killer Pedals This Year Including the Brand New Magnatone-Inspired Killer V Vibra-Drive

BoostBoost and OverdriveChorus and VibratoCrazy Tube CircuitsEffects Pedal MakersFuzzMaestro Style FuzzModulationOverdrivePhaserTone Bender Style FuzzUni-Vibe and Vibe+-
2019GPXCrazyTubeCircuitsKillerTrio700.jpg

It seems like Crazy Tube Circuits have saved the best to last this year with a pretty special rendition of the 1962 Magnatone Custom 460 Vibrato amplifier. In essence pairing a dynamic JFET gain stage with a dual phase shift modulation - which really captures and takes you into those sort of vintage harmonic tremolo / whirling phaser / vibe sounds.

 

You get 8 controls on the pedal:
Volume (Gain) | Master Output | Depth | B/N/M Bright/Normal/Mellow | Wet/Dry-Wet | Bass | Treble | Speed

&...

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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+-
2019GPXSKSignalChainYEFinal700.jpg

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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GFI System Changes up the Multi-Modulation Game Again with its Synesthesia Dual Channel Modulation Workstation

Bitcrushing and Lo-FiChorus and VibratoEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlangerGFI SystemModulationModulation WorkstationOddball ModulationPhaserRing ModulationRotary SpeakerSlicer and StutterTremoloUni-Vibe and Vibe+-
2019GPXGFISynesthesiaMain700V2.jpg

I always take a while to deconstruct a new pedal - particularly one as complex as this - and hence my visual infographic above is a representation of the pedal’s feature set - but also its functional complexity and actual workings. It turns out that I’m rather quite familiar with Dual Channel Modulation Workstations courtesy of my Boss MD-500 which was the first to introduce this sort of modulation combination innovation.

 

Yet GFI takes things slightly further in most ways ...

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Brian Wampler Finally Releases his 11 Mode Terraform Modulation Workstation after a Year's Worth of Tweaking

Chorus and VibratoEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlangerModulationModulation WorkstationPhaserRotary SpeakerTremoloUni-Vibe and VibeWampler+-
2019GPXWamplerTerraformFinalMain700.jpg

Seemingly not as long in gestation as Keeley’s ECCOS Flange-Modulated Tape Delay, this pedal has nonetheless featured at a couple of NAMM shows too. There were significant changes between the Winter and Summer NAMM variants, but since then it looks to have been just about the most intensive process of calibration and fine-tuning - in order to get each of the 11 algorithms spot-on.

 

Interestingly, when Brian first announced the Terraform, Boss’s MD-200 / 200 series wasn&rsquo...

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Favourite Pedals released in and around Summer NAMM 2019

Alexander PedalsBig Ear PedalsBoostBoost and OverdriveDistortionDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveDunlop EffectsDwarfcraftFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGamechanger AudioGreer AmpsGuitar Synth and SequencerKorora AudioMad Professor EffectsMarshall Style DistortionModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMythos PedalsOctave FuzzOctaverOddball FuzzOddball ModulationOverdrivePitchPitch-ShiftingRat Style FuzzRing ModulationSilicon FuzzSinvertekSource AudioThird Man RecordsTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveUni-Vibe and VibeWampler+-
2019GPXBestSummerNAMMPedals700-min.jpg

I have covered off a number of my favourite Summer NAMM pedals already - including the Boss 200 range, RC-10R and SY-1, the Fulltone OCD Ge, the REVV G2, the Spaceman Effects Gemini IV, and Walrus Audio Kangra for instance. And there’s a couple more surprise ones I will be posting as dedicated features very soon - so stay alert for those! In the wake of one of the best ever Winter NAMM’s it was clear that the Summer NAMM could never match that degree of innovation - in fact most of ...

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Pedal Design 101 - The Renaissance of Carl Martin

BoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionCarl MartinChorus and VibratoCompressorDistortionEffects Pedal MakersEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQFlangerFuzzGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesModulationOverdriveSilicon FuzzTremoloUni-Vibe and VibeUtility+-
2019GPX9BestV2CarlMartin700-min.jpg

It has to be said that Carl Martin - a long-standing Danish pedal-builder of high pro-gear repute - was starting to look somewhat fusty and old-fashioned there for a while. And while some brands would look to simply refresh their graphics and update things in a largely superficial manner - Carl Martin set to designing an entirely new compact enclosure for its Vintage Series of pedals.

 

The incumbent pedals were in rather uninteresting medium enclosures while the degree of innovation and...

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