Submitted on January 20, 2014
The 2014 NAMM Show starts in a bit less than 3 days from now, but there's already news about more than 150 new pedals. You can already find most of those at my yearly NAMM overview!
There's news about more pedals, but I'm not yet allowed to post those yet and I'm still adding other pedals all the time so make sure to have a look from time to time. Every year, THIS is the most complete overview. It's quite frustrating for my colleagues:
(Rebecca was actually only frustrated by the huge amount of news these days and the limited duration of her daily Tone Report videos ;))
You can also look at the page with the latest additions to the site, but that list is only updated twice a day.
Discussions and more news are very welcome at the forum!
Submitted on January 13, 2014
It's impossible to ignore the Dimehead PLL clone because of the many knobs and switches.
He who wants raw synth sounds without having to buy and learn a complete synthesizer set, should check out this intriguing pedal.
You wonder, what does it do? In short; it adds a harmonized multiplied and divided frequency to your sound. On top of that, you can throw in a greasy sawtooth synth tone. Don't expect to get a useable setting the first few minutes though.
Basically, you can create chords out of a note by adding the correct intervals above and below the original note.
It took me a while to get hang of the controls and their effect because their layout is a bit erratic. Be warned, this is no plug n' play pedal like a typical Boss stompbox; approach this unit with patience and attention.
You will be rewarded for your investment of time though.
Submitted on January 9, 2014
DOD started making pedals in 1974 and the company was named after its founder and head engineer, David Oreste Di Francesco. One of the first DOD pedals was the DOD Phasor 201, it was very similar to the MXR Phase 45. Anyhow, the early DOD pedals were very popular because these simply were great pedals. Still are, the pedals made in the seventies and early eighties are really sought after and hard to get.
There are at least four different versions of the Phasor 201: gray, yellow, blue and a blue reissue. Each version has a slightly different speed range, but all are capable of producing pleasant phase tones.
At some point, the DOD company was sold to Harman International, also known for other familiar brands like Lexicon or Digitech amongst others.
Harman decided to reissue the Phasor 201, but it will only be available for a limited time. This calls for a review.
Submitted on January 8, 2014
In the 1970s, DOD was one of the big American pedal manufacturers. DOD Electronics Corporation was founded in 1974 by John Johnson and David O. Di Francesco. The first DOD pedal was the DOD Overdrive Preamp 250. This pedal was very similar to the MXR Distortion+, but due to the use of different capacitors, the DOD produced a mellower, more tube sounding distortion and the yellow DOD pedal became a classic. Later on a grey version was made and this one is more sought after and is supposedly even more tube sounding. Also a reissue and modified version were made. The older pedals have the OP741 opamp and the reissues had a 4558 chip.
Now after almost 40 years, Harman Digitech decided to bring the DOD Overdrive Preamp 250 back, and rumor has it that it is even better than before. A review.
Still looks like a pedal that was made in the seventies, but now it is in a aluminum casing, much lighter. Also, it is not the classic bright yellow paint job, it has a more distinguished metal flake yellow, looks classy. The bottom lid is matte black. There is no battery lid, but one of the improvements is that the pedal now has the standard 9V adapter plug. Also it has a true bypass switch and a blue status LED. Controls are the same. Level and Gain. Took a peek inside but the chip is not labeled, by the looks of it, it appears to be an OP741.
Submitted on January 7, 2014
The "Totally Wycked Audio Great Divide 2.0" (in short: TWA GD-02) should have been on the Christmas list of many of those that consider themselves "mad scientists in audio".
Believe me, that IS a compliment! Have you seen the controls on this thing? You are either afraid of all the sliders or just eager to dive right into soundscaping.
You shouldn't be limiting yourself to one instrument though. I tried an acoustic guitar, electric guitar and a cheap toyish keyboard. Because of the synthy character of this pedal, you'll notice that your old, crappy keyboards might actually come alive again, with a great new growling and aggressive attitude.
I will not go over too much of the details but the essence of this pedal is the ability to determine the mix of dry, -1 octave, +1 octave, a SYN and a SUB voice.
The SYN voice is, as the name suggest, a synth sound based on 4 types of waveforms (which you decide too)
The wacky people at Godlyke Distributing like to go all crazy over the controls and possibilities of the GD-02 MKII to and it's their good right to do so. They changed some major functionalities compared to the first version though. You should really visit their page to read the full story on these changes. In short? Good call; it's affordable mayhem! They added more voices to the pedal so that ain't a bad thing, right?
Submitted on January 6, 2014
In the beginning of 2013, Bart told me that he discovered that Mike Beigel - founding father and chief designer of Musitronics Corporation - had filed a couple of trademarks at the USPTO. So the wait began...
A couple of months later Mike announced that he started a new company – Mu-FX™ – and that he was nearly ready to release a first pedal, the Tru-Tron 3X™,an envelope filter, very similar to the original Mu-Tron III he designed about 40 years ago.
Now, the Mu-Tron III was originally meant to be part of a Guild synthesizer, but Guild stopped this project and not much later Mike Beigel formed Musitronics together with former Guild electronics engineer Aaron Newman. They developed a pedal using the Timbre Generator section of the Guild synth, and this became the Mu-Tron III, the first envelope controlled filter pedal. Bob Moog helped to file a patent application.
The Mu-Tron III was a big hit, it was an effect that had many applications, and a lot of talented artists incorporated it into their music, Bootsy Collins used it on bass, Stevie Wonder used it on keys, Jerry Garcia used it on guitar...
Beigel eventually got his patent granted and Musitronics licensed the Mu-tron III circuitry to Univox, Monacor and others in the seventies.
ARP Instruments bought Musitronics in 1979, they continued making the Mu-Tron III until they went out of business about a year later. In the 1990s, there was a "reissue" - the HAZ Mu-Tron III+, but Mike Beigel did not have any connections with this reissue and the circuit was different to that of the original Musitronics Mu-Tron III.
However, in 1995, Mike Beigel teamed up with Electro-Harmonix to recreate the Mu-Tron III and this cooperation resulted in the creation of the infamous Electro-Harmonix Q-Tron.
Jump to 2013, Mike Beigel starts production of the Tru-Tron 3X™ and announces: "The unit, although smaller than its predecessor, the Musitronics Mu-Tron III, is bigger in features and equal or better (my opinion) in sound and versatility.”
This calls for a review.
Submitted on December 22, 2013
Here's FXDB's interview with Nick Sylaidos of Rat Pedals.
Rat Pedals is run by Nick Sylaidos. His workshop is located in Athens, Greece.
How did Rat Pedals start?
The story begins back to 2008 when I used to make small transistor guitar amplifiers from kits and forums.
This was not enough ! As a guitarist I got bored with all these digital processor multi-effects and I was looking for something else.
In the beginning I got help from forums and professional stompbox builders.
Submitted on December 19, 2013
Here's FXDB's interview with Noah Krieg of Hotone Audio.
Hotone Audio is based in China and Hong Kong.
How did Hotone Audio start?
President Guo Runbo was a guitarist doing gigs with a band, and when he couldn’t find the pedals he needed, he started making his own in 1996.
After being involved with other companies first, in 2012, Runbo’s vision could no longer be contained, and he distinguished his new creations under the Hotone brand.
The company is still inspired by working musicians, everyone in the company has real music experience.
Submitted on December 17, 2013
As you probably know by now, last week Dwarfcraft Devices announced it took over ownership and management of Devi Ever FX.
It was no secret that Devi wanted to leave the pedal business and Dwarfcraft was the best candidate according to most fans and clients, but I still asked both parties for a bit more info and background:
Submitted on December 13, 2013
Here's FXDB's interview with Mark Svirkov of SviSound.
SviSound is run by Mark Svirkov and moved from Russia to Varna, Bulgaria.
How did SviSound start?
I did my first pedal in 1979 year for school band. First I did many pedals and devices for my friends for free, then I started to do it for money :)
I didn't get any help, I found most info on Internet and I create my devices myself, because I have a lot of experience with it.