Z. Vex (press release January16, 2012)
Gating very complex sounds like fuzz and delay is always a challenge. The Loop Gate™ provides a loop switch with a built-in “perfect” audio gate (high headroom, no distortion, no hiss) that lets you set up a loop of pedals you can switch in and out of your signal path at will, but you have a couple of really fun options to control that loop. Let’s say you want to play a bunch of really interesting noise textures into the loop to create a giant swath of sound with echos and fuzz and perhaps a Lo-fi Loop Junky™ repeating some swirly, woozy phrase, and you want it to fade away perfectly when you mute the strings on your guitar. This can do that. It looks at your guitar signal to see when you want to gate. It doesn’t even bother to look at the output from your loop of pedals... that’s way too noisy to study. It’s much better to look at the incoming guitar signal to see what’s up, and that’s just what the Loop Gate™ does. If you want to eliminate the gate from the equation, there’s a stomp switch for that. If you want to bypass the entire loop of pedals instantly, there’s a stomp switch for that too. The release time is completely adjustable from downright slammin’ to extremely long and lovely, like the most gorgeous fadeout performed by a professional engineer. Of course, there’s a wide-ranging sensitivity control to set the turn-on threshold. And the amazing thing is, it uses the same glistening buffer found in the Lo-fi Loop Junky™ (the clean sound) which can be switched in and out of the circuit at the input, in case you are using a fuzz first thing in the loop and you need to have the guitar directly connected. We’ve completely perfected that buffer... it’s both velvety and glistening and has very high headroom.
BUT WAIT, that’s not all. There’s a small switch to select “chop” mode, which holds the gate open for a specific time set by the release knob, and suddenly slams shut. It won’t open again until the same period of silence has elapsed, so you can get a very interesting effect by letting your guitar sustain, where the loop gate opens and releases a blast of sound in a rhythmic pattern just like a tremolo except for one thing... you can stop playing at any moment and start again, and it will reset the start point. This is very useful for locking up the timing with the band, if you’re trying to get the tempo just right. Say the band has drifted back in tempo, and your release setting is now a little too fast. As soon as your pulses begin to creep ahead of the beat, just stop playing for a moment (say, just before 1) and start in time, and it will start with you the moment you play. Being able to bring in a whole loop of pedals with a crazy sound that is being pulsed at a precise rate and suddenly make it disappear by hitting one bypass button is very very handy for creating intense textures that need to come and go without having a switching system. While the loop is disengaged, of course, you can switch on and off pedals in the loop at your leisure, and by switching off the gate (there’s a stomp switch for that), use the bypass switch to bring the loop back in at any time.
We’re working on one more feature for this pedal over the weekend before the show. We can’t tell you what it is until we’re sure we can pull it off, but it’s very very cool. 8^D
- (2013-03-13) Z.Vex Loopgate - Longer release noise gate setting (Fender Strat, bridge & middle pickup, BK Butler 9002 dual-tube preamp, Make Noise Echophon) by Premier Guitar
- (2013-03-13) Z.Vex Loopgate - Short release noise gate setting (Fender Strat, bridge pickup, BK Butler 9002 dual-tube preamp) by Premier Guitar
- (2015-05-29) Loop Gate (with other effects) by Z. Vex