Barring those who use the instrument as a pure noise generator, even the most modern of players needs to tune. Like so many guitarists, I am trying to pack as many pedals as I can on as small a board as possible, so I decided to try out the D’Addario Chromatic Pedal Tuner. Though is sounds like a device to tune your pedals (shouldn’t it be called the Chromatic Tuner Pedal?), it actually tunes the guitar, and is a little over half the size of the Boss TU-2 I have been using forever.
Rumors of this pedal have been flying around since 2015; it has appeared at the last two winter NAMM shows in various forms; but is only now available as Curt Malouin will release no pedal before its time. A while back we touted the Hologram Infinite Jets Resynthesizer as the ultimate modern guitar pedal, and for sheer variety of non-traditional sounds available in a single pedal it may still reign. But coming up fast is the Red Panda Tensor, with its more board-friendly size, MIDI capability, ease of use, and ease on the pocketbook.
Go to 7:27 to jump to the playing.
This makes me sad. From when I first encountered Source Audio, back when the original Hot Hand was still tethered to the pedals by a cable, I encouraged the company to target laptop jockeys. I was thrilled when they introduced the Hot Hand USB. It seemed like such a good idea at the time: a way for DJs and electronica musicians to stop looking like they were reading their email, as filter sweeps and other effects could be connected to the performer through their hand movements. I even figured out how to use it with guitar without tying up either hand. (See video below and read the article here ). Unfortunately it never caught on and is being discontinued. If it looks like something you could use, grab one now while they last.
Guitar Moderne featured the Gamechanger Audio Plasma Pedal in the 2018 NAMM report. The Plasma is a unique dirt pedal that transforms your instrument’s signal into a series of continuous high-voltage discharges within a xenon-filled tube. Pre-orders are now available through an Indiegogo campaign. Along with other perks, the $299 pedal is available for a limited time for as low as $159 through the Indiegogo push. At post time they have raised $73,752, so this pedal will see the light of day.
In another innovative move, they are launching an online testing platform that will actually let anyone in the world take the PLASMA Pedal for a test-drive via a YouTube live-stream. There, you can upload your sound sample, dial in your desired knob settings via remote controlled motors and watch your track being played back through High-Voltage Plasma distortion. Try it–it’s fun!
NAMM 2018 was even bigger than last year, yet much more manageable. The brand new ACC (Anaheim Convention Center) North building housed most of the high tech and pro audio stuff, allowing guitars and related products to be centralized in one area on the main floor of the original building. NAMM further reduced the spread by offering the new boutique manufacturers—previously relegated to downstairs Hall E—smaller, more affordable booths in the main guitar product ghetto. Thus, I was able to cover the show in two relaxed, rather than three grueling, days.
The new AAC North building