EarthQuaker is releasing their first flanger, Pyramids. But calling this pedal a flanger is like calling the Electro-Harmonix 16-Second Digital Delay a delay pedal—true, but far from the whole story. Like the 16-Second Digital Delay, Pyramids has the potential to be as much an instrument as an effect.
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
The weather outside is frightful but at GM it is so delightful because we have a festival of concerts by modern guitar pioneer David Torn, Jam Pedals founder Jannis Anastasakis, as well as Guitar Moderne Spotlight subjects Nicola L. Hein, Hans Tammen, and Martin Siewert. So snuggle up in your jammies and check them out.
Sun of Goldfinger in Schlachthof, Wels, Austria
David Torn (guitar, effects), Tim Berne (saxophone), Ches Smith (drums)
There is a wonderful world of effects out there, but maximizing their usefulness often requires modifying parameters on the fly—think Whammy pedal, or runaway delay feedback. Unfortunately, modifying parameters, and even engaging or switching off effects, tethers you to the pedal in a way that can hamper your visual performance.
There have been solutions: In 2014, Livid came out with Guitar Wing, which I covered in Guitar Moderne. It allows control of MIDI effects parameters right from the face of the guitar, unchained from pedals and standard hardware controllers. Source Audio’s Hot Hand, covered here, also permits free-ranging parameter control, either through MIDI (using the Neuro Hub), or through an expression input on the pedal or switching device. The folks at GTC Sound Innovations have come up with yet another solution that debuted at NAMM a couple of years ago and I recently got to put it through its paces. First watch the GTC folks demo some classic effects.