The EarthQuaker Devices Data Corrupter Modulated Monophonic PLL Harmonizer launches today. This mouthful of a pedal is a monophonic analog PLL harmonizer with modulation. It takes your input signal and amplifies it into a square wave fuzz tone that is then multiplied, divided and modulated to create a wild, yet repeatable, three-voice guitar synthesizer.
The Master Oscillator is the central nervous system at the heart of the Data Corrupter’s cyberpunk hive mind. It feeds your input to the Data Corrupter’s signal harvester in its original octave (Unison), one octave down (-1) or two octaves down (-2) for maximum compatibility with your preferred instrument and frequency register. Once you’ve chosen your input octave, then the Data Corrupter will perform its calculations and spit out an analog synthesized frequency, which can be pitch-bent for portamento or vibrato sounds by the Frequency Modulator. From there, you can blend in one of eight Subharmonic intervals up to three octaves below the input and mix in a square wave fuzz tone for maximum data corruption. Full review to come soon.
I feel like it was nearly five years ago that I first saw Mod Devices Mod Duo (€649.00) at a NAMM show. It seemed like a great idea at the time: a hardware pedal that could host plug-ins. I had just begun exploring the unique sounds I could get using plug-ins on the computer in Ableton Live. These were sounds unavailable in stomp boxes at the time, but since then, more and more boutique pedal manufacturers have released the kind of granular, filtering, and ambient effects that were until now only available in the computer. Still, the Mod Duo offers both freedom from a laptop on stage, and a plethora of pedal style and plug-in style effects in a small footprint. Its open source nature also bodes well for modern sounds not yet available from stomps. What do you think?
Once upon a time, a couple of former Strymon and Line 6 folks got together and started making 500 Series rack modules under the name Meris. Eventually they started producing pedal versions of two of the modules. I saw one of those pedals, the Ottobit Jr., demonstrated back in January by Nick Reinhart and Juan Alderete on the great YouTube channel Pedals And Effects. It immediately struck me as potentially a perfect multi-effects pedal for Guitar Moderne readers. As luck would have it, in February, Nick introduced me by email to the Meris people who were kind enough to send one when the review models became available. I dove in and here are the results.
In his video “To Bill” (below) it is easy to detect who the Bill in the title is, but Rocco Saviano also cites Avant-singer Mike Patton. Still, when not paying homage to modern guitar icon Frisell, Saviano’s music leans toward more towards the romanticism of his classical background, with emotion-filled melodies layered over consonant chords, rather than towards Patton’s aggressive sounds. In fact, Saviano’s lyrical style gives ample proof that noise is only one way to be modern.
In 2014, Livid came out with Guitar Wing, which we covered in Guitar Moderne. We were impressed with the possibilities of controlling effects parameters right from the face of the guitar, unchained from pedals and standard hardware controllers. The downside was that the unit can be difficult to fit on your instrument and makes a large visual statement that may or may not be to your liking. On the upside, it is very versatile and, streeting at a little over $100, reasonably priced.
The folks at GTC have come up with an alternate device that debuted at NAMM a couple of years ago. As hearing anything at NAMM is an exercise in futility, we were glad to come across a video that clearly demonstrates the enormous possibilities of their Revpad. Smaller than the Guitar Wing, it comes with its own hardware multi-effects and can also send MIDI to external effects. On the strength of this video, the effects sound great and the Revpad seems nearly as versatile as the Guitar Wing. At around $1000, it is pricier than the Livid product, but when you factor in the cost of the laptop and/or external hardware effects you would need to add to Guitar Wing, they seem comparable values. What do you think?