Today, EarthQuaker Devices drops their Aqueduct Vibrato ($199 USD), a true pitch-shifting vibrato. You will soon see lots of demos. I am throwing my hat in the ring with a few sounds that might interest the modern guitarist, as well as a review (spoiler alert, it’s a rave).
When I started employing a laptop with my guitar, it was restricted to just those two items: guitar into the laptop into a PA. Not long after, I struggled with using the advantages of the laptop—plug-ins, looping—in conjunction with my pedalboard and a guitar amp. The results were spotty, and required bringing and setting up bulky interfaces and multiple cables. The new OMEC Teleport from Orange Amplification promises a more elegant solution.
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.
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.
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.