I worked for Electro-Harmonix three times. Once in the mid 70s, once in the later 70s, and finally when I moved back to New York from San Francisco in the early 2000s. By the last time, DAWS and plugins were a thing and hardware effect companies were cashing in by licensing plugin versions of their products. I suggested to Mike Matthews that he consider turning some of his classic pedals into plugins. He wasn’t into it at the time but apparently has now decided to put a toe in the water. Starting with his flagship effect, the Big Muff, he has launched a hybrid pedal/plugin concept.
From the company’s inception, the folks at Meris have had their own take on pedal creation. Elegant packaging and interfaces have been a hallmark. They have outdone themselves with the LVX, however. In addition to the futuristic GUI, bit crushing and granular effects make this not your father’s delay pedal. They also include a tuner so you can take that pedal off your board help make room for this one.
When I was checking out Source Audio’s Ultra Wave distortion pedal, I found the compression options available with the Neuro Editor alone made it worth the price. That flexibility is built into the company’s new Atlas Compressor.
Compression can be a complicated, confusing effect, and plugging the Atlas into its Neuro Editor can be daunting, but just fiddling with the options reveals many of the sonic secrets professional users of compression have known for years. Most modern guitarists know how compression brings heavily reverbed and delayed volume swells alive. Check out these videos for more elucidation about this essential effect.
People, and by people I mean non-guitarists, wonder about the amount of overdrive pedals on the market, seemingly growing like mushrooms after a wet winter. Ah, but like mushrooms, each type has a distinctive flavor and effect. Earthquaker Devices new Special Cranker sounds like no other, so if you feel like there is a particular piquancy missing from your tone palette, this might be the answer. For specs, click on the ad to the right.
The 2022 Guthman Musical Instrument Competition started with 26 semifinalists from 16 different countries. After an online showcase of the semifinalists, a committee of Georgia Tech faculty and public voting decided which creators would compete at the final stage. Nine advanced to the competition’s final round. They met on the Georgia Tech campus in Atlanta, Georgia, on March 11 and 12, 2022, to compete for $10,000 in prizes. While none of these won, they do indicate some possible future directions for making music with guitar skills.