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.
Though not as portable as a straight plugin, the combination of hardware and software offers the analog sound and hands-on control of the original with the programability and flexibility of a digital plugin. That it also prevents software cracking is an added benefit for the company. At $328.90, it is more in the range of a high end boutique pedal than the affordable units that have made EHX so popular. But when you factor in that you can take it on the road as programmable Big Muff, the price makes a little more sense. Here’s hoping there will be more of the catalog to come.