I have been following Deimel Guitarworks on Instagram for a while. With creative wiring, pickups behind the bridge, and Piezos embedded at various points in the guitar, Frank Deimel has been in the forefront of creating instruments for experimental guitarists. His latest, the Firestar LesLee Synchronizer, combines a fascinating, built-in Leslie effect created by automatically switching between pickups, as well as the ability to synch with modular synths, or any device that uses CV.
If you are a modern guitarist you need to know about Rainger FX pedals. In the world of effects manufacturers, it sometimes seems that, not only are there too many versions of a tube screamer, but that even with the more modern effects, i.e. glitch, micro-loopers, etc., effects manufacturers are often releasing variations on a theme—not so David Rainger.
At first glance, his pedals can seem like some random gimmick, designed to be willfully different. Further investigation reveals that, for starters, their basic sounds are uniformly terrific: musical, lush, warm—all the usual coveted qualities. It’s just that on top of that Rainger has added functions that demand creativity, often inspired by non-guitar music like hip-hop and synth-based songs. It is a joy to watch his pedals force Mick and Dan into new sonic territory and the palpable joy it brings them. (Check out my review of the Mini Bar here)
Eventide’s H9 became one of those instant modern pedal classics like the Line 6 DL4 and the EHX POG. As it basically allowed only one effect at a time, it was not uncommon to see the boards of professionals and more well off amateurs sporting two. This week Eventide revealed the H90, the equivalent of two fully loaded H9s in one box for a bit less money. But the H90 is not only twin H9s; it has some tricks of its own, with new algorithms (notably polyphonic pitch shifting) and routing options. It apparently was an epic undertaking to put together such a complex product during Covid, but that just adds to the Eventide legend.
The original Boss Slicer, the SL-20, was one of those pedals that was ahead of its time. Not enough guitarists were into the sequencer style sounds that it was capable of producing. Or, not into it enough to sacrifice the pedalboard space it required. With the release of the SL-2 compact version of the effect, Boss is betting that the increase of forward thinking guitarists, combined with the new compact size, will entice more people to slice.
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.