Review: Meris Ottobit Jr.

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., GM_Awarddemonstrated 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.

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Nick Reinhart Meets Source Audio Nemesis

Two of my faves, Nick Reinhart on guitar and Source Audio’s Nemesis pedal on effects. Reinhart shows how the modern experimental guitarist can skip all the great traditional delay sounds produced by this pedal and go straight to the weirder more experimental sounds. In the spirit of Halloween, check out Reinhart’s release Scary Sounds from last year at this time.

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Nick Reinhart’s EarthQuaker Sounds

Nick Reinhart has lots of fans among Guitar Moderne readers, so here is a video of him doing what he does best: taking a bunch of pedals he is marginally familiar with and instantly making music—albeit his noise based variety. Reinhart uses Earthquaker pedals on his board (he talks about them in his contribution to Earthquaker’s blog), but these were new to him.

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Guitar Moderne NAMM 2016 Report

The good news is that NAMM keeps growing. The better news is that the amount of gear, well, geared to the modern guitarist is growing as well. This year, Anaheim featured a plethora of pedals that made new and glorious noises, a far cry from your standard Tube Screamer and Klon clones (though there were some great versions of the latter from J. Rockett). Also in evidence were unique guitars that managed to look both modern and retro. Hall E, always the land of new ideas good and bad, this time served up some really good ones.

The only bad news was how difficult it was for my one-man show to cover even the equipment of interest to Guitar Moderne readers. Premier Guitar and Guitar Player offer access to much of what I missed, but here is what I found to be the best of the rest.

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Nick Reinhart shows what you can do with some Red Panda pedals and a Line 6 DL-4. Check out the color coordinated strap, sneakers and pedal. The man is talented and stylin’.

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Nick Reinhart and Earthquaker Devices

Nels Cline, Adrian Belew, David Torn, Eivind Aarset, Fred Frith—These superstars of modern guitar have been with us for decades and are all currently making vibrant, forward thinking music. Oz Noy and Stian Westerhus are relative youngsters in this category, still, we all might sometimes wonder where the next generation of players on this level will come from. I have featured many talented young players in Guitar Moderne, but Nick Reinhart is one of the few who embodies the rare combination of virtuoso technique on both guitar and effects required for superstar status in the world of modern guitar. His ability to spontaneously turn noise into music continues to astound me. Here he is wreaking great sounds out of a random sample of Earthquaker pedals and what are probably an unfamiliar amp and guitar.

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