The 2015 Winter NAMM show in Anaheim, California was more crowded than in years. The main trend, guitar-wise, seemed to be custom guitars that recalled old Harmonys, Silvertones, and oddball Italian or Japanese instruments; not forward thinking—but definitely cool. Also plentiful, as we shall see, were “freak-out fuzz pedals.”
The best in show from a modernist standpoint would have to be the GTC Sound Innovations Rev Pad. This Israeli offering may or may not see wide scale production and distribution, but this touchpad control of a dedicated multi-effect system—one that also offers expression outputs to control external effects—was the most interesting new concept on display.
This is a trick I discovered on my own a couple of years ago, but Shawn Persinger a/k/a Prester John demonstrates it beautifully in this video. I would add two things: you don’t necessarily need reverb, but don’t we just love it? And, depending on the octave fuzz, you might find that lowering your guitar volume, while on the bridge pickup, increases the “sitar” effect.