I feel like it was nearly five years ago that I first saw Mod Devices Mod Duo (€649.00) at a NAMM show. It seemed like a great idea at the time: a hardware pedal that could host plug-ins. I had just begun exploring the unique sounds I could get using plug-ins on the computer in Ableton Live. These were sounds unavailable in stomp boxes at the time, but since then, more and more boutique pedal manufacturers have released the kind of granular, filtering, and ambient effects that were until now only available in the computer. Still, the Mod Duo offers both freedom from a laptop on stage, and a plethora of pedal style and plug-in style effects in a small footprint. Its open source nature also bodes well for modern sounds not yet available from stomps. What do you think?
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., demonstrated 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.
Synthesizer players understand the importance of being able to shape the attack, decay, sustain, and release of each note, also known as ADSR. This great demo by JustNick shows how the new Malekko Sneak Attack ($189 street) brings these sound sculpting abilities to guitarists. You can use it for a wide range of tremolo effects, auto-volume swells, chop and repeater sounds, It can also make the guitar’s sound more keyboard or banjo-like. The Lil Buddy expander adds tap tempo capabilities and manual triggering (also possible with the pedal’s bypass switch). The Sneak Attack can also be synced with an external click track. Thanks to JA Deane for hipping us to this cool pedal.
With its new One Series effects, Source Audio has created a line of products that should be equally appealing to conservative and progressive guitarists alike. With its rectangular housing and 4.5 in. long x 2.75 in. wide x 2 in. high (including knobs) size it their most traditional looking and pedalboard friendly unit yet. Combine this familiar package with classic effects (Tremolo, Chorus, Flanger, Phaser—and soon, Overdrive and Fuzz) sporting a quartet of recognizable control knobs, and you have a stompbox series that should make even the most hidebound picker comfortable.
But, in the Source Audio tradition, underneath the hood of each pedal lurks a high degree of tweakability for creating a wealth of typical and atypical effects, as well as a luxurious level of parameter control—both of which will delight the modern player. Here we look at the Vertigo Tremolo pedal.