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Anti-Effect pedal creates something new from what it destroys


February 26, 2013

The Anti-Effect pedal from Poland's Chaosound imitates electroacoustic track damage for a precision-controlled broken guitar sound

The Anti-Effect pedal from Poland's Chaosound imitates electroacoustic track damage for a precision-controlled broken guitar sound

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There are an awful lot of guitar effects pedals that massage, tweak, clean, or otherwise enhance the signal from a guitar's pickups before it reaches the amplifier. The Anti-Effect from Poland's Chaosound turns its back on all that goodness and tries its best to destroy the sound instead.

Why would you even want to emulate the kind of bothersome sounds resulting from a broken guitar cable, malfunctioning pickups or an amp that's pumping out its very last sonic breath? An answer can be found in ZZ Top's Loaded from the 1996 album Rhythmeen, where The Reverand Willy G accompanies Dusty Hill's vocals with a menacing, gritty, fuzzed-out guitar hook that sounds like he's trying to route a massive rig through one tiny radio speaker.

Also a good fit for an experimental John Frusciante or Tom Morello, this unassuming, rather innocent-looking black box imitates electroacoustic track damage. Its job is simply to smash apart the signal according to settings chosen by the player, then let it rip through the amp ... and it does this very well.

The hand-built to order boutique stompbox features analog, hand-wired, temperature-tolerant circuitry and runs on a 9-volt power input (battery or DC), consuming about 3.5 mA. A dial on the left controls the speed of the signal breakup, there's a sequencer in the middle to flavor the output, and a depth control to the right.

There are two stomps on top. One activates the effect and the other shortcuts to its maximum depth setting, regardless of the position of the depth control. Unlike standard stomps, the pedal is only active when a foot pushes either switch down. If you release the switch, the signal destruction stops.

A true bypass switch at the back allows you to cut the Anti-Effect from the signal chain completely, should your destructive juices run out.

The following video demonstrates the range of broken sounds available when the pedal sits between a guitar and clean amp.

The real fun starts, however, if you place a distortion pedal before the Anti-Effect in the chain, as you can see and hear below.

At the very darkest regions of my tremolo pedal's capabilities, I can possibly achieve something similar to a basic cable problem, but this pedal offers its own special flavors and shades to the mix – in the shape of four different sequences and, according to Chaosound, the ability to dial in crushing and bombing and thunder and lightning sounds.

The Anti-Effect pedal is available direct from Chaosound for US$239.

Source: Chaosound

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag. All articles by Paul Ridden

This pedal sounds like it was invented by Cheech and Chong, whilst they were smoking some substance. Hey, man, listen this cool sound. Who in their right mind would pay US$239 for this? A much easier and cheaper way would be to graunch up one of your old guitar leads, so the connections become intermittent.

David Clarke

Why would you buy this? I can get this same effect by plugging in my old guitar cables and then touching the plugs when I want to "graunch" it up.

Sambath Pech
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