FLEXeFX puts stompbox tone control at your feet
By Paul Ridden
February 20, 2013
Most guitarists will have tweaked each stompbox in a pedal board chain well before the gig starts, and will probably stick to the same bank of available tones for the whole performance. Those in the mood for sonic experimentation, however, might feel tempted to dive down mid-song for a remix using the control knobs on the front of the effects pedal. If you're smart (or quick), no-one will notice. If you had a FLEXeFX pedal or two, though, you wouldn't even have to take your gifted hands away from the guitar at all. You could change your sound on the fly using your foot.
Working guitarist and confirmed gearhead William Gadol out of Summerville, SC came up with the idea for FLEXeFX while mixing effects in ProTools. When he realized that replicating his post-processing mixes in a live setting with his existing stomps was an impossible dream, he came up with his own range of effects pedals to remix on the fly.
By replacing control knobs with side-mounted wheels, the 3.75 x 5.5 x 3-inch (95 x 139 x 76-mm) FLEXeFX stomps allow players to adjust pedal parameters or rework the mix in real time with a foot. Gadol has been designing, fine-tuning and rehashing the FLEXeFX stomp for the last three years and has now arrived at a design he's happy with. He's created some working plastic prototypes, and is now looking to push the range into production with the launch of a Kickstarter campaign.
Initially, five FLEXeFX pedals will be made available, each housed in a powder-coated metal casing. A Compressor, Phaser, Rotary Simulator, Fixed Wah / Boost, Flanger, Octave Up & Down, Envelope Filter and more are all waiting in the wings and will follow later.
The 2EXP+TT stomp sports dual expression wheels with tap-tempo. It's been designed to control other pedals on the board that have expression or tap-tempo inputs, and has an LED light on top which syncs to the tap switch as a visual indicator of tempo. This model can be secured for a pledge of US$139.
The left wheel controls the speed of the FLEXeFX Tremolo, and the right has dominion over depth or level. This model also includes a volume knob on the rear to compensate for any perceived volume loss. Backers will need to cough up $149 to get this pedal.
Not shown in the gallery as it's still in development, the Digital Reverb will feature an intriguingly-named "Dwell" wheel, a mix wheel and a tone knob. The pledge level for this one has been set at $179.
If you're looking for a pedal to open up tonal adventures not previously possible with analog stomps, the FLEXeFX Mixer is the unit for you. It has two mono effects loops. The left wheel mixes the loops in parallel, while the right mixes the effects and amplifier signals. There's a toggle switch for mixing sends, returns or one of each. This model will require a pledge of $189.
Although the prototype Analog Delay has been made from an old Ibanez AD9 pedal, the production unit will be proprietary and have 600 milliseconds of delay time, a tap-tempo switch, feedback on the left wheel, and mix capabilities on the right. It will set you back $199.
In return for a pledge of $1,250 (only ten of these are offered), Gadol will ship out all five pedals featured in the campaign and one of every pedal produced in the future.
The Kickstarter campaign is set to run until March 6, and the first production FLEXeFX stompboxes are expected to be shipped out the following month.
The pitch video below demonstrates exactly what's on offer.