2014 Paris Motor Show highlights

Guitar Effects

The wirelessly-powered Eddie Kramer Series F-Pedals

In a similar way that wireless charging mats promise to liberate your smartphone from fiddly cables, the F-Pedals don't have 9 V batteries bulking out their frames or numerous power cables sprouting from the pedalboard. In fact, since the F-Board on which the effects pedals are placed to receive power includes its own rechargeable and replaceable battery pack, the two stomps currently being prepared for sale can also be used away from a wall socket for up to 20 hours.  Read More

The Guitar Wing class-compliant MIDI controller wirelessly connects to a computer over Blu...

For guitarists who like to experiment, digital signal processing technology has opened up whole new worlds of tonal exploration and control. Unlocking the parameters, effects and features in computer-based software while playing can be a cumbersome affair though, often involving some nifty tap dancing on multi-effects units like the G5 or stopping every so often to adjust the settings on a tabletop MIDI controller. The Guitar Wing from Livid Instruments attaches to the instrument itself and offers wireless function control of software plug-ins, Digital Audio Workstations (DAW), iOS apps, MIDI effects and so on, all within reach of the picking hand and available while playing.  Read More

The Beatbuddy guitar pedal drum machine from David Packouz

Though noodling is a whole lot of fun, and fingertip calluses certainly need regular workouts, there are times when it would be good to have your very own John Bonham or Mitch Mitchell to provide a rock-steady beat. Playing along to backing tracks or engaging the help of loopers, drum machines or rhythm boxes can work to some degree, but there's little or no room for improvisation or creativity unless you take your hands away from the guitar to mix things up a bit. Billed as the first guitar pedal drum machine, the Beatbuddy from David Packouz puts control of the beat at your feet, leaving your hands free to get on with some serious shredding.  Read More

The Farmer's Mill Electric Mud Grinder from Crushsound

Inspired by the kind of brown or muddy tones produced by ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons on tracks like Loaded from the 1996 album Rhythmeen, Jedrzej Lewandowski of Poland's Le 2 Workshop architects created the Farmer's Mill, which was unleashed, appropriately enough perhaps, on April 1 2012. The second generation has now been released. It's a little bigger than its predecessor, a lot better, and is now available in orange as well as white. Gizmag has spent the last few weeks making guitars wheeze, cough and splutter like they've been smoking 40-a-day since birth, and walks way mighty impressed with the destructive capabilities of the Mark II Electric Mud Grinder.  Read More

The iRig BlueBoard wireless MID pedalboard from IK Multimedia

When I reviewed the OPC Musician's Computer in March 2012, I also got the opportunity to sample a full-featured version of IK Multimedia's equally impressive AmpliTube 3 guitar effects and amp simulation suite. I did note, however, that one downside was having to activate virtual pedals and tweak settings via the mouse (or in the case of iOS versions, by touching the virtual controls on the screen). The latest addition to the company's iRig family puts parameter control at your feet, in a wireless pedalboard called the BlueBoard.  Read More

The new Moog Minifooger analog stomp family

Moog Music has announced a new range of versatile and expressive analog effects stomps for electric guitar and bass. Each of the five affordable and compact Minifoogers features an expression pedal input that can be CV-controlled (just like an old Moog synth), and gives the player control of one predetermined parameter for the chosen unit, expanding the stomp's sound beyond what's available via the knobs up top.  Read More

The Guitarduino from Igor Stolarsky

In addition to being a talented player and having a guitar named after him, Les Paul was a dedicated tinkerer. It's rather fitting, then, that one of those famous guitars has been modified to include touch-controlled synths and effects, and an onboard drum machine. The system is built around an Arduino brain externally mounted near the bridge, which routes signals from sensors and buttons through custom code to a preamp/effects processor or a digital audio workstation suite. As you can see and hear from the video after the jump, the aptly-named Guitarduino is quite simply extraordinary.  Read More

Peavey is now shipping three Vypyr VIP amps featuring variable instrument input

While Peavey regularly releases electric guitars, like the excellent AT-200 for example, it's perhaps best known for its amplifiers. Five years after unleashing its Vypyr line of modeling amps, the company debuted three new additions at NAMM earlier this year. The first to sport a variable instrument input technology that allows them to be used for bass, acoustic or electric guitars, the Vypyr VIP amps are now shipping.  Read More

Electro Harmonix has combined a power trio of stomps into a single compact unit named Epit...

New York's Electro Harmonix (EHX) has taken three of its most popular stomps and merged them into one compact Epitome unit. A player can choose to operate the Micro POG, Stereo Electric Mistress and Holy Grail Plus independently, or blend them all together for some seriously powerful sonic madness. In addition to catering for even more tonal experimentation by mixing up the signal chain, the intriguing Shimmer button can also turn one of the four reverbs into a delay, generate an infinite drone or a wild swirling leslie-type sound.  Read More

The Anti-Effect pedal from Poland's Chaosound imitates electroacoustic track damage for a ...

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.  Read More

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