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Guitar Effects

The Talking Pedal guitar effects unit emulates the vowel sounds of a human voice in a simi...

Although I grew up surrounded by the big hair rock of Bon Jovi and the like, my first introduction to the Talk Box guitar effect was not Living on a Prayer but Joe Walsh's Rocky Mountain Way over a decade earlier, followed a little later by Peter Frampton's epic Do You Feel Like We Do. Although it continues to be used by a good many guitar gods to this day, the long tube that invariably runs up a microphone stand to the player's mouth does make it something of a special addition to a guitarist's effects arsenal rather than a regular feature. The Talking Pedal from Electro-Harmonix does away with the tube altogether in a rocking chassis expression pedal with no moving parts.  Read More

The aptly-named WTF effect pedal from Loud Button Electronics essentially mixes synth tone...

The WTF from Loud Button Electronics brings together high gain distortion and a low frequency oscillator (LFO) in one effects pedal. The result is somewhat difficult to explain but a number of adjectives do spring to mind (weird, psychedelic, out there, oddball). However, none seem to fit better than its given moniker.  Read More

DigiTech has announced its fifth generation Whammy pitch shifting pedal, which introduces ...

Altering the tension of tuned strings through the influence of the tremolo or whammy bar on an electric guitar is an important part of any modern guitarist's trick bag. Early mechanical vibrato systems were notorious for throwing the instrument out of tune, and although huge improvements have been made over the years, intense or brutal use of some modern systems can still lead to problems. In 1989, DigiTech launched a pedal-based solution called the WH-1 Whammy, that offered players the same pitch altering capabilities of hardware systems, as well as additional harmony and detune effects, without any of the associated tuning hassles. Over 20 years later, and looking very much like the iconic original, the fifth version of the Whammy is currently being readied for release and brings something new to the party – the unique Chordal Pitch-Shifting.  Read More

MuseBox benefits from two pro-grade guitar/mic inputs at the front of the unit with phanto...

Peavey Electronics and Muse Research have partnered to develop the MuseBox, a rather nifty software-powered, digital sound module, vocal processor, guitar processor and effects processor all-in-one. The half-rack-sized unit features a mind-boggling number of presets, comes supplied with a software package valued at over US$900 and benefits from two pro-grade guitar/mic inputs at the front of the unit with phantom power, stereo, 24-bit, 48 kHz 0.25-inch rear-panel inputs and outputs, Gigabit Ethernet, full-size 5-pin DIN MIDI and four USB 2.0 ports.  Read More

A team of Purdue University students has developed a device that uses sensors at a guitari...

No matter the size of the stage, most gigging guitar players are likely to have to return to the same spot from time to time to change the tone, increase the volume, check tuning or to operate the wah effect. Thanks to a team of students from Purdue University's School of Mechanical Engineering, the last of those has now been liberated from the pedal board and strapped to the player's ankle. But this doesn't involve attaching a large brick-shaped wah pedal to one leg, as one's imagination might suggest, but wearing a small wireless transmitter and a couple of sensors instead. Players operate the Ghost Pedal in much the same fashion as a physical pedal, the sensors registering the rocking motion of the foot and feeding data to a base station connected to the amplifier.  Read More

Zoom has announced a May 2012 release date for its new multi-effects unit, the G5

The Mustang Floor multi-effects unit for guitar we featured earlier this month is a good first effort from Fender, but Japanese digital tone-manipulation veteran Zoom is about to really show how it's done with the introduction of the G5. The company's most advanced guitar FX unit to date, the Zoom G5 Guitar Effects and Amp Simulator Pedal - to use its full name - features hundreds of stompbox and DSP effects, tube drive boost, looping and recording, and an onboard drum machine.  Read More

The iStomp from DigiTech allows users to change the pedal's guitar effects using an iOS de...

The never-ending quest for killer effects pedals is an expensive and time-consuming passion that most electric guitar players will have to endure for much of their playing careers (unless you're lucky enough to hit on the perfect setup early on, of course). Effects veteran DigiTech has developed a stompbox that could well put that quest to bed. The iStomp effects pedal effectively starts life as a blank canvas onto which the user paints a wall of sound in the shape of a downloadable effect. Just like any other stompbox, the new pedal allows for fine adjustment of tone with parameter knobs, but if you fancy a brand new flavor of distortion or a completely different reverb to the one which is resident on the pedal, you can just buy the effect from DigiTech's online store and download it onto the iStomp via your iOS device.  Read More

The new G-5 Strat features Roland's COSM modeling technology, offering players instant alt...

Roland and Fender have joined forces to create a guitar called the G-5, that fuses a traditional Stratocaster body shape with cutting edge digital music technology. Set to hit the shelves a few months before either of the Auto-Tune guitars from Peavey and Parker, the VG Strat G-5 offers similar alternate tuning at the turn of a knob, a host of onboard digital guitar emulations and the chance to dial in different pickup and signature guitar sounds, too.  Read More

Fender has launched its first ever multi-effects unit - the Mustang Floor

We've been treated to a number of Fender stomp boxes over the years - like the classic Fender Blender and BOSS collaborations like the '65 Deluxe Reverb - but the iconic manufacturer has never gathered all its tone tweaking know-how into one big bundle ... until now. The new Mustang Floor brings together dozens of effects, amp modeling and computer interaction into one rather attractive multi-effects unit.  Read More

It's been a good year for musical instrument innovation - we take a quick look back at som...

The closing of the year is a great time to reflect on recent events. Regular readers will already know that musical instrument development is a bit of a passion of mine, and 2011 has been a great year for innovation. Join me, if you will, for a quick retrospective look at some of the tech we've been treated to during the last 12 months, ending with a recent take on an old classic - the Crap-o-Caster.  Read More

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