Unlike most of the Sonicstate team, I did not go gallavanting off to Anaheim last week, due in part, to the arrival of a baby girl! Still, I watched from afar and have been asked for my take on this year's exhibitors. Here are my guitar pedal picks:
Poly Effects - Verbs
I'm a big fan of the Poly effects Beebo - essentially a modular environment in a pedal! Alongside oscillators, LFO's, delays, distortions and anything else you might expect, there's a built-in IR convolution reverb, with space to add you own IR's. Their new "Verbs" pedal specialises in this area, which much longer impulse times and a delightful user interface, including a mysterious "smoosh" control!
Verbs brings real-world spaces into the guitarist's toolkit, with an array of captured environments, categorized for easy selection. From the acoustics of a nuclear reactor to the longest reverb in the world, users have the freedom to explore diverse sonic landscapes. Additionally, musicians can load their custom captures, providing a level of flexibility not often found in traditional pedals.
The controls on the Verbs pedal are designed for user-friendly navigation, with touch-based features allowing for easy preset changes. The pedal supports MIDI in and out, ensuring seamless integration into a broader setup. Featuring stereo inputs and outputs, as well as analog drive-thru for zero-latency on the dry signal, Verbs could be a versatile tool for both live and studio environments. The footswitches include standard on/off functionality and a unique swell mode, providing a vintage analog feel to the reverb trails.
Zoom - Multistomp
I'm a HUGE fan of the Zoom Multistomp range; I've owned the original MS50G & MS100BT for a number of years and they're perfect to just throw in a gig bag and go perform. There's always been a huge variety of effects on these boards, including some bizarre delays and reverbs that you can chain together, so I'm looking forward to this next generation. I must admit that the UI on the original "stomps" was a little cumbersome, so I'll be looking to give this new design a workout to see how it compares. New in the range is a dedicated distortion unit, the MS200D.
The MS200D is a distortion pedal designed to fill the crunch gap in the series, featuring 200 distortion options, including 36 classic tones and 164 Zoom designs. This pedal allows users to combine effects, experiment with series or parallel configurations, and quickly switch between two effects using the alternate mode. While the MS50G is already available, the MS200D is set to release in the coming months, promising an expanded range of algorithms and effects.
Red Panda - Radius
Ringmod and me are like this *twists fingers* so Radius piqued my interest. Red Panda have quite the back catalogue of unique effects now; Bitmap, Particles, Raster and now Radius. Radius is a ring modulator and frequency shifter pedal.
At low ranges Radius can give tremolo effects, while at hi speeds it crosses over into crazier clangerous ring mod. The pedal includes multiple LFO shapes including triangle, square and two flavours of sample and hold, one completely random, and one which can be tailored by the user. There is also an 8 step sequencer which can be programmed from the front panel to give rhythmic patterns. Finally there are two sweeping waveforms to produce slowly moving changes over the whole sound.
I like the inclusion of the 8 step sequencer, plus the fact that you can tune it to your current note via a footswitch. A monophonic pitch tracking mode is always fun on a ringmod pedal and this one lets you change the keytracking amount, even letting you reverse it!
Posted by MagicalSynthAdventure an expert in synthesis technology from last Century and Amiga enthusiast.
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