TC Electronic is particularly known for their amazing reverbs and delays, but the company has quite a handle on gain-based effects as well. Case in point: their brilliant Nova Drive, a programmable, digitally-controllable analog drive unit. But not everybody wants to sift through digital presets and learn parameters and memory banks and the like. Some players just want to turn some knobs, dial in a killer tone and play. That’s where the Röttweiler Distortion comes in.
The Röttweiler Distortion is built using the same basic ‘hammerhead’ rugged die-cast aluminium chassis as TC’s excellent TonePrint pedals and the revolutionary PolyTune tuner, and purely from an aesthetic perspective it looks really cool. I like TC’s design sense. There are four control pots, Gain, Level, Bass and Treble, along with a two-way Voice switch which governs the midrange profile. There’s an input, an output, a True Bypass switch, a really quite bright red LED to indicate that the effect is on, and a 9v DC supply jack. Battery access is through a handy little turn screw on the bottom.
Last year I reviewed the phenomenal MI Amplification Megalith Beta amp. Well check this out! MI Effects is releasing the Megalith Delta high gain distortion pedal, and you can win one! “But dude,” I hear you type, “We want to know more about the Megalith Delta!” Well…
MI EFFECTS RELEASES THE MEGALITH DELTA HIGH GAIN DISTORTION PEDAL
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA JUNE 6, 2012 – The quest for the ultimate in high-gain distortion continues for MI Effects with the announcement that the Megalith Delta high gain distortion pedal is ready to hit the streets on the 8th June. This highly anticipated release has a completely unique and original design, and will change the perception of high-gain distortion stomp boxes.
Michael Ibrahim, director of MI Audio, and pedal designer comments “The Megalith Delta high gain distortion pedal design came from years of R&D of our MI Amplification high gain amplifier, the Megalith Beta. It took some time for me to really understand the variables behind great high gain tones. But by designing the Megalith Beta amplifier from the ground up, I was able to really grasp how to make a complex, sophisticated high gain sound that kept all the nuances, huge bottom end and the clarity and character of the top end”.
One of MXR’s early successes was the Dyna Comp compressor. This legendary little red box was particularly integral to the tone of David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, and it also found favour with country players who dug the way its rounded tone smoothed over some of the sharp edges of their Telecaster tones (which could be especially emphasised by slapback delay). And it has a permanent place on my pedalboard.
RJM Music is offering The Tone Saver, the same audio buffer circuit found in their high end audio switching products such as the Effect Gizmo and the Rack Gizmo, but placed in a compact pedal sized enclosure. The first one was sent to Dave Friedman, who used it in Steve Lukather’s new pedalboard.
Majik Box signs pact with Korn’s Munky for the signature Krush distortion pedal.
May 2, 2012 – Torrance, CA – Majik Box, the developer of the Paul Gilbert Fuzz Universe and Doug Aldrich Rocket Fuel pedals have signed a pact with Munky, guitarist of the iconic metal band Korn to market the Majik Box Krush distortion, a pedal that will produce Munky’s signature distortion tones. The Krush Distortion will begin shipping this week.
The idea came to Majik Box founders Rob Nishida and David Simpson, when they were in the sound development phase of the company’s first metal oriented distortion pedal. The two had decided early on that they did not want to develop another typical “metal” pedal already being marketed other pedal makers. “We wanted to make something for drop tuned and 7-string guitar players that was bigger and more organic sounding than what was already out there,” says Simpson.
You regularly visit www.effectsdatabase.com, right? Bart Provoost’s site is one of the most informative on the web for pedal fans like you and I. He was recently on the ground at Musikmesse in Frankfurt and he filed this report. Some incredible stuff here by the likes of Amsterdam Cream, AMT Electronics, Bogner, Carl Martin, Ciocks, Dr. J, Ego Sonoro, Electro-Harmonix, Greenhouse Effects, GWires, JAM Pedals, Mooer Audio, Nux, Palmer Audio, Paul Landes, Roger Mayer, T-Rex, TC Electronics, Two Notes, and Yerasov.
Reinhold Bogner is a tone genius (and a very dapper dresser). He’s also about eight foot tall and impossible to miss if you ever happen to walk past him at a NAMM show. His amps are highly prized, but they’re also pretty pricey (apart from the Alchemist). Now Bogner is introducing his first three pedals, based on the Uberschall and Ecstasy amps (the Ecstasy Red and Ecstasy Blue) and made in the USA. These are going to be huge. They take the basic essence of these classic amps and distill them down into foot-stompable form. I can’t think of a single person I know who won’t want one of these.
Octave fuzz is one of my favourite effects, and if you’d seen my house you’d know that Pilgrim and I are all about psychedelic 60s and 70s design. So I feel like the Catalinbread Octapussy is practically designed for me. And check it out: that picture above was supplied by Catalinbread but that’s the same model Strat that I have. It’s a sign!
Catalinbread Octapussy hits the streets.
Dateline: March 5th, 2012 Portland, OR
If you followed the news from NAMM you may have seen this pedal unveiled. Well, Catalinbread is ready to let the cat out of the bag. The Octapussy is an octave-up fuzz in the tradition of the Octavia. But it’s not a clone of that circuit! Nope, it’s an original circuit designed by Howard Gee, utilizing 3 silicon transistors and two diodes that takes the tradition to the next level! Get yourself the ultimate octave fuzz, and launch your sound into the stratosphere.
The Octapussy was designed to be extremely responsive to your guitar and playing. Whether you’re looking for sweet, breathy, delicate octave-up melodies; epic soaring leads that bloom as you hold a bend; or massively huge grinding, industrial-strength power chords. The Octapussy has it! There’s also a slew of other sounds to be had not only in the pedal itself, but also with your playing style and guitar controls.
One of my favourite pedals ever is the Roger Mayer Voodoo Vibe. It’s one of those pedals that has the uncanny ability to simply make everything sound better, and once you turn it on it’s hard to turn it off. Well the latest evolution of the Voodoo Vibe is the new Vibe TC, and it’s a very stylish little unit too. The press release is below, and make sure you check out Roger’s website and Facebook page.
Catalinbread showed at NAMM for the first time in 2012 with a really cool display. They had plenty of cool new pedals to check out, but in the true spirit of showmanship they drew a lot of attention with a set of special Custom Shop Fuzz Flowers handpainted by Sharlet Thompson. These amazing creations feature the Catalinbread line as well as some special fuzz creations built by Bryan Lundstrom.
Also on show:
One of my favourite things about NAMM each year is the Z.Vex booth. There’s always a huge variety of custom-painted pedals on display (I’d love to see my lady Pilgrim Lee do artwork for these pedals – her style would rock on this stuff!), as well as a monster pedalboard (sparkly, which I always love) with all sorts of Z.Vex goodies to try out. And the Z.Vex folks are some of the nicest dudes you’ll ever meet.
Z.Vex had three super-cool new pedals at the NAMM Show this year: the Double Rock, the Loop Gate and the Sonar. In typical Z.Vex fashion, each of these pedals is highly interactive – you can use them in all sorts of different musical situations, and no two players will use them in exactly the same way. That’s part of their charm, and part of why you should set aside a good solid block of playing time when you first get any new Z.Vex pedal home: you never know what unique sounds you’re going to stumble upon when you begin to experiment. It’s also why they’re such great ‘feature’ pedals. It’s certainly possible to use Z.Vex creations as the basis of your main sound for an entire set of rock glory, but they’re equally great when used for a big hero moment for a single song, solo, section, riff or fill. And because pedals like the Fuzz Factory are so interactive, you can write parts around them to incorporate the idiosyncrasies of the effect. For example, anyone who ever plugged in a Fuzz Factory has instantly written a riff with pauses thrown in to allow the pedal’s tunable feedback to ring out in key (or out of it on purpose) in the holes in the music.
Ah, but enough of the geeking out about well-established pedals. Let’s look at the new stuff!
Zakk Wylde has been a great ambassador for the Rotovibe for many, many years now – it steals the show at several points on the one and only Pride & Glory album – and he has now been honoured with his own signature Rotovibe courtesy of Jim Dunlop. The ZW357 is a limited run which features the same intensity and speed controls and rotating speaker sound as the classic Rotovibe but in Zakk-approved livery. And frankly it looks freaking cool. “I’ve had a Dunlop Rotovibe on my pedalboard since 1988,” Zakk says. “Whether it’s to spice up a solo, add an overdubbed colour, or just as a sound to inspire songwriting.” And I’ve gotta agree – it’s one of those effects where once you turn it on it’s hard to force yourself to turn it off again.