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ULTIMATE PEDAL SPECIAL I

TO WIN THIS ENTIRE PEDAL BOARD GO TO PAGE 6! TC ELECTRONIC JOHN PETRUCCI DREAMSCAPE

RRP: $449

t’s that time of year for some footstomping fun and most definitely not the dosey-do kind. We’re talking about effects; enhancing your sound, dynamics, tone, clarity, volume and of course all the spaced out noises you can possibly think of for guitar, bass and vocals. Our team of experienced stomp-slingers round up the very best array of pedals this month to make up this years Ultimate Pedal Special. Almost every effect you can think of has been covered and put under rigorous testing to spur your creativity, imagination and ultimately help point you in the right direction for your next foot-stomping pedal purchase. Remember to visit your local music retailer to test, try and buy and most importantly keep on a stompin’!

TC ELECTRCONIC FLASHBACK

EFFECT: CHORUS/FLANGER/VIBRATO DISTRIBUTOR: AMBER TECHNOLOGY

EFFECT: DELAY AND LOOPER DISTRIBUTOR: AMBER TECHNOLOGY

RECOMMENDED FOR: This is a signature pedal for Dream Theater’s John Petrucci, so Petrucci and Dream Theater fans are its main market. But there are plenty of useful settings here for the average player regardless of DT fandom. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: This pedal collects Petrucci’s TonePrints in a single pedal: two for Corona Chorus, two for Shaker Vibrato and two for Vortex Flanger. Three sounds are tailored to Petrucci’s clean tone, and three for distortion. USABILITY: Very easy to use: two modes of each effect, plus a TonePrint mode for beaming other sounds to the pedal. And it’s true stereo (left and right ins and outs) which is important for a hi-fi clean sound like that used by Petrucci. CONSTRUCTION: A solid little pedal, and the addition of chunky metal knobs instead of the plastic ones of the rest of the TonePrint series links the pedal visually to Petrucci’s amp rig, which is a nice touch. OVERALL: A great pedal for Petrucci fans looking to mimic particular tones from the Dream Theater catalog, but also handy for anyone looking for clean, studio-quality modulation effects. And a nice model of the Van Halen “Unchained” flanger effect!

RECOMMENDED FOR: Players who need a simple set-andforget delay as well as those who need something more flexible. Also for fans of Toneprint artists with the ingenious capabilities of being able to download specific artist-designed settings online or in an app to beam to the pedal. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: Plenty of modes, from old-school to modern, plus handy but minimal looping feature. The real star is the TonePrint mode. TonePrint artists have access to extra parameters when designing their presets. Analog dry-through signal too. USABILITY: Really simple, with nice mono/stereo integration. The Audio Tapping mode lets you set delay time by simply strumming your guitar, or you can toggle between 16th notes or dotted 8s. More feature-packed than it looks! CONSTRUCTION: Very thoughtfully designed to pack a maximum of features into a minimum amount of space. The Audio Tapping mode is seamlessly integrated and all of TC’s TonePrint pedals are very ‘board-friendly with their slightly recessed jacks. OVERALL: A surprisingly full-featured delay pedal in the guise of a more simple one. The TonePrint mode means you’ll always have new sounds too from David Stewart, Lee Ranaldo, Munky and more!

TC ELECTRONIC HALL OF FAME

RRP: $229

TC ELECTRONIC POLYTUNE MINI

EFFECT: REVERB DISTRIBUTOR: AMBER TECHNOLOGY

EFFECT: N/A POLOYCHROMATIC TUNER DISTRIBUTOR: AMBER TECHNOLOGY

RECOMMENDED FOR: Players who require some vintagestyle echoes for rockabilly, country or blues, as well as more unconventional sonic miners, jazz players and even hard rockers looking for that Eddie-style reverb. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: Everything from an almost slapback delay type sound to huge, enveloping ambiance and modern modulated delays which almost sound like a Pro Tools plugin (in a good way). The TonePrints make it even more flexible. USABILITY: Simple to use, and the Pre-Delay control (Short or Long modes) is a great feature not often found in stompbox reverbs. TonePrints are easy to implement. And there are stereo inputs and outputs. Great for FX loops and amp front ends alike. CONSTRUCTION: The true bypass switch feels surprisingly light but don’t let that fool you: it’s silent and instant. Firmer ‘clicks’ on the Mode knob would be nice, but otherwise a well-made, modern-feeling pedal. OVERALL: A killer reverb pedal on its own merits, but the TonePrints kick it up a level further, giving you additional sounds by the likes of Paul Gilbert, Steve Morse, Greg Koch, Soren Andersen, Troy Van Leeuwen and more. Win!

RECOMMENDED FOR: Obviously for anyone who needs to tune their guitar, but particularly those who use six string guitars. Sorry seven-string shredders! The bright display makes this a particularly useful stage tuner. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: It’s true bypass, so it won’t colour your sound when it’s off, nor is there any kind of chatter when it’s on. A transparent and altogether inaudible pedal! USABILITY: Strum all six strings at once and the display will tell you which ones are sharp and which are flat. There are also modes for Drop D and ‘Capo’ tunings and settings for up to five semitones flat for those who tune down. CONSTRUCTION: Tiny even compared to the regular PolyTune, but still easy to see and brainless to use. The LED display doesn’t quite have the resolution for use as a tech’s tuner but TC is pitching this at gigging guitarists. OVERALL: A great little stage tuner with an innovating approach and plenty of features for players who go beyond standard tuning. It takes up only a very small amount of pedal board real estate yet it can improve your gig almost immeasurably. A simply awesome design.

PG. 36 MIXDOWN NO. 218

JUNE 2012

RRP: $269

RRP: $149


ULTIMATE PEDAL SPECIAL MXR CUSTOM BADASS ‘78 DISTORTION

RRP: $169

THE ORIGINAL JIM DUNLOP CRYBABY

EFFECT: DISTORTION DISTRIBUTOR: AUSTRALASIAN MUSIC SUPPLIES

EFFECT: WAH DISTRIBUTOR: AUSTRALASIAN MUSIC SUPPLIES

RECOMMENDED FOR: Heavy blues and hard rock players, shredders, rock ‘n’ roll dirtbags, lead players, rhythm players, stoner rock, vintage metal, and also bass players who need some filth and roar every now and then. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: Everything from warm, thick semi-cleans to hairy, raunchy rhythm and screaming leads. Works great as a boost for an already overdriven amp, but has enough character to be your main distortion sound through a clean amp too. USABILITY: There are pots for Output, Distortion and Tone as well as a Crunch button which adds extra dynamic range and oomph. Leave crunch off for smooth rhythm, engage it for more chunk and for singing, vocal-like lead tone. CONSTRUCTION: Darn near bulletproof. The Crunch button may look like it would feel flimsy at first glance, but it’s surprisingly reliable. The higher range of the Tone control may be a bit extreme for most users though. OVERALL: A very proud and confident pedal which has an identifiable sound all of its own. It may take a few hours before it feels comfortable, but it’s great for 80s hard rock and dirty 90s tones, shred lead and fusion soloing.

RECOMMENDED FOR: Blues, rock, blues-rock, jazz, grunge, metal, funk, jam bands, psychedelic, indie… we all know by now that the Crybaby is the untouchable lord and master of classic wah tone. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: The Crybaby is a no-frills wah which pumps out whatever you put in. It sounds funky and vocal, cutting through perfectly live or on record. Wah doesn’t really get better than this, just more refined. USABILITY: There are plenty of modern wahs with all sorts of controls for the sweep, the frequency, gain and everything else. The Crybaby doesn’t need that. The only control is the pedal itself, and the onus is on the player to make it rock. CONSTRUCTION: Crybaby wahs are built tough, and they have to be because they get stomped on so much. There are no fiddly knobs to lose or break, no side buttons to try to kick, and no LEDs to tell you when the effect is on. OVERALL: Look, it’s a Crybaby. This is the standard by which all other wah wah pedals are judged, and there’s a reason every single digital modeler in the world tries and fails to capture a Crybaby sound. This is the real deal.

MXR FULLBORE METAL

RRP: $199

MXR CARBON COPY ANALOG DELAY

EFFECT: METAL DISTORTION DISTRIBUTOR: AUSTRALASIAN MUSIC SUPPLIES

EFFECT: ANALOG DELAY DISTRIBUTOR: AUSTRALASIAN MUSIC SUPPLIES

RECOMMENDED FOR: Metal players. Death metal players. Metalcore players. Thrash metal players. Industrial metal players. Noticing a theme here? Basically, this is a metal pedal. And if you don’t play metal, it tells you to $#&@ off. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: Within the parameters of metal tone, this is extremely versatile. It goes from dirty St Anger at its lowest gain settings to edgy grind or scooped death, and that’s still with the gain control below 5. Way more distortion that you’ll ever need. In a good way. USABILITY: There are controls for Volume, Midrange, Mid Frequency, Low, High, Gain, Scoop (for the midrange) and an inbuilt and essential Noise Gate. And the lights are crazy bright which makes it good for stage use. CONSTRUCTION: Robust and chunky, and with no pesky paint job to worry about chipping. The six control knobs are tiny but they’re all easy enough to reach and they’re difficult to bump out of position. OVERALL: A rare thing; a mega high gain pedal that sounds like a mega high gain amp. If you’re into insane gain for ultra-precise metal styles, this has all the distortion and definition you’ll ever need. And the noise gate is a great touch.

RECOMMENDED FOR: Instrumentalists of the Eric Johnson variety, rockabilly players, blues and blues rock players, psychedelic freaks, ambient moodists, daring experimentalists, and anyone who thinks digital is a dirty word. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: Just like an actual carbon copy, the Carbon Copy dulls the edges of your notes, but it does so in the best, most musical way possible. Cascading echoes, sweet modulated repeats and self-oscillation freak-outs aplenty. USABILITY: Controls for Mix, Delay and Regen (feedback) as well as a small Modulation switch and some internal pots (accessible by removing the back) to adjust the modulation width and speed. Very intuitive. CONSTRUCTION: Really tough, stage-ready pedals which will take years of use and abuse. OVERALL: A delay pedal that invites you to interact with it rather than simply have it on in the background. Some players consider it to be the ultimate analog delay pedal and it’s easy to see and hear exactly why.

MXR PHASE 90

RRP: $179

WAY HUGE SWOLLEN PICKLE MKII

EFFECT: PHASE DISTRIBUTOR: AUSTRALASIAN MUSIC SUPPLIES

EFFECT: JUMBO FUZZ DISTRIBUTOR: AUSTRALASIAN MUSIC SUPPLIES

RECOMMENDED FOR: Classic rock, jazz, fusion, indie, alternative, Van Halen covers - there aren’t very many styles of music that can’t be made even better with a little bit of Phase 90 action. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: Thick, soupy, swooshy sounds of the kind you hear on Van Halen’s “Eruption,” although this particular version sounds a bit more aggressive than Ed’s (which is available as the EVH Phase 90). Not very versatile, but sounds great. USABILITY: Only a single control for effect Speed, but it goes from super-slow swoosh to super-fast tremolo. Comes with a rubber cover for the Speed control which allows you to vary the speed with the side of your foot. CONSTRUCTION: All MXR pedals are built tough to last, and that’s why so many vintage examples are still working more than 30 years later. The paint on modern versions also seems to withstand knocks better than vintage ones. OVERALL: A classic for players who need swooshy, spongey, swirly movement in their sound. But beware: it’s pretty hard to plug into a Phase 90 and not experience an incredible urge to play “Atomic Punk” or “Ice Cream Man.”

RECOMMENDED FOR: Anyone who needs a big thick fuzz tone. Punk, grunge, classic rock, stoner rock, prototypical metal, progressive rock, Muse fans, Pink Floyd fans - basically anyone who needs to rattle some teeth and grind some bone at the same time. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: Imagine a Big Muff but with more complex midrange and more low end. A lot more low end. From scratchy dirt to mammoth distortion and raging, honky fuzz, this is one of the most versatile yet stable fuzz pedals on the planet. A classic. USABILITY: The main controls are Loudness, Sustain and Filter, along with small Scoop and Crunch controls which affect the midrange character and compression respectively. An almost daunting range of flexibility! CONSTRUCTION: It’s kinda large and very tough. The smaller controls are hard to move but in this case that’s a good thing, as once you’ve found where they sound right for you, you probably won’t move them very often. OVERALL: A versatile fuzz which can sound polite and singing, or ratchety and growly. Great for thick power chords, skronking single notes and howling leads, but surprisingly reactive to guitar control tweaks too.

DV MARK COMPRESSORE

RRP: $475

HIWATT TUBE PHASER

RRP: $179

RRP: $299

RRP: $229

RRP: $205

EFFECT: COMPRESSOR DISTRIBUTOR: CMC MUSIC

EFFECT: PHASER DISTRIBUTOR: CMC MUSIC

RECOMMENDED FOR: Anyone who needs to even out their tone for stage or studio. A very full-featured compressor for those who aren’t afraid to twist a bunch of controls to find their tone or fine-tune their attack to the room or track. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: Warm and musical, with the ability to really tailor the compressor’s response to your individual instrument or attack style. A great way to get the most out of your bass for R&B, funk and rock, or to get purposefully pinched effects. USABILITY: Pots for Gain, Threshold, Ratio, Attack, Release and Volume, and a single True Bypass foot switch. If you’re used to simpler compressors, it could take a while to learn how to use this. If you’re a tone tweaker already, you’ll love it. CONSTRUCTION: Sturdy construction with the six control knobs stashed out of the way for safety, and with the single ECC81 tube (which is responsible for the compression) being visible through a grated vent between the switch and knobs. OVERALL: A crazy versatile compressor. It may be a little too complex for some, especially if you’re used to compressors with one or two controls, but definitely worth the work if you’re will to put it in. An invaluable tool for gigging or recording bass players.

RECOMMENDED FOR: Anyone looking for subtle or organic phaser effects with a vintage vibe, with all the grittiness and harmonic richness that that implies. Particularly suited to tube fans, since it has its own 12AX7. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: Capable of a very slow swoosh or a faster wobble (but not the speediest maximum setting we’ve come across), while the Depth control offers a lot of range but becomes a bit unruly at its extreme settings. USABILITY: Controls for Speed and Depth as well as a very handy Master Volume knob. It’s mono, it runs off 18v, and it’s solid metal. Just keep an eye on that depth control and use the Master to tame it if things get too woolly. CONSTRUCTION: Built like a tank, with solid metal construction and a big, deep chassis for housing the 12AX7 tube. It’s powered off 18 volts, which it needs to keep the tube running optimally. The black/white colour scheme is easy to see too, which is a plus. OVERALL: Hiwatt actually says “This one needs practice” on their site, but the learning curve isn’t quite as dramatic as that. You can find great and usable sounds right away, especially if you start subtle and work your way up.

JUNE 2012

NO. 218 MIXDOWN

PG. 37


ULTIMATE PEDAL SPECIAL HIWATT TUBE TREMOLO

RRP: $220

MARKBASS TUBE BASS MARKER

EFFECT: TREMELO DISTRIBUTOR: CMC MUSIC

EFFECT: OVERDRIVE DISTRIBUTOR: CMC MUSIC

RECOMMENDED FOR: Those looking for syrupy, organic tube tremolo sounds of the kind that amps used to deliver (okay, okay, some still do) in the days before multi effects. As Hiwatt says, “ …all the effect is doing is subtly pulsing the volume. Simple. And fun.” SOUND AND VERSATILITY: Everything from gently subtle shimmers to rhythmic pulses and helicopter chops. The Wave control lets you shape the envelope of the effect and you can get some seriously weird sounds out of this pedal. USABILITY: Controls are Depth, Speed, Wave and Master, and they’re easy to turn with plenty of sonic range. The LED pulses in time with the effect, which helps you see instantly if you’re where you need to be. CONSTRUCTION: A nice, solidly built pedal with a 12AU7 tube, a chunky chassis, easy to see and turn chickenhead knobs, firm stomp switch and well laid out controls. Runs of 18 volts, and feels like a serious piece of kit. OVERALL: A straight forward tremolo which lets you dial in as much or as little of the effect as you need, with a pleasingly vintage sonic hue. There’s something about this kind of organic, tube-based tremolo that just sounds and feels right.

RECOMMENDED FOR: Bass players who require amp-like overdrive or just generally amp-style warmth for styles like R&B, rock, pop, jazz, country and blues. Anyone who needs to warm up an overly clinical solid state amp. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: This pedal is great for old-school bass amp tones, with a warm, round voice with plenty of dynamics and lots of range in the tone control. Higher settings bring on Geddy Lee-type tones and low-noise, high-character distortion. USABILITY: Simple controls for Drive, Tone and Level and a true bypass switch. The Drive control has a surprisingly wide range of usable sounds, and the Tone control is musically voices. A very touch-sensitive pedal. CONSTRUCTION: Made in Italy to a very high standard with state-of-the-art testing and quality control facilities. The split level layout keeps your feet away from the controls, and the jacks are located at the back of the pedal rather than the sides, which means more pedal board space for other stompers. OVERALL: A versatile, dynamic, distortion for those who need woolier, warmer tones but don’t want to have to deal with a whole bunch of finely tweakable controls to do it. Everything just works simply and easily.

MARKBASS CHORUS FLANGER

RRP: $599

MARKBASS RIVERBERO

EFFECT: FLANGER DISTRIBUTOR: CMC MUSIC

EFFECT: REVERB DISTRIBUTOR: CMC MUSIC

RECOMMENDED FOR: Bass players who need lush chorus and psychedelic flanging with plenty of control. A great live or studio pedal and especially handy for those who really like to get in and tweak parameters. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: Great tones with a hi-fi sheen, but you can rough things up quite nicely if you need to. And although there’s only a single mono input, there are stereo outputs for when you really need to get some swooshy spatial effects. USABILITY: This would already be a very flexible pedal if it simply did everything it shipped with and using the stock controls and display screen built into it, but you can get way out there by modifying preset parameters using Markbass Pedal Controller software. CONSTRUCTION: A nicely chunky pedal with carefully thought out foot switches (Presets, True Bypass, Chorus/Flanger) and an easily readable screen. The knobs are tucked safely away so you can’t kick them out of place and the jacks are equally stashed. OVERALL: A great pedal with plenty of usable and useful sounds from subtle to extreme. But you’d better get in quick because Markbass says this pedal has been discontinued – pick one up before the remaining stock has sold out!

RECOMMENDED FOR: Bass players who need a range of bassfriendly reverb effects with a naturalistic bent rather than an extreme and freaky one. Those with multi-amp or stereo rigs will really dig the stereo reverb effects. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: Designed for natural-sounding reverb, the Riverbero adds some general ambience which is great for jazz, blues and vintage metal, and some more characterful spring reverb sounds. Six user presets. USABILITY: Pots for Gain, Time, Colour and Wet as well as switches for Patch Up, Patch Down and True Bypass. Use Markbass Pedal Controller software to edit additional parameters and store your creations. Stereo integration is nice and easy. CONSTRUCTION: Just like the Chorus Flanger – in fact it could be hard to tell them apart on stage. Sturdy box, safely protected pots, good quality switches and rear located input and output jacks along with the Control and DC In (12v) jacks. OVERALL: A naturalistic reverb for those who want to add some authentic ambience to their tone, with good plug-and-play functionality for those who need to just stomp and rock, but lots of editing capability for those who wish to go deeper.

AKAI ANALOG DELAY

RRP: $219

AKAI BLUES OVERDRIVE

EFFECT: DELAY DISTRIBUTOR: ELECTRIC FACTORY

EFFECT: OVERDRIVE DISTRIBUTOR: ELECTRIC FACTORY

RECOMMENDED FOR: Rock, pop, heavy, country, funk, ambient, studio, live and anyone needing some earthy and original sounding analog delay in their rig. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: Slap back, short repeats, rhythmic, long and ambient loop type sounds are all possible and the mix knob will blend your effect in for your desired sound which is super handy. USABILITY: Mix, repeat and time controls with a time switch for shorter or longer delays (up to 1200 ms). Easy to navigate and true bypass for those wanting to keep the integrity of their original tone. CONSTRUCTION: Solid switches, controls and knobs and a rugged polished steel casing. OVERALL: Delays get a big workout in the guitar world and Akai have built a solid, straight ahead delay here. Easy to use with some very nice sounds.

RECOMMENDED FOR: Guitarists with an ear for vintage tones. More suited for blues, country and rock. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: Going for a straightforward vintage-style blues overdrive, Akai have stripped back to drive and level control – allowing for a fine-tune approach to achieving a desired tone. USABILITY: With just drive and level to worry about, the Blues Overdrive makes for a very easy to use pedal. CONSTRUCTION: Shiny and tough, this pedal is built to last. OVERALL: Minimal settings and a warm and refined sound make this a simple and effective addition to your pedalboard, or even a perfect first step for those willing to flesh out their sound.

AKAI CHORUS

RRP: $219

AKAI COMPRESSOR

EFFECT: CHORUS DISTRIBUTOR: ELECTRIC FACTORY

EFFECT: COMPRESSOR DISTRIBUTOR: ELECTRIC FACTORY

RECOMMENDED FOR: Pop, rock, ambient, country, studio and live. Has a little more than your standard chorus pedal. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: Shimmering and lush, you can achieve anything from exaggerated warble-y chorus to fat, doubled and spacious open sounds. The pedal is true bypass, so your bypassed tone remains as you see fit. USABILITY: Think of Spread as your depth control, the Speed also has a rate switch for fast or slow and then you get the added bonus of a Tone control for dialling in both darker and brighter tones. CONSTRUCTION: Solid switches, controls and knobs and a rugged polished steel casing. OVERALL: A classic effect, players in a range of styles will dig the Akai Chorus for its lush and atmospheric tones and extra tweakability thanks to the rate switch and tone control.

RECOMMENDED FOR: Boosting, polishing, squashing and a whole lot more. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: From balanced, clear tones to squishy funk and tight effected sounds, you can work the Akai Compressor for a broad range of uses. Quiet and clean, this pedal is a handy asset both in the live setting and in the studio. USABILITY: Two knobs - easy. The balance between the two is the ticket here. Sensitivity is where the comp kicks in and works the magic while the level lets you set how much compression. Play and let your ears be your guide. CONSTRUCTION: Another polished stainless steel housing that looks like it’s been made to use over and over again. OVERALL: A compressor can be a handy tool for evening out your sound – boosting parts or as an actual effect – and the Akai Compressor has all bases covered.

PG. 38 MIXDOWN NO. 218

JUNE 2012

RRP: $250

RRP: $599

RRP: $149

RRP: $149


ULTIMATE PEDAL SPECIAL AKAI DELUXE DISTORTION

RRP: $289

AKAI TRI-MODE DISTORTION

EFFECT: DISTORTION DISTRIBUTOR: ELECTRIC FACTORY

EFFECT: DISTORTION DISTRIBUTOR: ELECTRIC FACTORY

RECOMMENDED FOR: Dirt lovers wanting an extended range of tweaking options. Blues, rock, country, pop and even some harder styles are all suited to this pedal. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: EQ section, 3 way Drive switch, high cut, 3 different EQ modes and Direct Recording for speaker emulation when recording. Plenty of options for a variety of tones. Extremely versatile. USABILITY: Great for live or studio and plenty of tweaking capabilities - all easy to get your head around too. Will keep you actively engaged with your tone with so many tweakable options. CONSTRUCTION: Tough with a nice polished chromelike finish. Built to last. OVERALL: The Akai Deluxe Distortion provides you with a great range of dirty tones with lots of control and the ability to DI with the Dir Rec control – pretty damn cool. Great bang for your buck!

RECOMMENDED FOR: Rock, blues, pop, alternative and even heavier players needing some distortion with a decent range. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: The 3 way Fat, Boost and Warm switch adds to the pedal’s capabilities running you through big fat tones to rounder-edged gain sounds. USABILITY: Level, Tone and Distortion are pretty self explanatory. With such a broad scope of tones it’s simply a matter of personal taste for when it comes to tweaking settings. CONSTRUCTION: Like the rest of the Akai range, this baby seems built to last. Solid switches and knobs. OVERALL: This pedal will give you quite a few tones with ease. Sounds fantastic, especially in conjunction with the other pedals in the Akai range. Really dig the Tri-mode switch for more control.

AKAI FLANGER

RRP: $149

AKAI TRI-MODE FUZZ

RRP: $259

EFFECT: FLANGER DISTRIBUTOR: ELECTRIC FACTORY

EFFECT: FUZZ DISTRIBUTOR: ELECTRIC FACTORY

RECOMMENDED FOR: Rock, ambient, pop and tonnes more. Somewhat overlooked when it comes to effects, the flanger has more uses than you realise. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: Warm and swirly the combination of the four controls gives you some serious scope, ranging from subtle and airy to super resonant and chime-y. USABILITY: Easy to twiddle but then read up on the specifics of each dial and you’ll have a heap more control. Plus the interaction of each knob means you can blend with other sounds for serious tonal scope. CONSTRUCTION: Built to last, sturdy and solid. OVERALL: ‘80s hard rock swirl, ambient light swish, aeroplane swoosh or faux-Leslie type sounds – a cool take on a classic, if sometimes overlooked, effect. Really satisfied with the price point here, bargain!

RECOMMENDED FOR: Alternative, rock, experimental, pop, ambient, heavy – plus anything you think needs a bit of edge and grunt to it. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: Thick, dark, rough, edgy, wild, fuzzy, heavy, grind-y and a heap more. This Fuzz is a killer effect, and there’s a lot of fun experimenting to be had, especially with the Tri-mode switch. USABILITY: Easy to dial in a starting point and then you have the added extra of a Tri-mode switch for Muffy, Boost or Warm adding to your palette of fuzz. CONSTRUCTION: Solid and tough, built to last. OVERALL: A good looking, awesome sounding true bypass pedal with a good range of usable fuzz tones. Worth a look you’re after a bit of fuzz and you want a little extra in the options department. Extremely versatile for the price which is a bonus.

AKAI TRI-MODE OVERDRIVE

RRP: $259

AKAI PHASE SHIFTER

RRP: $149

EFFECT: OVERDRIVE DISTRIBUTOR: ELECTRIC FACTORY

EFFECT: PHASE SHIFTER DISTRIBUTOR: ELECTRIC FACTORY

RECOMMENDED FOR: Blues, funk, rock, pop, alternative, country - players looking for some overdrive with a few extra tone options. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: The Akai Overdrive can do the low gain thing quite well but you then get the ability to switch between Scream, Boost and Warm to open up some extra versatility. Awesome to be able to dial in more tonal and achievable EQ frequency ranges. USABILITY: I could see this pedal getting a run in quite a few different scenarios as you get a workable overdrive with some added EQ settings. CONSTRUCTION: Solid case, solid controls. OVERALL: The Akai Overdrive gives you a broad range of tones with good headroom and level to cut through in louder band situations. This ticks all the right boxes, absolute choice!

RECOMMENDED FOR: Pop, funk, rock, heavy, ambient, hard rock and plenty more. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: Airy and swishy or more of a funky thick throb you could work the APS through more than a few workable sounds. The combination of ‘degrees’ of phase shifting and rate gets you vintage tones and more. USABILITY: A quick look over the A and B switches and you’re away. With a combination of degrees of phase shifting and a separate Rate knob it’s pretty simple indeed. CONSTRUCTION: Shiny, tough, funky looking and robust. Love the retro spaceage look. OVERALL: Cool pedal, usable sounds, good range of tweaking and really a matter of taste as to how much to use. A brilliant straight ahead pedal for live, studio or the introductory phase player.

JET CITY AFTERBURNER

RRP: $140

RRP: $259

JET CITY HI-GAIN BOOST

RRP: $120

EFFECT: DUAL - STAGE OVERDRIVE DISTRIBUTOR: INTERMUSIC DISTRIBUTION

EFFECT: BOOST DISTRIBUTOR: INTERMUSIC DISTRIBUTION

RECOMMENDED FOR: This pedal offers a moderately distorted tone better suited to lead guitarists who are searching for a bluesy or fusion sound. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: An essentially identical tone to the Overdrive pedal of the same make, but the addition of a boost switch makes this incarnation that little bit more versatile for lead guitarists. USABILITY: A plug and play pedal that’s easy to use. Rotary controls for Volume, Tone, Overdrive and Boost and two footswitches, one to engage the pedal, and one to activate the boost. CONSTRUCTION: A solid build with tough components, and wide enough to allow easy access to each of the footswitches, but not so wide that it eats up all the real estate in your pedal case. OVERALL: An excellent sounding pedal for some crunchy blues.

RECOMMENDED FOR: Showboats who want to take centre stage and deafen an unsuspecting audience with lightning fast pentatonic riffage! SOUND AND VERSATILITY: This little tyke doesn’t lie with the assertion that it’s “Hi-Gain”, so much so that it could be considered an overdrive pedal, but generally that extra sustain and volume is welcomed come solo time. USABILITY: A cinch to operate, switch it on, guitar gets louder, switch it off, guitar not so loud. A knob for ‘Gain’ to add some crunch, and a knob for ‘Volume.’ CONSTRUCTION: Simple aesthetics, but a solid metal chassis, sturdy footswitch, and two robust chassis mounted knobs all ensure that this pedal will likely outlast Keith Richards. OVERALL: A great pedal to add to the arsenal, and a welcome relief to engage when that extra volume is needed.

JUNE 2012

NO. 218 MIXDOWN

PG. 39


ULTIMATE PEDAL SPECIAL JET CITY OVERDRIVE

RRP: $120

JET CITY SHOCKWAVE DISTORTION

EFFECT: OVERDRIVE DISTRIBUTOR: INTERMUSIC DISTRIBUTION

EFFECT: DISTORTION DISTRIBUTOR: INTERMUSIC DISTRIBUTION

RECOMMENDED FOR: Funk and blues players who want that Zeppelin-esque crunch to squeal back at them when their foot falls. Great for anything sporting the label “classic rock”. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: A great match with most guitars, but quite crunchy, so it lacked a little with brighter guitars (e.g. Telecasters). However the Tone control can be used to compensate for this. USABILITY: Simple rotary control of Gain, Tone and Volume, and a switch to brighten up muddy signals. Easy to pull a great sound with a tone control that offers a rich palate of timbres. CONSTRUCTION: A solid build with a classic, nononsense aesthetic. OVERALL: A great sounding pedal with a surprisingly effective and versatile Tone control that gives this bad boy a trump card over other products of the same pedigree.

RECOMMENDED FOR: A rather agreeable pedal for those interested in heavy, palm-muted, neighbour stirring, Satan conjuring ROCK. The black sheep of the lineage, and proud to thus lay claim. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: This is not the most versatile of the range, but what it does, it does brilliantly, offering a smooth style of viscous distortion that still retains a lot of clarity. USABILITY: Plug and play, controls for Gain, Tone and Volume, although this deviant tempts you to go well beyond the moderate settings. My advice is to make like one Nigel Tufnel and crank it to 11! CONSTRUCTION: As with all Jet City pedals, durability (and sound) is paramount. Not much of a looker, but that goes for most of the best rockers. OVERALL: This isn’t a versatile pedal despite the selection of parameters on offer, but if you are on a quest for that Rock God guitar tone, this could very well be your Holy Grail.

CROSSFIRE DUAL INJECTION AFTERBURNER

RRP: $99.95

CROSSFIRE R-FUZZ

EFFECT: DISTORTION AND OVERDRIVE DISTRIBUTOR: JADE AUSTRALIA

EFFECT: FUZZ DISTRIBUTOR: JADE AUSTRALIA

RECOMMENDED FOR: Blues, rock, metal players and those after a ‘2 in 1’ type deal with the ability to layer their distortion and overdrive but don’t want to spend big bucks. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: The overdrive side works a nice edgy breakup through to a gainy growl whilst the distortion side of things barks from dirty through to a nice thick gain stage with lots of level. USABILITY: Essentially two pedals side by side, it’s dead easy to get the Afterburner happening. I dig the fact that there’s a switch to change the order of distortion into overdrive and vise versa - for those that love playing with cascading sounds. CONSTRUCTION: A fairly solid unit you’ll have no problems gigging with it and the switches and knobs are metal, strong and will survive many a stomp. OVERALL: Whilst not the most boutique pedal on the planet it does cover a lot of ground and gets points for the ‘dual’ setup. Set a light overdrive and then a more saturated dirty tone and you’ve got a great bang for you buck little pedal to play with.

RECOMMENDED FOR: Rock, Blues, Pop, Ambient, Psychedelic, Soundtracks, anything that needs that classic fuzz or a bit of bite. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: Fuzz is an interesting beast as it interacts with nuances of picking, volume, tones, other pedals and guitars meaning there are a huge range of possible tones available and the Crossfire Fuzz definitely touches on all this criteria surprisingly well. USABILITY: Easy to use for the beginner and beyond. The real key with any fuzz is where you want to use it in your effects arsenal and dialing in the fuzz tone you like which is easy here. CONSTRUCTION: Rugged and small you shouldn’t have any probs with the Crossfire Fuzz and the small footprint means more pedal board real estate for you giving it big bonus points. OVERALL: Bang for your buck in leaps and bounds here and a great entry into the world of fuzz. Not the most versatile fuzz on the market but for what it offers at the price point, it’s a fuzzy beaut!

CROSSFIRE TREMOLO

RRP: $59.95

CROSSFIRE VINTAGE COMPRESSOR

EFFECT: TREMELO DISTRIBUTOR: JADE AUSTRALIA

EFFECT: COMPRESSOR DISTRIBUTOR: JADE AUSTRALIA

RECOMMENDED FOR: Rock, pop, jazz, blues, country anyone who needs a warm, lo-fi type trem pedal without shelling out big bucks. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: I’d consider the Crossfire Tremolo to be more of a warmish type tone as opposed to your super clean, pristine number. Mod effects are typically used in moderation and this unit will work the slow, ambling trem through to quicker harsher scenarios if needs be. USABILITY: Rate, Wave and Depth controls equal pretty darn easy to use. For big board setups or sit on the amp and switch on occasionally you’ll have no probs with the Crossfire Tremolo if you need a little throbby, whirly goodness. CONSTRUCTION: Like all the Crossfire pedals the casing and switches seem pretty tough and up for more than a few gigs worth of stomping. OVERALL: Inexpensive yet usable you might be surprised by the Crossfire Tremolo. Or if you’re someone who uses or wants to use one sparingly and hasn’t got a big budget this would be definitely worth considering.

RECOMMENDED FOR: Anyone wanting a cheapish straight forward compressor with a warm edge. rock, funk, country come to mind but a whole gamut of other options too. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: Anywhere from subtle and understated to thick, rounded and spanky you can get a fair cross section of tones from the Crossfire Vintage Comp. Not a million parameters but 3 dials to get you happening. USABILITY: 3 knobs, straight ahead, round to super squishy the rest is up to your imagination, creativeness and playing as to where you want to involve a little comp love. CONSTRUCTION: Tough and solid, standard look, feel and parts that will last more than a few gigs I’m sure. OVERALL: Often a secret weapon for live and studio sounds a little comp can really bring a guitar into the mix and be used anywhere from a clean boost through to a real effect as a squishy, throb for funky lines or fat chords.

MI EFFECTS BOOST ‘N’ BUFF V.3

RRP: $139.95

MI EFFECTS MEGALITH DELTA

EFFECT: BOOST DISTRIBUTOR: MI AUDIO

EFFECT: HIGH GAIN DISTORTION DISTRIBUTOR: MI AUDIO

RECOMMENDED FOR: Those in need of a clean boost, treble booster, mid boost and/or buffer in a small footprint pedal that screams, “stomp me” with its awesome fluro-orange casing. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: Absolutely love it! 3 modes as a booster with a range of tones and levels for Volume and Gain and works as a buffer in bypass mode. USABILITY: The latest version of this MI favourite is easy as pie straight out of the box but read the manual and have a good play to really hear the intricacies of the BnB. CONSTRUCTION: Built like a tank right here in Australia, a quality unit that will withstand all forms of brutality! OVERALL: Just a boost? No, so much more than that! Fattens, sparkles and polishes your tone and perfect for solo boosts or pushing a clean or slightly broken amp. The kind of pedal you might not think about but try it out and you’ll be hooked. A simply awesome little pedal that will knock your socks off.

RECOMMENDED FOR: Hi-gain distortion lovers! As the manual says ‘those searching for a Vintage Blues Tone, back away now!’ For players who are searching for some brutality like the amp it emulates, this might just be your deaf wish. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: Killer high gain tones with tonnes of variation. Thick and brutal with EQ scope to flatten or scoop and the ability to push further with the boost switch. Woah! USABILITY: Heavy players wanting a chunky high gain flavour will love this pedal. Easy to set and then tweak til your dark heart’s content. CONSTRUCTION: Just like the Megalith Delta sounds this pedal is absolutely rock solid and built like a tank. OVERALL: Another very cool boutique offering from the MI Audio gang and firmly aimed at the high gain crowd, they’ve got a serious pedal on their hands with tweaking capabilities and an additional boost. Boom!

PG. 40 MIXDOWN NO. 218

JUNE 2012

RRP: $90

RRP: $59.95

RRP: $59.95

RRP: $259.95


ULTIMATE PEDAL SPECIAL MODTONE ATOMIC PHASER II

RRP: $100

MODTONE AQUA CHORUS II

EFFECT: PHASER DISTRIBUTOR: ALLANS BILLY HYDE

EFFECT: CHORUS DISTRIBUTOR: ALLANS BILLY HYDE

RECOMMENDED FOR: Funk, rock, blues and psychedelic players who want to add a little liquid to their sound, or those looking for some experimental textures in indie and avante garde bands. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: This pedal can do everything from totally psycho wah-like sounds to a more Leslie-like tremulous warble, and of course all the slow swooshes and throbbing funk you’ll ever need. USABILITY: There are just two controls (Rate and Depth) but hey, that’s one more than most phaser pedals. There’s a pretty big range of sounds accessible throughout the knobs’ respective ranges too. CONSTRUCTION: It’s built like a little tank, with very stagefriendly graphics and a reassuringly robust switch to stomp on. The LED is nice and bright too. The pedal sports some great graphic design to boot. OVERALL: When it comes to phasers, the Atomic Phaser II definitely packs a whole lot more versatility than most.

RECOMMENDED FOR: Players who lean more towards the traditional, swirly, syrupy end of the chorus spectrum rather than the overly hi-fi, electronic, fizzy buzz you get with some chorus units. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: A nicely organic chorus effect which adds a steely shimmer to semi-clean tones and some subtle harmonic glitter when placed before an overdrive. Definitely more ‘vintage analog’ than ‘modern digital.’ USABILITY: Pretty simple to figure out, just a pair of controls for Rate and Depth plus a true bypass switch. Crank the Rate control to maximum for instant organ imitations. CONSTRUCTION: Chunky and stompable, with fairly stable control pots that won’t just turn by themselves when you least want them to. And the distinctive graphics make it easy to identify on your board. OVERALL: A traditionally voiced chorus pedal which lets you add some glassy sheen to heavy rhythm tones, spacious shimmer to clean ones and some syrupy thickness to lightly driven ones. Big bang for your buck here!

MODTONE HARMONIC TREMOR

RRP: $90

MODTONE EXTREME METAL

EFFECT: TREMELO DISTRIBUTOR: ALLANS BILLY HYDE

EFFECT: DISTORTION DISTRIBUTOR: ALLANS BILLY HYDE

RECOMMENDED FOR: Retro-flavoured players in blues, country, classic rock, psychedelic and indie genres, and maybe even the occasional stray Tom Morello fan looking for some strobey goodness to add to their rock assault. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: A nice range of both tremolo and vibrato sounds, with added versatility thanks to a Wave control which lets you shape the effect’s rise and fall from choppy to all-out warble, and anything in between. USABILITY: The Rate and Depth controls are easy enough to figure out but the real secret weapon here is the Wave control, which gives you access to synth-like sounds as well as more naturalistic sun-dappled shimmers of the Clientele variety. LED pulses in time too. CONSTRUCTION: Its purple and black colour scheme might suggest darker genres such as The Cure-style gothicism, but the Harmonic Tremor is infectiously user-friendly. And it’s true bypass, which is very important for a tremolo/vibe pedal. OVERALL: A great mix of vintage-style tremolo and vibrato tones but with a finer degree of control than many vintage units, and very stage-friendly thanks to the tempo-matching LED. Way more versatile than it initially looks.

RECOMMENDED FOR: Thrash metal, djent, grindcore, metalcore and death metal players who need some serious high end cut and low end wallop, especially for downtuned or extended range guitars. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: This pedal is capable of great Dime-like scooped-mid death tones or more midrange-friendly, treble-reduced Slipknot rhythm tones, Kerry King-like boosted-mid solo freakouts and even Satch-esque leads. USABILITY: More control than most Modtone pedals thanks to its separate Mid and Mid Scoop controls and concentric Treble and Bass controls. One for those who like to tweak rather than just plug and play. CONSTRUCTION: Very sturdy, but sausage fingers might have a bit of a hard time with the outer parameters of the concentric Mid/Mid Scoop and Bass/Treble controls. But that also makes them kinda hard to accidentally move. OVERALL: An aggressive modern distortion for either lead or rhythm players. Certainly not a subtle pedal, but plenty of variety within the parameters of what we think of as good metal guitar tone.

MODTONE DYNO DRIVE

RRP: $90

MODTONE SPEEDBOX DISTORTION

EFFECT: OVERDRIVE DISTRIBUTOR: ALLANS BILLY HYDE

EFFECT: DISTORTION DISTRIBUTOR: ALLANS BILLY HYDE

RECOMMENDED FOR: Players of any genre looking for a boutique-style overdrive pedal, especially to run into a tube preamp. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: Adds some sparkle and ring to blues and country tones, gives you access to some pretty filthy (in the good way) rockabilly sounds, and impacts a creamy feel to solo tones with either passive or active pickups. USABILITY: Only three controls - for Level, Tone and Drive - but with lots of variability between the extremes. Use it to boost a tube amp into high gain, or add analogue warmth to a modeller’s clean channel. CONSTRUCTION: It’s robust, it’s logically laid out, and the contrasting black and yellow colour scheme makes it easy to see on stage, which is especially important for a crucial effect like overdrive. OVERALL: A simple, meat-and-potatoes, no-mess-nofuss overdrive pedal which can form the basis of your clean-ish or chunky rhythm sound, or can help to give your metal rhythm or lead sound a decent kick.

RECOMMENDED FOR: Hard rock or traditional metal players, stoner rockers, grunge bands - really anyone looking for a versatile and good-old-fashioned distortion pedal, rather than simple overdrive. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: This one can do everything from a slight boost on top of a clean sound to all out distortion. There’s almost a Nuno Bettencourt-esque edge in the high end, but it’s great for fat vintage ‘70s/’80s metal too. USABILITY: Just three controls for Gain, Tone and Level, but the Gain control in particular has a pretty astounding range from light overdrive to sizzling distortion. Good variety in the Tone control too. CONSTRUCTION: True bypass and ready to rock. This one is well built and with easily accessible controls, but the colour scheme makes it a little hard to read what each pot does at first. OVERALL: The Speedbox is a raging little distortion pedal that can satisfy both lead and rhythm players of pretty much any rock sub-genre up to and including early thrash metal. Surprisingly versatile for such simple controls.

MODTONE SPACE FLANGER

RRP: $100

BLACKSTAR HT-DELAY

EFFECT: FLANGER DISTRIBUTOR: ALLANS BILLY HYDE

EFFECT: DELAY DISTRIBUTOR: NATIONAL AUDIO SYSTEMS

RECOMMENDED FOR: Retro-oriented players – particularly those of the psychedelic persuasion, who want some funky vintage analogue-style flanging sounds rather than the more neat-sounding digital variety often found in multi-effects. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: A little lacking in distinctiveness but still perfectly usable, from subtle swoosh to jetplane-like craziness. Organic chorus-like tones, almost wah-like vowels and clatter-filled clangs. Lots of fun! USABILITY: There are three controls - Rate, Range and Mix - rather than the usual four, but some players won’t really miss the usual Manual knob too much because the other three controls cover a perfectly acceptable amount of sonic ground. CONSTRUCTION: This true bypass pedal is robust and chunky, with good access to the three control pots and the 9V DC jack, and a very cool 1950s space race retro graphic (although flanging is more of a ‘60s thing). OVERALL: One for fans of Paul Gilbert and Eddie Van Halen for sure. An old-school, dirty-sounding, swooshy, warm, warbly flanger effect which comes alive when plugged into an overdriven amp rather than after distortion.

RECOMMENDED FOR: Who couldn’t use this pedal? It offers regular digital delay, simulations of various analogue delay types, and it even has looping features. Digital or analogue vibe, this pedal is designed to do it. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: A valve gain and compression circuit lets you dial in warm, organic-sounding delays if you wish, or you can set up clean, clear repeats. The looper is nice and functional, and definitely geared towards live performance. USABILITY: The eight different delay modes are Linear, Analogue (love the British spelling of analogue), Multihead 1, Multihead 2, Tape, Space, Loop 1 and Loop 2. CONSTRUCTION: A nice chunky pedal with ‘stageworthy’ written all over it. Like the other tube-loaded HT pedals, you can actually see the pedal through the case, which is a nice touch that reminds you of the warm tones the pedal’s capable of. OVERALL: A flexible, warm-toned delay pedal which would be better if there was a way to create and store presets, but the Tap Tempo foot switch certainly makes up for it.

PG. 42 MIXDOWN NO. 218

JUNE 2012

RRP: $90

RRP: $90

RRP: $60

RRP: $379


ULTIMATE PEDAL SPECIAL BLACKSTAR HT-MODULATION

RRP: $379

EFFECT: MODULATION DISTRIBUTOR: NATIONAL AUDIO SYSTEMS

RECOMMENDED FOR: Great for guitarists who sing, or singers working with a guitarist who want to get vocal harmonies aligned with their guitar at the press of a button. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: The responsiveness of the effects in key with the guitar make this a very versatile tool indeed, especially with the room microphone feature for added audio control. USABILITY: Easy to edit, easy to setup and automatically tracks your guitar’s key to match the vocal harmonies with no noticeable latency. This is a set and forget vocal effects system to work with a guitar’s key. CONSTRUCTION: Like all TC Helicon products, the Voicelive Play GTX is built in a rugged stage ready metal casing with silent switches that will continue to take a pounding gig after gig. OVERALL: The GTX takes what the Voicelive Play has and gives you so much more. Guitar effects, vocal harmony tracking from the guitar and exceptional quality of sound. It would be a shame not to use one.

RRP: $399

ZOOM B3 BASS MULTI-FX

RECOMMENDED FOR: Recording or gigging bass players, whether they need a straightforward unit at their feet to deliver some basic sound presets, or if they need full-on wild effects for dramatic musical moments. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: Everything from smooth, old-school R&B tones to 80s hi fi funk and modern metal distortion, plus a looper, metronome, computer interface and a whole bunch of authentically modelled effects including some great envelope filters. USABILITY: The B3 is laid out like a trio of pedals, and the three screens give you an idea of which famous stompers are being modelled, as well as access to extra parameters. Incredibly easy to program even for first-time multi effect users. CONSTRUCTION: Definitely solid, but because it has more of a hard plastic aesthetic it might be one that is best to mount on a firm pedal board to feel more safe. But this also makes it a good ‘stash in a gig back pocket’ pedal...it’s just well worth looking after. OVERALL: Plenty of useful features for the learning, teaching, gigging or recording bass player, and lots of great-sounding amp models and effects. Its tone and its simplicity are on equal footing as its biggest strengths.

RECOMMENDED FOR: Vocal artists that want to enrich their sound and bring more voices to their performance. Especially suits acoustic duos who want to thicken their sound and incorporate harmonies. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: Giving the user multiple voices and harmonies with an excellent realism, the Voicelive stands out as a truly dynamic device that can be mixed with any style or vocal range. USABILITY: Simple and easy to use with quick scrolling through presets and a handy Hold For Talk feature to remove any effects when addressing the audience directly. CONSTRUCTION: Like all TC Helicon products, the Voicelive Play is built in a rugged stage ready metal casing with silent switches that will continue to take a pounding gig after gig. OVERALL: The Voicelive Play is an amazing pedal. It brings vocal harmonies and effects into your mix at the press of a button, giving the singer more variety and creativity in their performance, very cool.

RRP: $379

LINE 6 M5 STOMP BOX MODELER

EFFECT: GUITAR MULTI-FX DISTRIBUTOR: DYNAMIC MUSIC

EFFECT: GUITAR MULTI-FX DISTRIBUTOR: MUSIC LINK

RECOMMENDED FOR: The gigging or recording guitarist, the student, the weekend jammer - anyone who needs a compact effects and amp sim setup without the hassle of cables and the requirement for lots of space. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: Lots of amp sims (13, in fact), lots of effects (a whopping 94 including models of some of the world’s most popular pedals), and enough flexibility to cover everything from country twang to extreme metal roar. USABILITY: Three large LCD displays with corresponding switches and rotary controls give you the feel of a row of pedals for players who prefer stompers to text menus and parameter buttons. And the USB audio interface function is great for recording. CONSTRUCTION: The G3 doesn’t feel flimsy, but it also feels like you might want to take extra good care of it just in case. But the layout is very user-friendly and it’s neat and portable for taking to gigs or jams. OVERALL: The awesome effects and very usable amp sims are great for jamming at home or with your buddies and they’ll really come in handy for home recording too. Nice tube-like feel thanks to ZOOM’s new sigmoid curve clipper technology.

RECOMMENDED FOR: Bedroom jammers or live players who like single-pedal utility but wish they had a whole stash of pedals in their closet which they could dip into to select a single pedal for each song in a set. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: There are 19 delays, 23 modulation effects, 17 distortions (including fuzzes, overdrives and octaves), 12 compressors and EQs, 26 filters including various synth modes such as Octisynth, and 12 reverbs. If it’s not here, you don’t need it! USABILITY: It might look complicated but if you’ve ever spent ten minutes with a multi effect, you’ll be able to sort out the intricacies of the editing system. There’s still a lot of ‘grab and tweak’ functionality, plus MIDI inputs and outputs help you to get some added flexibility if you need it. CONSTRUCTION: Made of the same sturdy metal as its M9 and M13 big brother, with a cool roll cage to prevent stray boots from messing with your settings, and a cool colour-change display which lets you know at a glance which effect you’re accessing. OVERALL: Stripped of most of the fancy bells, whistles, lights, switches and sheer acreage of the M13, Line 6’s M-series effects take centre stage in this format and show themselves off as the well-programmed, musical-sounding effects that they are.

DISTRIBUTION DETAILS DISTRIBUTOR:

PHONE:

WEBSITE:

ALLANS + BILLY HYDE DISTRIBUTION AMBER TECHNOLOGY AUSTRALASIAN MUSICAL SUPPLIES CMC MUSIC DYNAMIC MUSIC ELECTRIC FACTORY INTERMUSIC DISTRIBUTION JADE AUSTRALIA MI AUDIO NATIONAL AUDIO SYSTEMS

1300 884 321 1800 251 367 (03) 9549 1500 (02) 9905 2511 (02) 9939 1299 (03) 9474 1000 1300 005 319 1800 144 120 (02) 9519 5902 (03) 9761 5577

www.allansbillyhyde.com.au www.ambertech.com.au www.austmusic.com.au www.cmcmusic.com.au www.dynamicmusic.com.au www.elfa.com.au www.imd.com.au www.jadeaustralia.com.au www.miaudio.com.au www.nationalaudio.com.au

PG. 44 MIXDOWN NO. 218

JUNE 2012

RRP: $379

EFFECT: BASS MULTI-FX DISTRIBUTOR: DYNAMIC MUSIC

EFFECT: VOCAL MULTI-EFFECTS, LOOPING AND HARMONY PROCESSOR DISTRIBUTOR: AMBER TECHNOLOGY

ZOOM G3 GUITAR MULTI-FX

RRP: $569

EFFECT: VOCAL & GUITAR MULTI-EFFECTS, LOOPING AND HARMONY PROCESSOR DISTRIBUTOR: AMBER TECHNOLOGY

RECOMMENDED FOR: Pretty much anyone. There are a lot of effects here which run the gamut from subtle to extreme, including some nice vintage choruses and some more sci-fi textures. Good for all-rounders. SOUND AND VERSATILITY: Each of the effects (flanger, two phasers, three choruses, tremolo and rotary) can be nice and clean or dirtied up via an actual tube, which adds grit for those who want it or can be reigned in for those who don’t. USABILITY: The modes are Flanger, Phaser 1, Phaser 2, Vintage Chorus 1, Vintage Chorus 2, Multi-Chorus, Tremolo and Rotary. Controls are Speed, Feedback, Saturation and Level, Foot switchable Manual and Slow/Fast modes are a nice touch. CONSTRUCTION: The HT-MODULATION is well built, thoughtfully laid out, and the tube is given ample ventilation (and it doesn’t hurt that a glowing tube in the middle of a pedal looks cool too). The single input and left/right stereo outputs are logically placed. OVERALL: The HT-MODULATION is a very handy one-stop shop for both crisp and gritty mono or stereo modulation effects in the studio, and it’s well designed for stage use as well thanks to the handy Mode foot switch.

TC HELICON VOICELIVE PLAY

TC HELICON VOICELIVE PLAY GTX

RRP: $349

Mixdown 218 Ultimate Pedal Special  

Ultimate Pedal Special

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