Deli #53, A Place to Bury Strangers + Death by Audio, Best NYC Records of 2017, NAMM 2018

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Back in 2006, when The Deli Magazine was a one-year-old print publication, I personally booked A Place to Bury Strangers for our 7th issue’s launch party. On that issue’s cover there was a band called Jealous Girlfriends (fronted by Holly Miranda, who ended up having a fairly successful solo career).

NYC BANDS & GEAR Issue #53 Vol. #3 Winter 2018

At the time, APTBS was an up-andcoming noise rock act that had already earned the “Loudest Band in NYC” label. That night, two songs into their set, I clearly remember regretting not having them on the cover of our rag: the fury emanating from both their presence and instruments was awe-inducing.

Editor In Chief / Publisher

Paolo De Gregorio Founder

Charles Newman art director Kaz Yabe ( ) Editor

Olivia Sisinni executive Editor

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Ben Apatoff Contributing Writers

Christopher Scapelliti Brandon Stoner Interns

Vernon McGhee Publishers

The Deli Magazine, LLC Mother West, NYC

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In 2007, after releasing their debut album, they had become already too big for The Deli, a magazine that, until the issue before this one, had a strict policy of only covering emerging NYC artists. I really thought that was an opportunity we missed for good. But, a lot can happen in 12 years. Today, The Deli owes its prolonged existence to guitar pedals (through the Stompbox Exhibit, an event we launched in 2011). For the uninitiated, Oliver Ackermann (APTBS’ singer/ guitarist) also owns Death By Audio, one of the most established boutique manufacturers of guitar pedals. More than ten years after that “missed connection,” the stars for a APTBS cover aligned again: The Deli launched its first NAMM issue (you are reading it!), and the band will be releasing their 5th album in the spring. The loudest (and noisiest) NYC band is finally on the cover of The Deli, together with the pedals of their own making, and we are stoked about it! Paolo De Gregorio Editor in Chief










Sponsored by:

NAMM 2018

See/hear these manufacturers at booth #3231(Hall D)!

At every NAMM show, The Deli and Delicious Audio organize a shared stompbox booth, giving small pedal boutique manufacturers the opportunity to participate, at a fraction of the cost, in these conferences that can be crucial for their businesses’ growth. This year we are present in full forces, with our biggest booth to date for Winter NAMM: a 10’x20’ packed with effects by 15 manufacturers. If you like stompboxes, stop by booth #3231, borrow a demo PRS guitar, plug in, and have fun!






IN-THE-BOOTH VIDEO COVERAGE OF NEW PEDALS! Inside the booth, videographer Eric Merrow will shoot videos of all the new pedals unveiled at NAMM – you can see them all here:


6 Degrees

Vancouver-based company devoted to the cult of gain.

Amplitude ELEVEN Class A Overdrive

• BLUE Channel has 2 gain stages, producing crunchy tone with a natural tube-like clipping, RED channel is a 4-gain stage high gain channel delivering saturated drive. • Both ch. have 1 gain and 1 tone each to stack with the preamp’s gain and active EQ (treble & bass). • G.A.S. switch stand for Germanium, Asymmetrical, and Silicon clipping.


Chellee Guitars

Overdrive-obsessed Floridian boutique shop that also builds guitars.

Compy Compressor

• Their first non-overdrive pedal, the Compy, is a powerful and versatile compressor with 6 knobs. • Internal voltage doubler runs 18 volts using a 9 volt supply for extra headroom.


Cusack Music

A veteran of the pedal scene, this Holland, MI company offers topnotch engineering and also builds MojoHand FX and AJ Peat effects.

Tap-A-Delay Deluxe

• Full of character, this is a 3 footswitch, 750ms digital delay packed with features. • “Float” switch holds your feedback, interacting with the Brake Mode switch . • An internal “Echo Roll Off” pot adjusts the tone of the repeats.

4 Escape Plan Pedals A one-man operation from Lenoir, NC that churns out silver stompboxes for fuzz and psych lovers.

Psycho Andy Deluxe Fuzz

• Inspired by some of the out of control fuzz tones on the Jesus and Mary Chain album Psycho Candy - i.e. the Shin-ei fuzz boxes. • Redesigned fuzz and an op-amp drive section that feeds into the fuzz, allowing you to blend the tex-

tures between the two. • The fuzz cleans up into a squishy response overdrive when turned down.

5 Fairfield Circuitry A Hull-based company that dwells in mysterious sonic territories.

Shallow Water K-Field Delay

• K-field (Simulation mathematics), is an undefined, two-dimensional, non-linear field where past and future forces interact at irregular intervals. Shallow Water generates this k-field by randomly modulating a short time delay to create unexpected shifts in pitch. The result is this non-cyclical vibrato/ chorus/flanger-type thing favoring old tape flavours.

Hologram Electronics


A small team building some of the most buzzworthy atmospheric pedals on Earth out of Knoxville, TN.

Infinite Jets ReSynthesizer

• Two independent channels of sampling allow for infinite sustain of two different notes or chords at a time. • Samples can be triggered automatically by note attack or in manual mode via footswitch. • 4 separate effect styles (Blur, Synth, Glitch, and Swell). • Envelope + Dimension controls, Drive, Tone and LFO and envelope generators allow wide variety of effects.

7 Lightning Boy The North Collins, NY laboratory of a tube lover and recording engineer.

Thunder Knob Drive

• An all-tube design that runs a 12AX7 vacuum tube at nearly 200 volts to deliver lush tube tone with tons of headroom. • Thunder switch toggles between “Normal,” a mellow tone with a mild distortion and “Thunder,” which offers increased distortion, treble, and volume.

8 Main Ace FX A one-man operation from New Jersey interested in fuzz, Bowie, and industrial-looking designs.

Space Invader Delay

• A warm, gritty, organic delay. • Switchable delay depth through the Warp footswitch. • Momentary infinite switch and bright/dark toggle switch round up the features.

9 Massive FX New Los Angeles, CA manufacturer specializing in pedals for Stoner Rock, Doom and Hard Rock players.

G.O.A.F. Fuzz & Vintage Octave

• A hand-wired recreation of the Burns Buzzaround, popularized by Fripp in the 1970s. • Separate fuzz, mid-range and treble controls. • Right footswitch turns Fuzz on/off; Left footswitch turns Vintage Octave on/off. Vintage Octave can be used without the fuzz.

Mattoverse Electronics


A WI builder with a cosmic approach to feature-rich stompboxes and a talent for delays.

Warble Swell Echo

• Analog voiced digital echo/delay with a dynamic foot-controllable Swell feature and gooey tape like modulation. • Produces echo/delay times that range from short clean slapbacks to 800ms of warm analog-esque repeats and modulation that goes from subtle tape like flutters to seasick warbles. • Swell rate control and (blue) push-button modulation.

11 Nunomo A small builder with a California address but a Japanese engineering brain, focused on quirky original circuits.


• An intriguing take on granular

tremolo with added overdrive and pitch-shifting circuits. • The fast tremolo “locks in” with each note’s wave cycle canceling some cycles of any note it filters. • Momentum and Mode footswitches add extra tonal options.


Southampton Pedals

A Guelph, Ontario duo of engineers focused on creating high-quality, handmade effects that fill voids in the pedal market.

Utility Knife

• Features 4 high-quality modulation effects in a compact format. • Pick flange, chorus, tremolo, and a 6-stage phaser from the bottom knob. • Edit Range, Depth and Volume with the top three knobs.



The edgy, “in house” brand of NJ’s Godlyke, the distributor of Maxon and Emma.

DM-02 Dynamorph

• A filter + distortion pedal with an envelope-detection circuit that interacts with the player’s performance. • Features a series of obscurely named switches and knobs that open a sea of sonic possibilities. • Mode switch selects between two different overall EQ settings.


Union Tube & Transistor

A Vancouver-based company known for making a knob-less pedal for Jack White’s Third Man Record: the Bumble Buzz.

More Boost

• A guitar preamp capable of sweeping from +5db up to +40db of clean gain. • Maximum undistorted output level of +16dBu and it is intended for use with a tube amp. • Can offer some nice gain structuring when run in conjunction with other overdrive or distortion pedals.

Fresh Buzz | New NYC Artists “Now I’m snowed in while you’re out there in California / Stuck here thinking about how you said I did nothing for you,” Alyse Vellturo sings on pronoun’s “Snowed In // There’s No One New Around You.” Though we didn’t exactly get snowed in just yet this year, the sentiment in pronoun’s music is always easy to latch on to. Single “a million other things” perfectly captures the limbo state and doomed hope of a post-break-up reconciliation by folding heart-tugging lyrics into otherwise bright and driving instrumentals. Her music manages to feel deeply personal, yet instantly relatable—a striking first release from an up-andcoming artist, with welcome references to a class pop act of the ’80s like The Cars. (cameron Carr / Olivia Sisinni)

pron oun

Torres’ musical path could be used as an ideal example of what should happen to a musician who dares to move from Nashville to NYC—something she did in 2015, soon after releasing her sophomore album Sprinter. Her 2017 follow up, Three Futures, reveals a more daring artist with an uber-edgy sound that makes abundant use of synths and guitar pedals. The tracks share a claustrophobic atmosphere that seems like an unavoidable by-product of the transition from the big spaces of Music City to the “coziness” of the Big Apple. The labels took notice (the album was out on legendary 4AD), the critics applauded (Three Futures is one of the top-ranked albums on with a score of 79) and the fans multiplied. Since the release, Torres has been gigging non-stop in the US, Canada and Europe. (paolo de gregorio)

T or re s Crumb—another artist that recently relocated to NYC, this time

from Boston—has been charming the heck out of New Yorkers with their irresistibly cute-but-clever psych-pop songs. Their debut EP Locket features strange strumming guitar work, loopy chord structures, and an abundance of organs, mellow wah sounds and gently bent guitar notes. Lila Ramani’s vocals whisper melodies that are as gentle as they are elegant and her lyricism invites introspection. Even though their songs often wind down unexpected turns, Crumb’s music manages to be engaging without being overly demanding of their listeners. (Geena Kloeppel / Olivia Sisinni)


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Records of the Month

Nick Llobet


Where To?

What We Found Along the Way

Standing on the Corner

If you ask us, the second most important thing in rock or folk music (after the actual songwriting) is the vocals’ character. Sometimes even great singers lose when they’re compared to untrained voices with a distinctive personality. Nick Llobet, an upcoming solo act from the NYC area, is definitely the latter, and he also happens to write really good songs. With his latest EP, Where To?, released this June, he delivers four gritty but immensely charming tracks: one is purely acoustic dream-folk bliss with some not-so-dreamy lyrics (“Puke My Thoughts”), while others flirt with indie, lo-fi and psych influences. Title track, “Where To?,” is a wandering psych-folk gem for laying on the grass, channeling Bob Dylan’s spoken singing and Mac DeMarco’s inventive but simple arrangements. (Allie Miller)

Brooklyn’s Sandcatchers are revitalizing the world music genre, both live and on record. In sophomore LP What We Found Along the Way this quartet manage to effortlessly assemble tracks that blend Middle-Eastern influences with Americana, post-rock and noise rock as well. Based on an impossible time signature (what’s that, a 9/4 tempo?), single “Flees Fast Singing” is groovy, tense and unpredictable. A lot of their repertoire is softer, like opening track “Sky Stirs” or our favorite, “Drop Stars Like Memories”, but the band seems to catch fire whenever the BPM revs up, like in “Washed and Wild,” where a twangy distorted lap steel and an oud compete for attention on top of a breakneck fast-paced rhythm section.

It’s hard to place a firm finger on Standing on the Corner’s latest album, a 63-minute, two-track release entitled Red Burns, but the record – which opens with warm crackling, synth-y harp strums, and omnipotent narration treated with the kind of vocal distortion that sounds as if your cassette’s brown tapes have melted – is wildly innovative, and strangely mesmerizing. The project, headed by Gio Escobar and Jasper Marsalis, a duo armed with a jazz background and an interest in rap percussion, is a response to recent political and nationwide events, chronicling them with the distinctive viewpoint of those facing direct oppression, but expressing them through a medium that is widely free form and experimental. (olivia sisinni)


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(Paolo De Gregorio)

Red Burns






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Feature | Best of 2017





b byy EEm merging erging n nYYCC A Artists rtists

By By Ca Cameron meron Carr Carr & & Geena Geena Kloe It’s hard to conside Kloepp ppel el r 2017 without ge tting lost in all the and uncertainty tha nationwide (and wo t defined the year. rldwide, for that ma Facing our nation’s fects continue to se tter) chaos political turmoil ha ep into our daily live s been far from ea or horrified at how s. Are we happy ab sy as the efdeeply ingrained out national attem sexual misconduct pts to confront se resilience through xual violence has become in ou resistance or has r cu it regressed to an oppressive state tha lture? Has society proven its While the nation t requires resisting as a whole struggle ? s with its identity, the world around music has carried us and sometimes on, sometimes ex offering a reprieve 21st century trend pli . cit In New York City, of “doing it yours elf,” musicians have co ly noting their own or doing ntinued the something truly the giving rise to new voices and new ide ir own, in 2017, NY C musicians embra ntities. Whether doing it on ced their persona l potential.


In some cases, DIY means home recording, like Soccer Mommy’s homemade Collection (which was probably recorded mostly in Nashville before the band’s move, but we’re claiming the band now) and Florist’s excellent self-recorded sophomore release, If Blue Could Be Happiness that somehow gave an even gentler touch and a more soothing ambience to Emily Sprague’s poetic musings.

Other releases, though generally recorded in more traditional studio settings, continued the city’s legacy for bedroom popstyle sounds. Lexie, the Frankie Cosmos/Warehouse side project, quietly released Record Time, which lives up to both bands’ past achievements, and Poppies put out the stellar 12

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Good EP. Both releases offer head bopping melodies, jangling guitars, and a bedroom pop intimacy. Maintaining a similar intimacy, Strawberry Runners put out the In The Garden EP with a soft but eclectic sound that nods to both indie pop and folk. Earlier in the year, Vagabon took a similarly varied approach with Infinite Worlds. Laetitia Tamko, the engineer turned indie musician behind Vagabon, writes startlingly sincere music that falls into the indie rock spectrum without getting tied down by the genres typical characteristics, often pairing radio inspired synthetic beats with punk rock bursts of energy. Last year, in The Deli’s feature on the best music from NYC artists in 2016, we emphasized that female musicians were creating many of the most engaging and inspiring releases. As evidenced by the artists mentioned above, that movement

Clockwise from top left: Princess Nokia - 1992 Deluxe Vagabon - Infinite Worlds Guerilla Toss - GT Ultra Charly Bliss - Guppy

is only growing: each of these projects features a female voice at the forefront. Though the music world still has a way to go, 2017 was a year of increased diversity in musical voices. And that’s a trend we hope continues.

er genre-melding head scratcher, Corpus I, and Planning For Burial continued its tradition of tangling black metal force with shoegaze effects and industrial production on Below the House.


released GT Ultra, a mish-mash of post-punk, psychedelia, and electronica that’s near impossible to accurately categorize. Pill gave its own take on color-outside-the-lines post-punk with the saxophone-laden Aggressive Advertising. Moving in a different direction, Crumb connected the dots between the musical complexity of jazz and experimentation of psychedelic rock with Locket, an EP that is as challenging as it is warmly welcoming. Standing on the Corner took the experimental jazz approach even further with Red Burns, an avant-garde sound collage that gives modern production a free jazz mentality.

NYC’s DIY mindset isn’t constrained to a musical style, it’s often more about creating something distinctly individual and true to one’s self. At The Deli, we expect NYC artists to get inventive and define their own musical spaces. The city’s history of pioneering musical approaches hasn’t stopped and this year there were plenty of new and old faces embodying what it means to break the rules. Show Me The Body, whose 2016 album, Body War, was noted in last year’s “Best Of” feature as well, put out anoth-

Guerilla Toss, whom we featured on our cover this past fall,

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Indie rockers weren’t the only ones in NYC making great, inventive music though. The underground scene of rappers and producers has thrived in recent years as it embraces different cultural identities and a flurry of influences that meld electronica, pop, and hip-hop with the vibrant sound of the city. Princess Nokia released the socially conscious 1992 Deluxe mixtape. It’s a set of gritty hip-hop full of on-point beats and purposeful lyrics covering racial identity and intersectional feminism.

Yaeji, a Korean-American producer based in Brooklyn, released not one but two of the year’s most exciting releases in the realm of rap music. yaeji and its follow-up EP2 twirl through pulsating house music, dance pop, and hip-hop instrumentals beneath softly spoken lyrics in both English and Korean. In another intimate approach to rapping, Deem Spencer lamented the death of his grandfather on We Think We Alone. His mumbled verses, jazzy keys, and moody instrumentals set a tone that’s deeply affecting.

floor anthems with their debut album YOUNG, but lyrically the duo looked further than the party scene. Overcoats’ portrait of inner emotional struggles rivals the tact of many veteran pop songwriters. The electronic genre also took influence from the indie rock world. Covering stuttering electronica in a dream pop-inspired haze, Blood Cultures’ Happy Birthday balanced the danceable with the moody.



Not all of NYC was focused on breaking new ground. Artists around the city created pop music that satisfied our cravings for catchy hooks and unrepentant pleasure, they weren’t afraid to get clever and put their own spin on it either. Cape Francis’ Falling into Pieces stood out among the crowd for its tasteful incorporation of pop songwriting in guitar-based rock music. The result sees songwriter Kevin Olken Henthorn making relatable alt-pop without overdoing it on trendy production techniques. Intensifying the groove, Zuli’s On Human Freakout Mountain took a similar approach to mixing pop songwriting with indie rock guitars. The album is a tasty slice of upbeat guitar-pop with serious crossover potential. The banjo-toting Yoke Lore managed to play into the power of pop music with his signature mix of the twangy string instrument and electronica. His Goodpain EP was proof that NYC is skilled with more than just a guitar.


With an appreciation for the jubilance of pop music and the willingness to explore new sounds that NYC is known for, the city’s electronic musicians created music that could soundtrack all-night dance parties or pensive nights alone. Beshken captured that contrast best on For Time Is The Longest Distance Between Two People. The album migrates between spacious, simmering instrumental sections and buoyant, pulsing raveups. Overcoats played more heavily on thumping, dance14

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Perhaps not quite fitting into the electronic realm, Sneaks made a post-punky sophomore album using almost only a drum machine, bass guitar, and vocals to craft the expertly concise and individual It’s a Myth. To be fair, that album came out before Sneak’s Eva Moolchan moved to NYC, but since the band’s relocation we’ve proudly embraced them as our own. Every year NYC seems to become a home for countless new musicians—for instance, Japanese Breakfast, who put out the excellent Soft Sounds from Another Planet this year, moved only a couple years ago. This year we were glad to be graced with the added presence of several artists on this list including Soccer Mommy from Nashville, Strawberry Runners from Denver, and Crumb from Boston.


As always seems to be the case, the city produced some of the best gritty, punk-inspired music to come out anywhere. 2017 drew lovingly from the ’90s, while keeping its own modern touch. Charly Bliss epitomized the enthusiastic development on ’90s-era rock music with Guppy, one of the records of the month in our summer issue, fitting grungy, fuzz guitars alongside sugary sweet melodies. Cende’s vibrant power pop took inspiration from the advent of college rock and more recent basement-bred indie to create #1 Hit Single, which earned a “Record of the Month” spot in our Fall issue before the band announced it would be splitting up to allow

the members to focus on other projects. Looking to influences a little further back, Rips focused interplaying guitars for a self-titled full-length that called to mind guitar-heavy punk music of the ’70s and ’80s. Katie Von Schleicher dug even deeper into the era with a keyboard-driven take on sunny ’70s pop. At times fuzzy and at times soulful, Shitty Hits highlighted Von Schleicher’s hearty voice and crisp songwriting capabilities. Lauren Denitzio proved her own songwriting prowess with her band Worriers’ jumpy pop-punk album Survival Pop. Fruit & Flowers released a fuzzy debut album, Drug Tax, awash in ’90s influence while incorporating the reverb-soaked guitars of surf rock. It’s an album that doesn’t reinvent the wheel but, like all the other artists in this list, proves the NYC underground is full of voices worth listening to.

Roots Music and Songwriters

2017 saw a year of experiments in modern folk music. Two NYC acts that pushed the boundaries of the genre and further defined the slightly fuzzy definition of neo-folk were Swimming Bell and Thelma. The Golden Heart, the former’s debut EP, carved fresh arrangements and harmonic material out of familiar instrumental textures. Thelma’s self-titled record meandered into darker lyrical and melodic territory, though with a consistent crystalline vocal perched atop often dissonant chords and rockier textures. That being said, Pueblo and Hayes Peebles, on the rootsier end of the spectrum, shone with stellar songwriting and nuanced arrangements, offering up an enlightening modern take on a more traditional sound. Pueblo released their flavorful record Boring the Camera and stirred memories of an electric Simon & Garfunkel. Hayes Peebles’ Ghosts EP offered breathtaking melodies with lush, sentient lyrics, while peppering in a twangy guitar or two. d

bands + Gear

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TC Helicon Mic Mechanic / EHX Cathedral / Way Huge Aqua Puss / Dunlop Cry Baby / Ross Phaser / BOSS TR-2 / Death By Audio Interstellar Overdriver / EarthQuaker Devices Hoof / BOSS TU-2

Were there specific pedals that kind of changed your life? My good friend Fred who plays in a killer band called Spirit Of... had lent me my first pedals I ever used live, The Holier Grail and a Boss DD6. The looping capability of the DD6 is how I wrote most of our original songs. It let me work out parts in real time. Reverb and Delay sometimes get a bad rep in the punk/garage community but honestly, they helped to show me that guitars can sound like more than just a guitar. Photo: Rachel Cabitt

Stuyedeyed Garage

Stuyedeyed is serving up brash and brazen rock music with a major vintage vibe. With fuzzy layers so thick you can practically wrap yourself up in them, the Brooklyn-based band delivers a serious ’70s guitar rock feel and loads of lo-fi goodness. Tell us about your first time with… a guitar pedal. How old were you and what did you stomp on? If I remember correctly I was 15 and my brother had just bought his first set of pedals. I don’t remember what the others were but I very distinctly remember being amazed by the Delta Lab delay. We ran everything through that little blue box, haha. 16

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What do you have on your board these days? EarthQuaker Devices Hoof: My main squeeze and by far one of my favorite fuzz pedal. I use this for all my parts containing chords and lead notes. Death By Audio Interstellar Overdriver: I use this mostly as a boost for solos. Use this on some chord based parts on our new record. Dunlop Cry Baby: When you just need to fill space and pierce some eardrums, kick this lil jit on and keep it dimed. Way Huge Aqua Puss: My personal video game emulating, lush water toy haha. Use this thing all over the place. Interacts with my settings on the cathedral really well and helps to lift leads. Ross Phaser: The best gift I’ve ever received. Provides a nice added layer of movement that you can only really get with a full sounding phaser. BOSS Tremolo: Think yelling into a fan running full blast. EHX Cathedral: Screaming in a Church. TC Helicon Mic Mechanic: My vocal processor. From basements to Webster Hall, my vocals always having the same sound is a must.

MXR Carbon Copy / DigiTech Obscura Altered Delay / BOSS CH-1 / Fulltone GT-500 / EHX Little Big Muff / MXR Dyna Comp / ARTcessories CoolSWITCH AB/Y / BOSS TU-2

Was there a specific pedal (or two) that kind of changed your life? Big Muff. It was one of my earlier pedals. I rarely use it anymore, but I was truly impressed by all the noise I could make with it.

Photo: Chris Sikich

Aye Nako Noise Rock Indie Rock Slacker Rock

Punks have always been the misfits and outcasts of society screaming for change, so it’s no surprise that some of the best punk bands are writing about gender, race, and sexual identity. Brooklyn’s Aye Nako tackles these issues through a pop-punk lens - utilizing subtle, catchy punk songs to address deeply personal and important themes. Tell us about your first time with… a guitar pedal. How old were you and what did you stomp on? I had been playing acoustic guitar or using in-amp distortion when I switched to electric, for the longest time. I didn’t touch a pedal until I was around 21 when I bought a BOSS DS-1 Distortion.

What do you have on your board these days? MXR Carbon Copy Analog Delay: I like a touch of delay on some parts of [bandmate] Jade’s songs. DigiTech Obscura Altered Delay: Extra chaos/noise, swelling and feathered loops between songs. BOSS Super Chorus: Cobain emulation. Fulltone GT-500: I like how it has distortion and drive in one so I can get a little boost on parts I want emphasized or have a little bit more thickness when I’m playing clean-ish. Sometimes this pedal has me tap dancing, but I’m ok with that. Electro-Harmonix Little Big Muff: These days, I use it for one song and for noisy flair here and there. MXR Dyna Comp: I don’t totally understand compression. But I like it. Pedal stays on most of the time. ARTcessories CoolSWITCH AB/Y: I use two different guitars plugged into one amp on stage. One is tuned to drop C# and the other in standard E. I mostly bought this particular one because Jade has it too. What other like-minded local acts do you guys like to play with these days? Sammus, Vagabon, Moor Mother and other bands/musicians with queers and people of color. the deli Winter 2018


bands + Gear

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Stone Giant

times I add the phaser and wah-wah pedal. Lately, I just crank the Orange Rockerverb distortion and mix it with the Octafuzz pedal and that’s pretty much what you hear on the album and live.

Brooklyn-based rockers Stone Giant make you question what decade you’re in. With their late ’60s/early ’70s swagger, hippie hair, and Sebastian Hernandez’s crunch-tastic vocals, you’d think Led Zeppelin and Soundgarden finally had a baby.

Is there a person outside the band that’s been important in perfecting your guitar sound? Sebastian: Dalmiro Lacaze is our production manager and my guitar tech and always present during our big shows at Festivals. He has changed my perception of a good guitar pedalboard and always challenges me to keep evolving my sound. 2018 will definitely be a year of exploring more pedals under his influence.

Alt Rock Psych Rock

Tell us about your first time with… a guitar pedal. How old were you and what did you stomp on? Joao (Keyboard): My first experience was at the age of 16, with a custom-made tube overdrive made in Brazil that I borrowed from a guitarist friend in my hometown. I used it first with a B3 sound and then I blended it into synth leads to see what happened. Sebastian (Guitar): My first experience was at the age of 17 when I began crafting more my rock and blues and came across the classic Jimi Hendrix Dunlop Wah Wah pedal. Anyone starting their blues and rock playing should definitely take some time and play around with this pedal. What do you have on your board these days? Joao: A Carbon Copy delay pedal for my Nord. A Dunlop Fuzzface and a Minifooger delay for my Moog. I use different settings of delay with electric piano and Farfisa sounds. I use the drive on the Minifooger to balance a little of the fuzz and I combine that with amp distortion (usually Rockerverb or OR-120 if I can get around those) to create a synth, “sabbath-y” sound. Sebastian: My pedalboard is very simple. I have a basic guitar tuner pedal and booster for my solos. Octafuzz pedal and some18

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Joao’s Gear: Nord Electro 3 / Orange Rockerverb / MXR Carbon Copy / Dunlop Fuzz Face Mini / Moog Minifooger

“Sonically stellar performance” — Kevin Becka, Mix



Until now, making music on headphones meant living with flat, uninspiring sound in the name of accuracy. Blue’s visionary headphone design changes all that. The combination of radical ergonomics and big custom 50mm drivers delivers sound that’s both accurate AND inspiring—making your music feel dimensional, not flat. That’s inspiring.

bands + Gear

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TC Electronic Hall of Fame / Tech 21 Boost RVB / MXR Carbon Copy / Ibanez CS9 / Ross Phaser / RAT Replica / KORG Pitchblack Tuner

we were working on this record because it boosts the treble in my single coil pickups and makes great feedback but I don’t think any of that made the record.

The Echo Friendly Indie Rock

The Echo Friendly just dropped their long-awaited sophomore LP, called Surveying The Damage, a departure in style and substance from their first album, Love Panic. Were there some gear changes you made on the latest album? Shannon found a really cool ’72 SG Deluxe that complimented my ’60s Tele tone really well. She is playing through this mid-’60s guild Thunder amp with built-in tremolo. I turned down my reverb pedal and replaced my Zvex Mastatron fuzz pedal with two original ProCo Rat Pedal clones. That accounts for some of the directness of the tone. Tell us about your first time with… a guitar pedal. How old were you and what did you stomp on? I got a Wah for my 14th birthday, I think. I was really into Hendrix and Funkadelic and stuff like that at the time. I actually used one for a little while 20

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What do you have on your board these days? My Tech 21 Boost RVB is my main, go-to reverb. The Tech 21 is an analog lo-fi verb and it boosts the signal and makes the amp break up nicely. I use a mid-’80s Ibanez chorus pedal as well, which combined with the Boost RVB is the basic “Love Panic” tone and I use that combo on “Stronger” and “Coco 66.” I use the two Rats for moderate and super high gain distortion when we play live, but on the record, I just cranked my amp for most of the distortion tones. I have an MXR Carbon Copy I use for slapback delay on a couple of songs. I’m steady jonesing for new effects, but if I add something I try to take something off so shit doesn’t get out of hand. Shannon uses a TC Electronic Hall of Fame reverb on the “mod” setting which almost sounds like a vintage electric piano when it has tremolo on it. For distortion, she uses an Electro-Harmonix Hot Tubes. Jake Vest uses a Tech 21 Sans Amp pedal on his bass and a BOSS Delay to create feedback loops on songs like “Ridgewood,” which he co-wrote with Shannon.

Jessica’s Gear: ’63 Fender Jazzmaster / ’94 Vox AC15 / BOSS GE-7 / EHX Cathedral / Death By Audio Interstellar Overdriver / T-Rex Fuel Tank / BOSS TU-2

High Waisted Garage Surf Revival Rock

The Brooklyn-based quartet High Waisted is a fierce garage pop band that dwells in sunshine surf vibes. Though they draw from the sound of the mid-’60s, the four musicians are fearless in their determination to put their own quirky spin on each one of their tunes. What records, people, things and/or events inspired your debut album, On Ludlow? NYC was my biggest influence. She’s the lover I can’t seem to quit. She only misses me when I’m gone, and when I come home, she’s cruel as hell, pushing me out the door. On Ludlow is about late nights in NYC and the friendships you have the pleasure of keeping along the way. In your experience, is inspiration some kind of random blessing, or is it possible to set it in motion? I want to either write something worth listening to or live a life worth writing about. It’s a balance of both. Inspiration isn’t a

blessing, it’s everywhere. Being uninspired is lazy. Everything you want is there waiting for you, not the other way around. The harder I work the more abundant my inspiration and drive to create grows. The guitar tones on the record are extremely varied, guitarists, please tell us what was on your board during the recordings and why. So. Much. Reverb. We used two different reverb tanks, a Fender and a Vintage Premiere. I also rocked a Cathedral and a Holy Grail. For distortion, I had a vintage Rat on my board and we used vintage amps like the Fender Champ with a clean tone, capturing the grit of cranking it to 9. We were also very lucky to use the natural room sound of an old church. And lastly, we recorded to tape—it was like a secret weapon to perfecting our warm, wave-crashed daydream tone. How about your guitar/amp combo, what led you to that match? Love at first sight. I wish it was a grand plan or a conscious effort to perfect tone, but my favorite gear were hand-me-downs or lucky finds. The instrument you have is the one you have and I have perfected my sound using a 1963 Fender Jazzmaster with a ’94 Vox AC15. the deli Winter 2018


bands + Gear

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Gray’s Pedalboard: BYOC Compressor / Keeley Dyno My Roto / Line 6 DL4 / Hologram Dream Sequence / Mad Professor Snow White / ZVEX Box of Rock

Space Captain Avant Soul Jazz Ambient

With a sound ranging from psych to hip-hop to electronica, Space Captain stands their own ground, creating seductively complex tunes that constantly keep you guessing. Many tracks in your 2017 LP All Flowers in Time feature a sound that’s a lot more produced, with both synths and effected guitars. How did this evolution materialize? Alex: Our guitarist Mike was one of the first guitarists I heard that was affecting his guitar in ways beyond the typical guitar fx and being around him was definitely inspirational. It was also our first time in a dedicated studio space which fortunately had a few keyboards, [including] a Juno 106, Moog Little Phatty, a Crumar Analog Strings, some organs, and a piano. In the past, we were only using a Fender Rhodes in my apartment, so having access to these definitely helped us stretch out sonically. What stompboxes are you currently using? Gray: Box of Rock: Distortion/Boost. 22

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Mad Professor Snow White AutoWah: I use the AutoWah mainly for the main riff in “Sycamore.” Line 6 DL4: I use this live for all of my delays. Hologram Dream Sequence: This is a newer pedal that is essentially a programmable octave shifter. We didn’t have it when we were making “All Flowers in Time,” but I think it will see a lot of use in the next project we put together. Keeley Dyno My Roto: In the studio we had this huge chorus/ phaser/wah pedal that would have taken up this entire pedalboard. I don’t know anything about the make/model it was, but this chorus pedal can do the job of getting some of those sounds live. BYOC Compressor: A compressor I built from a kit that I bought. In addition to the pedals that guitarist Gray and Mike use we also had a Roland Space Echo, Danelectro Backtalk, old EHX Memory Man, and a mystery tremolo in the mix on a lot of songs. When we recorded [“Sycamore”] we had an EHX Q-Tron that belonged to somebody else in the studio we were sharing. A lot of the effects we used on the record were from the back shelves of our shared studio space. We got to play with an awesome collection of vintage stompboxes, most of which were much more expensive than what is on this pedalboard.

bands + Gear

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[Top] Dan’s Pedalboard: EHX Holy Grail Nano / EHX #1 Echo / Xotic EP Booster / Wampler Euphoria / BOSS TU-2 [Bottom] Alex’s Pedalboard: EHX Micro POG / DeltaLab DD1 / EHX East River Drive / BOSS OS-2 / BOSS TU-2

QTY Indie Rock

NYC-based, QTY plays music reminiscent of classics like Bob Dylan and Lou Reed, but with a sonic attitude closer to the Jesus and Mary Chain. The duo, composed of Alex and Dan, deliver plenty of rock’n’roll grit, strong songwriting, and a satisfyingly bright distorted guitar sound. What feelings, events, people and/or records worked as a source of inspiration for your latest release? Dan: Alex is my biggest source of inspiration. Alex: The biggest sources of inspiration for our debut album aka our latest release are Drag City (specifically Royal Trux and David Berman but also everything that they put out), being in New York City, and my best friend Dan. Was there a band you listened to when you were younger that made you become curious about guitar effects? Dan: Spiritualized was probably the artist who’s effects I paid 24

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most attention to. Bowie’s 12 string also really intrigued me, but that’s not exactly an effect. Alex: The first time I got really interested in guitar effects and the way a guitar sounds was when I started listening to Beach House. The guitarist Alex Scally has such an amazing tone and sound-he’s really got the perfect lush sound. I also love the band Spiritualized and all of the spaced-out effects that they use. What do you have on your board these days? Please explain how you use each pedal. Dan: My pedal board was stolen in San Diego but through some miracles and the kindness of strangers, I’ve got a Holy Grail reverb, Xotic EP boost, Wampler Euphoria distortion, #1 echo delay, and a BOSS tuner. Alex: On my pedal board I have a Mini Pog that my girlfriend got me for my birthday a few years ago, a Chicklet reverb pedal, a delay pedal, an Electro-Harmonix East River overdrive, a BOSS tremolo, and a BOSS overdrive. I like to keep my pedalboard pretty simple so sometimes my pedal board will only consist of about 4-5 pedals depending on what I feel like using.

[Top] Kim’s Pedals: MXR Uni-Vibe / Fulltone OCD / KORG Pitchblack Tuner [Bottom] Tarra’s Pedalboard: Death By Audio Fuzz War / DBA Interstellar Overdriver / DBA Echo Dream / EHX Holy Grail Nano / Seymour Duncan Shape Shifter / BOSS TU-2

Kino Kimino Post Punk Noise Rock

Brooklyn darlings Kino Kimino serve up gutsy, garage-y pop with a serious side of postpunk. The brainchild of Kim Talon, the band features deadpan vocals, gritty guitars, and ’90s-cool-kid vibes.

What do you have on your board these days? Kim: These days I’m whittled down to an MXR Uni-Vibe, a Fulltone OCD pedal, and the KORG chromatic tuner. I wouldn’t feel right playing without my OCD pedal, it’s just the way I like distortion to sound. Tarra: I use three Death By Audio pedals – the Fuzz War, Interstellar Overdriver, and the Echo Dream. My default tone is generally the overdrive pedal with my Holy Grail reverb and I use the Fuzz War for different lead lines, solos, etc. I use the Echo Dream during different dissonant/noise sections with the Modulator knob that makes everything sound all wonky. I also have a Seymour Duncan Shape Shifter tremolo pedal that I also use during noises parts.

Gingerlys Shoegazer Dream Pop

Describing themselves as “pure ear candy,” Gingerlys provide catchy and hazy dream pop tunes. The female-fronted, five-piece indie pop band began when guitarist Matt Richards started sharing acoustic demos of his pop songs with his fellow bandmates in his Valley Stream, New York basement. What do you have on your board these days? Right now, I have a tuner pedal, BOSS DD-3, BOSS CE-5 Chorus, EarthQuaker Tone Job, EarthQuaker Ghost Echo and an EarthQuaker Talons overdrive. The chorus is on constantly to give a more sea-like dream feeling to my guitar. The Ghost Echo gives me a nice little push to add some body to my whole sound. And the Talons gives me the crunch for that pixies-esque loud/quiet/loud aesthetic in the more loud parts of the songs.

Matt’s Pedalboard: EarthQuaker Devices Tone Job / BOSS DD-3 / BOSS CE-5 / EarthQuaker Devices Ghost Echo / EarthQuaker Devices Talons

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laying in a rock band may seem like a dream job, but the reality is that making music and becoming a successful musician - especially as an indie artist - can be as exhausting as it is rewarding. With so much time committed to grinding through self-promotion and the nitty-gritty technical responsibilities that come with recording, marketing, and performing your music, it’s tough enough to remain true to your creative vision without becoming dragged down and uninspired. The unglamorous reality is that taking your band to the “next level” is a part-time job within itself that few people really have the patience and motivation for. This is part of what makes Oliver Ackermann’s career so surprising. Not only has he achieved prominence with his noise rock band, he’s also managed to build a music industry empire in his spare time. Oliver is the owner and main circuit designer of Death By Audio, a pedal manufacturing company that, after launching in 2002 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, recently relocated to Ridgewood, Queens. DBA specializes in creating pedals that have are deliciously fuzz-heavy but have a foot firmly planted in shoegaze. With a line of stompboxes aimed at encouraging savage noise urges and insane bursts of manic creativity, Ackermann’s band, A Place to Bury Strangers, is poised as the ideal sonic display for these devices: offering loud, heavily affected and explosively droney tracks

rooted in the sound of the city’s experimental tradition of legendary noise-rock. For more than ten years, the company and the band resided on South 2nd between Wythe and Kent Ave., and (for curious scenesters) the now-defunct venue by the same name that lived on that street was also part Oliver’s mini-empire. Though the venue was eventually given the boot alongside Glasslands and 285 Kent when the eternally controversial Vice Media moved into town, DBA was an important part of a block that had made the history of the DIY Brooklyn scene. That very “do-it-yourself” ethos was a crucial element in Oliver’s NYC adventure. Ackermann taught himself everything he knows about pedals and rock ‘n’ roll. The fact that, after 15 years, he’s still at it, with a new APTBS album coming out in the spring and new DBA pedals being unveiled at the Jan 2018 NAMM show, showcases that even in the face of a wildly changing scene, the indie spirit is alive and well in NYC. What was born first, the pedal or the noise rock band? I got into crazy noise and effects because I always thought I got into the game late with playing instruments. I wasn’t really any good and when I was 15 or 16, I really fell hard for all of this music that was psychedelic-ized by messing with the sound. It wasn’t until I remember plugging into this Gorilla-brand amp my brother had in his room and cranking it up all the way that I realized the beauty of these messed up sounds and the funny thing was, it was doing all the work! It would sputter and squeal and fart and I was in love. The new record Pinned sounds a lot more playful and less driven than

past releases. Was this a natural evolution or a rational choice? I think it’s both. We always completely reinvent ourselves with every new album cycle and this new direction is the next progression for what makes sense. Because of the political climate, it seems more and more important to be as open as possible and focus on enjoying what you can when you can. There are those moments on this record for sure. Since moving from Brooklyn to Queens you’ve built a recording studio within Death by Audio’s facility. How much of the record was recorded there? Not that much honestly. We were doing construction for almost the entire record. All of the vocal overdubs were recorded in a mess of ladders, drywall dust, and “gooch” (our name for green glue). Its sticky and nasty and we were whooped, but when you feel passionate about something you do you are always motivated. What is it about death and destruction that you find so intriguing? I think it is the ultimate fear and the ultimate absolution. It is something that I don’t know if I will ever get over. As much as one can think about being one with the universe, or even passing on your spirit to other people or children, it is one thing that I don’t know if anyone will ever feel the way I the end of that is puzzling. Destroying something is very interesting as well. The world is a fragile place in the present and yet so infinitesimally small so it’s hard to say if anything is worth anything. I think a lot of the best things come from something being destroyed and reborn into something new. That is a way that I approach making music, and the way I feel like the the deli Winter 2018


, ... And if you don’ t like to compromise your art, the outcome ,,is going to be fantastic.

,, best effects are created. Take what you were originally going for and destroy it and keep on not being afraid to destroy it to finally come out with something you are more and more happy with. I think this is what makes progression. Although it is easy to get protective of something that seems perfect or reflects a time in the past, I believe that what is going on here in the present is better than looking back on what had been done in the past. Enjoy now. How did this fascination with noise and death start? I used to spend a lot of time listening to music by myself and it was my escape from the outside world. Noise and the blurring of sounds is the perfect way to connect with everyone because it makes the experience personal. The music requires the listener to fill in the 28

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rest of the puzzle to determine what the sounds even are. That is why I always loved bands like My Bloody Valentine because you kind of can’t tell whether something is a guitar or a saxophone or people making love or a train derailing or a fire burning or the world ending, but it ends up being what you want it to be at the time that you need it the most. It isn’t the type of music for everyone to experience at a party, but it’s music for personal perception. And in this personal perception, you have a friend. And one you can contemplate death with. What are the artists that defined your musical DNA? As my parents were into a lot of music from the ’50s and ’60s and would often play the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Coltrane, Classical and such. My brother got me into punk music like

the Ramones, Dead Kennedys, Minor Threat, and Suicidal Tendencies. In high school, I got into a more processed sound with bands like New Order, Ministry, and the Cocteau Twins. Then in college I got into more experimental music with bands like Lightning Bolt, Landed, and Arab on Radar. And then with the Death By Audio venue, I was exposed to thousands more bands and artists like Yonatan Gat, Yvette, Natural Child, the Numerators, Hunters, Growing, Thee Oh Sees, Necking, Vaz, Dan Friel, Child Abuse, Liquor Store, Pampers, Ed Schrader’s Music Beat, Chat Logs, Buck Gooter, Protomartyr, Reading Rainbow, Coasting, PC Worship, Guardian Alien, The Dreebs, Pujol and many more. What are the circuits that defined your engineering DNA? There were a few that I looked to in

WARP TIME The Tensor -

with live reverse, tape stop effects,pitch shifting, time stretching, and hold functions you can combine in creative ways. Slow down, speed up and rewind in real time. Stretch or compress time with no pitch change. Loop, overdub and slice phrases up to 4.8 seconds. Latching and momentary modes to inject pitch jumps, glitches or reverse solos. Intelligent randomization, USB MIDI, and expression pedal input to explore new sound.

Pedal Shopping Guides Hey gearheads! The next time you are looking to buy a specific pedal, rather than browsing through hundreds of sites, try Delicious Audio’s uber-comprehensive online interactive lists! They provide an organized list of most of the pedals on the market in that specific category, with prices, embedded videos, and brief description about the features of each stompbox. Here are the most popular, you can easily find them on top of Google Searches (results starting with

Best “Klones” and Klon-Inspired Stompboxes Google “Best Klon Pedals” to find the article by Brandon Stoner Perhaps the most legendary (and expensive…) guitar pedal of all times, the Klon Centaur was one of the first boutique stompboxes, and proved that an overdrive could be much more than just distortion. Created by Bostonian Bill Finnegan in 1994, the pedal and its innovative circuit (which uses an IC MAX1044 voltage converter and two germanium diodes) changed how overdrives interact with a player’s rig, and how they are perceived overall. A quick online search for an original unit today gives us prices ranging from $2,000 to $3k+! No wonder many manufacturers have been trying to recreate that sound at a lower cost! If you are in the market for a Klon or a faithful recreation, this is your definitive guide.

Best Uni-Vibe Clones and Vibe-Inspired Stompboxes Sometimes life sends people and things on unexpected trajectories. The intriguingly named “Uni-Vibe” effect has a story to tell in this regard. The Uni-Vibe is a phase-based modulation effect similar to a chorus, but whose undulating and watery oscillations are obtained through different means. Originally manufactured as a stand-alone effect (i.e. no foot switch) by legendary Japanese manufacturer Shin-ei, the Uni-Vibe was conceived in the ’60s as a portable Leslie speaker emulator (i.e. a small, “pluggable” version of that giant). Not a terrible idea if you ask us however, the product bombed rather badly among keyboard players. The product might have faded into obscurity...had it not been picked up by two prominent musicians at the end of the decade: Jimi Hendrix and David Gilmour. The pedal made it to a few immortal records (notably, you can hear it in Jimi Hendrix’s “Machine Gun” and in the arpeggio-ed guitar in Pink Floyd’s “Breathe“), and from there the rest is history. 32

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Google “Best Uni-Vibe Pedals”

Best Plexi-Style Stompboxes Under $300 Google “Best Plexi Pedals” to find the article by Matthew Wang (Almost) everyone familiar with the electric guitar loves the sound of a cranked Marshall Plexi. From Eric Clapton and Angus Young, to Eddie Van Halen and Randy Rhoads, Plexis have been used by many guitar players over the years and have defined the sound of iconic rock albums. If you are on the market for that sound, but in the more portable stompbox format, this is your ultimate guide to get the pedal that’s just right for you. We’ll take a look at the best 29 guitar effects on the market that give you the Plexi sound at a fraction of the price (and at more manageable volumes).

Best Binson Echorec-Inspired Stompboxes Google “Best Binson Echorec Pedals” to find the article by Paolo De Gregorio When it was released in the ’50s, the Binson Echorec was a game changer in the still young, tape-dominated world of echo effects. Thanks to its innovative design featuring multiple reading heads, it introduced the concept of “multi-tap” delay – something tape can’t do – and modulated repeats. The 2nd version also introduced the concept of a Multi-Mode effect thanks to the “Selector” knob, which delivered three different effects: Echo (slap back delay), Repeat (regular delay mode) and Swell (delays with overlaps). In the late 1960s and early 1970s, many players and bands, like The Shadows, Pink Floyd, and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, used it to obtain that signature, astral sound. Obviously, the 60s-era Binson Echorec is now an old, big and noisy machine. It has a maximum delay time about 300-330ms and maintenance can be difficult due to hardto-find replacement parts and spares. A bunch of daring pedal manufacturers have attempted to encapsulate this effect’s sound in a compact stompbox enclosure - find the interactive list in the online article.

Best Mini Delay & Echo Stompboxes

Google “Best Mini Delay Pedals”

So the budget is tight, the space on your board is little, and you desperately need a simple delay pedal that does the job without getting into too many complications. This is an interactive page that sums up all the options you have, here’s how it’s organized:

Most Popular Mini-Delays Mini Pedals with Multiple Delay & Echo Type Options Mini-Delays with only knobs (or no knobs) Unusual Mini-Delay Pedals Mini Delays Between $60 and $90 Mini Delays Under $60

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Best of 2017! Last Year’s Most Popular Articles from Our Pedal Blog/Aggregator



Routing Secrets: How to Use Amp Distortion with Pedal Effects

For the beginner rock guitarist, a distortion pedal is, in most cases, the third item on the gear-related shopping list. But, considering the wide choice of stompboxes out there, definitely a purchase requiring a fair amount of thought.

Those who like the distortion of their amp but still use stompboxes for delay and modulation effects, should be aware of how to connect the various pieces together – the order greatly influences the results! One thing you should be familiar with is your amplifier’s effect loop, i.e. the send and return output/input that allows you to


Image courtesy of Strymon.

put the amp “inside” the effect chain, rather than at the end of it. The videos in this article will walk you through the rule of thumbs to pull this kind of routing.

Try an EQ Pedal Before Your Overdrive/Distortion Pedal geeks on a constant quest to conquer their dream distortion try (and buy) pedal after pedal in search of “the sound in their heads.” EQ pedals might sound like a boring option in the pool of exciting devices available out there, but they are actually a powerful tool in widening your pedalboard’s palette or bringing out new subtleties out of your old effects.This article (via Brian Wampler’s video) demonstrates how some popular BOSS gain pedals can be finetuned with the help of a simple graphic EQ stompbox. Needless to say, EQ pedals with more bands or more surgical parametric options open up even more possibilities.


Best Selling Overdrive Pedals of 2017

Those wondering why there are so many emulations of the Ibanez Tube Screamer should find a final explanation in this chart of the best selling overdrive pedals of 2017: 35 years after its launch, the green stompbox is still the best selling guitar overdrive on the market. As expected, other classics like the Fulltone ODC and the MXR EVH, also made it into the top ten, together with great sounding affordable stompboxes like the TC MojoMojo and the BOSS Blues Driver and Super Overdrive. Less expected is the presence of boutique pedals like the Wampler Tumnus – a Klon mini-replica – and the two Friedman overdrives, the Dirty Shirley and the BE OD. 34

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Overdrive, Fuzz, Distortion, What’s the Difference?

This article’s goal is to help the gear novices among you choose your first distortion pedal, highlighting the differences between the three effects in the gain realm, and pointing to a few popular and affordable models. Overdrive, Distortion, and Fuzz have some differences that might appear subtle at first. The main question you need to ask yourself at this point is: “How heavy do I want my distorted tone to sound?” and “should my distortion retain my guitar’s tone, or create something completely its own?.”

THE KILT V2 • Inspired by The Expandora Dirt Box • Now in a Smaller Compact Format • G1 & G2 Toggle: 4 Unique Gain/Crunch/Fuzz Options

SPRING TANK • Lush Amp-like Spring Reverb • Highs, Length, Depth Controls • Boost Control: Compensate for Perceived Volume Loss • Tank 1 & Tank 2: Two Footswitchable Reverb Mixes

• Cut/Flat Toggle: Cuts Lows or Keeps Them Beefy

• Soft Touch Switching

• Red Remote Capability Attached to G2!

• FX Loop insert, to apply any effect onto the reverb as it decays.

USA Street - $199

USA Street - $179

Best of 2017!


RAT in a Jack

Surprisingly, the most mind-blowing thing we saw at Summer NAMM 2017 was a guitar jack by ProCo. Why? Well, this jack actually houses the distortion circuit of a RAT pedal! The RAT doesn’t have a complicated circuit, but stuffing it in such a tiny enclosure is no easy feat. Of course, the device will not work exactly like a regular RAT, although it promises to sound the same. In an era when everybody is concerned with saving board space and traveling light, the RAT folks have


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True Bypass or Buffer: Which Do You Need?

If you use several pedals in your signal chain, you’ve probably found that your guitar can sound muddy and lifeless. Guitarists refer to this as “tone suck,” the result of your signal passing through numerous circuits and cables as it makes its way to your amplifier.

come up with a guitar effect that takes zero space on your board and weighs hardly anything.

For years, guitarists have turned to true-bypass effect pedals to help them combat the problem. So true bypass solves the problem of tone suck, right? Wrong. It can help, but guitar pedals are only part of your signal chain.

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