Today, I came across the BigShot MIX by Radial Engineering. I remember seeing this on at least one board for Pedal Line Friday in the past. It’s a smart buffered loop pedal. Basically, you send a signal to the effects chain and have a return from it, but what separates it from standard loop pedals is that there is a ‘mix’ control where you can blend the effected signal with your straight signal. This can help with pedal noise and the preservation of your original signal/tone.
Here is the official description:
At last, a device that allows you to mix the direct sound of an instrument with effects the same way that a professional mixing console lets you add reverb to a dry vocal. The BigShot MIX is designed for the more demanding guitar or bass player that wants to introduce cool effects pedals to the signal path without the noise and artifacts usually caused by their ‘less than ideal’ circuitry and cheap buffers.
The Radial MIX pedal begins with 100% discreet, pure class-A circuitry to ensure the natural tone of the instrument is maintained. On the connector panel, a simple effects loop with send and return 1/4″ jacks make connecting easy. A recessed MIX control lets you adjust and set the exact balance between your dry sound and the effect. Best of all, the natural tone of the instrument is maintained.
Like all Radial pedals, the MIX is made road tough with 14 gauge steel construction, double-sided PC board and a heavy duty footswitch.
BigShot MIX Development
Necessity is and always will be the mother of invention! It’s actually quite funny and really frustrating… Guitarists listen to the tone of their guitars, and then connect through a pedal only to immediately notice that the tone has changed. It turns out that the offending pedal is in fact inadequately buffered and therefore quickly discarded. So the search begins to find a substitute. After a futile attempt, the guitarist goes back to the cemetery and digs out that old pedal, forcing himself to use it… even though it compromises his tone.
Because of this story and countless similar ones, all buffers get a bad rap and all true-bypass pedals tend to shine even though the vast majority are so poorly designed that they cause tremendous BANGS each and every time they are engaged.
Truth is — like everything — there are good widgets and many more less than good ones. So what has this got to do with the BigShot MIX?
The BigShot MIX actually solves the problem by allowing you to send your direct signal to your amp and mix in the desired amount of effect from your pedal. This way, the main guitar signal does not go through the pedal, only through the BigShot MIX. But here’s the kicker: The only way you can take two signals and mix them together is by creating a mixer and a mixer is in fact, made up of buffers. And Radial makes great sounding buffers!
The MIX pedal employs the same buffering circuit that is used in the Radial JD7 Injector that is used by artists as diverse as Buddy Guy, Nickelback, Tool and Billy Idol. As a unity gain buffer, whatever signal goes in will come out at the same level.
For guitarists, less than ideal effects pedals that can completely ruin your tone can now be mixed in, while the natural tone of the guitar in all its glory connects to the amp. For bassists, the natural low end that is often ruined when pedals are introduced is now restored and the effects can be mixed in to add color without taking away the fundamental.
With the MIX in your system, noisy tone robbing pedals can now be used without loosing your natural tone.
Right out of the box, the MIX an very easy guitar pedal to use!
* Note – always turn your amp down before making connections.
Connect a standard 9-volt Boss compatible power supply to the MIX to turn it on. Connect your guitar to the MIX’s input jack and your amp input to the MIX’s output jack. Now patch in those great sounding yet highly offensive (noise wise) effects pedals into the MIX by connecting them to the MIX’s ‘SEND’ jack and back in through the MIX’s ‘RETURN’ jack.
Turn the volume on your guitar up just a little bit to test. When the MIX’s LED is off, you should hear the guitar going straight through to the amp. When the MIX’s footswitch and LED are on, the signal is now routed to the connected pedal or effects and mixed in to your dry signal by adjusting the MIX’s ‘LEVEL’ control.
As many effects devices reverse the polarity (phase) when engaged, the MIX is equipped with a 180° polarity reverse switch. This lets you mix in your dry and wet signals ‘in phase’ (so they don’t cancel each other out). To use, just flip it in and out and listen.
For best results, begin by adjusting your effects pedal for 100% wet (effect full on) and set the MIX to 12 o’clock using a guitar pick as a screw driver. Then mess around till it sounds right to your ears. What could be easier?
I found this older video by premiereguitar where they interview Radial Engineering at NAMM:
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