NAMM is an exciting time. New products. New builders. But some items really get the buzz going. This year, it seems that T-Rex Effects has something quite buzz worthy. They unveiled their T-Rex Replicator tape delay! Now if you’re not familiar with tape delays, they were the first type of delays available to studios and musicians. Echoplex, Space Echo were a couple of early tape delays from the late 50s to the early 70s.
The principle is when the source signal is recorded to actual tap and played back at a set interval. The vintage units are hard to find and are quite expensive. Fulltone offers the Tube Tape Echo now, and there has been a wave of digital tape delay emulators – Strymon El Capistan as being one of the leaders for this.
The problem with tape echos are that they can be expensive, the tape can be noisy and wear out.
But now.. T-Rex Effects will be offering a Tape Echo at a great price point this year ($799 or there abouts – close to half the cost of the Fulltone) and address some issues of the vintage machines and adding some modern improvements! First off, the tape wearing out.. they’re using US chrome tape which can hold up for a long time. They claim they have worked a trial unit for three months continually without significant signal loss. They also ensured that the tape cassette will be easy to replace. No word on availability of replacement cassettes, though.
Another interesting feature they added was an additional play head. Dual heads will provide the rockabilly slap back, and the second head can be applied on/off. Also, they added chorus functionality and the ability to overdrive/sustain the unit.
Now, what’s got people going nuts.. tap tempo! By adding a tap tempo circuit and adding a ‘stepper’ motor, they’re allowing you to control the speed with your foot! Pretty cool.
I’m a big fan of Strymon. Who isn’t…. right? For me, I only have one Strymon, and that’s the BlueSky, and it constantly blows my mind. I’ve been interested in the Strymon El Capistan dTape Echo as well. There is a lot of functionality and feature/modes with this pedal, and at first glance it’s hard to understand.
Just recently on Gear Talk, I saw a user (Coleman) post a great little explanation demo via Facebook video about the Strymon El Capistan and it was super informative. I contacted Coleman and he was kind enough to do the video again, but on YouTube (you should subscribe to his channel – To The Point Pedal Reviews).
Just like last time, they spent some time with Dan Johnson – the guitar tech of the Black Keys and he spent some time to discuss what has changed.. and what stayed the same. As usual, he went into great detail! Check out the video here:
I thought it was interesting that they were using the Fulltone Custom Shop Tube Tape Echo, but now include a Strymon El Capistan, and Dan said they switched to it as the primary tape delay. That statement right there… says a lot about the Strymon El Capistan! If you’re looking for a realistic tape delay tone, but digital – you now know what to do.
Here is a break down of all pedals mentioned in the video:
I love it when give away winners send me photos of themselves with their prizes! The Source Audio Soundblox 2 Stingray give away was a hot give away to say the least. A high end pedal like the Stingray deserves the attention it got, and I’m glad it found a happy home. I would like to again thank the nice people at Source Audio for offering it up to a lucky EffectsBay reader. Please, please, please take a moment and check out their site. They make AWESOME pedals and worth a look!
The winner, Kevin, was also kind enough to talk about the pedal, and his set up….and make a Pedal Line Friday entry!
The package came in earlier this week while I was traveling for business. I was excited to get home and try it out but that was a long couple of days. I was blown away with the various stickers, t-shirt and of course the pedal itself.
I quickly moved some pedals around on my board to make it fit into the layout. It is a really nice pedal with a load of functionality. I can’t believe how easy it is to use; i know that i will continue to learn things in the upcoming sessions as i get use to the pedal and the amazing depth of customization of tone.
I came home from work on Friday to find that my wife had it plugged into her setup. I had not had Source Audio on my radar prior to this but it is a line of products I will look more into based on the functionality and inter-connectivity. Given her use of it I may just have to buy my own.
I included a photo with me posing with the pedal and wearing the t-shirt (fits great) with my treasured 1972 Les Paul Recording.
Playing into a VOX VT20 amp with the VFSS Bank footswitch capable of using amp presets. The board is a PedalTrain 2 with VooDoo Lab power unit mounted to the underneath.
Thanks again for pedal, t-shirt and running the site. It is always great to see how and what others are using. With a million different pedals and manufacturers a good resource is a great place to start to find a new tone.
The other day I was wasting time on Facebook, and came across an interesting post on the Gear Talk group. It was a small clip of Jon Carolino performing some ambient work with a Telecaster. It reminded me of one of my favorite ambient guitar players Andy Othling, and then I started exploring a little more. First off, his board is pretty great, is perfect for what he’s trying to pull off. Second, his YouTube channel has some absolutely great stuff from technique to amazing ambient songs. Here is an example:
I reached out to Jon to see if he would be interested in answering a few questions about his set up, and he was into it. First off, let’s see this board!
Like I mentioned, I wanted to talk some pedals with Jon.. so here we go!
- What is the Disaster Area switch? Midi controller? Couldn’t find that model on their site.
The Midi controller is a Disaster Area DMC-6L. Its the early version of the ones they first made. Looking forward to upgrading some day. Matthew over at Disaster area makes some incredible equipment. This controls both of my Timelines and the Bigsky. REALLY helps for the live stuff.
- What is the pedal right of the Route 66? In other vids.. I saw a Freeze there at one point.
Right now I’m auditioning the Neunaber Slate V2 using their Hold with Reverb algorithm in place of the Freeze. Works the same as the freeze just with the stereo wet included too.
- What true bypass loop strip are you using?
Honestly I don’t know. I bought it off ebay back in like 2007 before True bypass loopers got cool I saw the Hillsong guys use them and it really made sense to start using one with so many pedals, not just for a cleaner tone but for was of use. I’m really looking forward to getting a Disaster Area DPC 5 or 8 in the future so I can have all my pedals set to be turned on or off via midi.
- I see you’re using 2 Strymon Timelines.. what’s the reasoning there?
Ah! The golden question. Cuz I can No, really though, I LOVE layering delays. Its been a favorite thing of mine for a years. So I used to have a to of other delays on my board but the Strymon Timeline IS my favorite. It can do anything so many other pedals are trying to do an more so it made sense to just get rid of all the other pedals and get another one. So now I can layer different delay tones mixing the two timelines together. The first timeline gets more of the analog and auto swell action to where the second timeline gets more of the different spacious delay tones and stuff. It really just gives me an infinite way to mix and play. I love Strymon’s stuff. So awesome.
- Were you using a BlueSky before the BigSky or did you just jump right into the BigSky?
Yup. I was using the Bluesky before. I actually sold half of my pedalboard to be able to fund buying a Strymon Timeline and Bluesky several years ago. It was SOOOO worth it. From that point I always said to myself, “If Strymon ever comes out with a multi reverb pedal like the Timeline, I’m jumping on it” and they did. So I sold my Neunaber Stereo Wet and my Bluesky to get one. Its probably my most favorite and used pedal on my board.
- Based on other shots, looks like the JHS Morning Glory and Moonshine are recent additions. What made you go in this direction?
Well for a LONG time I was using a Visual Sound Open Road. Its a FANTASTIC overdrive. But I always heard really good things about the JHS Morning Glory. So when I got a chance and the funds, I decided I was going to invest in some new drives so the Morning Glory and a Timmy were purchased. I instantly fell in love with the Morning Glory. It just had some kind of magic in there that really speaks to me. So yes, it has become my favorite drive.
So I was trying to find a nice thicker drive with a bit more gain and my friend Brian Howerin had a moonshie he let me test out one day. It sounded amazing. So I went on a quest to find one in trade of the timmy and a boost. Once I got it it was like “man this is what Ive been missing”. Its a great OD. Since I like a brighter more chimey-er clean tone, it really helps thicken up my tone when I need it.
- Do you find yourself swapping out pedals often? If so, why?
Eh…it just depends. As far as new pedals, I really try to make sure that I acquire a pedal for a purpose. I don’t want to just have a bunch of pedals just because I can. But as for swapping out pedals on my shelf, it just depends on the application. If I’m going to be playing a worship set at a church, then ill make sure to have overdrives and stuff on there. If I’m just doing an ambient solo act or something, Ill have more modulation and reverbs and delays since, as of right now, I don’t use much overdrive in those applications.
- Do you do any looping with your ambient soundscape (similar to Andy Othling), if so.. is the primary looper a Strymon Timeline?
Oh yeah! Make sure you check out my Youtube (youtube.com/nightbulb42) Andy Othling is and was a HUGE inspiration in me getting into ambient music as well as Youtubing.
As for the looper, I use a Boomerang III
- Do you play in any bands or other projects? If so, does this board seem versatile to handle those projects, or do you need to swap pedals out?
Mainly solo right now. I have been thinking about taking this full band live more as a collective rather than a set group of people. And as I said in the earlier question, I just switch out gear all according to the application.
- If you had to keep one pedal on the board.. only one.. what would it be and why?
Strymon Bigsky. I think I could still get any kind of ambient thing done with just that one pedal
You can learn more about Jon Carolino by checking out the links below:
Today’s pedal line is from Tiago Pedroso. If you have a pedal line (doesn’t have to be in a board) for your rig, please email me a photo, bio, description of pedals and routing to email@example.com. Every Friday I’ll showcase a pedal line submission. Make sure you include any links to your band or music page.
I’ve been reading your website for the last 3 to 4 months and thought I’d pitch in. I’m a webdesigner by trade and currently play guitar on an instrumental rock band in Lisbon, Portugal. Beyond the pedals pictured, my setup includes a 62 Reissue Epiphone Sorrento (Korean built hollow body guitar with USA Gibson electronics and mini-hums) and a 65 Deluxe Reverb Reissue (running clean on the vibrato channel).
Signal Path is as follows (pedals mounted on a Diago Commuter board – powered by a 9v 1Spot transformer):
TC Electronic Polytune Mini> Excellent tuner. I’ve used the Polytune 2 before but traded down for this to save on pedalboard space. The big Pulytune 2 is has a brighter display but this works well enough for me.
Wampler Black 65 > Oldest pedal on my board. I use it in boost mode, as a light OD as it gets dirty past noon. EQ is extremely powerful and makes this pedal highly versatile. The gain mode is a little boomy, but is definitely usable. I just don’t use it in a band context to avoid having to kneel in the middle of a song. Instead, I have a 2nd OD.
Barber Gain Changer > My 2nd gain stage. The Barber GC is an evolution of their LTD pedals. It has 3 voices and 2 gain stages. I use it on the ligther gain stage, maxed with the standard LTD voice. Focused, clear, american tone that cuts well into any mix.
Barber Barb EQ > I tried the Xotic RC Booster in this position before getting this Barber and, although its a good pedal, it added to much dirt. I needed a clean volume boost, not a gain boost. This does that in spades, but goes well beyond: in has a 3 way toggle for different “tone stack” sounds allowing you to turn your amp into either a 59 high power Tweed, a 60’s Blackface or a late 60’s British amp head. I use the tweed voicing as it fattens up my lead tone quite nicely. Also, the midrange knob has a push/pull switch that when “pulled up” emulates the bright input on the tweed and British setting (useful when playing darker guitars).
Earthquaker Devices Dispatch Master> Delay & Reverb in a box. I use this almost exclusively as a delay pedal but the reverb on it is excellent. It’s usually white and blue but they did a run of black and blue DMs this year. I bought it used a couple of months ago and love it, although the switch feels a little stiff (not sure if its an EQD thing or if it’s a fault on my unit).
Strymon Flint > The ultimate Tremolo & Reverb box. Seems like a simple pedal, but this thing is capable of doing so much: from traditional spring reverb to wobbly/soupy soundscapes; it’s just a beautiful piece of gear. I use a lot of reverb (to much, actually) so I’ve hooked it with a favourite switch built by Drew Swindle (http://www.swindlereffects.com/) so I can have 2 presets on tap: the favourite switch has my regular plate reverb and the right switch on the flint has an 80s long/wet/glissed setting. For spring I use my Deluxe Reverb (foot switch pictured on the left). Tremolo-wise, the flint has a pretty extreme, almost chorus-like setting dialled in. For traditional tremolo I use the DRRI’s foot switch.
Boss RC-2 Loop Station > I use it as a practice tool. A sturdy but complicated machine, it allows me to record ideas on the fly.
While searching for venues/bands for my own upcoming mini-tour of the Northwest, I stumbled across This Patch of Sky out of Eugene, OR. After a couple of listens… I really really dug ‘em. This Patch of Sky is a instrumental / post-rock band. Similar to Explosions in the Sky, who I’m also a huge fan of. After talking with them about possibly doing a show together and venues around Eugene, I asked if they would be up for a quick gear related interview. Often bands with instrumental / post-rock vibe have interesting selection of pedals.. and they do!
Here is a video with a live performance and interview. To learn more about This Patch of Sky, check ‘em out on their site, Facebook and on Twitter!
My primary goal is to be able to achieve multiple sounds as needed depending upon the song while still maintaining a great sounding tone.
- How are you using the Disaster Area DMC-3XL Gen2 MIDI Controller?
The DMC-3XL allows me to control the banks on the Bigsky and the Timeline, and allows me to use the loop feature on the Timeline while still being able to use the other effects. I’ve also been experimenting connecting the DMC to Abelton Live to send midi clock to the Timeline/Bigsky as well as send program change messages for different song presets without needing to touch either pedal. It’s seriously a very powerful tool to have on my board.
- Tell me about the Neunaber Slate Stereo Effect Pedal
I picked up the Slate to have as a second reverb option on my board. What I like about the slate is that it’s reprogrammable. You can flash the pedal to use any 5 reverb options via Neunaber’s pedal customizer software you install on your Mac or PC. The software also includes a virtual trim pot that let’s you mess around with the tone of the reverb which is pretty neat. The other reason I chose the Slate is because you can write/draw on the surface with a permanent ink marker. As you can see, this is my kid’s favorite pedal.
- I thought your choices for overdrive and fuzz were pretty interesting. What eventually led you to the Triton and Fox Pedal?
I hate fuzz. Fuzz was one of those things that always made me cringe whenever I heard one, mainly because of how muddy they get. I was looking for a pedal that could turn a fender amp into a heavy sounding amp when I needed it to. I went through quite a bit of pedals and never achieved the sound I was looking for. One of my friends let me borrow his Triton Fuzz, and after playing a few chords I was instantly hooked. I love how deep and gnarly sounding it can get. A good example of this pedal is on ‘In The House Of Wolves’ at the 6:21 mark.
The Kingdom Transparent Overdrive by Fox Pedals I recently picked up. I was playing through a surf green Timmy which I liked a lot. I wasn’t looking for a new overdrive whatsoever, but I happened to stumble across this specific pedal and loved the tone they were achieving. After picking one up I was pleasantly surprised at how versatile it was. It has characteristics of a Klon Centaur but allows for a LOT more head room. I especially love the OD and Clip switches.
- You currently have 3 delays (MXR, Diamond and Strymon) – What roles do each play in your sound?
Being in a post-rock band, I obviously have a hard on for delay and reverb. The Carbon Copy is almost always on. I use it not so much as a delay, much more of a sweeping, lush, background effect. The Diamond Memory Lane Jr. I always kick on for leads. It can add a lot nice trailing delays which I love. Mix this and the Carbon Copy together with a little bit of reverb and you’re good to go. So why do I have a Timeline? I don’t really use the Timeline as a delay pedal. With the capacity to store 200 presents, I use it more as a “random effects” pedal. I can go from awesome ambient pads to lo-fi vinyl sounds. It’s basically a synth for a guitar.
- Do you feel that this board is where you want it? Or are you still trying to achieve your sonic goal?
It’s pretty dang close. Obviously as technology continues to move forward my board changes. Right now I am definitely content with my setup.
- What would you say is the most used pedal on the board.. and why?
Oh man – that’s a hard one! It’s a toss up between the Bigsky and the Carbon Copy. On almost every song we’ve ever created, the Carbon Copy most likely has a presence in the recording. The Bigsky is newer to my board, and I just can’t turn it off. It’s such an awesome sounding pedal.
My primary goal with my board is tone. I was taught early on how important tone is and over the years have trained my ears to find the specific tone that I love.
- I was unable to identify a couple of pedals. What is the orange pedal and the white pedal?
The orange pedal is home made boost pedal. Nothing too special about it. The washed out “white pedal” is actually a surf green Timmy OD. It’s newer to my board.
- I noticed you’re using the black russian Big Muff. Why is that the Big Muff of choice?
I love the Black Russian Big muff. It has that warm dark fuzz that I like. I don’t like pedals that are thin and whiny, the black Russian gives me more of a deep sounding bass fuzz which I love.
- How many modeled pedals/presets do you use on the M9?
I actually only use about 3 or maybe 4 presets on the M9. My favorite 2 are the particle verb (pretty much never catch me without it), and the Octoverb when I want a bit of shimmer (you can hear it a lot on Heroes And Ghosts). I use the particle verb set to Hazard on ‘In The House of Wolves’ to get that dark drone where you can’t hear the attack of the guitar. It’s such a great setting for stuff like that.
– What took you to the direction on M9 vs. getting individual pedals?
I chose the M9 over actual pedals because I am always experimenting and there are so many options with the m9. And to be honest, even for it being modeled they all sound really good. Line 6 has made some big strides in modeling. Almost every time we play a show someone asks me about a certain effect I am getting and its usually M9.
- The DE7 is an interesting delay/echo. What do you like about in particular?
The DE7 has been with me since the beginning, it all started with me being a fanboy of Explosions in the sky. I read somewhere that that’s what Munaf Rayani was using so I just had to get one! Ha! I usually just use it as a secondary delay nowadays.
- What’s the next pedal that you’re interested in?
Our other guitarist Kit has a ton of Strymon gear and I gotta say I am pretty envious, but I don’t want our stuff to sound to similar, I like the way Kit and I play off of each other. I do have my eye on an old Evantide Space. The broken glitch setting seems pretty brutal.
- What would you say is the most used pedal on the board.. and why?
Definitely the M9 hands down. It’s used on every single song we do.
I wanted to be able to get a variety of timbres other than just the standard bass sound. This board allows for bass swells, huge fuzz bass, and some approaching more of a affected guitar sound which allows me to fill other roles and be more versatile in songwriting.
- I believe the Blue Boss is a BD-2 Blues Driver (Keeley mod’d). How did you end up with this on the board?
The BD-2 was originally Kit’s and he gave it to me when he picked up some other pedals.
- I see that you and Joshua both prefer the Electro-Harmonix Russian Big Muff. What about it do you like? Have you tried the Bass Big Muff?
The Big muff allows me to get that huge doom bass sound that is on And Death Shall Have No Dominion and In the House of Wolves. It’s my go to pedal on any darker song we write. I’ve actually been wanting to try out the bass version of it as I’ve heard it works better with the bass frequencies but i have this one pretty dialed in so we will see if I ever get around to it.
- Having two *dirt* pedals on your board (BD-2 and Big Muff) do you use these in combination or do they offer two differing textures of dirt (Medium grit vs Full fury)?
Most of the time I use the two fuzz pedals for different purposes. I usually use the Big Muff when I am fulfilling the typically bass role and I want it to sound burly. I use the BD-2 most often with the carbon copy and holy grail. I can tremolo and come out with a full texture approaching a guitar or heavily affected cello. The BD-2 seems to work better with the higher frequencies for that type of stuff.
- How do you use the MXR Carbon Copy with your bass? By the look of the settings it looks like pretty extreme setting.
I use the carbon copy for bass swells mostly. It works well in the laid back parts of songs and gives bass support without more rhythmic playing breaking up the flow. I also use it for tremolo work as previously stated.
- Likewise, how do you use the Holy Grail? Drone? Or specific parts of the songs?
I’ve only ever used the holy grail on a high setting with the carbon copy for tremolo work. I’m starting to play around with it more to see if I can incorporate it in other ways
- Are you interested in any any other pedals for the board? If so.. what?
I am looking to pick up a tap delay of some kind. I also really want a compressor pedal to have more control over my tone.
- What would you say is the most used pedal on the board.. and why?
This changes from album to album. Overall, it’s probably the big muff though. It’s just so fun to stomp and that thing when the song climaxes and scream away. I have also been trying to use less effects on this new album so when I do use them, they are more meaningful.
Today’s pedal line is from Jesse Davidson. If you have a pedal line (doesn’t have to be in a board) for your rig, please email me a photo, bio, description of pedals and routing to firstname.lastname@example.org. Every Friday I’ll showcase a pedal line submission. Make sure you include iany links to your band or music page.
Hey pedal line! My name is Jesse Davidson and I live in Dothan Alabama. I’ve never submitted to this before but I would love to share my rig with you! I do not have any links to music just yet but I will soon. Anyone can follow me on twitter: jesseredeemed and Instagram: JesseJaguarkick
From the bypass strip it goes BBE sonic stomp, VPjr volume, strymon timeline, eventide timefactor with t1m aux switch as my secondary delay. I also use the infinite repeats function with swells to make a really nice pad like underscore when there are no keyboard players. From there it goes into my strymon bigsky and then into a strymon bluesky. This all runs through a badcat Luca. I am powered by a fuel tank jr. And a furman power conditioner that is mounted under my Pedaltrain pro. I use lava instrument cables, George L and planet waves patch cables and Blue Herdim guitar pics. Westone triple driver in ears monitors as well.
Last week I went into detail on Georg “Goggi” Hólm and Jónsi boards of Sigur Ros. Only one more installment to go.. which is Kjartan Dagur! Kjartan has few more pedals on board than the others, but his roll in Sigur Ros is to really add the depth of the sonic landscape of the band. While Jónsi leads the way, Kjartan defines the landscape. To get you up to speed, here is Premier Guitar Rig Run down cued up:
Here is the break down of Kjartan Dagur pedalboard:
Yesterday, while on Facebook, I was introduced to the musician Petteri Sariola (aka Pete). The video was a cover of U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”. I started to watch the video with the Petteri and his acoustic, and was expecting another “looper” singer/songwriter deal. My first initial thought during the first 10 seconds.. “yeah, it’s okay”, but then I started noticing and paying attention to what was going on. He was playing percussion on the guitar, but the sound was sounding quite realistic (especially the kick drum sounds). Then I started hearing the bass lines. Then I realized.. “hey wait.. there is no looping”. I had to learn more. But first, let’s get you up to speed.
Okay, as you can see/hear, there is a lot going on here. Petteri uses a special guitar with a custom top so he can do the percussion. Also, his set up is quite interesting, with splitters taking care of specific areas of frequencies, etc.
There is a great video where Petteri goes into detail about his set up. Very interesting!