A long time ago, in a galaxy far away... called the mid 90’s... there was one effect unit that every teenage kid in a Metallica/ Korn/Tool t-shirt that was plucky enough to pick up a guitar more than twice was absolutely POSITIVE would make them sound just like their heroes! That generation’s Holy Grail was the now infamous and much maligned Boss ME-50 and, as much as those big blue bastards have come to furrow the brows of Dumble worshiping purists everywhere, there is absolutely no doubting the influence they continue to have to this day. It is owing to that ancestry we bear witness to ISP Technologies’ Theta Pro DSP.
ISP has primarily made their name in the noise-gate game with the much relied upon Decimator, without which the Djentle art of metal-core would be eons behind where it is today. Another jewel in their crown is their Theta preamp pedal and it is this particular stomper that forms the bedrock of the tonal landscape encased in the Ferrari red chassis of the Theta Pro DSP. The MO is much less ‘modelling amp’ than perhaps I’ve indicated, less about gimmicky replication as it is torch-lighting endless sonic possibilities. Each and every patch herein has the same set of flexible parameters that reach far beyond the usual bass, mid and treble. You have full command of a healthy compressor, parametric EQ and sag control as well as patented TRUESPEAKER cabinet and mic simulation. Essentially you have DAW style control over various notched and kneed frequency sets, with rollers and pots in place of complicated plugins.
On top of all that you have some pretty classic phaser, flanger, chorus, tremolo, digital delay and reverb sounds along the second row of switches. There are expression pedal outs, input and output volume controls, MIDI ports, a headphone jack with dedicated volume and just about every other option under the sun. The engineers have literally exhausted the list of potential audience demands in an attempt to create the one stop shop for a very particular type of player. That then begs the question: who is that player?
There are clues in the library of affectionately named factory presets that await you upon ring up the big red machine. Patches like ‘Gilmore’, ‘Cooder’ and ‘Creedence’ aim squarely at your classic rock swagger-phile while at the other end of the spectrum you have titles like ‘Extreme Gain 85’ and ‘Enough Already’ that point to... well any number of directions really. There is just about every colour of the rainbow at the turn of a dial, all anchored to the pivot point of the original Theta’s crisp, sizzling tonal fingerprint.
In the Theta Pro DSP, ISP Technologies have gone a long way to providing the ultra modern player an unrelenting smorgasbord of tones. Tempting though it may be to designate a unit like this as the bastion of one particular club, every effort has been made to create a workstation that could, popular snobbery not withstanding, be everything to everyone.
For more details, head to innovativemusic.com.au.
Hits and Misses
Offers amazing control over parametes
Very genre focused