Reviewed: Ernie Ball Expression Tremolo Pedal
Here’s to the unsung hero of the effects world. If distortion is the squawking, loud-mouthed first born and reverb the sullen middle child, then surely the undulating subtlety of tremolo is the oft overlooked youngest who, while not wanting to make too much of a fuss about itself, rounds out the family in a way that would be sorely missed in its absence. When Link Wray let the tubes of his hotter than hell Fender amp shudder on his trailblazing track ‘Rumble’, he allowed it to come into its own as a sought after texture for tone tourists the world over. Since then, tremolo has taken on many shapes and forms and has spawned any number of equally fascinating time-based modulations in its wake. However, the fact remains that no bag of tricks is complete without that glistening, steady warble. Enter the next logical amendment to the gold standard, Ernie Ball’s Expression Tremolo.
Reviewed: T-Rex Effects Replicator Tape Echo
For many players, the idea of playing through a genuine tape echo device sits high upon their gear bucket list. But with lofty dreams often comes a prohibitive reality. In other words, even if you're going to get your mitts on an original Echoplex or Space Echo, the price tag is going to set you back more than a few pretty pennies. And even then, expect to shell out some hefty upkeep and restoration fees to keep it in tip top order. Enter: the T-Rex Replicator Analogue Tape Echo, bringing a genuine tape echo experience to the masses with a contemporary edge for the modern gigging musician.
Reviewed: TC Electronic Ditto Jam X2 Looper
Following on from the success of the original Ditto Looper, TC Electronic has expanded the line with an X4 model and a number of X2 versions, with the Ditto X2 Jam arriving as the latest of the lot. Offering streamlined looping control, the Jam has a live use focus, and not just for solo work. The live looper idea has been incorporated by many players into more involved setups and lineups, but often the drawback is the inability to lock in with a full band for groove based sounds. Ambient textures and random lines and effects are great, but it’s still pretty hard to record a riff or chord progression with a rhythm section. Even small fluctuations in tempo can put everything out as of course the looper isn’t going to change tempo with you – until now.
Reviewed: Positive Grid BIAS Distortion Pro Pedal
Starting with software-based apps, Positive Grid has gone onto now producing amplifiers (both heads and rack mounted), pedals and software with a serious knack for innovation and expanding their tech work. Whilst their modeling and virtual rigs have gained huge momentum, their slightly more traditional pedals have proven popular to boot. Looking reasonably traditional at first glance, I’m sure the Distortion Pro pedal has a little something extra in store. Let’s take a look.
Reviewed: TC Electronic Gauss Tape Echo
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If this is so then the air above the battle field of pedal manufacturing must whistle with compliments flung ad nauseam between gangs of soldering iron wielding engineers, each with eyes on beating the next to the hearts, wallets and ultimately pedalboards of riff warriors everywhere.