Orange OMEC Teleport USB Recording Interface Pedal
Effect: USB Interface | Distributor: Australis Music | Expect To Pay: $209
Recommended For: Any electric instrument that can be affected (hint: that’s all of them). The Orange Teleport is aimed at guitarists but just acts as a medium between instrument and plugins.
Versatility: Because this is just the unit that converts your audio input to digital audio for effecting within a DAW, plugin or other software, it makes the Teleport pedal extremely versatile. Use it to insert a favourite plugin into your pedal signal chain, or record tones to your DAW to be effected later. Practice quietly or get creative with your recording and/or re-amp chain – there’s a lot to dive into here.
Usability: The teleport is incredibly usable and also easy to set up. Musicians of any caliber, level of experience or knowledge can get this up and running easily, and it’s simple to reach beyond more conventional recording and playing signal chains.
Construction: This is a mini-pedal, so its footprint is tiny. While it is well-constructed, it’s difficult to see such a small pedal being an issue either way.
Overall: A game changer, such a simple idea it’s shocking that it hasn’t been done before in such a compact unit.
By Lewis Noke Edwards
Pedaltrain SST Tuner
Effect: Tuner | Distributor: EGM Distribution | Expect To Pay: $139
Recommended For: Anyone, everyone, and especially the pedal aficionado looking to save space on their board.
Versatility: This might possibly be the most innovative pedalboard-based tuner available. It’s incredibly slim profile allows it to fit almost anywhere and in any orientation on your board, including between regular-sized pedals. While the SST Tuner is mainly designed for use via a volume pedal’s tuner output jack, it can function in-line as any other pedal would.
Usability: This tuner boasts an always-on, always-ready design, coupled with a buffered bypass circuit. Its bright LED display ensures clarity and visibility even on the brightest of stages. Tuning is fast and deadly accurate too, with a range of +/- 1 cent.
Construction: While being extremely compact, the SSL Tuner is relatively sturdy. Its body is constructed from a durable aluminium chassis with ABS plastic ends and topped with a beautiful acrylic display. Flexible three-way connectors allow neat and invisible cable management beneath your board, allowing the SST Tuner to have an almost unnoticeable profile amongst your pedals.
Overall: The SST Tuner is designed to solve one glaring issue on every player’s board: real estate. When space eventually becomes an issue, adding this little yet powerful tool to your arsenal is an absolute no-brainer.
By Eddy Lim
Fender Downtown Express
Effect: Multi-Effects | Distributor: Fender Music Australia | RRP: $449
Recommended For: This pedal is marketed as a one-stop-shop for bass guitar, boasting Motown vibes at your fingertips, however works just as well for guitar, or any instrument the could benefit from some drive, EQ and compression.
Versatility: Can be used for a multitude of instruments, and you don’t have to use all effects all the time; if you just need EQ, use just the EQ. The EQ can be used to push frequencies harder into compressor, like a dynamic EQ, or any signal lost post compression can be tweaked back.
Usability: The pedal is incredibly usable, and can effect your bass as much or little as you like. Effect order/signal chain can also be easily toggled and worked through.
Construction: Built well, solid and well-laid out. No issues with stomping on switches and knobs are far away enough from switches to avoid changing effects accidentally.
Overall: Acts like three feature packed pedals in a tidy, easy to understand and use unit. Well laid out, inconspicuous looks and easy to understand labeling.
By Lewis Noke Edwards
Mooer Black Truck
Effect: Multi-Effects | Distributor: Jade Australia | Expect to pay: $599
Recommended For: Best suited for those playing heavier styles and utilising a compact rig, but hey, who am I to dictate?
Versatility: Mooer’s multi-effects pedals are renowned for everything they pack into their tiny enclosures, and the Black Truck surely does pull a heavy load. It includes overdrive and distortion, a noise gate, a compressor, EQ, modulation and space (delay/reverb), as well as a chromatic tuner, FX loop and looper switcher. You want options? You got ‘em – and they’re good.
Usability: The Black Truck is immediate, and that’s the way it ought to be. Multi-effects units can often be cluttered and confusing, but in use the Black Truck is easily navigable and sounds awesome, even when you’ve stacked up all the effects on top of one another. The tap-tempo function is also worth a shout here, and really lets you conquer all aspects of your rig.
Construction: Mooer are known and loved for their miniature pedals, and also it’s hard to make a pedal with six full-sized footswitches, so you’ve got to tip your hat to Mooer for making the Black Truck as portable and tactile as it is. I wasn’t a big fan of the brittle feeling knobs, but everything else is great.
Overall: Trucks are an essential part of everyday life that all of us take for granted. Make sure you don’t take the Mooer Black Truck for granted. It doesn’t deserve that.
By Will Brewster
Mooer GE300 Amp Modelling, Synth and Multi-Effects Pedal
Effect: Multi-Effects | Distributor: Jade Australia | Expect to pay: $1699
Recommended For: Those looking for a more cost-effective alternative to a Helix, Kemper or Headrush board.
Versatility: The GE300 is spilling over with sounds! It’s loaded with an arsenal of 108 classic UK and US voiced amplifiers, as well as some gnarly boutique builds, a tonne of cabinet models and impulse responses, 164 effects, a looper, a tuner and even an inbuilt multi-engine synthesiser. Yes, you read that right and yes, it sounds fat.
Usability: I find one of the things that either makes or breaks one of these boards is the user interface, and although it lacks the large touchscreen of other high-end modelling units, the Mooer GE300 is incredibly user-friendly. Building effect blocks and patches is straightforward, the select knob is simple-to-use, and the touch strip is a cool feature to speed things up incrementally.
Construction: The Mooer GE300 is a high-quality build, but its best additions come from what it offers on the back of the chassis. There’s a huge array of both TRS and XLR ins/outs to chose from, sophisticated MIDI and USB integration, an Aux and Headphone In and a jack for another expression pedal – just in case the built-in one isn’t already enough.
Overall: Floorboards aren’t for everyone, but the Mooer GE300 might keep you hooked for long enough to think about things twice. There’s an unfathomable quantity of studio quality sounds stashed inside this thing, using it is a breeze, and it’s also got a weirdly cool industrial aesthetic. Also, why don’t more pedals feature a built in synth? Take note, guys!
By Will Brewster
Mooer Tone Capture GTR
Effect: Sampler | Distributor: Jade Australia | Expect To Pay: $199
Recommended For: Those who never want to change a guitar mid-set ever again.
Versatility: It’s not all that inviting on the surface, but the Mooer Tone Capture GTR is truly a marvel, letting you sample in the tone of any guitar using Mooer’s EQ matching technology. Ever wanted the beefy sound of a SG for a single song, but don’t want to lug your Jazzmaster off your shoulder? Done. Need a jangly 12 string acoustic sound but play a seven-string Ibanez – or vice versa? Voila: the Mooer Tone Capture GTR.
Usability: Sampling sound sources with the Tone Capture GTR is easy: select one of seven tone banks, hold the footswitch, kick it on and play up and down your fretboard (scales, chords, open strings, whatever) until the LEDS flash wildly. There’s also a three-band EQ to shape these sounds further, and you can even just use this function as regular EQ if you please.
Construction: I think the Tone Capture GTR is a super cool little sampling engine, so its nice to see that technology squeezed into a stompbox this small. The pedal itself is pretty sturdy, the LEDs are nice and luminous, and the dimensions of this thing make it suitable for any board. The knobs aren’t anything to write home about, but you won’t really notice it, trust me.
Overall: Mooer have really hit the nail on the head with the Tone Capture GTR – I could even see this becoming their signature effect if people jump onto it like they should. It’s an awesome idea that’s laid out in an incredibly accessible manner, and I think it’d add a lot to any player’s performance when used effectively throughout a set.
By Will Brewster
EarthQuaker Devices Swiss Things Pedalboard Reconciler
Effect: Switcher | Distributor: Yamaha Music Australia | Expect To Pay: $479
Recommended For: Guitarists, bass players, keyboard players. Any musicians with a complicated signal chain, multiple amplifier or preamps or a need to switch between signals.
Versatility: The Swiss Things Pedalboard Reconciler is very well laid out, and features customisable switching, making it extremely versatile and more than just an AB/Y switcher. It can and will serve the purpose your current switcher is missing, and it sounds squeaky clean to boot.
Usability: The amount of routing options make this a very usable pedal, but that can also be tweaked to handle some less-than-conventional routing options. It’s the kind of pedal you’ll want to sit down and spend an afternoon with to wrap your head around, however.
Construction: Well built, lots of ins/outs, however labeling can be daunting and a little complicated, albeit necessary when housing so many different options for its purpose. A bit complex at first, but you’ll get the hang of it.
Overall: This pedal is a problem solver. Where other signal splitters and AB/Y switchers might require further cabling or second splitters to fulfill your signal chain dreams, this unit packs it all into one unit. It does exactly what you need it to.
By Lewis Noke Edwards
Line 6 HX Stomp
Effect: Multi-Effects | Distributor: Yamaha Music Australia | Expect To Pay: $1049
Recommended For: Guitarists and bass players looking for an all-encompassing solution to gigging without breaking a sweat.
Versatility: An extremely versatile unit. Where the Helix Rack may require an external floorboard and/or MIDI switching, the HX Stomp has three footswitches and controls a-plenty to dial tones, but it’s incredibly robust and designed to sit on a pedal board.
Usability: The robust build of the pedal makes it a great live solution, but the ease in which a player can dial tones makes it a great option for engineers and producers who need tones fast, or who want to experiment with re-amping.
Construction: The HX Stomp is weighty, but rightly so. Line 6 has somehow packed the HX with the same amplifier emulation technology as the Helix Rack, but into a unit less than half the size, as well as footswitches for switching on the fly. Very well-constructed, would have no issues with this unit on the road.
Overall: A home run for Line 6. Such a compact pedal shouldn’t pack as much as it does, but they’ve really nailed it with the HX Stomp, and it sounds ripper.
By Lewis Noke Edwards