Dynamic Music | Expect to pay: A$599
Multi-effects pedals have come a long, long way in recent years. Even as early as ten years ago, most floorboard units were cumbersome, loaded with poorly modelled sounds and were controlled by a crummy calculator-like interface. They were to be avoided like the plague – that is, until sophisticated effects processing came along and changed it all.
Since the arrival of technologies such as impulse responses, cab simulation, audio-over-USB and touchscreen interfacing, the multi-effects market has flourished into one of the most cutting edge and profitable today, with more and more floorbound modellers and all-in-one solutions gaining acceptance in high profile touring rig and studio situations. Among those brands leading the pack is none other than Japanese firm Zoom – a company who have always been at the forefront of multi-effects innovation, even in the dark days – and their new device, the G6 multi-effects guitar processor, is emblematic of a brand who understand the space better than any one else out there
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The Zoom G6 Multi-Effects Guitar Processor Pedal is seriously something to get excited about. It’s one of the most function-packed processor pedals that you can get at its price point, and considering Zoom’s reputation for superior DSP and realistic amp emulations, you can bet you’ll be getting exceptional tonal quality too.
This sturdily built, well-sized unit has six different amp models to choose from, with each amp being custom designed and tweaked for inclusion. There’s also an impressive 22 cabinet emulations, with 70 pre-loaded full impulse responses providing various options for microphone positions and rooms. If this wasn’t enough, you can also upload your own favourite impulse responses (IRs) via the SD Card slot.
The G6 Multi-Effects Guitar Processor Pedal has Zoom’s very own effects designed and developed over the span of 30 years; such as, reverb, delay, drive, modulation and more. All of these effects sound great in operation, and unlike some other processor effects, don’t sound noticeably digital – something that many an analogue enthusiast will be impressed by.
It has a 4.3 inch colour touchscreen with a really easy-on-the-eye and user-friendly interface with its drag and swipe functions that’ll help you get to your preferred setting quickly and with ease. On this LCD screen, you can create and edit patches and swap effects among other many functions. You can save up to nine effects on each patch and easily access them through the play mode footswitch which also has the options for looper, memory, and effect board.
To make navigating the device easy, the Zoom G6 has six pedal-style stomp footswitches for seamless switching, and a very nifty expression volume pedal for real-time manipulation of your sound. There’s also the effects loops available at the back of the board via mono send and return, that will allow you to integrate your stompboxes, amps and external effects.
And, just in case that wasn’t enough it can be used in itself as a USB audio interface and you can connect it via Bluetooth application to be remote controlled, the app acts as a secondary interface. The USB connection allows you to browse and update Zoom’s GuitarLab software that contains various amps, effects and patches. There’s a whole bevy of awesome content available through this software suite, and we highly recommend you take full advantage of everything on offer.
Through the effect board play mode, the colour screen depicts your custom pedal chain with colour coordination, and understandable icons and signs so you don’t have to think too hard when performing or setting up. A little light above the icon for the footswitch on the screen lights up when you engage and effect and turns off when disengaged. Editing the parameters of the effects is yet again, a breeze as you simply press the image of the stompbox and away you go.
The G6’s memory mode even allows you to pre-program your entire performance. I really appreciated this function, as you can group any combination of your custom made ‘pedal boards’ or patches into groups of four, which I would argue is more than most would need for a live setting. That’s four completely different signal chains, in one bundle so you can have vastly different sounds per song, or even each section if you wish. This not only works great in live situations, but also in the recording studio if you prefer a more hands on approach to tweaking your sound. I know I certainly do.
Back to live performance, creativity, and practice, I will always say that a looper is your best friend in most situations, and of course, the Zoom G6 multi-effects guitar processor pedal is decked out with that as well with a whopping two hours worth of loop time, plus more if you decide to expand via SD card.
It has so many effects, including new distortion and modulation effects, and thanks to Zoom’s engineers you have access to carefully crafted hybrid amplifier models that take iconic sounds and blend them with other timeless selections for new, unique tones. Speaking of practicing, you can also play along to any one of 16 rhythm patterns across an array of time signatures and genres.
Honestly, it’s hard to find fault in the Zoom G6; these guys have really picked a winner here. What a dynamic, resourceful device at such an incredible price. While it’s not micro sized, it does not take up too much space and it certainly doesn’t break the bank. I would highly recommend checking it out!