Novelty is rare in the world of effects if I judge by the number of “Fuzz Face Clones” that seem to be released every day.
Hologram Electronics is a new company which is off to a ripping start with a pretty interesting pedal, allowing guitarists to create “sequences”. There is a handful of pedals exploring the concept but the Dream Sequence seems very polished, to say the least.
As Ryan Schaefer from Hologram Electronics puts it: “It’s based around a pattern sequencer and ADSR that does octave up/down pitch shifts. It comes with 24 pattern presets, and you can create your own via MIDI or on the pedal itself when put into pattern recorder mode. It also has a digitally controlled analog drive and tone section at the output, so those settings (as well as all the others) can be saved as part of a preset. It also has a “hold” section, that’s similar to a “freeze” type effect, sampling a note and sustaining it indefinitely. You can feed that into the pattern sequencer and create all kinds of drones in addition to arpeggiator style effects. You can also record/play back the knob movements of the shape (ADSR), drive, and tone controls.”
Demo right here (but be warned, you’ll want one after seeing this):
There is a lot of boutique pedal manufacturers nowadays but not that many explore the digital side of things, I mean how many Fuzz Face clones do we need?
Source Audio have been releasing a steady flow of digital pedals over the past few years and the Lunar Phaser caught my ear. It has a pretty interesting stereo sound that seems to magnify the guitar tone. Also, it can be loaded with Flanger and Chorus tones through the Neuro Mobile App, making it a 3 in 1 pedal really:
I stumbled upon a series of videos that Visual Sound released a few years back. They basically got Nashville (but not only) studio guitarists in a studio and asked them to show how they used their pedals.
There are tons of creative ideas in those videos, for every style.
My two favorites are probably Kenny Olson…
… and Michael Elsner, who uses his guitar and Visual Sound pedals in a series soundtrack context, creating all sorts of atmospheres:
Despite its name, it does not come from the Netherlands, the Dutch Kazoo fuzz is hand built in the USA. Its design is not a copy of any well known Fuzz pedal which is quite noteworthy in a market saturated by Fuzz face clones.
It does appear to have some interesting and original sonic capabilities.
Here is a little demo (or click here for the obligatory Gearmanndude demo):