||Download Example 1
Latch Setting, Effect Level 2. Gibson SG, neck pickup.
||Download Example 2
Slow Setting, Effect Level 1. Fender Strat, bridge pickup.
||Download Example 3
Slow Setting, Effect Level 4. Gibson SG, neck pickup, drive from an Electro-Harmonix Germanium4 Big Muff Pi.
| All clips played into Diamond Positron into an Emperor 4x12" loaded with Weber C1625s and recorded with an SM57.
Electro-Harmonix has never been constrained by what people think a
stompbox should do. Take the Freeze Sound Retainer. Simply put, the
Freeze sustains any note or chord you play—a little like an eBow, a
piano’s sustain pedal, or even a looper, yet not quite like any of those.
The Freeze is designed to capture a moment of your playing with a tap
of your foot and extend it indefinitely. With one 3-position switch and
one knob, the Freeze is dead simple to operate, but the sonic possibilities
are more than you might expect.
While this sound-retaining effect is amazingly innovative, Electro-Harmonix
first developed the technology for their HOG guitar-synth pedal.
Specifically, the Freeze is derived from the HOG’s Freeze Gliss function.
A Cool Breeze
The Freeze is an intuitive, what-you-see-is-what-you-get unit. For starters,
there’s a 3-position switch for selecting Fast, Slow, or Latch mode.
In Fast mode, the Freeze will begin sustaining your signal the moment
the footswitch is pressed and hold that sound until the footswitch is
released. In Slow mode, the captured signal fades in gradually and then
sustains until you release the footswitch, at which time it slowly fades to
silence. Following a simple process described in the manual, you set the
length of this fade by selecting one of three preset durations.
In Latch mode, the captured sound sustains even when the footswitch
is released, allowing you to capture and sustain additional sounds. A
double-tap on the footswitch kills the effect. This mode is particularly
useful for creating seamless and sustained chord progressions.
The pedal’s last control, the Effect Level knob, sets the volume of the
sustained signal. While most Electro-Harmonix pedals are true bypass,
the Freeze’s circuitry requires a high-quality buffered bypass. And unlike
most compact stompboxes, the Freeze does not offer the option of
9-volt operation—it’s power supply or nothing.
Feeling the Chill
I started in by using a humbucker-equipped Gibson SG to sustain a simple
chord on the Freeze’s Fast mode. As the mode suggests, the effect
is immediate and it is also strikingly cool. EHX has designed the effect
so that there is no digital popping sound when the effect engages and
there are no repetitive undulations or audible loop points while the effect
remains engaged. The sustain is steady and constant, like a constantly
bowed cello. Having an interest in computer-based sound design, I can
say that this effect wouldn’t be easy to reproduce, even on a sophisticated
Locking a single note into the pedal in Slow mode produces a musical
swell and an even more gradual fade out. This mode is really going to
appeal to slow jammers, shoegazers, soundscape-building balladeers,
and psychedelic junkies seeking spacey lead textures.
From subtle to radical, the Freeze is a device that inspires creative
playing without being gimmicky. The performance possibilities—from
filling naked space in a band arrangement to hardcore freakouts—are
intriguing. But even if you don’t intend to record or play live with the
Freeze, you’ll find it’s a great tool for composing music and harmony by
yourself. EHX has executed this effect with such simplicity, it’s bound to
appeal to players and tweakers of all genres and abilities.
you haven’t yet figured out a way to clone yourself.
you prefer not to use cool effects to
enhance your playing.
|Street $120 - Electro-Harmonix - ehx.com