The Harmony Man provides classic harmonies without the drawbacks of your average pitch shifter.

Finding out about DigiTech’s Harmony Man Intelligent Pitch Shifter gave me that fluttery feeling I hadn’t felt since my dad bought me a G.I. Joe with life-like-hair and Kung-Fu grip. From what I’d heard, I would soon have the ability to create harmonies in the style of Brian May, The Allman Brothers, Thin Lizzy and Racer X. It’s party time!


The DigiTech Harmony Man is a real time intelligent pitch shifter that generates harmonies based on your chord progressions. The Memory Store button allows guitarists to store up to four different presets and enable them from the 42 different voices you select. It can also combine two separate voices in any combination. You can dial in a 3rd or 5th above or below, an octave up, two octaves down, 24 semitones and various detune options.

Play a chord and the Harmony Key Display will show you the key so you can create stacked guitar harmonies or allow your twisted imagination to run wild. A Circle of Fifths display on the easy to read face of the pedal puts related keys side by side. A Distortion Send and Return loop lets you put a distortion pedal before the harmony effect so it won’t influence your Clean Input signal. Also included is a built-in guitar tuner, mix control, power supply and a heavy-duty chassis. It’s built like an APC! The layout of the controls was easy to figure out before I even opened the box. The photography and knob descriptions on the back of the box were invaluable.

I ran this bad boy through a Bogner Shiva 60 watt head, a Marshall JCM 2000 and a Fender ’65 Deluxe Reverb. I used a few Strat style guitars and a friend’s ’74 Les Paul Standard. It was a blast the second I pressed the on switch. I dialed in 3rds, 5ths, low 5ths and high octaves and stacked them with other intervals with the 2nd voice knob. Besides dialing in harmonies ala The Allman Brother’s “Jessica” and Queen’s “Death On Two Legs,” I could create plenty of bizarre sounds with excellent tracking and none of the glassy craptastic tones heard on other pitch shifter pedals.

Although it seemed like a fun little toy, I was really impressed when it told me what key my chord progression was in. It thinks! I took it to band practice without creating any stored presets and was able to quickly get useful sounds on the fly. The harmonies were pitch perfect with the rest of the band. The detuned sounds were particularly bodacious with my distortion pedal because it adds a slight chorus effect and a monstrous low-end moan. It’s great for guitarists seeking to achieve harmonic heaviosity.

The Final Mojo
DigiTech has been coming out with some very cool stuff and the Harmony Man Intelligent Pitch Shifter has now become my favorite. This pedal talks the talk and walks the walk. With a little patience it’s possible to replicate all the classic harmonies from your favorite albums with glorious transparency and tracking. Best of all, you won’t have to put up with a theory challenged guitarist to screw up your harmonies again. I could go on and on but I won’t. It’s a great pedal. Not too big, not too small. It makes a great addition to your pedal board even if you just want to create occasional chaos.

Buy if...
you like getting lots of cool sounds and harmonies.
Skip if...
if you hate the sound of two guitar players harmonizing perfectly.

MSRP $449.95 - Digitech -

Plus, the Fontaines D.C. axeman explains why he’s reticent to fix the microphonic pickup in his ’66 Fender Coronado.

Read More Show less

The emotional wallop of the acoustic guitar sometimes flies under the radar. Even if you mostly play electric, here are some things to consider about unplugging.

I have a love-hate relationship with acoustic guitars. My infatuation with the 6-string really blasted off with the Ventures. That’s the sound I wanted, and the way to get it was powered by electricity. Before I’d even held a guitar, I knew I wanted a Mosrite, which I was sure was made of fiberglass like the surfboards the Beach Boys, Surfaris, and the Challengers rode in their off time. Bristling with space-age switchgear and chrome-plated hardware, those solidbody hotrod guitars were the fighter jets of my musical dreams. I didn’t even know what those old-timey round-hole guitars were called. As the singing cowboys Roy Rogers and Gene Autrey strummed off into the sunset, the pace of technology pushed the look and sound of the electric guitar (and bass) into the limelight and into my heart. Imagine my disappointment when I had to begin my guitar tutelage on a rented Gibson “student” acoustic. At least it sort of looked like the ones the Beatles occasionally played. Even so, I couldn’t wait to trade it in.

Read More Show less

Need an affordable distortion pedal? Look no further.

We live in the golden age of boutique pedals that are loaded with advanced features—many of which were nearly unthinkable a decade or so ago. But there’s something that will always be valuable about a rock-solid dirt box that won’t break your wallet. Here’s a collection of old classics and newly designed stomps that cost less than an average concert ticket.

Read More Show less