Electro-Harmonix Pitch Fork + Review

Tame it ain’t, but if smart pitch warping with minimal hassle (and real estate) is your bag, Mike Matthews’ latest is a gem.

Recorded with a Royer R-121 and a Shure SM57 going into an Audient iD44 then into GarageBand with no EQ-ing, compression, or effects.
Clip 1: Curtis Novak Jag-V neck pickup into J. Rockett Audio Archer feeding the Pitch Fork + then an Ibanez Analog Delay Mini then a Sound City SC30 combo. First Pitch Fork + setting uses the right footswitch to ramp up a perfect fifth. Next, the left-hand footswitch is engaged so that when the right footswitch’s momentary function is engaged it ramps up both a perfect fifth and a minor third.


Yields a plethora of pitch-shifting options in a modest, flexible, and expandable footprint.

Tends to hype and mask your guitar’s voice, even at conservative settings. Chord tracking could be better.


Electro-Harmonix Pitch Fork +


Ease of Use:



Where EHX’s original Pitch Fork was essentially a shrunken, treadle-less DigiTech Whammy competitor, the new Pitch Fork + is like the kid with aspirations to become a board-friendly Eventide H3000 harmonizer. It proffers two independent harmonies, each programmable across a +/- three-octave range by scalar interval (major or minor, not modal), with independent volumes for each voice and the dry signal. You can also program 100 presets (10 are factory loaded), as well as myriad expression-pedal, auxiliary-output, and footswitch-functionality configurations for each preset. Meanwhile, the bypass footswitch can behave as a momentary switch, and the left-hand “user” footswitch can be used to engage add-on effects such as modulation or ring-modulator, or to link multiple presets in a set-friendly preset “jump chain.”

Whether the Pitchfork + is right for you will likely boil down to its strong voice. Players looking to subtly augment a core tone—by creating a simple faux 12-string sound, for instance—may find it difficult to tame that voice, because even at low harmony and generous dry-signal volumes it adds a somewhat artificial-feeling sheen. That said, if loud ’n’ proud harmonized effects are your game, the Pitch Fork +’s intervallic smarts, almost head-spinning array of programming options, and ability to mesh with other pedals, including fuzz, may well make it a favored secret weapon. Particularly as its minimal control complement so deftly walks the line between powerful and simple.

Test Gear: Squier Classic Vibe ’70s Jaguar with Curtis Novak pickups, Sound City SC30.

For at least a decade, the classic Ampeg SVT was the dominant bass amp for power and tone.

Photo courtesy of ampeg.com

From the giant, hefty beasts of yore to their modern, ultra-portable equivalents, bass amps have come a long way. So, what's next?

Bassists are often quite well-informed about the details of their instruments, down to the finest technical specs. Many of us have had our share of intense discussions about the most minute differences between one instrument and another. (And sometimes those are interrupted by someone saying, "It's all in the fingers.") But right behind our backs, at the end of our output cables, there is a world of tone-shaping that we either simply ignore or just don't want to dive into too deeply. Turning a gear discussion from bass to amp is a perfect way to bring it to an abrupt end.

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  • Develop a better sense of subdivisions.
  • Understand how to play "over the bar line."
  • Learn to target chord tones in a 12-bar blues.
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Playing in the pocket is the most important thing in music. Just think about how we talk about great music: It's "grooving" or "swinging" or "rocking." Nobody ever says, "I really enjoyed their use of inverted suspended triads," or "their application of large-interval pentatonic sequences was fascinating." So, whether you're playing live or recording, time is everyone's responsibility, and you must develop your ability to play in the pocket.

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