A powerful switcher/looper that’s amazingly easy to use.
More and more guitarists are migrating from traditional pedalboards (with effects wired in series) to digital switching systems, where each effect connects to a central “brain” via its own isolated loop. The pedals always remain on, and the switcher adds them to the signal path as desired. That means less noise and signal loss, but the selling point for many guitarists is the ability to switch multiple effects with a single foot tap. That’s a godsend for players who, say, sing lead vocals, or simply hope to make occasional eye contact with their audience.
That’s the basic idea, but GigRig’s G2 blasts past the basics—and does so in remarkably intuitive ways. I fired up G2 without cracking the manual, and within five minutes, I’d programmed half a dozen presets.
The Wise Size
Measuring 17" x 5" x3" and weighing in at just under five pounds, G2 isn’t petite. But it must be that that size to accommodate the large network of rear-panel 1/4" jacks required by its 10 independent loops (two are stereo) and other features. Also, the size provides just the right spacing for the 14 top-panel footswitches. The ergonomics are great—even big feet in boots should have no problem stomping a switch without disturbing its neighbors. The rear panel includes MIDI in/out jacks, so you can store settings and switch programs on “smart” pedals.
All controls reside on the top panel between the footswitch banks. I winced when I saw they’re the soft-touch plastic buttons common on rack effects 25 years ago. It’s not a fun material to interact with, there’s no reassuring hardware “click.” But I soon realized that the soft buttons are actually a wise design choice.
Big Box Stores
The soft buttons are so low-profile that it’s nearly impossible to inadvertently switch them. Also, you need to press them far less frequently than on old-school rack effects, which brings us to one of G2’s cleverest tricks: There is no “edit” mode. No “store” mode. No fussy combined-switch maneuvers or long-tap/short-tap nonsense. You never need to save anything—G2 always remembers your settings, even after powering down.
While assigning effects, you can choose additional options—and that brings us to more of G2’s remarkable skills. Since the rear panel has two outputs, players with two amps can specify whether each program feeds amp A, amp B, or both. G2’s backside also hosts four remote-switching jacks, so you can, say, switch channels or engage amp reverb or tremolo and store the status with your program.
Gain and Again
But the coolest function may be the programmable pre- on post-gain settings—a feature I haven’t encountered elsewhere. G2 lets you set and recall the level feeding each effect loop as well as its return volume. This is potentially huge for players who use dynamically responsive overdrives, boosters, and fuzzes. Say you’ve connected a vintage-style Fuzz Face: One program might slam it hard for fat fuzz. Another might trim the signal feeding the pedal for a near-clean sound. A third might drive the pedal aggressively, but cut the signal feeding the amp for a hard, buzzy tone, while another might wallop the amp for maximum splat. It’s easy to imagine filling up G2’s program slots even if using only two or three stompboxes.
And how many programs can you store? Eight banks of 15 slots each for a total of 130. But another killer G2 feature may render the 15-per-bank calculation meaningless: You can set any footswitch/pedal to “stompbox mode,” toggling it on and off as on a conventional pedalboard. You might, for example, not program a reverb pedal into your presets, but toggle it off and on as needed, regardless of the active program, or do the same with a gain pedal for an always available solo boost. Factor in such possibilities, and the de facto number of programs per bank is … a buttload.
Looper/switchers are new technology for many players, but GigRig’s Daniel Steinhardt has been building them for a decade, and the experience shows. His G2 has far more functions than I could cover here—I just spotlighted some showstoppers. At $1,199, it’s a big investment. But that buys you serious hardware suitable for pro tours, and innovative software with unique and meaningful features. But G2’s ultimate feat may be the way it makes these complex functions so disarmingly simple.
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Flare is a dual-function pedal with a tube-like booster and a 1970s-style ring modulator effect that can be played separately or together.
Flare’s ring modulator is based on the iconic tone of the original Dan Armstrong Green Ringer. This vintage classic was made famous by Frank Zappa who loved the unusual modulations created by generating a harmonic octave over notes. Messiah’s version offers two control knobs: a “Sparkle” tone attenuator and output Level control. Its taupe-gold body, purple and green knobs and stick-figure rock ’n’ roller holding up a flame convey an appropriately rockin’70s vibe.
In a unique twist, Messiah’s Flare pairs the ringer with a warm tube-style boost instead of a fuzz. Flare feeds the booster into the ringer for an extra punch, while preserving the Green Ringerspirit. The ringer side also turns any fuzz into an octafuzz, and it has the ability to quiet signal background noise fed through it.
The booster side features a single Boost knob to control the MOSFET circuit, making it very tube-amp-friendly with a warm, organic boost and gain of up to 32dB.
The pedal is a distinct improvement over the 1970s pedal that inspired it. “Most ringer pedals don’t track well,” Tom Hejda, owner of Messiah Guitars. “The player can’t rely on repeating the same effect even with the most consistently played notes. We carefully matched the components, so our ringer follows your every move, producing that slightly dirty octave you expect on demand.”
Messiah developed this vintage octave pedal with flexible features so that people who love that messy, dirty Zappa-esque sound can get there with ease but there’s also something for those who have not fallen in love with fuzz or the Green Ringer alone. Flare offers an array of sonic options while retaining simplicity in the controls.
Each Flair Pedal Includes:
- 3 control knobs: Boost, Sparkle, and Level
- Two effects – Ring Modulator and Boost – can be used together or separately
- Space-saving top side jacks
- Durable, cast aluminum alloy 125B enclosure with fun artwork
- Easy to see, illuminated True-bypass foot switch
- Standard 9V pedal power input
Flare Pedal Demo
Messiah Guitars pedals are designed with an explorative player in mind. Like their custom guitars and amplifiers, Messiah’s pedals are hand-crafted in Los Angeles for a long life with guaranteed quality.
Flare retails for $199.00 and can be purchased directly at Messiah Guitars or you can hear it in person at Impulse Music Co. in Canyon Country, CA.
For more information, please visit messiahguitars.com.
This feathery little guy is a joy to play because of its incredibly quick response to your right hand - much faster and more expressive than your typical auto-wah pedal.
If it looks like a duck, acts like a duck, and QUACKS like a duck, then it must be a duck. That's how we came up with the name for our new envelope filter. This feathery little guy is a joy to play because of its incredibly quick response to your right hand - much faster and more expressive than your typical auto-wah pedal. Trevor explains how this is possible in the launch video, as well as gives a demo on Le Canard’s operation.
The attack control determines how quickly the filter responds to the envelope, and the decay sets how quickly the filter releases afterward. The range controls which frequency spectrum the filter does its magic on. Add to this relay-based full-bypass switching with failsafe, and you've got one crazy little quacky beast. It is so expressive that you'll want to give up on your rocker-wah forever.
The MayFly Le Canard envelope filter features:
- Super fast responding envelope follower. Touch it and it jumps!
- Range control to dial in the character of the filter
- Attack control to control how fast the filter moves on that first touch
- Release control to control how slowly the filter slides back to baseline
- Full bypass using relays with Fail SafeTM (automatically switches to bypass if the pedal loses power)
- Cast aluminum enclosure with groovy artwork
- MSRP $149 USD ($199 CAD)
Introducing the MayFly Le Canard Envelope Filter
All MayFly pedals are hand-made in Canada.
For more information, please visit mayflyaudio.com.
Outlaw Effects introduces their next generation of NOMAD rechargeable battery-powered pedal boards.
Available in two sizes, NOMAD ISO is a compact, versatile tool that offers the convenience of a fully powered board plus the additional freedom of not having to plug into an outlet. NOMAD ISO is ideal for stages with limited outlet availability, quick changeovers, busking outdoors, temporary rehearsal locations, and more.
NOMAD ISO builds upon the legacy of the ultra-convenient and reliable NOMAD rechargeable pedalboard line originally launched in 2018. The brand new NOMAD ISO editions feature eight isolated outputs (1 x 9V DC, and 1 switchable 9V/12V DC) for even more versatility and clean, quiet power. With an integrated lithium-ion battery pack boasting 12800mAh capacity, NOMAD ISO can fuel a wide array of pedals, and will last over 10 hours* on a single charge.
Each NOMAD ISO pedal board includes adhesive hook & loop pedal-mounting tape, eight (8) standard DC connector cables, and one (1) reverse polarity DC cable, giving you everything you need to build your ultimate "off-the-grid" rig. A rugged, road-ready padded gig bag with shoulder strap is also included, to safely protect your gear while you're on the move.
NOMAD ISO S
NOMAD ISO S: MSRP $309 / MAP: $249
Dimensions: 19 ¼" x 5 ¼"
NOMAD ISO M
NOMAD ISO M: MSRP $349 / MAP $279
Dimensions: 19 ¼" x 11"
More info: https://www.outlawguitareffects.com.