Tasty delay, drive, and modulation come together in an inspiring, unconventional echo machine. The PG Mile End Effects MTHRFCKR=RPTR review.
Unconventional dirty and warped echoes. Control layout is a visual and tactile delight. Cool potential as outboard studio effect.
Expensive for a digital delay. Big if you are pedalboard-space obsessed.
It's funny to consider the time guitarists spend in search of filth. The only thing funnier, perhaps, is imagining legions of old-school audio engineers shaking befuddled heads (or turning over in their graves) as guitarists undo the work of decades spent questing for pure, distortion-free sound.
The Mile End Effects MTHRFCKR-RPTR digital delay, like so many creative modern effects, embraces distortion to an almost perverse degree—probing not just the realms of fuzzy overdrive, but mangled modulations as well. This design motivation is a product of Mile End founder Justin Cober's fascination with cassette tape degradation.
Exploration of tape distortion is not a new concept. Anyone who builds an Echoplex- or Space Echo-inspired pedal usually seeks to replicate the irregularities of the tape medium. But Mile End's take puts the wiggly, mangled, and mutated possibilities of the form front and center. And while it's perfectly capable of lovely normal delay sounds—with dark, modulated delays that would tickle any Deluxe Memory Man devotee—the MTHRFCKR=RPTR shines brightest (or dirtiest) when you use it as a force for weird.
A lot of folks are bound to take one look at the MTHRFCKR=RPTR in its 7.4" x 4.7" Hammond 1590D enclosure and decide that it's too big for their pedalboard. That's fine. But obsessions with pedalboard space sometimes obscure the ergonomic and tactile virtues of larger effects. Take the old Deluxe Memory Man: Its size, control layout, the resistance in its knobs, and the way it fits a player's hands and fingers all conspire to enable creative control manipulation that, in my experience, isn't easily replicated with an expression pedal or small-form knobs arrayed in neat little rows.
Mile End seems to understand much about these ergonomic advantages. The MTHRFCKR=RPTR's knobs are laid out so you can simultaneously manipulate delay time or repeat controls with your thumb, the LFO rate or speed controls with your ring finger, and the volume or gain control with your pinky. If you tend to set and forget your delay settings, this type of functionality probably won't interest you much. But for players that use delay as a second instrument as much as an effect, it cracks open a multitude of expressive possibilities. And it's easy to see how the MTHRFCKR=RPTR could be enormously appealing to experimental and prepared guitar players, keyboardists, and synth artists, or engineers and artists itching to break free from the constraints of in-the-box studio effects.
Space Dirt and Cosmic Dust
Though digitally generated, the sound of the MTHRFCKR=RPTR's echoes should please any old-school analog delay fan. Even before you apply the gain and LFO-driven modulation sounds, you hear soft, blurry decay in each repeat. There can also be a little digital tone neutrality in the repeats—at least compared to true tape and bucket brigade delay devices—but it leaves ample headroom for the copious color that comes via the addition of gain and modulation.
Generally speaking, the controls have conservative tapers, and tone shifts can be subtle—even within a 30- or 40-percent increase or reduction in a given parameter. Players eager to exploit the MTHRFCKR=RPTR's more radical potential might be disappointed by these limitations. But I found the smoother, more subtle tapers to be a big advantage, and more musical, when using the controls interactively.
The Mile End doesn't overwhelm you with tone shaping options. But the wet switch, which removes the dry signal entirely, and the waveform switch, which toggles between random, non-cyclical square waves and uniform sine wave modulation, are simple-to-use additions that can be transformative. The random-cycle square waves best replicate the capstan-motor-gone-wrong and stretched-tape funkiness of vintage tape delay units. At subtle levels it adds authenticity. In heavier doses—and particularly with a fat dollop of gain from the pedal's preamp section—the random waveforms add a dreamlike haze that makes slow, spacious solo improvisations kinetic and rich with color. The all-wet setting has less utility in straightforward playing situations. But for abstract, deconstructed sound collage and improvisation, it's incredibly liberating—especially with generous sides of dirty gain and random modulation. Some of my favorite MTHRFCKR=RPTR sounds dwell within these settings. There's also a soft-relay footswitch for driving the pedal into self-oscillation.
The preamp gain section, which really enhances delay and modulation textures, produces harmonically balanced and very organic overdrive sounds. It can sound a touch fizzy at the very highest gain levels—almost in the fashion of a tweed Deluxe amp cranked to the gills. But it's a delight at most settings, even without the delay or modulation in the mix.
The MTHRFCKR=RPTR is not exclusively or indulgently eccentric. It's a very practical digital delay with a heavy and authentic analog flavor and an extraordinarily fun and creative control interface that sparks unconventional sounds and ideas. It's certainly a digital delay analog heads can love. But it's also likely to find fans among engineers and artists—pro and homebrew alike—that will embrace it's tactile and ergonomic advantages and unconventional tones to unique ends in mix and production tasks.
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Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
Looking for a compact, “noiseless” way to plug in and play guitar? Check out the brand-new Gibson Digital Amp, available only in the Gibson App.
The new Gibson App simplifies the learning process and brings guitar playing to life for the current and next generation of guitarists in a modern, comprehensive, and intuitive way. The Gibson App is the place to take your guitar playing to the next level. New to the Gibson App is the Gibson Digital Amp, the ultimate starting amplifier for beginners and a flexible amp on-the-go for intermediate players and pros to get their sound anywhere. The Gibson Digital Amp is an accessible amplifier for both acoustic and electric guitars, and is currently available for Apple/iOS users--an Android version will debut next year.
Use the Gibson Digital Amp’s jamming guide to get started and transform your sound with built-in effects and pedals, jam to backing tracks, or use it in lessons and songs. The Gibson Digital Amp only requires your phone, and wired headphones for the best playing experience, no cables are needed. The amp features 3 acoustic mic presets, 4 electric amp presets, and 6 effects pedals.
The Gibson Digital Amp is the ultimate starting amplifier for beginners and a flexible amp on-the-go for intermediates and pros.
The Gibson App uses a unique two-way, interactive platform to teach guitar students how to do everything from playing their first note to shredding loads of songs. The Gibson App features interactive lessons with thousands of lessons and songs. Learn the songs step-by-step with video tutorials from superstar artists and pro guitarists in the “Gibson App Guide.” The Gibson App also includes the new Digital Amp, a built-in tuner, a metronome, Gibson TV, and new songs are added every week. New Gibson App Guides are added regularly and include Tommy “Spaceman” Thayer’s favorite iconic KISS guitar solos, Richie Faulkner’s (Judas Priest) “Guide to Metal,” Jared James Nichols’ “Guide to Blues,” CELISSE’s “Guide to Songwriting,” and more.
The Gibson App uses “audio augmented reality” to provide dynamic feedback to students as they learn and play. As you pluck a note or strum a chord, the Gibson App listens to your guitar and gives you real-time feedback on your playing. It also gives students a more contextual learning experience: Instead of learning chords and scales in a vacuum, you’re able to practice on a scrolling tablature that lets you hear how you sound with the backing of a virtual band. That means you can load up “Hurt” by Johnny Cash, “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison, “American Girl" by Tom Petty, “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica, “Where is My Mind" by Pixies, “Country Roads” by John Denver, “I Hate Myself For Loving You" by Joan Jett, “Heaven” by Kane Brown, “Shape Of You” by Ed Sheeran, “Killer Queen” by Queen,“ Sweet Child O’ Mine,” by Guns ‘N Roses, “Run to the Hills” by Iron Maiden, “Roxanne” by The Police, and “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “The Man Who Sold the World” by Nirvana, “Are You Gonna Go My Way” by Lenny Kravitz, and “Don't Look Back In Anger” by Oasis and hundreds more songs in a wide range of genres, to see how your play matches up with such seminal tracks.
As you’re playing, the Gibson App gives you feedback on timing and tone, ensuring that students are getting active input on how their play is developing. The Gibson App appeals to players of all levels, it’s not just for beginners looking to learn a few chords; the app can assist seasoned guitarists who are working their way through difficult riffs, want to learn their favorite songs, or polish their advanced techniques.
Players can also challenge themselves by speeding up or slowing the tabs. Like having a full-time guitar teacher, the Gibson App keeps track of all your progress and adjusts lesson plans accordingly. The Gibson App released a “backing track mode” which supports both lesson and song playback without headphones, so users can self-select what works best for their current environment. And that’s not all: the Gibson App also packs in a fully-featured digital tuner for guitar first-timers, there’s even a detailed lesson on how to tune your instrument, a multi-function metronome, players can connect to free one-on-one consultations with Gibson’s Virtual Guitar Tech team, and to direct links to the Gibson, Epiphone, and Kramer online stores for easy shopping for guitars, gear, apparel, and accessories.
Learn Guitar With The Gibson App
The Gibson App is more than a pocket-sized guitar teacher, it’s loaded with an archive of exclusive content and original programming from its premium and accessible award-winning online network, Gibson TV, featuring music icons telling their best guitar stories, with more episodes and installments added regularly. Users can watch Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi share insights and tales from his decades-long career on the series “Icons,” dive into Joe Bonamassa’s assortment of legendary Les Paul guitars on “The Collection,” or see how Gibson’s iconic instruments are made in their Nashville factory from body to binding on “The Process.” There’s even a series called “The Scene” that focuses on backstage stories from hallowed music venues from coast to coast like The Troubadour and Grand Ole Opry.
The Gibson App free version features a few lessons a day; the premium version of the Gibson App offers full access and a 14-day free trial, then costs $19.99/£16.49 monthly or $119.99/£98.99 yearly.
For more information, please visit gibson.com.
This pickup captures the clear, bell-like single-coil chime of a classic P-90 when played clean and retains the tight mids and articulate low-end vintage growl and smooth sustain saturation when pushed into overdrive.
Belltone Guitars, as part of their Custom-Select System curated offering of pickups, has partnered McNelly pickups to create a one-of-a-kind retro-vibe P-90 pickup in the standard Filtertron size format. This pickup captures the clear, bell-like single-coil chime of a classic P-90 when played clean and retains the tight mids and articulate low-end vintage growl, and smooth sustain saturation when pushed into overdrive.
The McNelly P-90 Foil-Coil comes housed in a ‘raw’ nickel outer casing with a dull nickel foil face with metal mount screw gromets to complete the ‘new-vintage’ aesthetic, making it a perfect choice for your signature Belltone custom build. Available exclusively through Belltone Guitars.
Check out the Custom-Select System belltoneguitars.com to preview the McNelly P-90 Foil-Trons and all our standard and selectable components available to create your own signature Belltone. Then visit the Dream Lab on our website and select either model B-Classic ONE with its top binding or B-Classic TWO with its arm and body contours select your body color from our wide range of offerings, select your neck profile of either standard ‘C’ or thicker ’59 Round Back and either Maple or Rosewood fingerboard followed by your tuners, pickguard, and strings. Finally, review our curated custom-designed, and unique pickup selection to locate the McNelly P-90 Foil-Trons to complete your signature build.
Builds start at just over $2,300.00 with a custom case and shipping included.
For more information, please visit belltoneguitars.com.
McNelly P 90 Foil Tron video Sep27
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses.
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the release of the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses. The new Relentless P and Relentless J series pickups feature the Relentless cover designed in collaboration with Billy Sheehan.
As with the Relentless pickups, we removed all the hard edges from the standard P Bass and standard J Basspickups, and added an arch to the top of the pickups to bring the sensing coils and pole pieces closer to the strings. These improvements increase the dynamic range and make active circuitry unnecessary.
The Relentless P and Relentless J pickups incorporate Neodymium magnets and produce 70 percent more output than traditional passive pickups, and they’re dead quiet due to the incorporation of metal covers and foil-shielded cables. To dial in (or fine-tune) the individual string output, the Relentless P and Relentless J include eight adjustable pole pieces. These pickups also have a broad magnetic field so you can even bend notes without volume dropout.
DiMarzio’s extra shielding makes the Relentless P and Relentless J better for both recording and stage performances. We’ve mounted them onto robust .09375” thick circuit board base plates to eliminate the annoying protruding mounting screws — ultimately creating a more comfortable and consistent foundation to rest your fingers on.
The new Relentless P steps beyond the traditional P-Bass sound and can only be described as massive. It has more of everything: more volume, beefier lows, a growling midrange, and crispy highs with better individual string definition.
The Relentless J incorporates a new invention, (patent pending) parallelogram-shaped coils, offering an expanded mid-range punch, snappy highs, precise lows, and a new dimension to the sound of the Relentless series pickups.
Relentless P and Relentless J pickups will breathe new life into any bass, increase playability, and work well for any style of music from Motown to metal.
DiMarzio’s Relentless P, Relentless J Bridge, Relentless J Neck, and Relentless J pair are made in the U.S.A. and may now be ordered for immediate delivery.
Suggested List Price for the Relentless P is $169.00 (MAP $119.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Bridge and Relentless J neck is $155.00 (MAP $109.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Pair is $296.00 (MAP 209.99).
For more information, please visit our website at dimarzio.com.