Rich Eckhardt remembers how effects molded his playing in the early days of his playing
When I was a kid I thought there was some sort of magic that came from the effect pedals that guitarists used on records. I remember a sound on Mark Farner’s solo for “The Loco Motion” that turned out to be a studio trick. From my experience in the studio, I presume producer Todd Rundgren inserted a recording of
My first effects pedal was a Jax Wah Wah. I thought it was about the coolest thing ever. I could get that
wacha, wacha sound—just like on the song “Shaft”— with it. Like most young players, I then proceeded
to put wah on everything— whether it belonged there or not. I also went on to learn all the great wah songs like “Voodoo Child” and the solo on “Play That Funky Music White Boy.” The next pedal I bought was a Maestro Phaser. I got it because, beside the wah, I thought it made the biggest difference in my sound. So naturally from that point on everything had to have Phaser on it. In those days, and even now, it seemed like there was an infinite number of pedals that gave you an unlimited number of sounds. Even if you bought an Electro-Harmonix Small Stone Phaser it would sound substantially different than an MXR Phase 90. While trying to cop the sounds I heard, it was impossible to know which pedals the guitarists on those LPs were using.
When I was 13 or 14, my brothers and I created a makeshift delay out of an old reel-to-reel recorder. The delay time was dictated by the amount of space between the recording head and the playback head and couldn’t be changed, but we had a delay effect and that’s what mattered most.
I had heard that Jimi Hendrix got his sound with a pedal called a Big Muff. It was made by Electro-Harmonix and became so popular that many competing companies copied the Muff in their own line. The Big Muff was first introduced in the early seventies and was used by artists like David Gilmour and Carlos Santana. Gilmour famously used the Big Muff on the Pink Floyd’s Animals and The Wall albums. I later found out that the Big Muff was not used extensively by Hendrix at all. In fact, it was not available until 1971, a year after Hendrix’s death. Big Muff creator Mike Matthews, however, has claimed that Hendrix used a Big Muff prototype in some sessions prior to his death and he was reportedly impressed enough to
want to use it on his next album. Hendrix did play an integral part in the making of the Big Muff. Matthews has often stated that Hendrix’s guitar sound was the inspiration for its creation. I couldn’t get my hands on an actual Big Muff at the time, but I managed to borrow a pedal that sounded close from a guitarist friend of mine. It was a fOXX Tone Machine; fOXX made a Fuzz Wah, a Foot Phaser, and the infamous Tone Machine. The Tone Machine made my guitar sound exactly like the solo on the Eagles’ “One of These Nights.” I loved it and was able to keep it for a long time, and even had the chance to do a few gigs with it before having to return it to its rightful owner.
After working for many years with stomp pedals, I started seeing more and more players with these refrigerator-sized racks full of effects behind them on stage. Right about the time that I was going to dump a bunch of money on 24 spaces of rack effects, Roland came out with the GP-8, which included eight effects: Dynamic Filter, Compressor, Over Drive, Distortion, Phaser, Equalizer, Digital Delay and Digital Chorus. It seemed like everything that a guitarist needed to copy all the classic sounds in one single space unit, so I bought that and still use it today.
I’m constantly trying new effects as well as revisiting old ones. It’s important to keep an ear to the ground, and stay up on what other players are using now—as well as what players used in the past. I try to keep my old pedals, even if I’m not currently using them. You never know when an old classic guitar tone will come back in style!
Rich Eckhardt is one of the most sought after guitarists in Nashville. His ability to cover multiple styles has put him on stage with singers ranging from Steven Tyler of Aerosmith to Shania Twain. Rich is currently playing lead guitar with Toby Keith. His album Soundcheck is available now, with another due this summer.
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.
Mystery Stocking is coming soon! Sign up for PG Perks below so you don't miss it.
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About Mystery Stocking
Each year, Premier Guitar likes to put out these mystery boxes as a part of bringing some fun to the holiday season. Remember, this is supposed to be a fun holiday treat! If the contents of this box will ruin your holiday, deplete the last of your bank account, or end your ability to see the good in humanity, it may not be for you.
- This year's Mystery Stocking will cost $44.95. ($39.95 + $5 Flat shipping)
- Each box will be guaranteed to contain $40 or more in value.
- US only. (Sorry World.)
- Make sure your shipping address is correct.
- Have your credit card ready to go before you refresh the page. Paypal is not available. Autofill may not fill in your information.
- There will be NO REFUNDS given.
- There has been a huge demand for these in the past. We really did sell out in less than 4 minutes last year. When they are gone, they are gone.
- One per household, one per person.
Q: What's in the Mystery Stocking?
A: It wouldn't be much of a surprise if we told you, now would it?
Q: Will I definitely get my money worth?
Q: Can I return it if I don't like it?
A: Nope. All sales final.
Q: What if I live outside the US?
A: Sorry, US only.
Q. How much is it?
A. $39.95 Plus $5 shipping
Q. When will it ship?
A. On or before December 10, 2022.
Q. What form of payment do you accept?
A. Credit cards only. Sorry, no Paypal for this.
Q. Can I ship to a different location than my billing address?
Q. I tried last year and didn't get one. Will I get one this year?
A. There is an overwhelming demand for Mystery Stocking. Be sure you have a fast internet connection and be ready when they go on sale. Last year we sold out in 3 min 33 seconds.
Q. I want to buy 5. How can I buy 5?
A. You can't. This year, we're limiting to one per household, so more people can get in on the fun!
Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
Origin Effects introduce the new M-EQ DRIVER mid booster & drive pedal. Based on a vintage Pultec studio EQ, this unique pedal offers a range of mid-focused tones, from a subtle mid boost to thick, resonant overdrive. Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
A choice of three mid-range frequencies ensures that you can boost just the right part of your guitar signal and, when pushed harder, can elicit a range of saturation from a classic “mid-hump” overdrive to fierce “cocked wah” distortion. Thanks to the Adaptive Circuitry, the high-end roll-off of the Cut control is reduced as the pedal cleans up. This allows for a smooth transition from warm overdrive to bright clean tones in response to playing dynamics or guitar volume knob changes.
Introducing... M-EQ DRIVER || Mid Booster & Drive
Built-in the UK to the highest standards, the M-EQ DRIVER continues the Origin Effects tradition of vintage, studio-inspired tones in modern guitar pedals. The Origin Effects M-EQ DRIVER is available now from Origin Effects dealers worldwide.
RRP: 259 GBP (Inc VAT) / 319 USD (Ex TAX)
For more information, please visit origineffects.com.
The new finish, according to Lava Music, is “inspired by the beauty of the golden hour,” a shining time just before sunset and after sunrise when photographers covet to capture stunning pictures.
With bright and warm golden hues, the new finish adds a brilliant metallic glow to the surface of Lava ME 3, complementing its AirSonic 2 carbon fiber unibody which features L3 Preamp with FreeBoost 2.0, delivers industry-leading sounds by breakthrough acoustic technologies, and houses a multi-touch display powered by Lava-developed HILAVA system.
Speaking of the HILAVA system, Lava Music also added four new effects: Nebula, Desert Rose, Cassette, and Edge of Breakup. As unique as their names sound, they are very much different from what we normally know about effects. Programmed into the HILAVA system, each of the four is powered by the company’s latest ArctanDrive algorithm and incorporates effects like Pitch Shift, Delay, and Reverb. And every one of those incorporated sub-effects comes with various parameters that players can adjust to design unique, overdriven sounds by just tapping on the multi-touch display. That said, those effects enable users to play with overdriven tone on an acoustic-electric guitar without even plugging in any external gear.
LAVA ME 3 | Now in Golden Hour | LAVA MUSIC
Lava Me 3 in Golden Hour is now available starting from $999 on LAVA MUSIC, Amazon, and local guitar dealerships near you.
For more information, please visit store.lavamusic.com.