digital

Modern stomps offer more sounds than ever before, but a laptop can help you delve into an even deeper world of live sonic manipulation. Here’s what you need to know to get started.

The beauty of a great guitar plugged straight into a great tube amp is undeniable. Still, some might say the full potential of an electric guitar is realized only when processing that signal. Of course, some of the most groundbreaking players of all time—from Jimi Hendrix to The Edge—have illustrated this point, and the current deluge of new pedals and thriving builders seems to bear this out.

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"Single-function" in name only, this inspiring multi-tap delay excels at everything form tough rock to spacy, experimental sounds.

A plethora of inspiring multi-tap echo sounds for just about any style. Wonderfully streamlined and easy to use. Pristine, lovely fidelity.

Takes more effort than traditional stompboxes to get the real goods.

$279

Eventide UltraTap
eventideaudio.com

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The Eventide UltraTap puts the multi-tap delay power of the company's famous late-'80s H3000 rack unit (which attracted players like Eddie Van Halen and Steve Vai) into a streamlined, single-effect pedal format. Of course, that same algorithm is also in Eventide's ultra-deep H9 multi-effect pedal. But UltraTap nixes the H9's multi-function knob, LCD display, and multitudes of menus and other effects in favor of a more conventional stompbox design capable of controlling up to 64 delay "taps" (kinda like 64 playback heads on an Echoplex tape delay with pristine digital fidelity), up to four seconds of delay time, and a whole slew of otherworldly modulation sounds. All that is available via just six knobs (mix, taps, length, feedback, spread, and taper), a pair of footswitches, and a couple of buttons—or by interfacing with your computer.

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The new FM9 from Fractal Audio Systems is an all-in-one amp modeler, effects processor, foot controller, audio interface—and more—designed for professional use and personal enjoyment. With four DSP cores, the FM9 is the most powerful floor unit ever produced by Fractal Audio, and it features an impressive list of technologies and features from the award-winning Axe-Fx III, FM3, and FC Controllers.
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