They can offer as much tuning accuracy as the more traditional tuners we have been using for the past couple of decades, and the convenience of having a tuner at your disposal, at any time, quickly becomes indispensable
It seems as though everyone is coming out with pedal tuners these days, and once you try one, you realize why. They can offer as much tuning accuracy as the more traditional tuners we have been using for the past couple of decades, and the convenience of having a tuner at your disposal, at any time, quickly becomes indispensable.
Dean Markley has introduced the PT-13 Chromatic Tuner to get in on the burgeoning pedal tuner scene. This little pearl white, diecast beauty feels nice and sturdy when fetching it out of the box. It features one input, two outputs – out and bypass – plus a 9V in. Everything needed and nothing more. A nice, big, round, easy to read display aids in keeping even the most myopic rockers among us in tune.
You know how pedal manufacturers seal the batteries in cellophane for shipping? And how that’s a great thing, because back in the day it was either: “Battery? Go buy your own!” or “We’re thinking of you! Here’s a battery! Oh, it is dead, isn’t it?” Normally, given the previous choices available, the hassle of prying the battery cover off to take the plastic off and hook it up is a small one. Notice that I prefaced the previous sentence with normally. We only had the one to test, but opening the battery compartment required two editors, some fingernail clippers, and enough colorful language to make Tony Soprano blush. In the interest of fairness, it subsequently worked as advertised after the initial curse-fest.
Once we resolved the power issues, it was time to plug in. Unplugging the battery (getting into the compartment wasn’t so hard the second time) indicated we had ourselves some genuine true bypass switching going on, which is a fine thing indeed. Replacing the battery, we ran some signal through the tuner and A/B’ed it with a straight to the amp signal which confirmed the true bypass action with nary a hint of tone suck. With all of the prerequisites out of the way, we decided to finally test what this thing is actually supposed to do: tune a guitar.
The PT-13 offers up a muting function while engaged, and tuning up was very intuitive and straight-forward. Turn up your volume, step on the pedal, and go. The easy-to-read display indicates which string you’re picking, and a series of LEDs around a semi-circle indicate whether you are sharp or flat. Once again, everything you need and nothing you don’t. On the left face of the tuner resides a Pitch button, which changes the tuner’s reference frequency, so tuning to that old piano at the VFW is no problem. It’s situated in a place that is both easily accessible, yet in absolutely no danger of being stepped on. Same with the Flat button – which sits across on the right side of the pedal – whose function is to let you use flat tunings, so your Hendrix covers can sound even more authentic.
If you’re in the market for a new pedal tuner, definitely put this one on the list. True bypass switching plus an intelligent design make this one easy to recommend.
Looking for more great gear for the guitar player in your life (yourself included!)? Check out this year's Holiday Gear Finds!
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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.