TC Electronic dominate guitar effects industry with 13 new stomp boxes
TC Electronic aims to dominate the industry with their 13 new stomp boxes that became available on October 21. Each of the box comes with a fixed size metal casing and they are all painted in different eye catching colours. TC Electronic has classified all the boxes into 4 classes depending on what they do; Rock n roll, Time, Dynamics and Modulation. An individual box will cost you $49.99 which is pretty affordable given that you won’t be buying every one.
It’s really about time!
A lot of cool effects are a result of precise tuning of the delays. You can even create an effect of having two guitar players when there is only one playing. You will find 3 stomp boxes in this category namely, The Echobrain, The Prophet and The Skysurfer. The latter two are based on a digital design whereas the Echobrain offers completely analogue delays all the way up to 300ms. As you can see, The Prophet is a digital counterpart of the Echobrain since the design is pretty similar. It offers a maximum of 1300ms delay capable of rocking the stage while performing solo. An analog delay will display a natural roll off in echo at its upper limits while a digital delay will offer pristine sounds throughout the range. It is entirely up to you on which one you prefer the most.
The Echobrain nor The Skysurfer reach anywhere near the TC Electronic Flashback which has a massive 7000ms delay with 40 second looper. Then again, it comes at a higher price and offers lot more interesting features with the package.
The third box in this class is The Skysurfer that comes with Spring, Room and Hall reverb effects. As always, you can keep the reverb to a minimum or you can keep reverberating for days with extremely slow decay. Furthermore, it will also let you choose which frequencies to keep; something metal heads would prefer to have is a low cut off frequency to help achieve deep, dark sounds.
No rock and roll music is complete without some fuzz and distortion. The Rusty Fuzz pedal may look tiny in itself, but it is well capable of producing any amount of fuzz you demand. Keep the fuzziness dial turned low for classic sounds, alternatively you can always pump up the levels and go all hard. The “Fuzz” effect was used by My Bloody Valentine’s guitarist Kevin Shields in the album called “Loveless”; which is perhaps the main reason why it remains popular to this day.
Leaving the Rusty Fuzz aside, we have Cinders Overdrive, Grand Magus Distortion and Fangs Metal distortion running the gain overdrive department. All three are capable of introducing distortion at varying levels with Cinders producing the least. The Fangs Metal is really suitable for metal heads who wish to sound like Slayer because of the really deep and tight low frequency response. The Cinders keeps the distortion level on the lower side. As a result, we have somewhat brighter tones coming out from the latter.
With the Fangs focusing on the high amounts of distortion and the Cinders on the cleaner area, the Grand Magus tries to go full range. It can go all the way from the clean to heavy metal. Now, which pedal should you get? It all depends on the personal choice and the style of music you play. I would suggest going for the Magus if you remain undecided. Either way, no one can stop you from becoming the next Metallica. The dynamic range of the Grand Magus compares directly with the TC Electronic Dark Matter but lacks the advanced two band EQ and voicing switch. Not to forget it comes at a much higher cost.
Other-worldly sounds from all analogue pedals
Remember those whirly-swirly sounds David Gilmour used to play all solo on the stage? You no longer require any kind of expensive setup to do that. A couple of effects pedals from TC Electronic is all you require and you will be ready to squash the strings. Afterglow chorus, Thunderstorm Flanger, Blood Moon Phaser and the Tailspin vibrato are four pedals that are capable of imitating Pink Floyd.
The Thunderstorm Flanger can introduce selective feedback to your guitar tones. Which means, you can choose which frequencies go in as positive feedback and which go in as negative. The result is really nice wavy sound that is enough to invoke nostalgia about the classic rock n’ roll. Adding a Blood Moon Phaser in the chain will simply produce some crazy psychedelic sounds. The best example is Tangerine by Zeit released in 1972.
TC Electronic also offers a couple of pedals based on the famous Bucket Brigade Device namely, the Afterglow Chorus and the Tailspin vibrato. The shimmering sound from Bucket brigade devices is a result of the original and the delayed tones beating together. Chorus pedals became popular after the release of Reggatta De Blanc, an album from The Police. Furthermore, the chorus pedal also gives an illusion of having more than one guitarist at a time. In order to achieve true guitar doubling, TC Electronic released “Mimiq” some time ago. Mimiq uses some sort of algorithm that continuously varies the delay thus giving a true doubler effect.
Forcefield Compressor keeps your dynamics in check
Two basic pedals that everyone might need are the Compressor and the volume booster. The Forcefield compressor limits your tones from going over a threshold. You can vary the sustain and attack levels to your needs whereas, the Rush Booster does exactly the opposite. It can add a maximum of 20dB boost to your tones. As always, the single knob on the Rush booster allows you to change the level of boosting.
You can be the judge after you listen to the sample clips recorded with these stomp boxes.
A ‘true bypass’ that’s common to all
Looking at all the pedals listed over here, we find that they all have a true bypass switch. As the name suggests, it is a switch that connects the input straight to the output without manipulating your tones. Additionally, we also find that all the pedals have the input and output jacks on the top which prevents cables from interfering. A look alike case for all pedals with vibrant colours would simply make them stand out in your effects chain. If any users have suggestions for pedal board cases, feel free to write in the comments section.
Having a bunch of feature-rich guitar effects pedals from this line-up would certainly help a beginner start off using them without spending too much money.