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User reviews on Pedal/Controller products

Make my life easier! (Carl Martin - Octaswitch mkII)

By jame watt, 23/03/2016
So I finally got it!

I'm a proud member of the "I-don't-like-multiFX" party (OK I have an AX3000G - but I don't use it on stage). To me, effect pedals are more realistic, less "it almost sounds like...".

1/ every live performance soon turns into a musical tap dance contest. OK, the audience gets twice in its money's worth - sound and visual performances.
2/ things can be messy (g'dam loose switch on the Holy Grail Plus, and so on)
3/ if you're like me the singer-guitarist in your band, you tend to negate the stereotype claiming men can't do two things at once - let alone 3 or 12.

So, Carl Martin (and other -too rare- brands) came up with that concept of control switches.

Up to 8 pedals can be plugged into it, plus the amp's channels (or two different amps if you like), you tweak the small switches that correspond to such or such pedal/channel and you can parameter up to 8 sounds of your own. There's an included buffer - OK it can then lack mids but a graphical EQ at the end of your chain and there you go, or even simpler you turn the buffer off.
Works on 9V AC.

It really makes life easier in rehearsal, studio and more than all un live!

The metal-made pedal seems reliable, only the pedal selection switches are made of plastic.

It still has a few cons: first it's BIG and takes a lot of space in an already crowded pedalboard! So now I need a new pedalboard.
It makes a lot of (preferably high-quality) jack cables necessary - 2 per pedal, send and return.
Oh, and by the way, you can almost forget about stereo.

Overall, it's very useful, couls be a little cheaper and has complete features.

In case it would fail me someday, I'd immediately replace it with the same.

One Expression Pedal to Control Three Expressions (Mission Engineering - Expressionator)

By MGR/Brian Johnston, 06/08/2018
The Expressionator controls the nature of the sound of other pedals by way of an expression pedal into the Expressionator and then into three expression inputs (that could mean three different pedals, or a pedal with two expression inputs and a third pedal, for example). This is demonstrated in the YouTube video below:

Being able to optimize some pedal’s capabilities, as well as increasing the complexity of music compositions, takes that extra leap forward via expression – and the Expressionator does this on a whole different level by implementing one expression pedal while controlling three expression inputs. Imagine combining a delay with a filter and a bit compressor and you can make some awesome ambient music. The Expressionator takes this even further by allowing you to set the span for each pedal or output, so that one pedal may be influenced by a big sweep, whereas the others may be influenced by a short or medium sweep (to understand this, think of a wah pedal that has a big or long sweep as opposed to a short quack-like wah). Moreover, the Expressionator allows you to inverse the sweep (to achieve a reverse effect with a pedal) or to apply a Saw or Square wave.

For $199 USD you can achieve some great diversity in your effects by implementing the Expressionator, and certainly manage a more restrictive pedal board by using only one expression pedal. To explain, using an expression pedal (with effects that allow as much) certainly takes your music composition and ‘expression’ to a different level. One problem is when you want to control more than one pedal, which means plugging the cable from one pedal to the next or having more than one expression pedal. Mission Engineering solved this problem by developing the Expressionator so that you can control up to three pedals (or parameters) in any combination, with customized span settings and while applying unique tapering applications (e.g., you can reverse the expression or apply a saw or square wave form). As well, each output on the Expressionator has its own ON button, to remain active or inactive within the mix, although each button is rather small and may be an issue on a dark stage. The only other constraint may be that you can control only three expression-based effects, but then again any additional sounds and the signal likely would become a bit too messy. Nonetheless, based on all the features in this tiny metal box, I believe Mission Engineering got everything spot on.

There is enough tweaking with the Expressionator, although it’s relatively easy to navigate and get things working. I’ll address each aspect to explain its ease of use, but do refer to the demo video for clarification. First, there are three Channel LEDs (green, yellow and red), controlled by the main foot switch. You can scroll back and forth among channels, but one always is lit and that particular channel is linked to the Taper/Meter (the row of LEDs that light up and down as you rock the Expression pedal back and forth). You need to select a Channel in order to make custom changes to that Channel.

Each Channel has an on-off switch, and so, even if a particular Channel’s LED is lit and selected (larger LED), you still can control whether the actual signal is on or off (smaller LED) and controlling to the pedal in question. For example, let’s suppose that Channel A is a delay pedal, whereas Channel B is a bit crusher and Channel C is a Flanger. You may want Channel A always to be on, but when you have the bit crusher on you may want the flanger off, or vice versa. In effect, understand there is a difference between what Channel is selected and whether that Channel is actually on or not.

Next is the Taper/Meter, which does two things. One, it indicates how much Span any of the Channels have (and you can set these all differently). You may want a huge delay span of 20% mix (heel all the way down on the expression pedal) to 80% mix (toe all the way down)… or you can adjust the Span so that even if you have the toe all the way down on the expression pedal it may only increase the delay’s mix to 40%. The other thing you can do with the Taper/Meter is to change the nature of the taper (which affects all channels). You can have the usual ramping up effect or you can inverse the effect by flipping what information the expression treadle is sending (heel down now becomes toe down). You can mimic a Saw wave (ramps up the signal up to 8 times in a single span, although you can custom reduce the number of times) or a Square wave (deletes everything between full toe and full heel, thereby creating an on-off effect). There’s also an anti-log taper feature to use with volume pedals that have been modded with a TRS jack, thus evening out the steep ‘cliff’ in logarithmic pots. And if you want to return to factory settings, you can within five-seconds and a two-button push.

The Expressionator is not a plug-n-play device (it takes about a half-hour to become familiar with the combinations and a bit longer if you want to custom the Span or the nature of the Taper/Meter), and some of this may seem confusing (the video makes it much easier to comprehend), but was designed to ‘express’ your needs relative to the abilities and confinements of the pedals that the Expressionator controls. In essence, what pedals do you want controlled and when, and to what degree do you want the effect? That is pretty cool and it brings using an expression pedal to a whole different level.

Made of steel, the Expressionator is relatively light at 4oz and with a fairly small footprint. All cable ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ are located in the back, which saves on pedal board space while preventing any strain on the Expressionator’s inputs. It is powered by a standard 9v power input. As to power output, there is an internal CV switch for each Channel that allows you to send +5 CV (constant voltage) to devices that call for such, e.g., Moogerfoogers, although setting this switch for a pedal that does not call for it can result in pedal damage. Consequently, avoid if uncertain and investigate your pedals’ literature carefully.

The foot switch is a ‘soft’ switch (no hard click engagement). The other push buttons are small or micro-sized (the channel transmission ‘on’ and the ‘set’ buttons), both of which are low profile and would not be engaged or damaged while stomping on the larger foot switch.

11 month wait time!!!??? (Loop Master - 4 Looper (Strip))

By charlie00, 14/11/2018
I placed an order with Loop-Master for an 8 loop strip September 2017 and received the pedal August of 2018. Thats 11 months. Communication was fine the whole time. I was polite about it, but 11 months... Also, it would seem that he is no longer burnishing the edges of the aluminum so there are very sharp edges all around. The one I ordered before that took less time but it arrived with an led not working which he rectified pretty promptly. Just wish the wait times would be improved and ensure that the edges aren't sharp and that there isnt loose pieces of solder rolling around inside the pedal. 11 months is long enough to get these details right. Other than that, they do seem to be pretty reliable.

News Pedal/Controller

[NAMM] Boss presents ES-5 Effects Switching system

Published on 01/21/16
Boss has announced the ES-5, an effects switching system with advanced features in a compact size for smaller pedalboards.

Kraken launches amp switchers

Published on 04/13/15

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