All the new toys are playing well together.

I had been feeling that some kind of intelligent harmonizer was thpe next piece of the puzzle in my pedal line, so I began the exhaustive research. Did you know that there are almost no stand-alone floor units that offer “intelligent” pitch shifting? There is a $500 unit from Eventide that I would love, & then there is the $170 jobby from Boss, which I was afraid would really sound like crap.

So I started to explore the really low end multi-effects units in the same price range (and lower) as the Boss ‘Super Shifter’. In particular, I began to focus on a Zoom that had a harmonizer and an expression pedal, in addition to a lot junk I did not want, including amp modeling and other effects. Why not just turn all that junk off and use the multi-effects unit as a wammy and/or harmonizer? The real question was whether it would play nice with all the other floor-bound gadgetry I’ve collected over the years. One thing was certain: this multi effect unit was not designed for the use I had in mind. But for less than $100, I was maybe willing to take a chance. I did get a little skeptical when olive realized that the item in question claimed to do the work of the famous Digitech Wammy for less than half the price.

When I got to Guitar Center (a hateful place), something unexpected happened. They had the Boss harmonizer in the used bin for the same money I would have spent on the entry level all-in-one toy. I tried it and decided I could live with the mediocre sound quality, rather than risk getting something chincy. And I even splurged on my first compressor sustained. I got a Line 6 which was very cheap, even new, and really helps drive the signal through all those pedals.

After a long day at the office, I had the house to myself for about 1/2 hour and, it got loud.