What are printable effects pedals/units?
In the world of studio and live effect products, there's been a new innovation in the last few years! These are units that let the user print, or download, to the unit whatever the user wants it to be. Meaning that by a direct computer connection, or by Bluetooth, phone, or tablet; you can project an effect and patch (or a group or set) to the unit.
These units are usually pedals because the idea is an unlimited amount of effects and algorithms in a small package.
Imagine having a micro delay pedal that with your phone you can turn into a tape echo, a digital delay, an analog delay, or any kind of delay. Some of these units have all types of algorithms and are not limited to a certain type of effect. Imagine having a pedal that you could command to be literally any type of effect!
Here are some of my favorites:Eventide H9 Max
The algorithms Eventide has developed for this unit are absolutely stunning! Reverbs, delays, modulation devices, pitch shifting, dynamic and EQ devices, overdrive, distortion and fuzz, combo algorithms.
Take each one of these categories and imagine 10 to 20 sub categories. For instance in Delays: tape, analog, digital, ducking, multi tap, lo-fi, backwards, pattern, modulated, filtered, tremolo, and swell. Then imagine 20 presets for each of these types of sub categories.
Aside from these riches, the unit can hold on board 99 presets of any combination. Then the unit can be changed to 99 other presets from a mobile device.
Lastly, any or all aspects of any algorithm can be morphed using an expression pedal and the unit has full midi implementation.T.C. Electronic Tone Print Pedals
“Tone Print” units have another paradigm. While these units only hold one edited algorithm stored in them (aside from the onboard sounds), the company has created an editing interface where the user can create their own personal algorithm for a specific effect in incredible detail. The user can literally create their own delay algorithm that has never been heard or thought of before.
Aside from this awesome feature, T.C Electronics has built an online library of algorithms by effect type that have been created by hundreds of other artist and users to trade and share. These can be loaded on the pedal by computer or phone.Hotone Xtomp
Hotone Xtomp is the newcomer compared to the previously mentioned companies but hold their own by making some of the most compact pedals that like the Eventide units, can cross genres and effect types and be molded into almost any type of effect unit with a computer or mobile device. Hotone’s online library (which seems to grow larger and larger by the day) also includes dozens of amplifier and speaker cabinet models which Eventide and T.C. Electronics do not have. Hotone also has a growing number of combo algorithms that combine two or more effects in one sound making these units incredibly versatile.