I always prefer mini-pedals to conserve pedal board space. That is, as long as they’re well-constructed and of course most importantly produce the sound for which they’re designed.
There’s an awful lot of garbage out there when it comes to these types of relatively inexpensive pedals, but that’s certainly not the case with this product. I’ve personally received and put 22 of them through their paces in exchange for reviews, and this one is without a doubt the most unique device I’ve run across to date.
How would you like the ability to magically transform your Ibanez electric into an Ovation acoustic? How about your Stratocaster into a Les Paul? These are just a couple examples of the possibilities this device provides, which are virtually endless.
Its all-steel body makes it quite rugged and the controls are nice and tight, holding their positions with no issues. The main foot switch is flat-topped and standard diameter (10mm) so it readily accepts “toppers”, which I install on all of my pedals. Although it operates just fine, there’s no positive click for tactile feedback. That’s not really a deal breaker since the active LEDs are easily visible, but just a personal preference of mine.
On-board are level and tone controls, including a midrange-shift knob to adjust the corresponding knob’s frequency range.
Some other great little extras:
- Easily set to your choice of buffered or true bypass.
- Can be used simply as an EQ pedal, without the source/target sampling functions.
- A USB Micro-B port, allowing for future firmware upgrades.
- The TONE CAPTURE Guitar pedal is based on MOOER’s unique EQ matching technology, TONE CAPTURE.
- This pedal allow you to capture any guitar’s tone by sampling the unique tonal characteristics of the target guitar.
- The days of lugging around multiple guitars are over. The Tone Capture Guitar pedal opens up a variety of guitar sounds without the need to carry several guitars.
- Need 8 bars of acoustic? Don’t want to take your vintage strat to the gig?
- You can sample the unique tonal qualities of any of your guitars at home and carry them around with you in the compact TONE CAPTURE GTR pedal.
Operating this pedal is a bit tricky at first, but once you’ve figured things out it’s fairly straight-forward…
To avoid boring you to death with step-by-step instructions, here’s the basic high-level drill:
- Sample and save the output of the “source” guitar (the one you’ll normally be playing).
- Select one of the 7 “target” save slots.
- Sample and save a target guitar in the selected slot.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 for up to 7 guitars.
- Select the desired slot, and the source guitar sound will now emulate the guitar you’ve previously saved there.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is surely worth a million. Since I don’t have a multi-camera set up here at Cygnus, here’s a nicely done demo of this pedal’s operation from the “Riffs, Beards & Gear” channel on YouTube (384K subscribers as of this writing):
I sampled my Peavey DW-3 acoustic guitar as a target (active piezo pickup), and configured my Les Paul Studio as the source (stock humbuckers). Although a little bottom EQ tweaking on the pedal was required afterwards, I was quite surprised to hear that the LP then came very close to the sound of the acoustic.
It comes even closer when sampling “source” electrics to “target” electrics… I repeated this test using my Telecaster (standard single coil) as a target in slot 2, then again played the sample using the Les Paul. Considering I was playing a source guitar with humbucker pickups through a Telecaster single-coil sample, that great “twang” that Teles are famous for was still very apparent.
One thing which would greatly enhance this product would be downloadable samples of various guitar models which could then be transferred to the pedal via its USB port, using some sort of Windows application.
That would be a very powerful feature indeed, to avoid having to hunt down friends who may own the brand of guitar whose sound you’d like to sample. I’ve already suggested this to the manufacturer, so who knows what the future may bring.
I guess you could bring it into your local music store and accomplish the same thing, as long as you’re sneaky about what you’re up to!
Now, onto something that may seem like a nit, but always bugs the living shit out of me…
I’ve never seen a pedal board that doesn’t attach pedals using a Velcro hook/loop system. There’s a rubber pad pre-installed on the bottom of this pedal, so the first thing I had to do was peel that off and replace it with my own adhesive Velcro hook material.
Worse yet, the label on this pad reads “Removal of screws or this label will void warranty”. Removing the screws I can see, but the pad?
Well, I guess no warranty for me, or anyone else planning on using this product on a pedal board for that matter. There’s no choice but to remove the rubber pad, simply due to the fact that there’s no way Velcro adhesive will stick to it.
In my opinion, effects pedals (especially minis, which are prone to tipping over) should always be packaged without any sort of pad attached, as several other mini-pedal manufacturers such as AZOR wisely do. Two mounting options should be supplied separately in the box: The adhesive rubber pad, and in addition an adhesive Velcro hook pad. The latter is without a doubt what people using pedals will require anyway, since they will almost certainly want to mount them on pedal boards.
Is the emulation perfect? Of course not, nothing is. However, the build quality and performance of this pedal is impressive, especially for the asking price of just $99. In the end, it’s a pretty amazing little device for the money.