Best Loop Pedal: TC Electronic Ditto Looper!

Hands down, the best loop pedal on the market today – not just the best looper for it’s price point – is the TC Electronic Ditto Looper.

The TC Electronic Ditto Looper Pedal is plugged as being “mindblowingly simple,” and it is.

Why the TC Electronic Ditto Looper is the best

TC-Electronic-Ditto-Looper

There’s a reason the TC Electronic Ditto Looper is the most anticipated pedal of 2013 and beats other loop pedals on the market… well, actually there’s
a few reasons.

  • Dirt simple looping – and nothing but looping!
  • True bypass and Analog-Dry-Through
  • 5 minutes of looping
  • Recordings remain when power is off
  • Undo / Redo function
  • Unlimited overdubs
  • 24 bit uncompressed high quality audio
  • Ultra-small footprint

 

As you can see, there are some really great features here, especially when you consider TC Electronic prides itself (rightfully so) on having created a pedal that is “only a looper.”

In focusing on simplicity, creativity and fun, TC Electronic has created the best looper pedal on the market today.

The TC Electronic Ditto Looper is dead simple to use, gives you enough looping time for a full song and is incredibly affordable.

It’s also small enough to fit in your pocket! Measuring at just 3 5/8” by 1 5/8”, the TC Electronic Ditto Looper is incredibly portable and leaves more room on your pedal board for other toys ;-).

Ok, enough from me. Here are some demos of the TC Electronic Ditto Looper Pedal in action:

Tore Mogensen (of TC Electronic ) explains the looper, while Andreas Lund has some fun (Click to watch the demo):

Kasper Falkenberg shows what’s possible with the TC Electronic Ditto Looper and the Flashback X4 Delay and Hall Of Fame Reverb Click to watch the demo):

Anouck Andre having a little fun Click to watch the demo):

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6 Best Effects Pedals For Beginners (Under $50).

The best effects pedals for electric guitar are typically going to cost you close to or over 100 bucks, but there are a half dozen or so really good effects pedals for under $50. These are them – and they’re great pedals for the price, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player on a budget.

The 6 best effects pedals for electric guitar under $50

DigiTech Hot Head Distortion

digitech_hothead_001The DigiTech Hot Head Distortion Pedal is not just one of the best effects pedals for guitar under $50, it’s also one of the most versatile distortion pedals in the under $50 price range. That’s why it was included on the Best Distortion Pedals under $50 list. The Hot Head is perfect for adding that little bit of grit to your tone. Whether you’re looking for dirty classic rock or hard rock crunch, the Hot Head will deliver.

This versatility to many styles and its easy to use design make it one of the best effects pedal for beginners.

The DigiTech Hot Head Distortion Pedal is easy to use and gets the job done, at a good price.

DigiTech DDM Bad Monkey Tube Overdrive

DigiTech-DBM-Bad-Monkey-Tube-OverdriveThe DigiTech DDM Bad Monkey Tube Overdrive has it all! A killer name, and killer vintage overdrive make this one of the best effects pedals for guitar under $50. In fact, it may be the Best overdrive pedal under $50.

The Bad Monkey is a rugged and flexible overdrive pedal that will give your amp the sound of a naturally overdriven tube amp without polluting your guitar’s distinct tone in the process.

A good overdrive pedal is an essential effects pedal for beginners, and the DigiTech DDM Bad Monkey Tube Overdrive pedal is one of the best and most affordable for beginners.

Behringer DD400 Digital Stereo Delay/Echo

behringer_dd400_delay_pedalA delay or echo is another basic effects pedal for beginners.

The two basic features of a delay pedal are number of repeats and time between each repeat (or echo). A good delay pedal will cover a good range of time and provide multiple echoes.

With 7 different modes and a delay time of up to 1.3 seconds, the Behringer DD400 effects pedal ranges from subtle to radical stereo delay. No wonder it made the Best Delay/Echo Pedals under $50 list!

With this level of control for around $35, the Behringer DD400 is easily one of the best effects pedals for guitar under $50. The DD400 gives you a wealth of available controls and sound shaping ability, making it an essential effects pedal for beginners.

Behringer Compressor-Sustainer CS400

behringer_cs400_002Dynamics (relative loud and soft notes) are an important part of music, but uncontrolled dynamics can really mess up an otherwise great piece of playing.

This is where compressor pedals come in.

A compressor pedal smoothes out the dynamics by producing consistent sound levels. This process also has the effect of improving the sustain of each note. Compressor and sustainer pedals are great for playing searing blues or metal solos and Compressors are also great for slap-style bass players

It’s because of this diversity that a compressor/sustainer is an essential effects pedal for beginners – it just opens up so many doors.

The best compressor/sustainer effects pedal for under $50 is the Behringer CS400 compressor/sustainer pedal.

The CS400 adds some great impact to your tone and near-endless sustain, and it’s easy to use.

The Behringer CS400 is great for everything from clean, snappy country leads to searing blues solos to rock solos that really scream.

At $23.99 on Amazon, this pedal is a steal! (That’s why it made the Best Compressor pedal under $50 list)

Rogue Analog Chorus

Rogue-Analog-ChorusA good chorus pedal will add depth to your tone, and it’s virtually a must for any 80’s pop songs (think The Police, Men At Work, Cure, etc..)

I know a lot of guitarists are not fans of the chorus effect, but it’s still essential to capturing that sound.

My pick for the best chorus effects pedal for guitar under $50 is the Rogue Analog Chorus pedal.

The Rogue Analog Chorus pedal creates everything from wide sweeping to shimmering 12-string sound. It adds depth to electric guitars, electronic keyboards and more.

It’s easy to use, featuring only two control knobs that let you quickly adjust the modulation speed and depth.

The Rogue Analog Chorus is has a true bypass switch engages and disengages the effect. An LED indicator shows you when the effect is engaged and gets dim when it’s time to change the battery.

Behringer EQ700 Graphic Equalizer

Behringer-EQ700Finally, our best effects pedals for guitar under $50 list will wrap up with the Behringer EQ700 Graphic Equalizer pedal. The idea behind this pedal is simple: shape the sound going into your amp.

The EQ700 is a lot like the equalizer on a traditional stereo system. 7 EQ bands let you shape your sound and eliminate feedback.

The Behringer EQ700 handles frequencies ranging from 100 Hz to 6.4 kHz with a powerful 15 dB boost/cut per band. This makes the EQ700 an ideal effects pedal for beginners because you can compensate for whatever may be lacking in your sound – too much treble, too little treble, not enough bass – you name it! The EQ700 can help round out your sound.

The Behringer EQ700 Graphic Equalizer includes the standard status LED for effect On/Off and battery check, and you can run your EQ700 on a 9 V battery or a DC power supply (not included). It retails for less than $50 at Amazon and other stores.

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The Best Distortion Pedals for Under $50

These are my picks for best distortion pedals for under $50. Note that these are distortion pedals and not overdrive pedals. If you’re looking for killer metal distortion or grunge sound to add to your guitar tone and want to spend less than $50, you’re in the right place.

If you’re looking to add some classic rock snarl or blues overdrive, then check out The Best Overdrive Pedals for Under $50.

Also, as an added bonus, each of these distortion pedals sells for less than $50 and includes cables and picks!

DigiTech DDM Death Metal Distortion

digitech_deathmetal_001

When it comes to distortion pedals, the DigiTech DDM Death Metal Distortion leads the pack. The DigiTech DDM pedal does one thing and one thing well – extreme distortion!

In a nutshell, the DigiTech DDM delivers killer metal tone with tons of distortion and a 3-band EQ.

DigiTech DDM Controls:

  • Level
  • Low
  • Mid
  • High

The level knob allows you to control the amount of Death Metal Distortion to add, while the 3-band EQ (high, mid and low) lets you dial in the right amount of tone shaping and ensure your guitar always cuts through the mix.

The DigiTech DDM Death Metal Distortion is some of the most extreme distortion on the market, especially it the under $50 price range. DigiTech says they’ve “turned the gain up to “eleven” and ripped the knob off,” and I believe them!

Here’s a demo of the Digitech DDM

DigiTech Grunge Distortion

digitech_grunge_001

Anyone looking for a more flexible distortion pedal should check out the DigiTech Grunge Distortion Pedal. This puppy is great for blues, rock and metal. It’s not nearly as heavy as the DDM, but the DigiTech DDM really only does Death Metal Distortion, If you play metal but also some less heavy stuff like blues or hard rock then the DigiTech Grunge Distortion is an excellent pedal to have.

The DigiTech Grunge Distortion has the following controls:

  • Loud
  • Low
  • High
  • Grunge

The DigiTech Grunge Distortion Pedal was designed for guitarists who want everything from chunky rhythm to heavy grind to amazing sustaining leads. The DigiTech Grunge Distortion gets you these and everything in between, and all for less than $50!

Here the DigiTech Grunge in action

DigiTech Hot Head Distortion

digitech_hothead_001

So what if you’re looking for a distortion pedal, but don’t play death metal and don’t even need that Grunge level of distortion?

This is where the DigiTech Hot Head Distortion Pedal comes in. The Hot Head Distortion is a multi-purpose pedal for any music style where light to moderate distortion is needed.

The controls are simple and straightforward, but allow for flexible tone shaping:

  • Level
  • Low
  • High
  • Gain

Whether you need just a little more dirt in your tone or you need your amp to sound like a full stack, the DigiTech Hot Head Distortion Pedal gets the job done, at a good price.

Here’s an excellent demo of the Hot Head from Robert at Dolphinstreet

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The Best Overdrive Pedals for Under $50

These are my picks for the best overdrive pedals for under $50. Note that these are overdrive pedals and not distortion pedals. If you’re looking to add some classic rock snarl or blues overdrive to your guitar tone and want to spend less than $50, you’re in the right place.

If you’re looking for killer metal distortion, then check out The Best Distortion Pedals for Under $50.

The Best Overdrive Pedals for Under $50

Behringer TO800 Vintage Tube Overdrive

TO800_big

The Behringer TO800 Vintage Tube Overdrive pedal creates great tube-like, screaming distortion with a smooth sustain and nice, fat tone.

The authentic vintage sound of the Behringer TO800 is made possible through the use of original 4558 op amp and the MA150 distortion diodes.

The control set for the Behringer TO800 is stripped down and simple. It also has noise free On/Off switch, status LED and battery check.

The Behringer TO800 runs on a 9 V battery or DC power supply (not included).

Behringer TO800 Controls:

  • Drive
  • Tone
  • Level

It doesn’t get much simpler than that.

If you want vintage and screaming tube-like distortion, the TO800 is a great choice, especially since the Behringer TO800 Vintage Tube Overdrive sells for $38 on Amazon!

Here’s a demo of the TO800 in action:

 

DigiTech DDM Bad Monkey Tube Overdrive

DigiTech-DBM-Bad-Monkey-Tube-Overdrive

Besides having an awesome name, the DigiTech DDM Bad Monkey Tube Overdrive pedal delivers killer vintage overdrive to your tone.

The DigiTech DDM Bad Monkey has the following controls:

  • Level: boosts the output level of your guitar signal
  • Low: adjusts boost and cut of bass frequencies
  • High: adjusts boost and cut of upper harmonics
  • Gain: provides smooth tube amp distortion to your sound

That’s it!

The DigiTech DDM Bad Monkey Tube Overdrive pedal is not metal level distortion, but it gives your guitar amp a boost just when you need it.

The DigiTech DDM Bad Monkey is a rugged and flexible overdrive pedal that will give your amp the sound of a naturally overdriven tube amp and allow your guitar’s distinct tone to be preserved.

The DigiTech DDM Bad Monkey Tube Overdrive pedal sells for $49.95 – but comes with Guitar cable, patch cord and picks! (you can also buy just the pedal, without the extras)

Watch gearmanndude demo the BadMonkey:

DigiTech Screamin Blues

DigiTech-DSB-Screamin-Blues-Overdrive

Lastly, there is the DigiTech Screamin Blues Overdrive Pedal. While all players can benefit from the Screamin Blues, it’s blues players in particular who will love this pedal.

The Screamin Blues is built to respond to playing dynamics of all kinds, but is especially attuned to a more blues style of play.

Playing lightly gives you a mild overdrive, but dialing up the gain and digging in hard will make the Screamin’ Blues sing with ultra-rich harmonics and sustain.

The Screamin Blues has the basic overdrive pedal controls:

  • Level
  • Low
  • High
  • Gain

The DigiTech Screamin Blues Overdrive Pedal sells for $49.95 and like the DigiTech DDM Bad Monkey Tube Overdrive, it includes a patch cord, picks and guitar cord and is also sold alone.

Watchgearmanndude demo the Screamin Blues:

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The Best Compressor/Sustainer Pedals For Under $50

Dynamics (relative loud and soft notes) are an important part of music, but uncontrolled dynamics can really mess up an otherwise great piece of playing.

A compressor pedal lowers the output sound relative to your input signal. In other words, it smoothes out the dynamics by producing consistent sound levels. Incidentally, this also has the effect of improving the sustain of each note.

Compressor and sustainer pedals are great for players looking for that searing blues solo, and metal players alike.

Compressors are also great for slap-style bass players, making thumb slaps, string pulls and muted notes all the same volume, for an extremely percussive effect.

Here are two great compressor/sustainer pedals that sell for less than $50.

Behringer Compressor-Sustainer CS400

behringer_cs400_002

The Behringer CS400 compressor/sustainer pedal adds some great impact to your tone and near-endless sustain. It is easy to Operate with 4 knobs to let you dial in the amount of compression and sustain you’re looking for.

The Behringer CS400 has dedicated knobs for:

  • Attack
  • Sustain
  • Level
  • Tone

Attack lets you dial in the amount of compression, while sustain controls…well, the sustain. 😉

The Level control allows you control the amount of volume boost – from subtle to “monster” volume boost. The tone knob controls level of highs.

The Behringer CS400 is great for everything from clean, snappy country leads to searing blues solos to rock solos that really scream. The CS400 also provides an LED to tell you when it’s on, and on/off switch that will put the pedal in bypass mode when off and runs on either a 9 V battery or PSU-SB DC power supply

At $23.99 on Amazon, the Behringer CS400 compressor/sustainer pedal is a steal!

Rogue Vintage Compressor

rogue-belcat_compressor_002

Rogue Vintage Compressor is about twice as much as the Behringer CS400, but it’s “Vintage”. 😀

“Vintage” means it’s likely to produce some added “noise” to your signal when put after other pedals in your signal chain. But for some players, that “noise” is the vintage sound they’re after. After all, Hendrix had a pretty hairy tone in a lot of his live recordings..

The Rogue Vintage Compressor Pedal is also a bit more simplified in its appearance, with only 3 control knobs:

  • Compressor threshold (sensitivity)
  • Sustain
  • Overall volume

The Rogue Vintage Compressor is a true bypass pedal, so disengaging the effect won’t rob your tone. An LED indicator shows you when the effect is engaged and gets dim when it’s time to change the battery.

The Rogue Vintage Compressor is made of aluminum and built to last.

The Rogue Vintage Compressor at a glance:

  • Sturdy, lightweight aluminum case
  • True bypass switching
  • Easy-to-use Threshold, Sustain and Level controls

Powered by either a 9 volt battery or external 9 volt DC adapter

The Rogue Vintage Compressor Pedal sells for about $49.99 on Amazon.

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The Best Delay / Echo Pedals For Under $50

Here are three awesome delay/echo pedals for under $50. If you’re wondering how delay and echo are different than reverb, then read on. If you’re only interested in the best bang for your buck on an effects pedal, then skip to the “The Best Delay /echo pedals for under $50” section below.

Delay vs Echo vs Reverb.

The Delay effect is both easy to understand, and easy to confuse. Many people equate reverb and delay as the same thing. They are not, but they are related.

It is best understood with example.

Imagine yourself in a large, empty gymnasium. You shout “Hello” in a loud voice. The first “hello” you hear reflected back to you from the nearest wall is an echo, caused by a delay.

As the echo mixes with other echoes reflected off other walls, bleachers, the floor, etc.. it creates reverb.

Think of delay as an exact copy of the sound, stored in the pedal and played back at a later time.

The length of time between the original sound and the copy being played back (echo) is the delay. The delay may be less than a second or several seconds.

A good delay pedal will cover a good range of time periods and even multiple echoes.

Here are two of the best in the under $50 price range.

The Best Delay /echo pedals for under $50

Digital delay effects pedal

Behringer DD400 Digital Stereo Delay/Echo

behringer_dd400_delay_pedal

With 7 different modes and a delay time of up to 1.3 seconds, the Behringer DD400 effects pedal ranges from subtle to radical stereo delay.

Behringer DD400 control features:

  • Dedicated Mode
  • Time
  • Feedback
  • Level

The DD400 has a bypass mode and blue status LED indicator for on/off and battery check.

The DD400 runs on a 9 V battery or a DC power supply.

At around $35, the Behringer DD400 gives you a great bang for your buck considering the available controls and sound shaping ability.

check out the Behringer DD400 in action:

Analog delay effects pedals

For those who prefer a more organic sound, here are two great analog delay pedals for under $50. Some people complain that these pedals can be “noisy”, but that’s part of the analog experience – even with pedals in the $150 range.

Behringer VD400 Vintage Analog Delay

behringer_vd400_delay_pedal

The Behringer VD400 Vintage Analog Delay effects pedal delivers true analog delay ranging from vintage slap-back echo that rivals any tape delay, to space-aged echo.

The VD400 has controls for:

  • Intensity
  • Echo
  • Repeat Rate

Like its digital cousin, the DD400, the VD400 also sports a blue status LED for effect on/off and battery check.

The Behringer VD400 Vintage Analog Delay sells for about $22 and runs on a 9 V battery or a DC power supply.

The VD400 is a clone of the BOSS DM-3 (no longer made), but at a fraction of its cost.

The VD400 Vintage BBDs produce up to 300 ms of delay and advanced noise reduction circuit keeps your signal clean.

The Behringer VD400 Vintage Analog Delay effects pedal demo:

Rogue Analog Delay

rogue-belcat_delay_003

The Rogue Analog Delay pedal creates echo effects from vintage country and rockabilly style slap-back to longer repeating echoes.

The Rogue Analog Delay pedal has only three control knobs:

  • Echo speed
  • Volume
  • Number of Echoes

This streamlined interface keeps things easy and un-cluttered.

The Rogue Analog Delay pedal is a true bypass pedal and includes an LED indicator showing when the pedal is on or off as well as when it’s time to change the battery.

The Rogue Analog Delay pedal is made of aluminum and built to last.

Rogue Analog Delay pedal features:

  • Sturdy, lightweight aluminum case
  • True bypass switching
  • Easy-to-use Time, Repeat and Level controls
  • Runs on either a 9 volt battery or external 9 volt DC adapter

The Rogue Analog Delay pedal sells about $10-15 more than the Behringer DD400 Digital.

The Rogue Analog Delay Pedal Demo:

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Pigtronix Fat Drive Pedal Giveaway!

The Pigtronix FAT Drive is an all analog tube sound overdrive pedal that won’t rob your tone. It’s 100% analog overdrive with multi-stage tube emulated clipping and true bypass. Pigtronix FAT Drive features a hi/lo gain switch, tone control and “more” switch. The Pigtronix FAT Drive runs at 9 or 18 volts – i.e. battery or AC adapter. The battery is convenient, but the AC really provides the headroom needed to truly open it up.

The Pigtronix FAT Drive is incredibly flexible and lets you get tones from bluesy overdrive to rich saturation. It’s completely transparent, which means it won’t alter the character of your instrument, just compliment your tone.

I’m not the one giving away the Pigtronix FAT Drive though. That honor goes to The Tone King.

I wish it was me, but alas I’m not a big enough fish for such attention from the likes of Pigtronix. At least not yet – Hey, I can dream, can’t I ? 😉

Anyway, head over to TheToneKing.com an register to WIN a FAT DRIVE by PIGTRONIX . You can register until the end of May, at which time a winner will be chosen.

Wait, what are you still doing here?

Not convinced the Pigtronix FAT Drive is worthy of a place in your pedal board or gear bag? Ok, fine. Head over to the Pigtronix site for a demo and sound samples of the Pigtronix FAT Drive.

The Tone King also has a demo at hisWIN a FAT DRIVE by PIGTRONIX page. I think the Pigtronix demo highlights the bluesy tone better, while Tone King tears it up with crunch and the “more” switch.

Many thanks to The Tone King for hosting this giveaway!

Both Amazon and Guitar Center sell the Pigtronix FAT Drive for $139, but this is your chance to get one – free!

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All About Wah (History of the Wah Wah Pedal).

Cry Baby Wah, in 4 parts.cry-baby-wah-wah-pedal The Cry Baby Wah Wah pedal, or simply Wah, was invented in 1966 and quickly found its way into the gear rig of prominent guitarists of the day. To celebrate the history of the Wah, from Brad Plunkett’s play thing to the 1970’s adult film industry and to its rebirth as an 80’s rock device, here’s a video history of the Cry Baby Wah Wah pedal.

History of the Wah Wah Pedal (in 4 parts)

Part 1: The Beginning.

Part 2: Cry Baby Hits the Rock Scene with Clapton,Hendrix and more.

Part 3: Overkill. Cry Baby Branches Out to Jazz, Funk and t.v. themes.

Part 4: Don’t Call it a Come Back. Stevie Ray Vaughan, Metallica and Alice in Chains help make the Wah Cool Again.

What struck me about the Wah is how it never really went away. I grew up listening to Hendrix and Cream, but always thought the Wah-Wah died in the 70’s. But looking back, with the help of this documentary, I realize that it never really went away. Like the guitar itself, the Wah-Wah just keeps evolving.

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