All aboard the pedalboard… it’s boarding completed. No more space in our pedalboard after the addition of Meris ENZO synthesizer, Morning Star MC6 MkII MIDI controller and Mision Engineering EXPRESSIONATOR expression pedal controller. From the previous version, a few pedals had to be relocated and other squeezed closer together to make room. There are a total of 52 switches and 60 knobs on this pedalboard.
ENZO is an incredible sound machine, with four engines for mono synthesis, polyphonic synthesis, arpeggiator and a dry mode with tons of effects. With delay onboard, portamento, sustain and incredible filtering capabilities, the ENZO is an endless source of possibilities and inspiration. All reviews have ranked ENZO as the number one pedal of 2018. Here is a looped little tune that we did recently using all four ENZO machines:
In the top view, we can see some new additions: a Wampler EGO compressor (top right) replaces the mini EGO, and a Strymon BigSky reverb machine replaces the BlueSky. Also, the Neunaber Iconoclast speaker emulator, previously featured outside the board, is now on it (left).
There is also a some news about connectivity (arrows). Instrument inputs remain the same, with the switch that toggles between guitar #1 and #2 in between them. Above them, there are 4 outputs. Normal unbalanced outputs (left and right stereo channels) come right after the effects chain (minus Iconoclast). Below them, balanced outputs coming after the Iconoclast.
On the left side, we still have the DITTO X4 switches (one each for left and right channels) that switch the order of the TC Electronic DITTO X4 looper in the effects chain. Leds red: the DITTO X4 is before the Strymon DIG dual delay and BigSky reverb. Lets green: the DITTO X4 is after the delay and reverb, but always before the Iconoclast. This is because the looper works differently in the two positions, and this set-up, although increasing exponentially the amount of cables running underneath (see below), allows for maximal flexibility. Also on the left side, we have three USB contacts to connect the BIgSky, Iconoclast or DITTO X4 to a computer. This is to facilitate editing parameters or downloading and uploading audio clips, in the case of the DITTO X4 looper.
And here is the cable chaos underneath the board (click on the image to enlarge):
Apart from the mass of cables, we can see a few new things. The Cioks DC-10 Link power supply replaces the previous DC-10. The new Link model affords more connectivity and power. Also new is the TC Electronic Bonafide buffer (upper left), running right after the EGO compressor at the beginning of the chain. (We tried it between guitar input and compressor, but this introduced noise.) At the bottom, we see Radial Engineering Tonbone Shotgun stereo splitter. This allows us to run the stereo signals to the outputs either before (unbalanced, to connect to the amps) or after (balanced, for recording and PA systems) the Iconoclast. In the upper right corner, we see a tiny box containing the MIDI/USB adaptor that allows to connect the MIDI in/out from the BigSky to the USB output contact.
There is still some empty space left on the board, we’ll need to do something about that… 😉
Volume 2 of the Chromatographies project is out in the Bandcamp website for download or streaming. The free download includes a digital booklet. There are also CDs available upon request.
Chromatographies is the jazz and ambient guitar project of Carlos Ibanez.
The Chromatographies project consists of solo guitar performances that alternate improvised guitar meditations with jazz guitar pieces. As in a live performance, each volume is arranged as a continuous suite with all sounds and effects made in real-time using stomp boxes.
The second volume follows the structure of the first one, with improvised compositions by Carlos Ibanez intermixed with renderings of pieces by Maurice Ravel (from an arrangement by Larry Coryell), John McLaughlin, Horace Silver and Ralph Towner.
Chromatographies is the new jazz and ambient guitar project of Carlos Ibanez.
The Chromatographies project consists of solo guitar performances that alternate improvised guitar meditations with jazz guitar pieces. As in a live performance, each volume is arranged as a continuous suite of single track recordings, and all sounds and effects are made in real-time using stomp boxes.
The first volume includes improvised compositions by Carlos Ibanez and renderings of pieces by Bill Connors, Victor Young, Charles Mingus and Ralph Towner.
Volume 1 has just been released at the Bandcamp website. The free download includes a digital booklet. There are also CDs available upon request.
Here it is our new Gibson Les Paul Standard HP 2017. A solid body electric guitar packed with features to achieve that great classic humbucker tone.
We have just used this blue beauty to record a few pieces in volume 1 of the brand-new “Chromatographies” project which has just been released at the Bandcamp website.
But more on that in a later post. In the meantime, here is a sample of some of the sounds we have got from this incredible guitar, a track called “Overload”.
As far as the pedals are concerned, from upper left clock-wise:
- DelayLlama + (analog delay)
- WaterFall (chorus)
- TubeDreamer+ (overdrive)
Another guitar effect pedal making its way into our pedal board, this is the blueSky reverberator from Strymon. To say that it’s absolutely stunning would be an understatement. Lush, gorgeous reverb that can go to infinity.
Here a small sample introducing the “mod” mode with infinite reverb morphing into Mingus’ Goodbye Pork Pie Hat and a crazy looped overdrive.
Here is our newest guitar effect pedal, the Sneak Attack from Malekko Heavy Industries.
Sneak Attack is an auto-swell volume pedal that can also be manually triggered or used in a tremolo mode. The core of the pedal is an Attack/Decay envelope generator with separate length and curve controls for both the attack and decay segments. The envelope can be triggered or cycled in several ways using the input signal, built in footswitch, Lil’ Buddy footswitch or external clock/click track.
This is unlike any effect pedal in that it does not change the sound of your guitar, but the shape of the sound form. A crazy little sound machine with huge possibilities that we will be digging deeply.