Recording - July 2011 - 62

R E V I E W S B Y M I K E M E T L AY W I T H D A R W I N G R O S S E

TC Electronic Flashback, Shaker, and Hall Of Fame
Add the sounds of famous players to your rig with a single click
TC Electronic has been making guitar effects for decades; I drooled over the TC Stereo Chorus/Flanger 30 years ago, and always wished I could have found a way to buy one... but at the time, it was worth more than my bass and my amp put together (which says about as much about my bass and amp as it did about the pedal!). Fast forward a fair number of years, and TC is still innovating madly when it comes to giving guitarists cool new tools for cool new tones, more powerful than ever and way more affordable. There are several exciting new faces in the TC pedal world: the PolyTune, which lets a guitarist tune all six strings at once by simply strumming (available as a stompbox and as an iPhone app); the all-analog MojoMojo Overdrive and Dark Matter Distortion pedals; and a set of five digital effects stompboxes that offer a killer new technology called TonePrint, which allows the user to quickly reconfigure the pedals by downloading parameter settings from the Internet. In this review, we tested the Flashback delay/looper, the Shaker vibrato, and the Hall Of Fame reverb; the other two are the Corona Chorus and the Vortex Flanger. In common All of the digital TC pedals share the same small, rugged metal chassis and basic control layout: four knobs and a tiny
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3-position switch, which all have different functions in each pedal. The Shaker is mono in/out, and all of the others are stereo in/out; the units also have connectors for a 9VDC power supply and a miniB USB jack for TonePrint (see below). Each unit comes with a 9V battery, but won’t work right out of the box; you have to open it and connect the battery yourself. The battery compartment is accessed with a large thumbscrew, and the battery access panel also hides a jumper that lets the user choose between true hardware bypass and a buffered bypass. TC suggests that the buffered bypass will sound better for very long pedal chains, but offers the true bypass for tone fanatics who don’t want any circuitry in the signal path when an effect is off... or who just plain want a pedal that won’t kill the signal chain if it dies! Note that when the buffered bypass is in use, delays and reverb will finish ringing out when the unit is bypassed, a function that will appeal to some players (like me). Each pedal comes with a USB cable, but a 9VDC power supply is optional. This cost-saving measure is usually a minor annoyance, but it can be a non-starter in one particular instance: namely, if a pedal needs a firmware update. In my case, the Shaker needed to be updated before it would work with TonePrint, and I had to go find my power supply first. Oh, well.

Flashback The Flashback is a delay pedal and looper. It offers controls for Delay Time, Feedback, FX Level, and a selector knob for the type of delay being offered; the 3-way switch lets you choose the time division of echoes when using tap tempo (quarter, eighth, or dotted quarter). Note that you don’t tap on the footswitch to set the tempo: instead, you stand on the footswitch (muting the audio) and play four quarter notes on your guitar. The Flashback listens to the timing of your four notes and sets the tempo that way; you can then flip the switch to get a different timing subdivision for your echoes. The Delay Time knob gives a range of 20 to 300 milliseconds in Slapback mode, and up to 7 seconds of delay in all other modes. Feedback is self-explanatory. Note that FX Level is not really a wet/dry mix control; the dry signal through the pedal is always at unity gain, and the FX Level knob merely controls the level of the echo repeats. A second jumper inside the pedal lets you completely kill the dry signal (if you’re in buffered bypass mode) and use the Flashback as a 100%-wet effect in an send/return loop. You can select nine different types of delay: 2290 (named for the famous TC 2290 delay rack), where there is no tonal alteration of the delayed signal; Analog, which offers a gentle high-frequency rolloff; Tape, which adds wow and flutter plus high-end rolloff and a



Recording - July 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - July 2011

Recording - July 2011
Fade In
Contents
Talkback
Fast Forward
Put Your Foot Down!
A Guitar Gear Grab Bag
Fat Guitar Tones Without The Mud
Rupert Neve Designs Portico 5017
iOS Music Tools For Guitarists
Reviewed and Revisited: BOSS RC-30 Loop Station
Reviewed and Revisited: IK Multimedia AmpliTube 3.5
Tech21 Blonde
It’s Your Music—Know Your Rights. Chapter 16: Licensing Music For Video Games
Eventide Space
Recording’s Showcase of Sounds
TC Electronic Flashback, Shaker, and Hall Of Fame
Readers’ Tapes
Advertiser Index
Fade Out
Recording - July 2011 - Recording - July 2011
Recording - July 2011 - Cover2
Recording - July 2011 - 1
Recording - July 2011 - Fade In
Recording - July 2011 - 3
Recording - July 2011 - Contents
Recording - July 2011 - 5
Recording - July 2011 - Talkback
Recording - July 2011 - 7
Recording - July 2011 - Fast Forward
Recording - July 2011 - 9
Recording - July 2011 - 10
Recording - July 2011 - 11
Recording - July 2011 - Put Your Foot Down!
Recording - July 2011 - 13
Recording - July 2011 - 14
Recording - July 2011 - 15
Recording - July 2011 - 16
Recording - July 2011 - 17
Recording - July 2011 - 18
Recording - July 2011 - 19
Recording - July 2011 - 20
Recording - July 2011 - 21
Recording - July 2011 - A Guitar Gear Grab Bag
Recording - July 2011 - 23
Recording - July 2011 - 24
Recording - July 2011 - 25
Recording - July 2011 - 26
Recording - July 2011 - 27
Recording - July 2011 - 28
Recording - July 2011 - 29
Recording - July 2011 - 30
Recording - July 2011 - 31
Recording - July 2011 - 32
Recording - July 2011 - 33
Recording - July 2011 - Fat Guitar Tones Without The Mud
Recording - July 2011 - 35
Recording - July 2011 - 36
Recording - July 2011 - 37
Recording - July 2011 - Rupert Neve Designs Portico 5017
Recording - July 2011 - 39
Recording - July 2011 - iOS Music Tools For Guitarists
Recording - July 2011 - 41
Recording - July 2011 - 42
Recording - July 2011 - 43
Recording - July 2011 - Reviewed and Revisited: BOSS RC-30 Loop Station
Recording - July 2011 - 45
Recording - July 2011 - Reviewed and Revisited: IK Multimedia AmpliTube 3.5
Recording - July 2011 - 47
Recording - July 2011 - 48
Recording - July 2011 - 49
Recording - July 2011 - Tech21 Blonde
Recording - July 2011 - 51
Recording - July 2011 - 52
Recording - July 2011 - 53
Recording - July 2011 - 54
Recording - July 2011 - 55
Recording - July 2011 - It’s Your Music—Know Your Rights. Chapter 16: Licensing Music For Video Games
Recording - July 2011 - 57
Recording - July 2011 - Eventide Space
Recording - July 2011 - 59
Recording - July 2011 - Recording’s Showcase of Sounds
Recording - July 2011 - 61
Recording - July 2011 - TC Electronic Flashback, Shaker, and Hall Of Fame
Recording - July 2011 - 63
Recording - July 2011 - Readers’ Tapes
Recording - July 2011 - Advertiser Index
Recording - July 2011 - 66
Recording - July 2011 - 67
Recording - July 2011 - 68
Recording - July 2011 - 69
Recording - July 2011 - 70
Recording - July 2011 - 71
Recording - July 2011 - Fade Out
Recording - July 2011 - Cover3
Recording - July 2011 - Cover4
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