Recording - July 2011 - 63

low-frequency bump; Lo-Fi, which drastically alters the delay tone; Dynamic, which turns down the delay repeats automatically as you play and turns them back up when you stop; Modulated, which adds vibrato to your delay repeats; PingPong, a stereo panning effect; Slapback, for old-fashioned doubling; and Reverse, which samples and plays back echoes backwards. The Loop mode lets you record, play back, and overdub up to 40 seconds of mono input or 20 seconds in stereo. The instructions explain how the footswitch works in this mode, and how the LED cues you for recording and playback. It’s effective if not flashy. The Flashback sounds incredible—clean and sweet unless you want it to be dirty, and the Reverse mode is simply gorgeous. In our tests, Darwin quickly insisted on having it available in line with most of the other pedals we tested, adding echoes and a sense of movement and space to his playing. As he put it, “No matter where I put it, any time I add it to anything else I’m doing, I prefer the sound that results.” The one downside is that when it came time for me to do my TonePrint tests (see below), Darwin refused to part with the Flashback. Sorry about that, folks. Shaker The Shaker is a mono vibrato with controls for Speed, Depth, Rise Time (how slowly the vibrato fades in after you activate it), and Tone. The 3-way switch selects normal vibrato operation, the TonePrint, or Latch mode, where vibrato comes in only when you have your foot on the switch. It’s capable of very drastic sounds, but also produces beautifully subtle shimmers when set right. Darwin said: “This pedal is great for a recording studio situation... it gives you all the power of the vibrato section of a good guitar amp when you need it.” Hall Of Fame The Hall Of Fame is a stereo digital reverb; its knobs control Decay, Tone, FX Level, and selection of ten reverb types plus TonePrint. The switch is a 2-way and offers short or long predelay. As with the Flashback, the FX Level control only affects the reverb, not the dry signal passed through at unity gain; there’s an internal jumper that lets you choose to kill the dry signal entirely for send/return use when in buffered bypass mode. As with the Flashback, in this mode the reverb rings out to its end after you bypass the effect rather than cutting off completely. The ten modes are: Room, Hall, Spring, Plate, Gate, Modulated (modulating the reverb tail alone), Lo-Fi (as on the Flashback, a grunged-up processing of the reverb signal), Tile (for the “bathroom” effect), Ambience (a

very short reverb), and my personal favorite, the over-the-top Church. In partial retaliation for Darwin having snapped up the Flashback without sharing, I did all the listening tests on the Hall Of Fame myself, both in line with my string instruments and as a send/return reverb on one of my mixers. It had the reverb quality that I think of as “typical TC”— clean, clear, tending toward bright and shimmery rather than muddy and warm, but with lots of different characters dialed in with the Tone and Decay knobs. These reverbs sit well in a mix and don’t get in the way as they convey a rich sense

of space. I found the Ambience setting surprisingly useful for giving just a dab of space to sounds that needed to be “just barely not dry”, and the Spring was quite tasty at lower Decay settings. The Room, Plate, Hall, etc., hid no nasty surprises, providing good sounds with easy tweaks. I did find the Mod setting a little disappointing because I couldn’t tweak the modulation on the reverb tail. I found myself wishing for a way to get under the hood and create something different than what the base settings offered, which brings me to.... TonePrint TonePrint is a way to do just that: reconfigure a TC pedal to do something it wasn’t meant to do with the original settings. You can’t tweak these “under the hood” parameters yourself, but you can go to TC’s website and obtain tweaks that were created by a variety of players: not only TC’s own staff but famous guitarists like John Petrucci, Orianthi, Steve Morse, Guthrie Govan, Bumblefoot, and many others. In a sense, you’re able to listen in as these players design their favorite reverb, vibrato, echo, chorus, and flanger settings... and then pop them into your pedal for your own use. Note that these aren’t just specific settings of the existing controls—in most or all cases, the actual digital model being run by the pedal is subtly or drastically different. These are sounds you couldn’t get on your own, no matter how you set the knobs! They can drastically widen the sonic palette of your

pedal and make it do things you didn’t think it was capable of. As an example, I went to TC’s TonePrint website and read about some TonePrints for the Shaker (see the screenshot). One was a drastic latched vibrato with feedback created by Bumblefoot that sounded pretty intriguing, so I nabbed it. The procedure works like this: you pick a TonePrint you’d like to hear, enter your email address on the site, click to download, and in about 60 seconds you have an executable application on your Mac or Windows desktop that exists for only one reason: to put the TonePrint inside your pedal. Hook up the pedal via USB, run the application, and your pedal’s ready to use. Total time from start to finish: about two minutes. Bumblefoot’s insane vibrato was fun but not very useful to me, so I went back to the website and found another TonePrint, one that actually jiggered the Shaker to produce a chorus effect, remapping the Tone knob to become a delay-time control. 90 seconds later, I had it in my pedal, and used the installer’s A/B function to compare it to the Bumblefoot TonePrint so I could easily decide which to keep. Since the pedal can only hold one TonePrint at a time, this A/B function is a huge help! The same procedure applied when I went to download and audition TonePrints for the Hall Of Fame. My only complaint with the whole process was that when I found two TonePrints I adored, I couldn’t have both loaded at once! The TC website has interviews with the players, explanations of what each TonePrint is meant to do, video clips, and more. You can browse to your heart’s content, read, download, and experiment... once you have the pedal, TonePrints are free of charge. It’s a lovely system—well thought out, clear, informative, and sonically delightful. Go forth and Print The easiest way to describe these pedals is to say that they take a basic effects paradigm, whether it’s vibrato, echo, reverb, chorus, or flanging, and do two things with it. First, they provide a comprehensive set of controls and modes so that the user has an “ultimate” version of that particular effect; second, the addition of TonePrint lets the user step beyond the usual boundaries and discover sounds he or she wouldn’t expect from a simple stomp box. Short version: these pedals demand to be heard. Prices: Flashback, $169; Shaker, $129; Hall Of Fame, $149 More from: TC Electronic, www.tcelectronic.com
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http://www.tcelectronic.com

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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