Gamechanger Audio PLUS Pedal
The first pedal by upstart Latvian company Gamechanger Audio is quite honestly a revolutionary pedal. The PLUS Pedal is part freeze pedal, part sustain pedal, and a WHOLE lot more. It is also an absolutely stunning design that would look incredible on any pedalboard. Play with this pedal for 30 minutes and you will quickly realize that it is unlike any pedal before it. For that reason, the PLUS Pedal is a true game changer.
External Control: None
Although it looks like simple piano sustain pedal, the Plus Pedal takes a little bit more effort than your typical stomp box to learn and understand. It two switches and four and four knobs do create a bit of a learning curve, but once you have become familiar with the various functions, this pedal works seamlessly and intuitively. The knobs have a wonderful feel to them, and tic into place. The pedal itself has the perfect amount of resistance to take advantage of its two stages of sustain control.
Although we like to think of it as the most versatile freeze pedal ever made, that honestly does not do the PLUS Pedal justice. It is so much more than just a freeze. While on the surface the PLUS Pedal just looks like any piano sustain pedal, its depth is is astounding. There are so many combinations of tail length, mix volume, and rise, that you can get lost in this machine. From the GROUP and SINGLE switch on the side, that allows you to either sustain one or layer multiple sounds, to the SPLIT and MIX switch that allows you to split your sound between dry and wet, the PLUS Pedal can accomplish so much.
Quality of effect: 4.5/5
Since the PLUS pedal records a minute portion your input signal and loops it to achieve sustain, the quality of effect will mostly depend on how well the user can manipulate their sound. The more consistency in your tone, the more musical the sustain will be in most cases. That being said, the reproduction of the user's sund is exceptional. If you accidentally sustain the initial attack, your quality of sustain may not be as clean as if you were to activate the pedal just after you begin paying a note.
Live application: 5/5
It is incredibly simple to create up to five layers of sound on the fly! This pedal can have applications in so many genres, on so many stages, all with ease and comfort. Out of the box, this pedal is immediately applicable to the performances of so many horn players. With a little practice, and some inventive thinking, this pedal could become major contributor to your live performance!
The Plus Pedal is truly unique and versatile. For that reason we want to demonstrate a variety of ways that it can be used. Below are examples of the the pedal, both on its own and in conjunction with others that we feel enhance its versatility and functionality.
We first start with a single note from the alto saxophone. Note that the sustain lasts for quite a long period of time. This example of sustain lasts close to ten seconds and decays into silence very naturally and musically. Getting a super clean sustained tone does take a little bit of practice. You will notice in some of the later examples what we mean, as you will be able to hear some wavering and pulsing in some of the sustained notes.
In the second alto saxophone clip, we experiment with layering a couple different pitches on top of each other. Listen for the differences in each held note and how long they last. The decay is still set to be long lasting.
Trombone sample 1 is similar to the idea used in the second alto saxophone sample, but we added reverb from the Strymon's Blue Sky to achieve a bit more musicality. Something to note about the Plus Pedal: Since you can layer the tones in any order, you can easily change the feel of the layered harmony by substituting a new bass note. In the middle of this clip, you hear the trombone play an Eb- tonality and then at the very end substitute a low B into the chord, totally changing its quality and feel.
The second trombone example uses 5 note layers (the max the Plus Pedal can handle). It builds the layers from top to bottom instead of bottom to top.
With the trumpet examples, we experiment with the infinite decay function of the Plus Pedal, effectively turning it into a freeze pedal instead of a sustain pedal. Using a Strymon Blue Sky for reverb, and a Digitech Whammy DT, the trumpet is set to an octave and a fourth below the actual pitch (Gb). A low Gb power chord is sustained by the PLus Pedal so the trumpet can improvise over a pedal tone for as long as he wants. Halfway through the excerpt you will hear a high Bb being sustained in addition to the low Gb power chord.
In infinite mode, on of the coolest functions allows you to remove your sustained layers one by one by pressing the pedal down 50% of the way. In this sample, the trumpet slowly builds a G-9b13 chord in random order, improvising throughout, and then slowly takes each chord tone away in reverse order.
The PLUS Pedal comes bundled with a special footswitch.
The “WET” footswitch will allow you to switch between the two key modes much quicker thus letting you get the maximum user experience. Other brand footswitches will not be compatible with the PLUS pedal. The Wet-only mode can also be accessed without a footswitch – via a tumbler switch on the pedal’s side panel.
The PLUS Pedal is 8 in x 3.5 in x 2.2 in (lwh) and weighs 2 pounds.
The PLUS works with a standard 9V DC power supply with a center negative plug.
The PLUS draws around 130 mA and therefore is not compatible with a standard 9V battery.
The PLUS is compatible with any instrument and all other effects units you might be using. We suggest you put PLUS Pedal first in your effects chain, but other than that – its all up to you.
Handcrafted Brass pedal in a heavy-duty steel enclosure – The PLUS Pedal combines elegance and maximum durability.
Product info from the PLUS Pedal website