The pedal designs coming out today are reaching new frontiers. With inventive programming, we are now hearing some amazing advantages digital pedals can offer. With pedals like the Rainbow Machine or Pitch Bay, Earthquaker Devices brings to the market the pedals that help us achieve otherworldly sounds and textures. The Afterneath pedal is no exception, and if you want otherworldly, this is Earthquaker’s best pedal at doing just that!
A few years ago as I started to do clinics for Earthquaker Devices while on tour with Deltron 3030, Earthquaker had come up with some new pedals at the time that I had yet to hear. They came up with the Arrows (preamp booster), Palisades (their remarkable version of the Tube Screamer), a reissued Cloven Hoof and a redesigned Grand Orbiter phaser. The one that was completely unfamiliar to me was their Afterneath pedal. As I got to my first clinic, this new effect was on the secondary pedalboard and I had no idea what it was. With knob names like Diffuse, Reflect or Dampen, I had no clue to what these controls were supposed to do. I quickly text Fej at Earthquaker Devices and this was his text response:
The size of this text intimidated me even more and there I was, in a room full of musicians all waiting to hear this new pedal. As I turned the effect on, it was the first 5 seconds of me playing through it that put my nerves at ease. I remember building up a reverb and then getting this awesome THX type sound with the Drag knob and I stopped playing, looked up at the Louisville clinic attendees and all of us had our mouths open. I quickly showed them my arm hairs standing up on my arm and then I start hearing the question “What is that pedal called?’ and “Well I am buying that one for sure!”
The Afterneath is Earthquaker Devices take on digital reverb but this reverb “uses a swarm of short delays to create wild and cavernous reverbs and scattered, short rhythmic delays with bizarre characteristics.” All the knobs that are on the pedal are made to allow the player “to stretch, smudge, swell and even self-oscillate into messy ambient washes of sound.”
After the clinic, I text Jamie at Earthquaker Devices “This is your best pedal yet!" If you are looking to create cinematic textures and ambient swells, then this is your pedal. I envisioned this pedal all over music soundtracks and Hans Zimmer ordering 100 of them. And just as that THX sound always gets me excited, every time I turn on the Afterneath, I get that same feeling!
Because of the enormity of sounds the Afterneath gets, I had to ask Nick Reinhart to help me on the video. Most of this video is Nick on guitar but I play bass through the Afterneath at the end of the video. I'm always blown away by what Earthquaker Devices comes up with, and I can't wait for what they do next, always.