With the dawning of 2019, it’s time to look back on the effects pedals in 2018 that we absolutely loved. This past year was a great year for effects pedals, but these are the pedals that we kept coming back to. Without further ado, here are Pedals and Effects top 10 pedals (in no order), of 2018.
Earthquaker Devices are constantly outdoing themselves. Whether it’s blazing a new path in innovation, or a modern take on a classic, Earthquaker Devices are successfully pushing the boundaries on what effects pedals are capable of. With the Aqueduct, it’s a modern rejuvenation of a classic effect, vibrato. I love vibrato and for most of my career have sworn by the Boss VB-2 Vibrato, but I think the Aqueduct has taken it down a peg. My new favorite vibrato.
The Dark World may very well be the only reverb you could ever need. With an unlimited amount of combinations that you can seamlessly dial in, you can lose hours (and days) getting lost in the Dark World. Shimmer, plate, hall, spring, room, cavern, delayed reverb? It’s all there, come to the dark side.
Quite possibly one of the most, if not the most faithful spring reverb sounds you can get. No need to worry about lugging that vintage reverb tank around, get the Source Audio True Spring reverb. It sounds just like, and reacts exactly like those old spring reverbs there without the fuss of all that additional hardware. There’s plenty of sounds under the hood to dig out.
This might be one of the most polarizing things I’ll say, but the MXR Vintage Bass Octave is my new go-to octave pedal. That classic Boss OC-2 sub sound? It’s all there in the MXR Vintage Bass Octave for a fraction of the price, and a fraction of the size. Don’t sleep on this one.
We might be a little biased, this is a gated reverb that was admittedly inspired by Nick’s playing! What Nick had been doing, was activating and deactivating a reverb pedal live. What that does, was making the pedal latch onto the previously cut-off reverb trails. But what this pedal does, is accentuate what your playing through use of reverb trails and hard signal cuts. Shouts out to the Igor, the expression pedal that goes with it too!
This pedal became mainstays on both of our boards, and for good reason. While it’s labeled a “synth” pedal, it is capable of so much more. All of the weirdness of a Digitech Space Station, the massive synth sounds of the FM4, it’s all here and then some. Super special shout out to the preset attachment that let’s us switch between all of the weird sounds we love to come up with. You’ll hear me play it with Manson, and you’ll hear Nick play it with Tera Melos. It is diverse, it is musical, it is one of the best pedals of 2018.
We literally made a 40 minute video about this pedal. The Tensor can best be described as a modifiable sampler pedal. You play something, sample/loop it and then you manipulate as if you were working an old school tape deck. It’s one of the coolest pedals we’ve ever had the pleasure of playing with. Sampling, time warping/stretching, pitch shifting, reverse, sampling, overdubs, and tape stops. It gets weird and it still manages to be super musical even on its most random setting!
Quite possibly my most “Instagrammed” pedal of 2018. Dirt, distortion, octave, filtering, and “Wavefolding” their own take on square/sine wave manipulation. Super dope with the expression pedal too. This one was such a pleasant surprise. Malekko hit me up and just said “we’re sending you a pedal” not knowing what to expect. I’ve brought it to sessions, and it is crazy gnarly on bass. I’ve had people at sessions buy it online right then and there. This one was a no-brainer for one of the best of the year.
It goes without saying 2018 set the bar incredibly high for 2019. We can’t wait to see what the new year brings for Pedals and Effects.