Electro-Harmonix Freeze Sound Retainer

A unique new pedal to the E-HX range that's part sustain and part looper

When we tried Electro-Harmonix's Cathedral Reverb, we loved its Infinite Reverb mode for sustained synth pad-esque sounds. The Freeze Sound Retainer is a standalone pedal version of this effect.

It works by sampling your guitar, but unlike a looper it takes a snapshot of the signal running through the pedal at the moment you stomp, and sustains it until you reset the footswitch.

This creates a backdrop that lends itself well to post rock and electro music. The toggle switch lets you flip between Fast, Slow or Latch modes. In Fast mode, the pedal starts sustaining as soon as you stomp, and stops when you release your foot.

Slow mode gives a variable-speed fade in and out to the sustain, which, when you're switching between chords, is much smoother than the slightly unnatural on/off reaction in Fast.

The stomp switch can also be used in Latch mode, so you can take your foot off for long sustained periods. While you do get an effect level knob that controls the volume of the sustained tone, we'd like to have seen an option for controlling this with an expression pedal, too.

The Freeze effect is ideal for creating thick soundscapes and drones with your guitar - especially when you run it through other effects like wah, tremolo or delay. Yes, it's a specialist pedal, but it's great if you create a lot of non-traditional guitar sounds.

Check out some of the sounds the Freeze Sound Retainer can make over on the Total Guitar site.

MusicRadar Rating

4 / 5 stars
Pros

Full-sounding guitar textures.

Cons

No use for Back In Black.

Verdict

A creative idea that can add a really interesting new dimension to your playing.

Features

Infinite sustain pedal. Controls: Effect, level, Fast/Slow/Latch switch, footswitch. Power: Supplied 9V DC adapter

Review Policy
All MusicRadar's reviews are by independent product specialists, who are not aligned to any gear manufacturer or retailer. Our experts also write for renowned magazines such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Computer Music, Future Music and Rhythm. All are part of Future PLC, the biggest publisher of music making magazines in the world.