Based out of Music City, Big Ear Pedals has perfected the art developing clever effects pedals with setups so simple that even guitarists can understand them. Big Ear's latest, an ambient modulator named Albie, continues in this vein.
It is Big Ear's first multi-effects (opens in new tab) pedal and was designed in collaboration with Joe McCaffrey of the New York indie rockers Nightmare Of You.
Albie is a digital effect, with a simple two-knob setup on its ”Aqua Teal” enclosure to control eight individual effects that offer a variety of "jangly, shimmering, modulated sounds," the likes of which were popularised during the heyday of post-punk and new-wave.
There are eight numbered LEDs lined up under the knobs, each corresponding to a different effect. Turn the effect knob to select your sound, then adjust the blend to bring in how much of it you want in your signal.
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Sometimes we need a cornucopia of choice. Our pedalboards would be a lot duller if they were populated solely by set-and-forget stompboxes. Options are good. But we like the looks of Albie – it cuts right to the chase.
Of course, there is a hidden function, a little like finding extra chips at the bottom of the bag. Hold down the footswitch and it opens up a secondary setting for each effect.
These are the Neil Modes, named for Neil Graham of Dr Scientist who programmed the digital magic in Albie's circuit, and who designed the bonus settings himself.
The Albie takes 9V DC power and draws a minimum current of 111mA.
Priced $199, it is available now direct from Big Ear (opens in new tab). Shipping is free in the US, flat rate of 20 bucks R.O.W.