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Other than having an expensive sustainer system installed in a guitar, or an EBow, there’s really never been an easy, out-of-the-box way to generate controlled sustain at any volume. In most cases it requires a loud, overdriven amp close to a guitar’s pickups, but controlling it is problematic at best. DigiTech has solved this issue, and has literally made a “take my money” pedal in the new FreqOut Feedback Creation Pedal.
Amazingly, it’s quite simple — a stacked gain and onset knob that controls the level of the signal, and how fast the feedback signal comes into play. The straight dry signal can be eliminated via the dry switch, so it’s only the feedback note coming in. The foot switch can be the standard on/off or a momentary press and hold function. There are several modes of feedback to choose from, Sub, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, natural low, and natural high.
In momentary mode, it’s like a sustain pedal on a piano. Hit a note or chord, press the switch, and it’s to infinity and beyond (well maybe not beyond, but you get the idea). The LED display shows the level of the feedback signal. Even better, play it like a wah wah, pressing and sustaining notes as needed.
In standard mode, it’s smart enough to not sustain everything, but can hold notes and chords in the empty spaces between them. For players in a 3-piece band, this can really fill in the sound. Oh yeah, and it can be done at ANY volume; meaning no ringing in the ears level volume needed to generate natural sounding feedback. Clean guitars can benefit as well as bass guitars. In the past, trying to fill in the space with chorus, reverb and delays meant the sound expanded, but at the cost of tone and definition. The FreqOut can make a dry, minimally effected guitar really fill out the mix.
Tweaking it a bit deeper, and it can get really interesting — knowing the harmonic, and altering the notes, means you can play the feedback notes, for example such as setting it to a 3rd, and playing an A note, can give you a C feedback note. This can open up so many options that will really give you a ton of new creative ideas for both rhythm and solo work.
In the studio, this is a great idea for hitting that last note or chord of a song, and letting it ring out as long as needed, as it’s much easier to do it live, rather than manipulate the track with software.
The street price is $179, and for players who often say, “I don’t mess with effects, they’re too complicated and mess with your tone,” this is one that’s simple, and brings a lot to the table for any player.