Everything in the eighties was just cooler wasn't it? MTV allowed to us to finally see the musicians we'd been listening to for years, our governments encouraged us to smoke indoors and Michael J Fox gave the performance of a lifetime, driving a terrible car into cinematic legend. Yep. They really were great days...and thats before we get onto the world of guitars!
You see the 1980's was something of a re-awakening for the electric guitar. Where as the seventies had been more of an evolution of what had come the decade or so before, the eighties had something new; technology! All of a sudden the guitarist from this era had the tools to play faster, louder and even makes themselves sound like a synthesiser... Well two out of three isn't bad.
The big pedals from the dawn of the guitar effect, morphed almost overnight into even bigger rack-mounted computers with enough processing power to send man to the moon! Analogue bucket brigade based delays that degraded the sound as soon as you looked at one funny, became impossibly complicated digital behemoths, hell bent on pristine repeats that could go on infinitely. Simple chorus circuits turned into triple choral ensembles that added a level of richness never before heard. Reverbs...weren't just done with a spring. You get the idea.
If the upside of this new fangled rack technology was huge guitar sounds then the downside was the extra house you had to buy, to store it all in. If only there was a company that set out to recreate these era defining tones in an easier to live with package. You know, like a pedal...
Well hello there Free The Tone!
Here we have a company from Japan that has set out to recreate these era defining tones in an easier to live with package. Like pedals...and boy have they hit the proverbial nail on its nonexistent head! Plug into any of the Free The Tone range and you'll be transported almost immediately to a time when the only goal in life was to buy low, sell high and try not to crash your turbo'd Porsche on the way home from another cocaine fuelled day at the office.
First up we have the Free The Tone Flight Time Delay. We were first drawn to this pedal like a teenager to a bar that doesn't check I.D's, due to the sheer amount of buttons and LED readouts. This is exactly what I thought guitar pedals should always look like...even before I started playing guitar! The fact it can conjure some of the most alluring and pristine delay sounds imaginable is simply a bonus! This is a pedal you can lose not just hours but whole days to. Terrific.
Reverb fans who have always dreamt of the perfect, digitally controlled reverb pedal should get involved with the Free The Tone Ambi Space Reverb. This bonanza of sonic reflections in bronze is the kind of pedal that sounds utterly brilliant on each of its many modes. From "spring" to "serene", every sonic algorithm is both musical and inspiring... Or you can just select "cave" and turn everything up full. That's also good.
The Free The Tone Tri Avatar Multi Dimensional chorus is perhaps the best single chorus sound from a stomp box. There, we said it. This pedal gets scarily close to those rack mountable units that it pays homage to with a width of sound that has to be heard ( and felt ) to be believed. The fact that it's so easy to dial in makes it the modulation bargain of the 21st Century.
Finally the Free The Tone Future Factory RF Delay redefines what is possible with a couple of modulated delay circuits in a single box. This earth shatteringly good looking pedal bravely goes where no delay pedal has gone before. We're talking epic film score levels of "stop and stare" brilliance. We're still not sure what all the buttons do but the Future Factory does that neat trick of making us want to pick up the guitar more and more. Surely that's what it's all about in the first place, right?
That's just a few of our favourites and by no means the complete range. Free The Tone also do a killer selection of drives amongst other things, all built with the same attention to detail and industry leading quality.
So what are you waiting for? Throw on your favourite pair of Ray Bans, crank up some Toto and get ready to Free The Tone... You'll love it, we promise.
See you soon