NAMM 2011 News: TC Electronic's Colorful Coloring TonePrint Pedals
(ShackMan | Posted 2011-01-06)
We're taught as a young music student not to copy people directly, but to transcribe and emulate playing styles to build one of your own. We start from an idea made by another artist and then work from that to build ideas of our own.
And that's the idea with ToneRite's new series of brightly colored TonePrint pedals. The five pedals being released - Corona Chorus, Flashback Delay & Looper, Vortex Flanger, Shaker Vibrato, and Hall of Fame Reverb (pictured)- feature TC Electronic's standard components, and they're nothing to sniff at. They include: true bypass (why ALL pedals still don't include this is beyond me...), solid metal frame, inputs that accept instrument as well as line level signals, a small ground footprint for putting lots of pedals onto small pedalboards, easy battery access (again, other companies may wish to take a hint), and an analog-dry-through design out of the box. But the unique feature here is the TonePrint feature, which allows semi-infinite customization.*
In my work as a writer, I've made it a point not to reprint the obvious advertising lines, but I have to say, this is the first case a single pedal has been presented to me that is literally several pedals in one. That's because of the TonePrint feature. This allows a user to connect to his computer (PC or Mac) through USB and download various artist- or sound-specific "patches" to the pedal. These "patches" don't just make one specific sound like a preset, though. They alter the way the pedal responds to your input, including your playing style and knob-tweaking. A pedal can only, unfortunately, store one "patch" at a time, but swapping them is completely unlimited, because they will all be available free from TC Electronic's website. Early "patch" collaboraters include Orianthi, Joe Perry, Doug Aldrich, John Petrucci, and Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal. By the time you're reading this, though, I'm sure that list will include many more names, and TC Electronic promises to keep it growing for a long time.
The pedals will carry an MSRP of $177, except in the cases of the Flashback Delay/Looper ($232), and the Hall of Fame Reverb ($122).
I've had good experiences with TC Electronic in the past, and this sounds like a genuinely innovative idea from a solid company that I've come to trust. Can't wait to check it out.
James Rushin is a bassist, keyboardist, writer, and composer living and working in the Greater Pittsburgh area. He has performed with Selmer artist Tim Price, Curtis Johnson, guitarists Ken Karsh and Joe Negri. His compositions have been featured at West Virginia University and Valley Forge Christian College. He will be spending the Fall and Winter months working on playwright Frank Gagliano's Voodoo Trilogy and Bodoni County Songbook.
Got questions? Comments? James can be reached as ShackMan in the Music Gear Review forums, or you may e-mail him at James.Rushin@MusicGearReview.com.