Products that looked interesting to me while watching the Winter NAMM 2015 coverage...
Digitech Trio: The Trio puts the old Band in a Box software into a pedal along with chord detection. So, instead of programming the chords and rhythm by hand, you just play the chords and rhythm, then the BiaB bassist and drummer join in.
Note that the BiaB software is fairly sophisticated. It will play fills. It will play busier parts at slower tempos and sparer parts at faster tempos. It could also do keyboard parts, so maybe we’ll get a Quartet pedal in the future if the Trio sells well.
So far, I only saw one demo where they talked about what the optional external footswitches do, and the choices seemed questionable. I hope that will be configurable.
It seems like there would be some potential for a pedal like this that was also a looper. Or maybe they could make it support the same sync feature as the Digitech loopers.
The Eric Johnson Tone Capsule: I’d already been impressed by what I’d been hearing about the new Blues Cube amp. It turns out that they have a socket on it that you can plug a “tone capsule” into. This one is designed to tweak the amp to make it deliver something closer to EJ’s tones.
The fact that it glows and looks like a tube is awesome.
So far, it doesn’t look like there’s anyway to get the BC’s original tones without unplugging the tone capsule. It would be nice if you could have the original tones and the tweaked tones all on tap.
IK Multimedia iRig PowerBridge: This is a great idea. A single solution to charging an iOS device while having an audio or MIDI interface connected.
The downside is that the Mini-DIN connector they’re using probably means it is only compatible with IK’s on interfaces. You’d really like it to have a Lightning connector like Apple’s HDMI adapter. I’m guessing Apple makes that option impractical for them. The next best choice would be USB. But that might still make it more expensive and more complicated.
You can argue that it is in IK’s interest to make it only work with their own interfaces. I disagree, but...shrug
Z.Vex Pedal Thief: Allows you to swap an effects loop between a mic and a guitar. I’m thinking this will be handy to use with loopers that don’t have multiple inputs.
Big Ear N.Y.C. More More More: Three boosts in one box.
Mooer Wahter: What’s cool about the Wahter is that it is a compact wah pedal with fold-out sections to make it more compact while travelling. I hadn’t seen that before.
Boss ES-8: I have to wonder why Boss didn’t already have a switching system for pedals like this in their line. I also wonder if it really is a “game changer” compared to similar systems that were already available. But it does look very nice.
It is a bit disappointing that it doesn’t appear to have a lot of support for stereo pedals. Loop 7 has a mono send and a stereo return, and loop 8 has stereo sends and stereo returns.
I think these are all the (single size) Boss pedals that have stereo in: DD-7, RV-5, TE-2, RC-1, and the RC-3. Although you probably don’t want both an RC-1 and an RC-3 in the same rig, you might want all of them and all the others. The TE-2 strikes me as a very special purpose pedal, so I think you’d want a DD-7 along with it. Lots of people like to have at least two DDs set to different delay times. With the ES-8, you’d have to put all of these in loop 8 or put them after the ES-8 outputs. Either option means you aren’t getting the biggest benefit of the ES-8.
Looking at pedals with mono in and stereo out: DM-2W, DD-3, BF-3, CE-5, CH-1, MO-2, PS-6, OC-3. You have much fewer options using these with the ES-8. Only one of these can go into loop 7 in stereo mode.
Still, for most guitarists that probably isn’t as big an issue as I’m making out of it. Mono is plenty for most guitarists.
Fender Limited Edition Sandblasted Telecaster: Looks pretty nice. I’m a sucker for Teles and anything blue. But what looks even nicer is...
Fender Special Edition David Lozeau Art Stratocaster, Dragon Art: Blue and a dragon.
Reverend Descent Baritones: Reverend has some cool guitars, and baritones always catch my eye.
Antares ATG-1 Floor Processor: This was originally announced and “coming soon” in...what...2012? I still plan to buy one as soon as they’re available. I stopped holding my breath years ago.