Tag Archives: Guitar Gear

The Plus Pedal: Brining Piano like sustain to Guitarists | An Interview with the makers, Gamechanger Audio.

One of the biggest challenges for guitar players is often the inability to play Harmony and Melody in conjunction without signing up with finger Yoga classes. This has also been the reason a significant amount envy towards piano players and the sustain possibilities that their instrument offers. The good fellows from Gamechanger Audio have taken it upon themselves to address this issue by building this wonderful new piece of gear called “The Plus Pedal”  which brings piano like sustain for guitarists. It borrows much of it’s aesthetic form the piano pedal, but goes way beyond its capabilities thanks to it smart use of digital sampling and tweakability. To learn more, read our interview with co-founder and creator, Ilja Krumins.

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The Plus Pedal
The Plus Pedal integrates with many types of other effects!
1. Is this is the first product you have developed? Any other ideas in the cooker?
The PLUS Pedal is the first fully formed commercial product that we have developed. But we are definitely not rookies – we have all been fiddling around with audio electronics for years, for example building our own amps and pedals, doing all sorts of experimental projects for personal use and for college.
We kind of had the same attitude when we started the PLUS Pedal – what if? Wouldn’t it be cool if? And then after half a year of hard work when we plugged in our first functioning prototype, we all kind of looked at each other and said – yup – this has to be in stores 🙂
We do have a few other “Game-changing” ideas planned – hopefully, we can present our next invention at the next winter NAMM show.
2. Which is the one biggest challenge you faced while developing The Plus Pedal?
Finding the best brand of Instant Noodles. Arguing about who’s turn it is to go get the coffee, stuff like that 😉
No, but seriously – it was all an awesome process and we really had a lot of fun working on this. This idea took way more time than we expected, so we kind of had to learn patience, but all in all – it was all a blast!
From a technical point of view – it was a quite a challenge to make it sound in the first place and the make it sound great with other instruments, such as horns, cellos, vocals, etc., because of the different output levels and various note attacks and so on.
3. Is there some famous guitarist who you think will greatly benefit from The Plus Pedal?
Well, I think the guys from Radiohead really need this pedal!
Also, I would love to see what Blake Mills, Ruban Nielson, Ry Cooder, Kurt Rosenwinkel would do with the PLUS.
David Lynch should get one too, cause this thing is like a natural for weird/ambient soundtracks.
4. There are many unique features in The Plus Pedal like the FX Loop WET mode which open up many possibilities beyond the already large possibilities of having good sustain on demand – do you think people might become overwhelmed?
Yeah, when we first started this project, we had 5 more extra features in mind, but as you just said – things started becoming quite overwhelming, so we gradually arrived at what we think is the optimal balance between functionality and simplicity. We have been playing with the PLUS pedal for almost a year now, and still there are soo many undiscovered techniques and tricks – I don’t think I’ll ever get bored with it – that’s for sure!
5. You guys are musicians as well and The Plus Pedal was born from a Do-It-Yourself attitude from wanting such a device, who were the inspirations for you both musically and how were you inspired to develop such technology? (fav artists, brands, products)
We all met each other playing weekend gigs on the rockabilly and blues circuit around the Baltics, so funnily enough – we aren’t big pedal freaks ourselves. I mean they are fun to explore and build, but usually when on stage we try to respect the traditional approach:
Guitar => Delay unit => Tube amp with reverb. I’ll also use a tube screamer and a tremolo.
So yeah when designing the PLUS pedal, we did not want to create some gimmicky toy – we really wanted to build a timeless piece of kit that would be as transparent as possible, yet very useful – allowing each player to unlock new territories and essentially, play rhythm and lead simultaneously.
We listen to a lot of JJ Cale, Mark Knopfler in the office, also tons of surf music and western soundtracks, and of course Scooter!
My personal guitar-favorites are John Scofield, SRV, Ry Cooder, Brian Setzer, Jimi.
Ilja Krumins, Co-founder and Creator of PLUS Pedal