The Pedal that Talks Back
Well good ol’ Electro-Harmonix is at it again. The follow up to the Crying Tone from the Next Step line of expression pedals has seen the light of day. The Talking Pedal. A vocal synthesizing expression pedal that in a way offers the similar effects from EHX’s Talking Machine in a pedal designed to cater to the needs from a wah pedal. At long last you can tell your wife / girlfriend you’re going to go have a real conversation for a change.
The Talking Pedal In Depth
What is this new fangled technological thingamajig anyway? What’s it for? Well these are simple questions to answer. This thingamajig is the Talking Pedal. It uses two of EHX’s developed moving vocal formant filters (also known as twin analog filters which are not unlike the ones found in the Talking Machine) to give you realistic vocal simulation to mire your guitar’s signal in. Unlike the Talking Machine though, you are a bit more limited in the types of voices you can simulate.
To add to its features there is a fuzz control on the side allowing you to go from crystal clear cleans to the grittiest and grating fuzz distortion. In addition if you use the pedal more modestly and slowly it develops more of a phase type effect soaking and coloring your guitar’s tone in all sorts of miraculous new ways.
A Quick Next Step Recap
For those that are out of the loop let me bring you up to speed. EHX’s Next Step line is a series of expression pedals with no moving parts – rather a contoured bottom that allows the guitarist to use it in the same fashion thus removing the concern for natural wear and tear and the inevitable breakage of parts on any other pedal.
The pedals use a device known as an accelerometer to gauge motion and velocity. That accelerometer then sends the information on the pedal’s position to the accompanying hardware that is programmed to alter the guitar’s signal accordingly i.e. if the pedal is in X position make it sound like Y. Listening to the pedal is easy enough, but just consider all the thinking it has to do all the time to make the transition of sound so seamless and in sync with the rate you move your foot.
The pedals come with a calibrate button to determine the natural resting place when the pedal’s not in use to ensure the tone is properly synced with the foot movements.
Currently the Talking Pedal is available for preorder for a fee of $90.90 (eligible for free shipping at through some retailers) and will be available to the public September 29th.
For more information on other facets of the Next Step line, like the Crying Tone, check this page out and see what else EHX has to offer.