8 Steps to Rule Them All and 1 Sequencer to Bind Them
Electro-Harmonix is a name that is built upon a legacy of experimentation and that is a style they won’t soon abandon. Among their newer innovations is the 8 Step Program pedal. No, it’s not a way to ease back into a state of sobriety after a night of binging and purging. Rather it’s a sequencer that uses expression pedal ports and CV generators like oscillators, filters, and delay parameters to manipulate the sound in wholly new ways. And with the aid of the 8 Step Program Foot Controller the landscapes of your brilliance shall not be lost to the sands of time.
The 8 Step Program
First things first. Let’s discuss the anatomy of the 8 Step Program. The primary sound manipulation will be controlled with the eight various sliders, each in charge of a sequence step. A ninth slider controls the rate of the overall effect. A depth knob in the top right will control how robust the effect is and the knob doubles as a button to switch the mode between forward, reverse, bounce, and random. There are three big foot switches, one to turn the pedal on, one to twp the tempo in with your foot, and one that will reset all settings to a default state.
Finally there are two buttons between the foot switches. One that lets you manually set the tempo and one that toggles the expression mode from depth to rate, to gliding, to sequence length. The 8 Step Program can also store up to ten presets.
Now how it works. Unlike most pedals that simply go from guitar to amp the 8 Step is designed to work with expression pedal jacks. You can plug expression in and expression out into other pedals like the HOG 2 or the Talking Machine that can support expression pedals. The 8 Step will then whip and spin the signal into any number of other sounds. Auto-wahs become step filters, tremolos morph into rhythmic pulses. Pitch shifts become arpeggios. The limits are only determined by as much as you have to plug the 8 Step into.
The 8 Step Program ships on April 6th, 2013 for $123.38.
The 8 Step Foot Controller
The extra accessory, the 8 Step Program Foot Controller, acts as an expansion slot for the 8 Step Program storing up to one-hundred extra presets ready to be conjured up on a whim. You can either use the rotating dial or the two foot switches to scroll through the bank.
The Foot Controller will ship with the 8 Step Program on April 6th for $62.81. Both are currently available for preorder.
What are Sequencers?
With all this step sequencer jargon being thrown around I can imagine some newcomers not really knowing the role of the sequencer, so allow me to give you a pretty abridged introduction. Sequencers are either hardware or software designed for audio playback. Be it from recording and editing or in this case live editing and playback.
More contextually relevant a step sequencer will round the replayed audio into even steps or intervals. In the case of the 8 Step Program your signal is being replayed in about as many step as there are in a major scale (plus one for the octave). Granted in the grand scheme of sequencers there’s a lot more than that, but this is a good start on the more relevant aspects.