Introducing the Crying Tone

EHX Crying Tone WahHave you ever been tilting your iPhone or your Droid, or maybe that brand X tablet of yours that nestles itself into your clutches all about, watching the angle you hold it at influence how the image shows up on the screen? Have you ever looked at that and thought “now this would make a guitar pedal great”?

The guys at Electro-Harmonix did and that’s more or less what they’ve done.

As they say, necessity is the mother of invention, and in this case the Crying Tone is born from decades of dismay regarding the natural wear and tear from all the moving parts in wah pedals that break down over time. Next thing you know you’ve got to flip another hundred bucks for a new pedal unless you’re into repairing pedals yourself.

EHX had done away with all of that. Now we have an expression pedal with no moving parts. The underside is beveled to allow you to tilt it like an expression pedal and the internal motion sensors pick up on the angle so you can cry away without a care in the world.

How Does the Crying Tone Work?

The pedal itself is pretty straight forward to handle. You set the pedal on the floor in whatever angle it will be resting at then you hit the calibrate button and the accelerometer adjusts accordingly.

As for the inner workings the simplest answer is that it uses an accelerometer to figure out the angle.

In short an accelerometer, much as the name implies, measures acceleration. Acceleration goes hand in hand with motion since something can’t accelerate without moving. The Crying Tone uses this technology to tell what angle the pedal has moved to at what rate and thus it filters your signal accordingly.

It’s the same technology that’s been used in our cell phones and video game gadgets so the next time you tilt your iPhone on its side and watch the screen adjust you can think to yourself “the Crying Tone works the same way”. Then you can be the talk of the town among your friends for your esteemed education.

The Design

Because the pedal as a whole is constantly moving when in use it’s possibly unfeasible to be fixed on a pedal board unless you’re as quick witted as MacGyver. Though the bottom of the Crying Tone does look like it has enough rubber on it to keep the pedal from sliding across the floor.

Additionally if you wanted to retain a specific tone with the pedal at say 50 degrees you’re going to need to stand there and stay still until you’re done with it. I wouldn’t be surprised if EHX forged some sort of mount to accommodate these potential concerns in the future. While the pedal would take on the “moving parts” concern it would still be free from the wear and tear of other expression pedals.

Pricing Info – What’s the Damage?

The financial exchange to get your mitts on a Crying Tone pedal is $87 even and while many sites already offer the option to reserve the pedal it won’t be released to the masses until July 2nd if 2012.

The Next Step

EHX is certainly onto something here. Mike Matthews is certainly interested in getting with the times and already has more expression pedals set to be released with the Crying Tone such as the Real Time Variable Control, the Talking Wah/Fuzz pedal, the Precision Volume Control, and the Stereo Panning pedal.

Kyle Smitchens (448 Articles)

Kyle Smitchens is the Guitar-Muse Managing Editor, super hero extraordinaire, and all around great guy. He has been playing guitar since his late teens and writing personal biographies almost as long. An appreciator of all music, his biggest influences include Tchaikovsky, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Steve Vai, Therion, and Jon Levasseur of Cryptopsy.