11 Space-Saving Pedals from Keeley, Alexander, EHX, and More

Achieving a wide-range of sounds is important to many musicians. Whether it's boosting a solo, adding textured layers, or the need to cut through the mix, it's easy to find yourself adding more pedals to an already packed pedalboard.

Recently, companies have been offering more functionality without compromising quality or dramatically increasing size of single use effects. Adding features like MIDI, expression control, presets, and dual functionality help to enhance ordinary effects to an extraordinary level.

Of course, there's a wide range of multi-effects pedals and modeling systems that can replace your entire pedalboard. But if you're looking to use most of the pedals you already own and love, and just want to clear some space with some unique and innovative stompboxes, take a look at some of these innovative, space-saving effects below.


Keeley: Loomer, Dark Side, and Aria

For over 17 years, Keeley Electronics have been putting out some of most well-known effect pedals. More recently, the company has expanded its tonal palette, combining some of their most popular effects in a convenient, pedalboard-friendly enclosure.

Offerings like the Dark Side and Loomer pedals combine both fuzz and time-based effects inspired by legendary guitarists David Gilmour of Pink Floyd and Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine. Both pedals come from Keeley's Workstation lineup and are perfect for gearheads wanting a simple, all-in-one solution to get their favorite tones without spending a fortune.

Keeley also released the Aria pedal last year, a combination of compression and drive with effect order switch, low and high gain modes, TRS insert for adding other pedals in between the effects, and the ability to integrate with pedal switchers.

Keeley Electronics Aria Compressor Drive | Reverb Tone Report

Alexander Effects Neo Series

The Neo Series effects line from Alexander Pedals is a newly expanded lineup that packs an incredible amount of features in compact, pedalboard-friendly enclosures. The NEO series has the ability to do both simple and straightforward sounds as well as diving deep into secondary functions, multiple presets, tap tempo, MIDI, expression control, and much more.

Alexander Pedals released the Neo Space Race Reverb and Wavelength Modulator last year—and just this year at NAMM announced the newest in the line, the Radical Delay DX. These pedals include a range of effects that cover everything from shimmer reverb to bubbly vibrato modulation sounds. The line brings serious competition to some of the company's beloved larger box pedals, offering similar functionality at a fraction of the size.

Alexander Radical Delay DX at NAMM 2019

Chase Bliss Brothers Analog Gainstage

Since 2013, Chase Bliss Audio has been pushing sonic boundaries, producing some of the most influential tools and effects for musicians. Their motto "Digital Brain, Analog Heart" fits perfectly with the amount of versatility packaged into such small enclosures.

One of the standout stars of the Chase Bliss Audio lineup is the Brothers Analog Gain Stage. Gain stages are an integral component for many musicians, often incorporating flavors of boost, overdrive, and fuzz to enhance tonal qualities and cut through the mix. Luckily, the Brothers has all of those components plus a whole lot more.

The pedal uses two independent analog drive channels that can be routed for both parallel and series modes to get unique flavors of tone. The Brothers also sports an effects order switch that lets users cascade the drive channels for more volume or gain, depending on the selection. If that wasn't enough, users can save presets and easily recall them either by pedal footswitch or with a MIDI controller. If you're a musician needing a compact gain stage with an insane amount of tonal capabilities, look no further than the Chase Bliss Audio Brothers Analog Gainstage.

Chase Bliss Audio Brothers Analog Gainstage | Reverb Demo Video

Old Blood Noise Endeavors Excess

The Old Blood Noise Endeavors Excess is a new take on combining distortion with chorus/delay that delivers incredible tonal options with a minimal footprint.

The Excess combines a high gain distortion circuit with a chorus or slap back delay section that can be routed either series or parallel stacking modes. This brilliant feature allows users to dial in the exact amount of effect via independent volume knobs to achieve anything from subtle grit to extreme harmonies while still retaining clarity of each effect. This little box of goodies also includes expression control over both distortion and modulated sections for those classic sweeping flanger and warped delay sounds.

The Old Blood Noise Endeavors Excess is perfect for players wanting a versatile high-gain monster, trippy flanger or chorus, and warped delay in an all-in-one package. With incredible tonal options and ability to deliver clear layered tones, the Excess might just be a Shoegazer's new best friend.

Old Blood Noise Endeavors Excess Distortion Chorus Delay | Reverb Tone Report

Strymon Flint Reverb and Tremolo

Over the last decade, Strymon have release some of the most innovative pedals that have become mainstays on countless musicians' pedalboards due to their top of the line build quality and high performance components. The Strymon Flint Tremolo and Reverb is a perfect example of how to incorporate versatility in a simple, pedalboard-friendly format.

The engineers at Strymon drew from some of the most beloved reverb and tremolo circuits—from spring, plate, and hall reverbs to harmonic, tube, and photocell tremolos.The straightforward design doesn't overcomplicate its functionality with independent circuits, stereo out, and a multifunctional jack that can be used for expression, favorite preset, or tap tempo.

The Flint's small profile and multi functionality makes it a great addition to both live and studio musicians needing those classic sounds in a convenient modern package.

Strymon Flint Tremolo & Reverb | Reverb Demo Video

Electro-Harmonix Superego+ Synth Engine/Multi-Effect

The Electro-Harmonix Superego+ Synth Engine is the much anticipated sequel to the original Superego design. The Superego+ comes with an additional section sporting 11 effects that can be used in conjunction with the synth engine or as standalone effects. The Superego+ is great for players wanting to create atmospheric sounds on the fly with the added bonus of having a dedicated stomp box for echo, chorus, filter, pitch shift, trem, and more.

With the press of a button your instrument is transformed in to an ethereal, multi-layered, sound effect that would easily take 10 or more effects to replicate. The Superego+ comes equipped with an expression pedal input that allows users to shift between effect settings with or without the synth engine engaged. Whether you need a dedicated pitch shifter, whirling vibe, or just want to create the next score to Stranger Things, the Superego+ combines unique soundscapes and practical effects making it simple to use with a ton of functionality.

If you want just the synthy vibes of the Superego+ without the multi-effect, EHX just released two brand-new pedals at NAMM worth your attention: The Mono Synth and Bass Mono Synth. Check out our video from the NAMM 2019 convention to see them in action.

Electro-Harmonix Superego + | Reverb Tone Report Demo

Boss and JHS JB-2 Angry Driver

Two of the most popular effects companies, Boss and JHS, teamed up in 2017 to create the JB-2 Angry Driver. The pedal combines the legendary Boss Blues Driver with the JHS Angry Charlie to create a multi-modal, dual gain pedal that offers a wide-range of iconic tones in a pedalboard friendly enclosure.

Each drive circuit features independent volume, tone, and gain knobs with a fourth knob to control the routing. This unique mode selector allows effects to be run in series or parallel for huge sounds and unique tonal voicings. The Angry Driver's versatility allows it to go from transparent boost to high gain monster and anywhere in between. Whether you're a bedroom player or stadium rocker, this two-in-one design is perfect for players wanting more functionality with simple controls to cover all their tonal needs.

Boss JB-2 Angry Driver

Do you any favorite space-saving pedals, multi-effects, or tips and tricks for making the most out of limited pedalboard real estate? Let us know in the comments.


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