An Introduction to EarthQuaker Devices: Their Pedals and Their Story

Ohio is the birthplace of many great things, including modern aviation, Lebron James, and the Skyline Chili 3-way. It's also where Jamie Stillman and EarthQuaker Devices calls home.

Back in 2004, Jamie was on the road with longtime friend Pat Carney as a gear tech and tour manager for The Black Keys. At that time Jamie had no intention of founding a pedal company and yet, nearly 15 years later, his EarthQuaker Devices shop is one of the most notable pedal outfits you'll find anywhere.

"Somewhere around late 2006 or early 2007 I started up with the Hoof and Tusk fuzzes and the Disaster Transport Delay. I started posting on message boards and some people decided to take a chance on those pedals. Then everything started to spread by word of mouth. By 2008, I had about eight or nine pedals in the line and was doing it pretty much full time."

Today you can find more than 40 different EQD effects in circulation across a wide variety of sonic landscapes. Some of the devices act as expected, others launch themselves into less defined spaces—and all of them come from the mind of Jamie Stillman.

"I usually start out with a rough idea and tinker around on the breadboard until it becomes fully realized," he says. "Most of them are things that I personally want for a specific use."

Sometimes that might be a monophonic analog guitar synthesizer with four octaves of vintage square wave synth tones. Other times, a dual resonant filter controlled by a single LFO that sweeps each filter in opposite directions. But no matter what the sonic outcome, Jamie is still focused on making things he thinks are cool.

"We have succeeded thus far based on all my whims—I don't want to jinx it now."

The EarthQuaker Devices Team

Jamie is still the lead designer and, over the years, has surrounded himself with a talented crew of builders, artists and day-to-day business managers who keep the wheels on. Everything from assembly to packaging is handled in-house—and that's the way Jamie likes it.

"It's basically a very elaborate version of when it was just me, soldering all day and night in my pajamas."

You can learn more about Jamie, his devices, and the EQD team at earthquakerdevices.com.

EarthQuaker Pedals You Need To Know

Hoof Fuzz

As EQD's flagship fuzz pedal, the Hoof has been around the block a few times. Loosely based on the classic green Russian Muff circuit, the Hoof features a hybrid germanium/silicon design that dishes out everything from amp-like grit to full-on fuzz roar. And with dual tone controls, it always sits just right in the mix.

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Palisades Overdrive

There are lots of Tubescreamer clones on the market, but none of them are as complete as the Palisades. With six different clipping options, five bandwidth settings and two gain channels, nearly every shade and variety of gain is accessible. So if you're looking for the ultimate Tubescreamer—look no further.

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Avalanche Run Delay/Reverb

The Avalanche Run takes the hauntingly ambient tones of EQD's Dispatch Master to the next level. Imagine ramming two seconds of delay into a lush stereo reverb with complete control over both. Amazing, right? Well, it gets better, because you can generate those dreamy tones three different ways.

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Rainbow Machine Pitch Shifter

Do you like things that are a little strange? If so, the Rainbow Machine is probably for you. Designed for experimenters, adventurists and noisemakers alike, this polyphonic pitch shifter uses digital oscillators to turn the sounds guitar can make into magically regenerating multi-colored sonic lazer beams. You'll probably like it.

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Afterneath Reverb

Some reverb pedals are good for capturing the sounds of vintage spring tanks. Others, like the Afterneath, excel at replicating the experience of being frightfully lost within the depths of longest, widest and most reflective cave system known to man. So if you're into tonal spelunking, the Afterneath will take you there.

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