Video: 4 Pedals Predicting the Future of Dirt

The pedal world is a continuously growing cornucopia of choice, with big-brand mainstays constantly releasing new and improved circuits and exciting new companies joining the fun with inventive circuits of their own. Today, Andy is looking at a few new offerings from the latter category, and these four pedals are nothing if not inventive.

First up is the new Gamechanger Audio Plasma Pedal High-Voltage Distortion. Futuristic in its own right, the Plasma is built around a xenon-filled tube instead of circuits and transistors, which sends your signal into high-voltage discharges for a non-linear harmonically saturated distortion. Great for both bass and guitar, this unique pedal is capable of distortion full of low-end grit.

Next, Andy is checking out a brand-new pedal line, the Carbon Series, from a new company called Nanolog Audio Inc. The brand was co-founded by Rick McCreery and Adam Bergren, two senior PhD research officers from Canada's National Institute for Nanotechnology, who created a Nanolog Device ("a carbon molecular junction that conducts voltage and produces clipping characteristics in enhanced and novel ways") back in 2015 that they now build their pedals around. The carbon-based Nanolog Devices provide an alternative to the silicon and germanium diodes that most clipping-oriented guitar effects are made with today.

First up in the series is the Orbital Fuzz, inspired by the iconic Big Muff Pi. It's packed with two carbon N2 molecular junctions and two traditional silicon diodes for a total of four potential clipping pairings. The silicon and carbon settings can also be paired together in series with two independent gain stages for even more tone-shaping potential.

Next up, Andy checks out the Tube Screamer-inspired Classic Overdrive. Like the Orbital Fuzz, this effect features four clipping options—silicon, germanium, and two different carbon options (N1 and N2). Iterating the Tube Screamer's famous single tone knob, the Classic Overdrive expands to independent knobs for bass and treble cut.

The last pedal in the Carbon Series, Andy also checks out the C4 Distortion—an effect featuring three different clipping options. Flip the switch to the silicon position for compressed and saturated distortion tone in line with other current market offerings, flip to the middle open position for no clipping in a big volume boost, or flip to the N2 setting for warm and rich distortion.

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