Apr 5, 2013
Hello Samurai friends! Apologies for my tardiness in writing, but lately I’ve been busy hauling all my worldly possessions up from Wellington to Auckland. I hope everyone had a great Easter break – don’t forget to be thankful to both Jesus and the Easter Bunny for the public holiday.
A few weeks back we did a double feature on some cool little mini/micro pedals – the Mooer Eleclady and Ninety Orange, clones of the legendary EHX Electric Mistress and MXR EVH Phase 90 respectively. If you haven’t read that yet – do it now!
Guitar Effects NZ were kind enough to furnish me with a few more of these little doodads to review, and next in line is the Mooer Pitch Box. It’s just going to be a little quick fix this week as my guitar room isn’t quite 100% set up yet… but that’s this weekend’s job!
Here it is:
As the name implies, and if you were really clever, you may have figured out.. that this is a pitch shifter.
Now, I’m not entirely sure what specific pedal this was cloned from – what’s the most famous pitch shifting pedal that’s not the Digitech Whammy? Probably a Boss Super Shifter of some sort?
Anyway – the important part is that it shifts your pitch in a number of delightful ways. Let me count those ways:
- Detune – much like on the Digitech Whammy, Detune mode gives you a nice, spacey chorus sound.
- Pitch Shift – want to pretend you’re a bass player? Fair enough, nobody does. But on the off-chance that you need to tune down or up without actually tuning down or up, here’s the mode you want.
- Harmony – do you want to decrease your effort to apparent fretboard dexterity ratio, you lazy so and so? Harmony mode gives you booming octaves down, psychedelic octaves up, and anything in between. Time to play some Iron Maiden?
Chorus is many a player’s guilty pleasure. Now with this pedal, you can hide your secret shame. Like the Eleclady Flanger that we reviewed last time, this pedal has a handy chorus mode hidden in there so that no one will know what you like in your spare time…
You can go lowwwww:
And also, you can go high, but what’s the point in that? Just play higher up on the fretboard. And if you need a further octave up when you’re already high up on the fretboard, well.. the neighbourhood cats and dogs will NOT thank you for it. And sadly, there’s no foot controller on this one, so no Tom Morello antics for you!
One of the coolest tones that I got was a massive, octave down harmony which just turned a normal overdriven guitar line into a mammoth wild beast ready to trample your family in retaliation for building a goddamn condo on top of its habitat. Like this:
And of course, no octave harmony exploits are complete without some octave up madness ala Jimi!
Last but not least, here’s some Asian sounding 5ths:
I was going to make some corny joke about how I’ve just shifted… something something pitch shifter… but I couldn’t quite figure it out, unfortunately. Well, probably fortunate for everyone, really.
So that’s your quick fix for today – the Mooer Pitch Box. As with all the other Mooers, the great price, solid construction, and tiny footprint are strongly in its favour. I liked the Pitch Box overall, and found using it live in Detune mode quite effective. My playing style doesn’t really call for much harmony/shifting work, but if it did, the Pitch Box would definitely get some use. The only downsides to this box are that in the extreme low range it seems to track slightly less effectively, and the harmonizing isn’t smart – you can’t program scale intervals into it, so you’re stuck with a straight 5th or 3rd or whatever, which somewhat limits its usability for elaborate harmonization work.
My advice? Use it to create octave madness, up or down, and you’ll have a smile on your face at the end of the day.
The review unit was kindly provided by Guitar Effects NZ – and if you look at our previous review you might even find a 10% discount voucher for their online store, exclusive to Six-String Samurai readers!!
Samurai out – and don’t worry, the reviews will hopefully start to flow again very soon!