When is digital a step too far

Always keen to embrace new technologies I invested in a computer effects processer for my guitar – a lightweight plastic box that you stick into the USB port on your computer and then attach your guitar via the usual jack socket, another jack takes it to your amp.  I say new, these devices have been round for some time now, so new to me only.  On the screen you have more effects and pre-tones than you can imagine, and you can adjust them too, up the fuzz, boxes that would normally be 60 quid a pop are all available for your use on the screen.  Not only that but once you’ve got one you like you can save it and use it again and again!  And if you’re lazy you can even download a tone to make you sound like Slash.  What more could you ask for?

But is this a good thing, or is it one step away from just letting the computer play the guitar for you?  When you have every effect that money can buy the excitement seems to vanish, there’s so much choice there is no fun in playing around to get the right tone.

And I like the heavy boxes as well – seeing an LED lighting up and knowing that the sound has been carefully crafted by turning the knobs, having to plug in the tiny cables between the devices is all part of the beauty.

It’s fun and will probably grow on me, but my 4 effects pedals are probably quite pleased that they will now share the fun with this new device rather than being replaced by it.


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