Effects

Summer NAMM attracts healthy crowd

Summer NAMM attracts healthy crowd

THE NATIONAL Association of Music Merchants’ (NAMM) summer soiree looks to be regaining its former footing after several years of softening attendance prior to its moving to the new Music City Center in 2015. According to the organizers, Summer NAMM welcomed 14,284 industry members to the show, a 2% increase from 2016. Of note, international attendees accounted for a growth of 14% over 2016, and nearly 28% growth over 2015.  more...
Sweetwater’s annual ‘fest of fun!

Sweetwater’s annual ‘fest of fun!

WEATHER threatened for most of the 16th annual Sweetwater GearFest, but it was only the earliest arrivals on Day One that caught the brunt of some nasty storms that rumbled through the Greater Fort Wayne, IN area. After the morning deluge, the clouds broke up a bit and thousands turned out for what has become one of the go-to MI-centric events in the US.  more...
At home with McCaffrey Audio

At home with McCaffrey Audio

McCAFFREY AUDIO started much like many other pedal companies across the US. First, there was nothing but some remedial knowledge of how musical instruments operate, mixed with a little passion. The passion pushed just hard enough to pursue self-education, which in turn afforded enough know-how to pour into a product that others were interested in buying. In the early days it was just Ryan McCaffrey and RJM Effects. Then came the push. The push is what makes a builder take the leap from hobbyist to businessman.  more...
Lotus in partial bloom

Lotus in partial bloom

THE PEDAL business isn’t for the faint of heart. It can be as ruthless as it can be rewarding. While the barriers to entry are low, the barriers to success are much more challenging. It takes dedication, persistence and product. Sean Erspamer at Lotus Pedal Designs had all of these when he took the plunge in 2009, but he did so with the safety net of retaining a full-time job at a high-end pro audio equipment manufacturer in northern Minnesota.  more...
Dwarfcraft Devices turns 10

Dwarfcraft Devices turns 10

IN JANUARY of this year, the effects wizards at Dwarfcraft Devices celebrated their 10th anniversary — a decade of over-the-top distortion, mind-blending oscillation and things that go bloop and bleep in the night. The anniversary loomed large during our visit to the company’s current digs, which was at the rear of a building currently housing an art collective of sorts. The shop is split into two sections — one houses the main workstation area while the other holds offices and musical equipment for both testing pedals and play time.  more...
Math is music for Red Panda Lab

Math is music for Red Panda Lab

IN THE CASS Corridor section of Detroit, Michigan, you will find a bit of vibrance in a city that has been short on that commodity for several years. The financial crash of the late 2000s saw an immense amount of strain put on the city’s manufacturing jobs, chiefly in the automotive industry.  more...
Cusack hot on brand strength

Cusack hot on brand strength

Jon Cusack has a reputation in boutique pedal circles as the ‘go-to’ guy to assist with fixing a stubborn problem. He’s done it countless times, saving the bacon of his competition without fan fare... or many times compensation. But these selfless acts have come with a price — the growth and health of his own brand. That, he says, has to change...  more...
Walrus Audio talks pedal development

Walrus Audio talks pedal development

NEW PRODUCT launch day is always an exciting time around the shop for a pedal builder. Everyone is smiling, nodding, maybe a bit of high-fiving — generally a good time all around. That was the mood we found permeating through the Walrus Audio bunker in Oklahoma City a few months back. On the day of our visit, the crew was prepping for the demo video of their new 385 overdrive — a unique dirt pedal inspired by the amplifier section of a vintage Bell and Howell film projector.  more...