TC Elec­tronic vin­tage Gui­tar Pedal Bun­dle

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TC Elec­tronic ped­als are ubiq­ui­tous these days: you don’t see many ped­al­boards without at least one of them, the PolyTune and Flash­back De­lay be­ing par­tic­u­larly pop­u­lar. There was a time, though, when TC’s ped­als were not so com­mon. We’re talk­ing about 40 years ago – and these are now pretty much col­lec­tor’s items, com­mand­ing ro­bust prices. To buy a set of orig­i­nal TC hard­ware ped­als com­pris­ing the SCF, Booster, Dual EQ, Sus­tainer and XII Phaser could set you back a lot of money, should you find them.

Soft­ware, though, is a dif­fer­ent mat­ter as TC has just re­leased the Vin­tage Gui­tar Pedal Bun­dle fea­tur­ing all five recre­ated as plug-ins with mod­el­ling, based on the orig­i­nal cir­cuit di­a­grams. For use in your DAW, the ped­als come in the stan­dard plug-in for­mats (AU, AAX and VST), are down­loaded from the TC site and copy­pro­tected by iLok. All of the plug-ins have very nice graph­ics de­pict­ing a vin­tage pedal that’s been knocked about a bit, none have any as­so­ci­ated fac­tory pre­sets, but all have knobs and switches that are eas­ily tweaked with your mouse.

Sounds

The SCF of­fers mod­u­la­tion ef­fects, in­clud­ing cho­rus, pitch mod­u­la­tion and flanger modes, all with con­trol over Speed, Width and In­ten­sity, and a mul­ti­func­tional knob that de­ter­mines the cho­rus and pitch mod­u­la­tion ef­fects mix and flanger feed­back. All sound good, the flanger be­ing par­tic­u­larly im­pres­sive for Elec­tric Mistress-style hol­low metal­lic sounds with the feed­back turned up.

More mod­u­la­tion is on of­fer from the XII Phaser, which of­fers clas­sic 1970s phaser tones at var­i­ous strengths courtesy of three fil­ter set­tings (4, 8 and 12) with Speed and Width con­trol and a Func­tion knob that morphs from Peak to Notch for pos­i­tive or neg­a­tive sweeps.

The Booster+ Line Driver and Dis­tor­tion, to give it its full name, of­fers a choice of a clean boost or dis­tor­tion with knobs to con­trol Vol­ume, Bass, Tre­ble and Dis­tor­tion. As a booster, it’s re­ally good when placed be­fore a de­cent amp sim, as is the Clas­sic Sus­tainer + Para­met­ric EQ, which com­bines com­pres­sion with a para­met­ric EQ. With con­trol over Sus­tain (com­pres­sion) and Gain (out­put), it’s a cool tool for adding sus­tain and chang­ing note at­tack with EQ to fo­cus where it’s needed. It can also add a use­ful touch of dis­tor­tion via a tog­gle switch.

Fi­nally, the Dual Equal­izer is a very use­ful tone sculp­tor, of­fer­ing two over­lap­ping bands of para­met­ric EQ (20Hz to 2kHz; 100Hz to 10kHz), each with 16dB of cut or boost and a choice of a wide one-oc­tave band or nar­row 1/10th oc­tave band, plus a Tre­ble knob.

Ver­dict

Any­one who records us­ing a com­put­er­based DAW re­lies on plug-ins, and build­ing up a range of them in­creases sonic ver­sa­til­ity no end. If you record gui­tar, these plug-ins will increase your sonic op­tions by de­liv­er­ing vin­tage TC Elec­tronic flavour, whether you play live through them in con­junc­tion with amp sims, or ap­ply them to pre­vi­ously recorded gui­tar tracks. [TC]

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