August 3, 2010 by Tim
Here we have another NAMM acquisition. I must confess that I have owned one of these pedals for 3 years now, but it is not this version exactly. Mine is a little older and I did not get the software with mine. My serial # 000115, the new one is 502105, not that I think 500,000 were made after mine, it is just mine is pretty old in comparison.
While I was on the floor at NAMM I walked by the Zoom booth and just stopped to see if they had anything new, and they do but it is pretty much just for electric guitars, not super useful for ukulele players. I noticed they had the same pedal I have and started to talk to a rep about it and they seemed excited and wanted to send me the new one with the software and all so I could write about it. 3 days after I got back from Nashville, TN it was at my door. I guess they were excited for me to do something with it.
Now a little over a month later I am getting to writing about it. Made a video a few weeks ago but never had the time to write about it.
Why I purchased my pedal; I had just purchased my Risa solid for my 30th birthday and liked it well enough, but it seemed to be a little annoying when I played it just straight out of an amp. Nothing was wrong with the uke, it was just a weird sound and I wanted to take the head off of it and make it sound more acoustic. I tried a few cheap pedals and an equalizer but never was satisfied. That is until I found a Zoom A2.1U in the clearance area at a Guitar Center in Chicago, figured what the hell it was $80. It was exactly what I wanted and more.
I was looking for a way to make my Risa sound acoustic but I got spacey, techno, electric, and like I am in a big empty hall, along with at least 10 different acoustic sounds that I wanted. I love it because manly it lets me experiment with different sounds and the pedal is really fun (Set it to D4 and it is like a whah whah pedal from the future, sounds really cool when I play Flaming Lips songs)
The only thing I am not wild about is how hard it is to come up with your own custom sounds. I have found that it is a lot of work to create something that is different from the built-in effects.
An added bonus that I don’t use very often is the USB port. With it you can record to your computer. It comes with Cubase LE 4 (Cubase LE 5 is out but does not come with the pedal) I have been using an open source product called Audacity for my small recordings. It is free, kept up-to-date, and it has a lot of free plug-ins and sounds. I just found it simpler than Cubase. The pedal will also work with Garage Band if you have an Apple. I found one thing to be surprising , the lag. When you record it is a step behind. So if you want to over dub (Play while listening) and you go back to the tracks it will be a step behind. Not a huge deal, you just move the last track down a bit and all is good.
I have used it at an open mic and it has every output you would need, including a mic 3 prong if they don’t have a regular jack. It was nice to have the tuner built-in and a bypass if I just wanted to hear it straight or with another pedal.
Watch the video below of me wandering through the different sonds.