One of two new pedals I spotted at NAMM coming from hot boutique manufacturer Earthquaker Devices is on my bench for review. They call it the Pitch Bay Dirty Polyphonic Harmonizer. This pedal is quite simply a three part harmonizer pedal with a preamp that gets just the right amount dirty and in the perfect way. This combo of features make for a sinister little scorcher that will cut through the mix with polyphonic pride.
Featuring one of EQD’s signature artful enclosure paintings, this time of a sci-fi rocket ship in purple and yellow, their pedals always sound as cool as they look. It’s got 6 knobs, mono in and out, and a stomp switch. I found it very straight forward and easy to navigate. You’ve got controls for Pitch Up, Pitch Down, Gain, Pitch Up Level, Pitch Down Level, and Root Level. The Gain amount drives the preamp into a sweet sounding distortion. The Pitch Up knob allows you to select an upper harmony pitch starting 1 above the root up to 12. The Pitch Down knob starts at 12 semitones below the root and allows you to select the 12 semitones going back up. The bottom three knobs are level controls for Pitch Up, Pitch Down, and Root to allow you to dial in the perfect voice.
One of the cool things about this pedal is that it allows you to run just about any source through it. I found it to track pretty well on many sources including bass, synth and even voice. One of my favorite things to do is use guitar pedals in the studio environment in unorthodox ways. This is one of those pedals that I’ll be grabbing for often. It can add an instant choir to the source of your choice. Love it. Using this pedal is pretty straight forward. Plug in your source, dial in the appropriate harmony up and down pitches, mix the voices to taste, add just the right amount of dirt if any with the gain amount. There ya have it, awesome harmonizer pedal with dirt.
Earthquaker Devices are one of the top pedal makers around today. They appreciate quality and innovation in a way that seems to stand out in an industry otherwise saturated by a lot of the same ole same ole. The Pitch Bay is a wonderful example of this quality/innovative combo. –Gus Green