Dan Snazelle of NYC’s Snazzy FX is a little bit of an unsung hero of the stompbox manufacturing scene.
This may be also due to the fact that he switched his focus from pedals to synths (Eurorack format in particular) right when creative effect pedals with “out there” features were starting to gain traction. Also, in the best NYC underground tradition, Dan is kind of an uncompromising and unconventional guy, as he admits in the company’s about page:
…excited to bring the world more instruments born NOT OUT OF COMPROMISE or “THE LOGIC OF THE MARKETPLACE”, but born out of passion and desire to mess with stuff.
Nonetheless, over the years the three (gigantic) stompboxes he introduced at the 2010 NAMM show have become some sort of cult devices among experimental players, probably because their circuits anticipated a very specific trend that’s today in full swing: the “synthification” of guitar pedals.
After about half a decade spent focusing on Euroracks, we are happy to report that those original Snazzy FX pedals are coming back through a new partnership with Latvian builder Erica Synths, through a new company called Snazzy LV.
Manufactured in Latvia and released on April 25th 2018, the new units are a faithful recreation of the original circuits, but hosted in more compact, heavy duty boxes.
Here’s a quick look at each one of them, with videos of the original models! (As usual, click on the pedals’ thumbnails icons for videos)
A monophonic tracking device designed with four goals in mind: 1. to work with as many different signals as possible 2. to track quickly 3. to allow for subtle as well as ridiculous sounds 4. to allow basic control over an external VCO and ADSR/VCA when using a bass or guitar using the GATE and SQUARE outputs (gate connects to gate in on an ADSR and SQUARE connects to the SYNC IN on an external VCO).
A very versatile delay device that, as the name suggests, intends to recreate the warm and irregular sound of tape delay, while taking it to the next level of “out-there-ness” with creative functions like the Warp knob. Great for adding texture to guitar parts or thicken up synths or even to give a psychedelic edge to vocals.
An analog synth in the shape of a pedal, the Tracer City features filters, an oscillator (which can also be used as an LFO) and a Psuedo-Random LFO with lag. It also has an envelope follower (with up or down response) with lag, which works very well with drums, loops, and any percussive sound. Its multi-mode Filter can be controlled by two external CV sources and sending signal to the inputs creates Frequency Modulation of the FILTER or FM. – Paolo De Gregorio