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Digitech BWHAMMY Bass Pitch Effect Pedal with True-Bypass and MIDI Input
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- Iconic Whammy effect
- Two different classic and chord (polyphonic) tracking modes
- 21 different pitch settings, MIDI input for control, True bypass
- Optimized for bass frequencies
- Updated original Bass Whammy settings and more, power supply included
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The next generation Bass Whammy uses the most advanced pitch detection and polyphonic note tracking technology to create the world’s best pitch shifting effect pedal optimized for bass. The Bass Whammy maintains the classic settings from the original with many modern upgrades. With two different tracking modes, Classic and Chord, the Bass Whammy gives players the ability to recreate the shift glitch effects from the original or get the smooth pitch shift effect. Chord mode uses advanced polyphonic tracking algorithms for a more exact and smooth pitch shift effect while Classic maintains the tracking artifacts of the original Whammy. The Bass Whammy is true bypass, MIDI controllable, and uses a 9V DC power supply to easily integrate into your existing pedal board.
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The pedal tracks really well. I use the classic mode most of the time and it tracks 2 & 3 note chords reasonably well as long as pitches aren't too close together, though it will produce some digital artifacts that will either be cool or annoying, depending on your preferences. Chord mode works ridiculously well, but introduces a very slight delay between your playing and the output signal. Noticeable when playing at home, less so in a band situation. I should also note that you can use the pitch shifts to detune your bass in a pinch: it works better than I thought. For example, I used the 2nd-down to go from drop-D to drop-C to play along with some Chevelle at home, and the change in sound quality wasn't actually that noticeable. It will be more noticeable if you're dropping a 4th or more, though.
Being a digital pedal that basically copies/replaces your signal to whatever pitch you've selected, the output is very clean and accurate, but also has a pretty cold and digital tone. This is more noticeable at extreme pitches, like one octave or more. An overdrive/distortion/fuzz does wonders at hiding that, though. And sometimes, that tone is what you want; after all, Tool makes good use of those qualities. But if you're looking for something like a bass octave pedal, look elsewhere. I have MXR's analog bass octave deluxe, and it produces a much better-sounding bass octave than the Whammy does, but that's because it isn't digitally copying the signal: it's making its own kind of sound. And that's all it does, despite only costing a bit less than the Whammy.
Basically, this thing is just like the normal Whammy, just with a few different pitch options. There are plenty of awesome harmony/pitch bend modes, the only trick is finding ways to use them. I use the harmony modes the most, particularly the 5th-Octave mode, as the octave mode works really well with an overdrive or distortion with it. The detune modes are nice and can fill in for a chorus-like effect you can control with the pedal. They also lend some practicality to an otherwise crazy pedal.
Seems sturdy as a rock. I'd be careful trying to operate the rotary switch with your foot, though. It would be easy to bend it. Otherwise, be sure to read the manual to learn how to calibrate the pedal. Mine worked fine out of the box, but you may need to adjust it eventually.
Overall, I'm very happy with my toy and it was worth the money. Just realize that, unlike an overdrive or wah, it may indeed end up being more of a toy than a practical effect that you use a lot. You can get some good, practical sounds out of the octave harmonies (think like a bass octave pedal) and the detune effects though. And with a little work, you could work this into your music.