Monday, June 22, 2020

Digitech Freqout Review

There are several different types of artificial sustainers on the market including hand held ones like the ebow and pickups with built in oscillators but pedal sustainers have been mostly let downs for me. the Digitech Freqout has been out for a while and I had seen a few recommendations for it and I was pretty skeptical but I have been quite surprised. 

The Freqout has a very industrial look with a brushed aluminum finish and a screen print on the top that sets it apart from pretty much anything else. 

The first switch can set the foot switch to be a momentary switch meaning it only works when you're stepping on the switch and when you release it turns off. This is great for providing sustain and feedback on demand. Or you can leave it off to act like a normal pedal, keep in mind it is only true bypass if the momentary is left off. The dry switch can kill your initial attack so that all you hear is the effect. This can be used to replicate ebow type sounds. While the pedal looks to have two knobs it actually has 3. The top knob has a Gain and an Onset knob. Onset is how soon the effect kicks in while the Gain knob controls how strong the effect is. These are crucial to how natural the effect will feel. The Type knob sets the feedback that comes in from an octave down to an octave up and you can choose 3rds and 5ths as well as others. There is also a set of LED lights on the left side to help you see when the effect kicks in. 

There is an old trick with cranked tube amps where you stand at a certain spot on the stage and can step back towards your amp for more sustain and closer for more feedback. Most shows I've attended in the last few years have moved to quieter stages and modeling boards and software and you lose that ability. While the freqout isn't exactly that same feel it does help add that feel back in. 

As much as I enjoy a cranked tube amp I find myself using amp sims more and more for practice and recording. The Freqout really does help add a more "live" feel. I love being able to add feedback in a song when recording direct. It also does cool ebow sounds and also ambient drones very well. I've been using it to create pad type sounds with clean chords. 

Keep in mind this pedal reacts with your pickups and needs to be placed absolutely first on your pedalboard. Before wah pedals, compressors and even fuzz pedals so if you have a finicky fuzz pedal it may not work with your setup. This pedal is super fun and great for experimenting with. 

I did not receive compensation in any way for this review and my thoughts and comments are completely my own. 

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