Total Recall Without the Stall
How many times have you found yourself tweaking away your valuable jamming time or fogged up your window of inspiration with endless menu-diving and knob twisting? Perhaps you have even caught some nasty looks from your band mates when you inadvertently broke the tension of a gig, or ate up rehearsal time trying to call up patch number 166 between songs? Also, anyone with a pedalboard can remember a time when that perfect marriage of effects birthed the perfect riff. We thought we were so clever whipping out our smart phones and snapping a picture of our settings, but looked like total dweebs trying to find that tiny random image, so we could set the dials back to the magic effect equation at a soundcheck. Smart phones are so un-rock ‘n’ roll, but what if there was a “smart” pedalboard? This smart pedalboard would be able save every setting of every pedal on the board instantly, and recall the settings at the click of a footswitch. Well, the futurist effectologists at Source Audio have come up with yet another game changer that obliterates all these effects combo conundrums. Convenience, tone and portability all meet at the Soundblox HUB.
Multi-Effect Manageability for the 21st Century
Whether your multiple effects are on the floor, in a rack, or both, chances are you spend a lot of time hooking up a network of messy cables, plugging in big, clunky wall-warts and then twisting knobs and diving into menus before you are ready to play. Source Audio brings forth a tidy, tuneful solution. The Soundblox HUB is a tiny little pedalboard-friendly utility box that works with up to five Soundblox pedals and lets you save your favorite effects combinations into scenes. You will require a MIDI controller to scroll through and recall these scenes and if you want to keep it compact and simple, I would recommend the Tech 21 MIDI Mouse. Hooking up to your Soundblox pedals is a breeze via the five Multi-Function outputs. The standard 5-pin MIDI in and out/thru connections go to your MIDI controller and when you are done, all you have to do is hit the Scan Devices button to get everything synced up. You will be smiling and dialing in no time and when you get the effects setup you desire, all you have to do is hold the same button to save the scene to the corresponding patch number on your MIDI controller. You can even copy a scene and save it to another patch number by holding down the Recall Last (Hold-Copy) button. This allows for the simplest pre-performance patch organization experience to date.
What we like: With the Soundblox HUB, Source Audio has combined stompbox adjustment simplicity with rack system patch saving and instant recall ability. In the process, they have streamlined the multi-effects experience and stripped away the excess setbacks we have been dealing with for so many years. The Soundblox HUB doesn’t just save scenes of sound—it will also save your expression control settings and enable you to manipulate parameters from all the Soundblox pedals connected simultaneously with the Sensor and Expression inputs. Hook up the Hot Hand and a passive expression pedal and you are in for the complete Source Audio experience. It must also be mentioned that you can access, edit and save pedal presets and scenes to PC or MAC via the USB port.
Concerns: The Soundblox HUB is extremely affordable considering you already have a few Soundblox stompers and a MIDI controller. Most of us who would use enough effects to want this kind of functionality already have an expression pedal lying around. But, for those of you looking to build a pedalboard around the Soundblox HUB from the ground up, you may think of this as an expensive prospect when you factor in the extra accessories. However, it may be well worth it when you consider just how much each Soundblox pedal can do. The Orbital Modulator alone knocked four analog favorites off my board with no discernable tonal sacrifice. Throw in an OFD Micromodeler, Dimension Reverb, or any other Source Audio Soundblox pedal, hook them up to the HUB, and you have a comprehensive rig, with 128 instantly recallable effects combinations, that you can carry with one arm.