Today’s guitarists looking to create those sounds they imagine in their heads have it easier than ever before. Electro-Harmonix can be partially thanked for this. EHX is notorious for creating state-of-the-art effects pedals at reasonable prices, and their Canyon Delay & Looper and Blurst Modulated Filter are two of their latest offerings in a long line that has left an indelible mark in the guitar galaxy.
Small though it may be, the Canyon is packed with a plethora of time-based goodness – essentially a three-second-delay pedal with additional effects; echo, modulation delay, pitch delay, reverse delay, multi-tap delay, tape and Memory Man delays, reverb, octave delay, shimmer, and a 62-second looper.
FX LVL, Delay, and Feedback knobs, along with an effects selector put the player in command of goo-gobs of ambient possibilities. These controls edit the repeats and effects, and holding down the Tap Divide button accesses a secondary function for extra control over delay effects. When the Canyon is in the looper mode, the footswitch controls Start, Stop, and Overdub functions while FX LVL controls the volume of the loop and Feedback controls how much the previous loop degrades when you record a new loop. Detailed adjustments require patience, but it’s hard to beat this pedal for size, functionality, and affable sounds.
Ominous yet warm, the Blurst is a modulated filter heard in synthesizers. It alters your sound like an envelope filter, but has an internal oscillator and an analog low-pass filter that kills frequencies above a cutoff point but not below it; those lower frequencies pass through while filtering out highs and in the process creating wicked sounds.
The Blurst has controls for Volume, Blend, Resonance, Rate, and Range (the latter for frequency sweeps) along with mini toggles for Expression Mode (for its expression-pedal input), Tap Divide (subdivide the rate for different rhythmic effects) and three modulating waveform shapes. It plays well with other pedals, works great to fatten distorted lines, adds colorful keyboard textures to arpeggiated chords… or will simply freak out your neighbors.
EHX’s Canyon and Blurst provide dozens of user-friendly sounds for stage or studio. All you’ll need is a little creativity to send you on your way.
This article originally appeared in VG August 2017 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.