There are two types of people in music industry (oh, lord, if only I had a dollar every time I say that): those, who think that multi-effects pedals are the modern way of utilizing audio effects and those, who believe that stand-alone units have better quality. There is no way I can tell you which group is more accurate – it’s a matter of preferences and I can’t do anything about that. We all know how wonderful individual pedals can be, but why not give multi-effects a shot? After all, they combine everything we could ever need and even more. You’ll encounter them in every price point and let’s be honest – investing in a high quality multi-effects processor will save you a lot of money and time spent on researching individual stompboxes. It will save you from those entangled cables, as well. If such a unit is truly well-built, then there’s no chance you’ll find faults with its sound. G-System from TC Electronic is one of those. It is an expensive piece of equipment, but it’s worth every penny. Though it will take you some time to unveil its full potential, once you do, you won’t regret a thing. Let’s get down to business and discuss the virtues of this wonderful pedal!
I don’t even know where to start – TC Electronic G-System is one sophisticated piece of equipment. It has so many in-built features that it’s really easy to get lost or feel overwhelmed. However, if approach it with dedication, you’ll be able to learn how to utilize those properties to your advantage. The problem is that the manual is quite complicated itself, so it won’t be that much of a help to you. First and foremost, this beast of a pedal comes with different types of reverb, delay, chorus, tremolo, vibrato, pitch shifting and more. It gives you the ability to utilize up to 9 effects simultaneously, meaning that you can layer them on top of each other and experiment with multi-dimensional sounds. You won’t find any type of distortion here – hopefully you already own your favorite one. If so, you can easily integrate it in the whole system utilizing one of 4 available analog loops. This way all your additional effects can be routed to a single unit and, thus, the results will be more even and unified as well. There’s one additional loop that is dedicated particularly to preamplifiers. What is more, G-System comes with 100 pre-recorded presets and with the ability to store 200 more along the way. This is more than anyone will ever need, but it’s always good to have that option. This puppy can be utilized as a rack-mount unit or separated in order to be tailored to your own rig. This adds up to the flexibility of this device and makes it really convenient to utilize. It does also have a tuner which will make sure your instrument is always in tune. When it comes to the connections, here we have four 9V outlets for powering other pedals, MIDI outputs for controlling MIDI devices, 2 jacks for expression pedals, as well as USB for software updates. I don’t know if you’ll believe me or not, but I have only scratched the surface with these features – TC Electronic G-System has many more (which explains why it has an 80-page manual).
When it comes to the controls, I think it’s impossible to cover all of them in this article. The abundance of properties with individual controls makes it infeasible to round up overall controls you get here. But I can still tell you the basic stuff that might ease your journey just a tiny bit. Keep in mind that G-System provides you with the ability to change the functionality of each switch and assign a different duty to it.
This pedal operates in Play and Edit modes. Available encoders gain a different set of responsibilities in the latter. But you get the typical stuff as well. For instance, Filter lets you activate the effect in the first mode, enter the bank where you can choose between different types or rotate to alter the input gain in the second one. The basic pattern is that in Play mode you can either switch things on or utilize tuner, while in Edit mode you are exposed to in-depth controls. For example, in play mode you press the switch that activates Delay, then move onto the edit mode to nail its detailed parameters. As you can see, this thing is far from easy. I hope you won’t judge me for not writing a 40-page manual in order to define all the controls.
After you grasp the controls and all of their settings, you can move on to playing – a process in which things become way more enjoyable. Though you still have to remember all the details you learned about the encoders and modes, you still have less to worry about when it comes to the performance. The sound is where G-System proves that it was worth all the effort and money. All the available effects sound as good as individual high-end stompboxes. They have definition and character and their ambience can be further accentuated with the help of in-depth controls. The ability to route your pedals into the device itself lets you choose which effects will be first in the loop and basically set up the whole chain. The abundance of memory for the presets gives you countless options to work with – your pieces that you struggled so much to create won’t be lost and can be recalled whenever you need them. You can switch between them seamlessly with the help of reverb and delay spillovers. On the whole, TC Electronic G-System knows what a multi-effects unit should be able to do!
In conclusion, G-System from TC Electronic isn’t for those who are afraid of a little challenge. It is definitely for people who are ready to dedicate their time and passion to the process of creating beautiful pieces. If you don’t care about anything apart from your sound, then this one is definitely for you. Good luck!
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