When you are young and listen to the music of your favorite artists you don’t really realize what is behind their sound. You simply hear those mesmerizing pieces and think that you will never be able to be like that. You assume that they create those breath-taking performances with their instruments merely, which isn’t the case in most cases. Even the most legendary musicians utilize an effect of some sort to achieve desired results. Knowing how to amplify your sound is a skill that nobody can teach you. Yeah, you can find some suggestions and tricks but the real knowledge comes with years of practice. When talking about more sophisticated effects, such as vibrato, you have to keep in mind that it takes certain skills to grasp what it has to offer and how to use it to accentuate the qualities of your sound. You have to be able to use it in small amounts to avoid overpowering your sound and losing its initial characteristics. And that is where the best vibrato pedals out there come into play. TC Electronic Shaker is definitely one of those stompboxes that gives you a ton options to choose from while enabling you to learn and grow along the way. If you want to know how it does that, then stay with me and read this article till the end!
When talking about versatile units, you cannot avoid TC Electronic no matter how hard you try it. Their devices might have some flaws but lack of features is never one of those. This is made possible with the combination of TonePrint App and Editor that expand your possibilities beyond the imaginable level and take you to places you never thought you were invited to. By now every player out there know what these two are supposed to be, so I won’t discuss them in depth. Let’s concentrate on the features that the pedal itself has to offer. It creates a “true” vibrato that relies on the pitch alterations that are happening in your sound. It has a true bypass that makes sure your tone doesn’t lose its qualities when it bypasses the pedal. It gives you the option to switch between the buffered bypass just in case you have a long chain with long cables. Its Kill-Dry feature removes the original signal from the path completely, so that you can use this stompbox in the effects loop. It has an easy access battery compartment that can be opened by removing a single screw. Or you can skip that hassle altogether and just stick to the adapter. This bad boy operates in three modes: Vibrato enables you to create the effect, TonePrint connects the unit to the App or Editor, while Latch transforms the footswitch and allows you to utilize press and hold motion for triggering the effect. This way you can tailor everything to your preferences and employ the exact sounds your heart desires. Shaker has a sturdy enclosure that is made out of die-cast metal that will offer you a lifetime of utilization without any trouble. The design features vibrant orange surface with white writings that accentuate the color even more and let this one shine on the pedalboard.
On-board controls give you a wide range of options to choose from themselves and easily put you in charge of your sound. If at some point that isn’t enough, you can turn to the Editor and use its scope of tone shaping options. For now, let’s forget the TomePrint for a while and discuss the controls we have on hand.
Speed alters the rate of the effect and enables you to explore the realms of slow and fast vibrations. Depth alters the amount of vibrato that is added to your sound and, thus, modifies its intensity. Rise Time determines how much time it takes for the effect to reach the peak that is set by the Depth knob. Tone acts as an equalizer and makes it possible to craft the frequencies to your liking. It will accentuate higher or lower end of the spectrum in your effect and, thus, give you completely different characters each time. We also have a toggle that lets you choose between Vibrato, TonePrint and Latch modes. The bottom part of the stompbox features the footswitch that activates the effect and lets you dive into all that sweetness right away.
The sound of TC Electronic Shaker is a classic vibrato that has a lot to offer. Depending on the settings you choose, it can go from typical effect to a rotary speaker territory. It can either be subtle or full-blown, making it possible to vary the amounts depending on the sonic results you are going for. The tone switch takes the effect from low to high end and delivers something that is truly out of this freaking world. Rise Time expands your possibility even further and gives way to lengthy, textured and beautiful sounds. No matter where you want to travel with this one, it will deliver you to the right place and time. Shaker’s latch functionality will give you a lot of precision for employing vibrato only on certain pieces. I am sure you would want that anyway, since too much vibrato isn’t that ear-pleasing. You can imagine how much more you can do once you connect that USB cable and access the Editor, or simply open the app. You immediately get exposed to the parallel universe where vibrato is the only language they speak.
On the whole, TC Electronic has once again created the effect that blows our minds. The brands approach of maintaining things simple while steeping its customers with multiple layers of opportunities has worked just fine until now and has turned into something extraordinary with this one. Shaker is a magnificent beast, truly, and I don’t think you want to miss out on that one. Grab your hands on it as soon as possible so that you can dive into the vibrato magic right away. Good luck!
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