Noise Boyz Review
Part pitch shifter, part octave, part harmonizer and part unknown noise monster, the Rainbow Machine has set itself apart from basically all other pedals
When you think about the wackiest, most innovative and sometimes difficult to control pedals on the market today, an overwhelming majority of musicians’ thoughts go to one company: EarthQuaker Devices. Now, they make some semi-straightforward pedals: overdrives, fuzzes, delays, etc., but even most of those have some element of magic to them. Today’s featured pedal, the Rainbow Machine, falls into a category where it may be the only occupant, and we’re not even sure what to call it. A true noisemaker pedal, this thing is a funky adventure from beginning to end, and back again.
When you first sit down with the Rainbow Machine, you kind of just have to turn all the knobs every which way for a while to get a feel for the pedal and what it can do, then actually dig in and find out what each knob actually does, and how they all work together. On the top row, Pitch is the control that really runs the entire show, moving the overall pitch from a 4th down to a 3rd up, and can be controlled via expression pedal as well. Primary controls the volume of the main pitch-shifted signal, while Secondary controls the second pitch-shifted signal (set to 12:00 for zero secondary effect).
On the bottom row of controls, Tone works as a high-cut knob, easing off the top end as you turn it to the left, while Tracking sets the amount of lag time between the direct dry signal and the shifted wet signal. The Magic control is probably the most fun thing on this pedal, as if you can really narrow it down. When engaged via footswitch, it’s a regeneration control that creates aliasing between a mix of the primary and secondary functions feeding back against each other. This adds a whole entirely new dimension to what this pedal can do – you really have to experience it to believe it.
Part pitch shifter, part octave, part harmonizer and part unknown noise monster, the Rainbow Machine has set itself apart from basically all other pedals, and figuring out how it works and what it can do is just about as much fun as you can have clothed. An instant classic to their lineup, EarthQuaker Devices keep on putting out more and more creative effects that are breaking new sonic ground, seemingly on an almost-monthly basis. With so many options available from them, you’ll have a great time perusing their website for gear that you won’t be able to live without, so get over there and do it…NOW!
By Mike Berndt, Pedal of the Day
1 x 1/4" (instrument)
1 x 1/4"
9V DC power supply required
How It Works
Choose a Plan
Pick how many pedals you want to try a month, from one to three.
Play Them All
Try every signal-chain you can imagine until you find the tone that’s right for you.
Keep, Swap, or Buy
Keep the pedals you rent for as long as you want. Love them? Buy them. Hate them? Swap them.