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The jam that almost wasn’t …

Today’s #jamuary2023 jam is pretty short, compared to my first three efforts, which is okay and probably more in the spirit of the thing. Even so, today’s jam is not quite what I’d intended. Listen to the tune, and read on …

The idea for today was to go back to what had been my favorite MicroFreak setup: MF => Flamma FS02 Reverb => Flamma FS05 Modulation => FS03 Delay. The FS03 has a looper/delay combo preset that’s pretty cool. I’ve fooled around with it before pretty successfully. But today was not to be that day. I simply couldn’t get the looper to work as I had before, and everything in the chain was fighting me tooth and nail.

I almost gave up and bleep-blooped something in Ableton Live, but quickly decided that I don’t really consider doing that to be a “jam”. To me, that’s a “real instrument” thing. So, I hooked the MicroFreak back up to the Zoom G3n and got busy. Even so, I almost blew it with the G3n! We’ll get to that in a minute.

The G3n is an almost perfect companion to the MicroFreak. It definitely punches above it’s sub-$200 price class, with a wide array of excellent modulation, filter, delay, and reverb effects. Being designed for guitarists, there’s also a great selection of drives, distortions, amp and cabinet simulations, compressors, and some other things that I consider to be guitar-specific. You can plug in an expression pedal, too, for external control over some effects/parameters. Everything is editable, either from the front panel or using the software editor. Most things can be done in real time.

Most things …

The effects chain I used today is the same as yesterday: Looper => Stereo Chorus => Dual Delay => Ice Delay => Plate Reverb. It’s pretty flexible and sounds great. I knew I was using five effects, and the G3n has slots for seven. So, I wanted to see if I could add a second reverb ahead of the looper. I knew that some effects take two slots, but couldn’t immediately tell if I had any available slots from the front panel. I figured I could open the patch up in the editor, take a quick look, and add that reverb if I had a slot open.

Fortunately, I’ve been around long enough to know that it’s always a good idea to back up things before making changes. In this case, “backing up” meant capturing the audio from the loop I had running, so I recorded a couple minutes of audio in Audacity. I then opened Guitar Lab to look at the active patch in the editor. Doing that promptly reinitialized the patch, dumping my loop because, unfortunately, the G3n doesn’t store recorded loops.

Like many, the looper in the G3n is very basic and it’s kind of a “this is now, later is different” kind of affair. And that — not being able to save loops for later use — is one of the reasons that the G3n is only almost a perfect companion to the MicroFreak. The other is the lack of an external effects loop, which would allow inserting other effects pedals, like a more advanced looper (or just a second looper) or other specialized processor into the chain. I was initially thinking that any “better” multi-effect pedal should have a full stereo signal path, but after the past few days, I’m not really sure how important that is for pairing with the MicroFreak.

Anyway, that’s it for today. More tomorrow.

I hope you’re enjoying the music, and I also hope you’re enjoying the variety of music being made by others. Here, again, are the links to #jamuary2023 content on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook:
Jamuary2023 on YouTube
Jamuary2023 on Instagram
Jamuary2023 on Facebook

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