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This article was originally published in issue #21
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As space on the world's pedal boards continues to shrink, Denmark's TC Electronic expands its successful 'Mini' range once again! Lewis Turner considers the new Hall Of Fame Mini.
I think it's fair to say that TC Electronics is at the top of its game when it comes to new and innovative technology, and this new, hot off the press Hall of Fame Mini is no exception. TC is having a lot of success with its Mini range, the Poly tune and Ditto looper are both great pedals. Here we have the original Hall Of Fame reverb pedal but now, you guessed it, in mini form! The usual things apply with this pedal that have made TC so popular. It's well made, well finished, true bypass, but, as with all the other TC minis can now only take power supply as its too small for a battery.
This pedal comes pre-loaded with TC’s Hall reverb. Reverb is possibly the most used effect for guitarists. Most amps come with it in some form and there are many pedals that offer various types of this most popular effect. As we have come to expect from TC this pedal sounds great straight out of the box. With a simple one dial set up (turn left less reverb, turn right for more) it really is a case of plug in and play. All the rice, glassy sounds are available, from subtle undertones through to a massive empty hall, all delivered in a natural musical way.
I can hear you all shouting back though: “but it only comes with one reverb, what about all of those other settings that its bigger brother offered?” Well, this is where the really clever stuff comes in. If you already own some modern TC pedals you may be familiar with TonePrint and beam technology, if not allow me to explain. TC has invited many famous players to come in and dial their sounds into various pedals. For example if you like Steve Vai’s reverb sound, or John Petrucci’s delay settings then they are all there for the taking and can be downloaded into your pedals, this is TonePrint. Beam technology is how you transfer these sounds into your pedal, the following sounds a bit out there but trust me it does work!
You download TC’s free TonePrint app onto your smart phone or tablet, where you will find various pre-set sounds from above mentioned artists and many more. As I’m looking at the reverb pedal here, let’s say I would like Paul Gilbert's settings. I simply choose his one, plug my guitar into the Hall Of Fame Mini, hold my phone next to a chosen pickup on my guitar and it beams the new sound straight into the pedal…..! Yep, read all that again. It’s crazy but true! Therefore, all the sounds from the previous Hall of Fame, spring, plate, cathedral etc., you can now “beam” into this mini version, plus you have more space on your pedal board.
Not only that, you can also create your own settings and put them into the pedal. Technology is here people and it's great!
So on the face of it all this adds up to a great pedal, more space on your board, true bypass great sounding reverb, simple to use, and the ability to download any other reverb into it via Beam technology.
Are there any minus points? Well I do think there is a down side to this little box of tricks. You can clearly only have one reverb at a time on this pedal, therefore what happens if you're on a gig that requires more than one reverb sound in the set? It's not going to be practical to pull out your phone and quickly beam a new sound to your pedal mid set. With its bigger brother all the sounds are on the pedal and can be changed mid-set at the turn of a knob. That means if purchasing this pedal you will have to weigh-up the size etc. against how many different reverb sounds you may need to hand. If you're happy to programme one sound into your pedal and that suits your entire set, then this is the perfect pedal. I think the technology is amazing as is the quality of pedal which we expect from TC, you will just have to consider if it will work for your particular set up. I should also mention that it can also be connected via USB, which is where up-dates will be made available.
Yet another leap forward technology wise from TC with a fantastic sounding reverb unit and the ability to customise it pretty much endlessly. If however you tend to use more than one type of reverb per gig/show then this may not be the one for you. Still I'm a bit of a sucker for cleaver technology and this is a great sounding pedal, so gets a big thumbs up from me.