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This article was originally published in issue #44
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Electro-Harmonix is one of the oldest brands on the FX market and I was fascinated to see what the company had come up with as its version of this currently popular effect. I can tell you that I certainly wasn't disappointed by this incredibly versatile and feature packed pedal. In fact, I'd confidently say that this one of the most formidable loop pedals on the market at the moment. It’s important though to point out that this pedal is a creative workstation. Once you master it I imagine the possibilities go as far as the user’s imagination but you will need to get to grips with it as the pedal is so capable that there is a distinctly steep learning curve involved in mastering its full range of capabilities.
The 22500 features stereo inputs and outputs, XLR in with phantom power and even comes with an additional foot controller to flick between banks of saved loops. The pedal comes with an SDHC slot which accepts memory cards from 4 to 32GB and EHX has been kind enough to ship these with an 8GB card offering up to 12 hours of recording time! Excellent! The pedal can even be connected via USB, which is useful for moving saved loops on and off the pedal. The pedal also features a rhythm section of drum patterns which you can add to.
As for the loops, there are two with independent or locked loop lengths, you can adjust the volume of each and even change the pitch or reverse the loops separately. The LED displays will tell you if you are recording, overdubbing or saving to memory. You can undo-redo your last overdub, and even quantize your loops for perfect looping. There are even several additional modes of looping which I didn't discover whilst demoing this pedal and only came across later. Sequential looping mode gives you the option of verse/chorus style switching between loops and parallel looping mode allows simultaneous playback of two separate loops.
The pedal has so much to offer and seems to have just about everything going for it, including a good sturdy build quality. The only problem I encountered was really my own fault, because initially, instead of using the power supply that came with it, I used a regular (though good quality) unit which we frequently use when powering pedals on review. Big mistake! The EHX 22500 doesn't like some off-brand power supplies and you need to know this, otherwise you might be fooled into thinking the pedal was faulty when, in fact, it's just pining for the right kind of juice!
Other features on this most comprehensive pedal include the rhythm section, as mentioned earlier, which can be controlled via the tap tempo switch on the bottom right. Having a rhythm section on a loop pedal is a great idea, especially for first time loop pedal users. It helps keep timing and can add a whole new dimension to your loops. There is also a trigger mode where the pedal won’t start looping until you start playing, this can be super useful for starting of a looping session!
I can see this pedal being very popular with loop enthusiasts, solo artists, artists recording on the go or maybe even as a pedal to create some strange sounds in a live band context…though I admit I'm not sure how, though I'm sure somebody will!
If you are new to looping however this could be a slightly daunting place to start. The pedal comes with a very dense instructional manual which is informative but isn't what you might describe as beach reading. This isn’t a bad thing, of course, as it's far better to have too much information than not enough, but it's a measure of how much there is in this small footprint box. Experienced loopers will find this EHX pedal an adventure and a great creative tool. The inexperienced are in for a degree course in looping!