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This article was originally published in issue #44
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Picture the setting - we have all been there! You've been thrashing away on your guitar, come up with an awesome riff and thought “Great! Can’t wait to show that one to the band next week!” Only, next week comes and you've forgotten it. Alternatively, what about the times when you are jamming with your band and all of the sudden you have a one way ticket to riff city, only to quickly forget the exact riff you had been jamming on by the time you get home? Well those days are no more my muso friends, TC Electronic has come in to save the day with their new micro pedal super hero ‘The Wiretap’
TC Electronic has been releasing some truly unique and creative pedals recently and this is yet another one. The Wiretap is a just super simple to use riff recording machine. It comes as a pedal that can be put anywhere in your signal chain to capture ideas with one press of the footswitch. You can record up to eight hours of high quality audio on this mini pedal sized beast. You can easily and quickly record your ideas when the inspiration strikes and easily just as access them or delete them with the pedal's very simple and intuitive controls.
This pedal is not to be confused with a loop pedal. Loop pedals ‘loop’ your ideas around so you can jam over them and add layers. The Wiretap captures single take ideas from your signal chain and organises them for you. Having this set up on your board means next time you are at rehearsal and you are jamming on a new riff that could make you millions, you are able to easily ‘jot’ the idea down onto this pedal leaving your mind free to continue creating.
Of course, this being a pedal from TC Electronic, that isn't all there is to it! Something that makes them stand out from the crowd is the ability to connect to TC's pedals via Bluetooth on your phone using TC's applications. The Wiretap, for example, comes with a free app which allows you to catalogue your ideas on your Wiretap pedal, share them with friends - it even suggests names for your riffs! It's super easy to use, much like the pedal itself, and makes the idea capturing process even smoother than it already was!
The app itself really comes into its own as it makes cataloguing and finding your ideas later on a lot easier. Instead of sifting through a list of ‘untitled 01, untitled 02’ etc. the app simply names it something, you of course are able to edit these name suggestions. The app also allows you to see the wave forms of your sounds as you record them and play them back. This is useful when recording to ensure you aren’t clipping and if the already super useful cataloguing ideas with unique names feature hasn’t quite jogged your memory about which riff you are listening to, the wave form itself might give you a clue!
As I mentioned earlier the pedal has eight hours of high quality recording time, but if you fill this up you can easily connect the pedal via mini USB to a computer and offload your ideas. From here the possibilities are endless as you can then transfer the file into a recording digital audio workstation or simply keep the ideas in organised folders on your computer should you so desire.
I feel this pedal will really suit songwriters who want a quick way to capture those inspired moments making the creative process a lot smoother. I think we have all had those times where we wish we had a recording device at the ready whilst we are noodling about on our guitars. Sometimes the process of setting up your computer, or thumbing through our phone menus to get a record function started can quickly lead to forgetting an idea just as quickly as you thought of it. The idea of having a wiretap pedal set up on your rig is a practical one and something I can imagine very useful for any musician who can plug their instrument into a quarter inch jack - not only guitarists.