Nick Jennison takes a closer look at the latest entry to the Foxgear pedal lineup: the Rainbow Reverb. The Rainbow is based on the well-known and reliable DSP FV-1 used in most of the boutique pedals in the market, and offers 5 reverb presets that include two mind-blowing shimmering algorithms in addition to the other two classic reverb effects and an innovative and inspiring "RotaryVerb."
Perhaps more than any other effect, reverb is very deep and involved. Many of the best reverb pedals out there offer an unbelievably granular level of editing with menus and submenus of parameters with names like "diffusion", "pre-delay" and "early reflections". If you're a seasoned studio rat, fiddling with this stuff is de rigueur, but for many guitar players who are more interested in playing than tweaking, this level of editing power can be paralysing.
The Foxgear Rainbow reverb pedal is a perfect antidote to these excessively feature-dense units. It's a small, cool looking pedal with five knobs and five different reverb sounds: Spring, Church, RotaryVerb, Celestial and Shimmer. You choose your effect with the central rotary control, set the mix and tone with the dedicated controls, and tweak the "deep" and "multi" controls to taste. No menus, no LCD displays, no MIDI, just great sounding reverb.
That said, while the user interface is very simple, there is a great deal of tonal variety in this little pedal. The Spring sound is very natural, with length and low cut controlled by the deep and multi controls. Likewise, Church can go from a tight small hall to a virtual St Paul's. Shimmer and Celestial offer different levels of pitch-shifted, modulated reverb that are ideal for volume swells and beautiful ethereal cleans, while RotaryVerb is a unique effect that blends Leslie-style modulation in with the reverb tail.
In addition to these versatile and beautiful reverb sounds, you also get a lightweight, rugged metal enclosure with high quality components that are designed to last. The plexiglass-style top panel is a really nice aesthetic touch too, with a backlight behind the text and the rainbow stripes when power is applied. Speaking of power, the Rainbow runs on a standard centre negative 9v supply, and draws less than 100mA of power, meaning you won't need an expensive, exotic power supply to run it.
Whether you're just starting to explore different kinds of reverb, or you want easy access to a whole range of great sounding reverbs with just a few knobs, the Foxgear Rainbow has you covered. It's rugged, easy to use, looks cool and sounds great too. Factor in the very affordable price tag (for a pedal of this type), un-fussy power requirements, light weight and small size and you have a pedal that easily justifies a spot on even the most crowded board.
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