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Classic gear: DigiTech Space Station

Classic Gear: DigiTech Space Station
(Image credit: Future)

Hot on the heels of the success of the Whammy II, DigiTech decided to invest in a larger product line-up of expression-based effects - the appropriately-named ‘Xpression’ series. 

There were four pedals: the XP-100 Whammy/Wah, the XP-200 Modulator, the XP-300 Space Station and the XP-400 Reverberator. Depending on the model, you had between 30 and 50 presets to choose from on the pedal. All of these had in common that there were no user-controllable elements of the preset sounds apart from a single parameter per patch, controlled by the rocker pedal. 

The XP-300 became a cult favorite, inspiring numerous boutique pedal makers with a taste for outlandish sounds.

The DigiTech Space Station's Reverse Mode is one of the coolest expression effects ever

In terms of sounds, the Space Station lives up to its name. Some of the highlights include patch 2 (a shimmer reverb with fifths added), 22 (a broken-sounding digital delay), 28 (a sample-hold arpeggiator that you can speed up or slow down), as well as the various arpeggiators above 30.

The most fun has to be 10, the reverse mode. Pushing the rocker down slows down your guitar signal, stops it, and then starts replaying it backwards. It’s glitchy and doesn’t track well, but it’s one of the coolest expression effects ever.

The Space Station is now incredibly rare, but, by virtue of the XP-200 and XP-400 having the same internals apart from the chip which contains the presets, it’s possible to get one of the less sought-after pedals and mod it into a Space Station.

Ground controls: understanding the Space Station

BANK UP: This control moves up a preset.

BANK DOWN: This control moves down a preset. Pressing both switches engages bypass, but it can be fickle, meaning that live, your best bet is to put the XP-300 inside a loop using a pedal like the Boss LS-2.

FOOT PEDAL: On every preset or patch there's a variable parameter that is controlled by this rocker.

INPUT TRIMPOT: On the rear of the pedal, there’s an input trimpot that allows you to change the input level. The pedal isn’t true bypass, and its circuitry does color your sound, so it pays to adjust this until it’s right for your guitar and amp setup.

Three great pedals inspired by the Space Station

Classic tones

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Alex Lynham is a gear obsessive who's been collecting and building modern and vintage equipment since he got his first Saturday job. Besides reviewing countless pedals for Total Guitar, he's written guides on how to build your first pedal, how to build a tube amp from a kit, and briefly went viral when he released a glitch delay pedal, the Atom Smasher.