The name “Pitch Fork” suggests that this new Electro-Harmonix pedal is a tuner, but EHX fans who prefer the company’s more creative creations over their more functional accessories will be happy to know that the Pitch Fork is actually a very versatile polyphonic pitch shifter/harmony pedal.
Although the Pitch Fork has an almost minimalist design—it’s the same compact size as a Phase 90 and its control panel has only two knobs and two switches—the pedal delivers a wide variety of sophisticated effects.
With its ability to transpose pitch over a three-octave up and down range, the Pitch Fork can generate effects that include subtle detuned “chorus,” tasteful harmonies, bass and 12-string emulations, and mutant textures from outer space.
Controls consist of a Blend knob for adjusting the mix of the effect anywhere between 100 percent dry and 100 percent wet and a Shift knob with 11 settings: detune, minor 2nd, major 2nd, major 3rd, perfect 4th, perfect 5th, major 6th, minor 7th, 1 octave, 2 octave, and 3 octave. A mini Mode toggle switch provides pitch shift up only, pitch shift down only, or a dual setting the combines pitch shift up and down simultaneously. A Latch button affects how the footswitch and an optional expression pedal connected to the pedal’s Exp jack perform.
When Latch is on, the pitch shifting effect stays on when the footswitch is engaged and released and the expression pedal continuously varies pitch. When Latch is off, the footswitch only engages the pitch shifting effect as long as the footswitch is held down and the expression pedal can the glissando rate (the amount of time to go from normal pitch to the selected pitch) from 4ms to 2 seconds.
The Pitch Fork has a high-quality buffered bypass circuit and operates with a 9-volt battery or the included 9.6-volt/200mA DC adaptor.
The two most important features of a pitch shift effect are how well it tracks and how good the pitch shifted signals sound. The Pitch Fork’s performance for both is stellar, delivering perfect, glitch-free tracking with instant, latency-free attack and pitch shifting effects that sound like natural guitar tone instead of electronic processing except at the most extreme octave settings where the processed sound exhibits a synth-like quality.
Even complex, unusual chords don’t trip up the pitch shifter. To get the most out of the 2- and 3-octave down effects you’ll need to plug into a bass amp or use a full-range sound system as most guitar amps and speakers just can’t go that low.
LIST PRICE $211
MANUFACTURER Electro-Harmonix, ehx.com
• The Shift knob’s 11 settings provide everything from detuned “chorus” effects to 3-octave up and down polyphonic pitch shifting with synth-like textures.
• An optional expression pedal can be connected to the Pitch Fork to continuously vary pitch or the effect’s glissando time.
THE BOTTOM LINE Discriminating pros will love the Electro-Harmonix Pitch Fork’s versatile pitch shift/harmony pedal effects, stellar sound quality and instant, accurate tracking, but thanks to its compact size, easy-to-use operation, and affordable price it’s ideal for anyone.