Back at NAMM 2020, Gamechager Audio continued to live up to its name by teasing the Bigsby Pedal – an innovative, like-for-like floor recreation of the tremolo system in pedal format, which promised to sound indistinguishable from the original.
Alas, those hopeful of getting their hands on one at the time were quickly disheartened, after it was announced the pedal would only be available as part of a limited run of only 1,000 units in mid 2021.
Now though, the Latvian pedal pioneer has announced its much-hyped, long-awaited Bigsby Pedal – designed in collaboration with Fender – is finally getting a standard production release.
Available now for €313 (approximately $350) across Gamechanger’s online dealer channels, the Bigsby Pedal is marketed as a “polyphonic pitch-shifting pedal with a revolutionary design capable of reproducing the feel and sound of the classic Bigsby arm”.
Under the hood, the pedal recruits a SHARC audio processor, as well as a specifically designed hybrid algorithm that aims to achieve smooth polyphonic pitch-shifting at low intervals.
According to the brand, the Bigsby Pedal was meticulously tweaked to preserve the natural timbre of electric guitars and acoustic guitars, as well as bass guitars, mandolins and banjos. Up to 12 semitone pitch shifts in both directions can be accessed.
As for controls, the pedal flashes Rate, Depth and Blend scroll wheels, a rear-mounted Invert switch that changes the direction of the pitch shift and a Detune parameter that aims to mimic the tonal imperfections and dissonances of the conventional hardware.
In operation, the pedal is always on, though only tweaks your tone when the spring-loaded foot pedal is pressed. Elsewhere, there is an EXP output, allowing you to use the Bigsby Pedal to control expression parameters on other effects units, as well as a MIDI input that lets users create and save presets onto 10 slots.
Gamechanger has also offered further insight into its collaboration with Fender – Bigsby’s parent company, who acquired the brand in 2019 – revealing that design on the pedal began three years ago, after the pedal brand pitched the idea to The Big F.
“This idea was born out of a long-standing admiration for the Bigsby system’s unique feel, sound, and design,” the pedal brand said in a statement. “Gamechanger Audio's main goal was to develop a powerful new algorithm to offer Bigsby tones digitally while keeping the pedal's interface as close as possible to Paul Bigsby’s timeless hardware design.”
For more information, head over to Gamechanger Audio (opens in new tab).