VIRTUAL JEFF Is The First Digital Whammy Bar


First reaction: This doesn’t make any goddamn sense. I’m sitting here after a few glasses of whiskey looking at their promo pics of a this weird looking black thing named Jeff attached to the top of a semi-hollow and an acoustic claiming it works like a whammy bar. I don’t see any cables or any way it could manipulate the pitch, or any aspect of the signal, at all. This is some 21st century shit right here.

Second reaction: I click the little ‘about’ button and it takes me to the page with a video (thank you for not making me go to YouTube) and, from what I can tell, it’s actually a whammy pedal attached to the face of the guitar. This should have happened years ago, but it didn’t. Now it has. Pretty cool, really. I never dug the whammy pedal, always thought it was a little clunky and a little gimmicky (not that this isn’t, but very well could be less so) and found it kinda tough to do anything fluid or expressive with the foot pedal pitch shifter format. On the flip side, even after years of experience doing tech work, I don’t particularly enjoy dealing with mechanical tremolos. As much as I love my beat-to-shit tele with a Bigsby on it, the undeniable physics of it is: forcibly changing the tension of the strings on a regular basis does not cater well to the stability of said tension. And my dive bombs could be more radically awesome than mildly racist jokes in sequels to 80’s remakes, but if I’m out of tune, no one will, or should, give half a shit. Might this fit just right between the whammy pedal and the traditional?

I haven’t been able to locate exactly how the wiring works or how it’s attached. They say there’s no need for “drilling, routing or mechanical changes to your instrument” – so my best guess is the mount uses adhesive and the one cable coming off it talks to the pedal that controls the amount of pitch shift the bar provides. Neat.

I’m not pissin myself about it, but there’s something pretty sweet about a zero-commitment (no permanent mod to your baby), perfectly accurate pitch sifter that operates like a traditional tremolo (actually vibrato – I still never figured out why the fuck people started calling this a tremolo) bar.

We shall wait and see how much it costs.

More info on the FomoFX website.

Written by

A guitar player and tech, writer (music and words), music publisher, die-hard music fan and full time gear nerd. He has a dangerous obsession with all things that make cool and/or loud noises and years of tech experience to temper his guitar lust. Currently working with a small handful of musical undertakings and establishing a music publishing company.

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