What, Your Expression Pedal Doesn’t Control 4 Effects at Once?

It’s the most common struggle of Jane or Joe guitarist: you have a sick lead but in order to get the proper atmospheric tone it’d be so much sicker if you could swell the volume in and out while also controlling the pan of your wet/dry/wet rig and moving the delay feedback from finite to infinite and controlling the amount of gain in one of your 4 preamps.


But lo! Your prayers are answered. DB Instrument Amp has a dual-axis, 4 output expression pedal: the 4E. Technically you can’t really control 4 things at once, at least not in isolation. As you read above, there’s only 2 axes: up/down and left/right. So to control a third and fourth effect you’d have to be controlling linked pairs, or more likely simply controlling one effect on one patch/preset/whatever and then switching to another effect on the same axis later. True most powerful midi foot controllers can handle this kind of pedal assignment switching instead of relying on the pedal, but I suppose someone out there has a setup where four outputs would be useful. In fact, if you’re one of those mad geniuses I’d love to see a photo of your rig in the comments.

There’s no video footage of this exact pedal up on YouTube, as far as I can fine, but DBIA’s similar daul-axis M440SE pedal has some online demos for you to check out the x/y motion, albeit with only one output per plane. It seems, well, kind of outrageous. I don’t know if I could ever get my brain to control two axes of movement while also managing to not butcher whatever the hell stupid riff or lick I’m attempting, but I’m sure someone out there can pull it off.

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Chris Alfano has written about music and toured in bands since print magazines and mp3.com were popular. Once in high-school he hacked a friend's QBasic stick figure fighting game to add a chiptune metal soundtrack. Random attractive people still give him high-fives about that.

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