One of the coolest gizmos from last weeks NAMM show is already in my grubby little hands: It’s the Logidy EPSi, the first customizable convolution reverb pedal. I ordered it the instant I heard about it, and it arrived right before I left for Anaheim.
Convolution (or impulse response) reverbs can mimic acoustic spaces and outboard gear with astonishing accuracy. (If this concept is new to you, check out this article by me. Or better yet, this one written by someone who knows what he’s talking about.) Nutshell: You create impulse response (IR) files by playing and recording a test tone in rooms or through gear. Once you load the file into an IR reverb device or plug-in, it can make anything sound as if it was recorded with the same ambience.You can also generate eerie, otherworldly sounds by loading unusual audio files.
Many software and hardware amp and effect modellers use IRs to mimic gear. Software convolution reverb plug-ins such as Audio Ease’s Altiverb, Logic Pro’s Space Designer, and Waves IR1 include reverb libraries, and also let you load your own IRs. But as far as I know, EPSi us the first device that lets you load your IRs into a stompbox and access them without playing through a computer.
I’m psyched to add IR reverbs to my (mostly) analog pedalboard, and EPSi makes it relatively easy to load the IR libraries I’ve compiled. The files require special treatment: They must be 44.1kHz WAVs, and the names must be formatted quite specifically, as detailed in Logidy’s documentation. The interface is extremely minimal: just a bypass footswitch and a knob/button pair to navigate the simple menus.
This unique reverb stompbox sounds great and offers limitless opportunities for creative sound design. You can load your own impulses, or add ones from from some of the fine freeware libraries online. (Thanks for the link, Scott!) On the downside, it’s difficult to load or edit sounds on the fly, so while it might be fun to spelunk for new sounds in the studio with EPSi, don’t plan on modifying sounds onstage. (The ability to recall several saved presets would vastly improve EPSi as a gigging tool.)