REVIEWS

Analog Alien EPI

Published 4 years ago on January 9, 2020

By Guitar Interactive Magazine

 

Analog Alien’s Effects Pedal Interface is exactly the kind of tool that helps you make the most of your pedals.

Nick Jennison

PROS

Use your guitar gear with synths, DAWs and outboard.

Tons of signal routing options.

Clean, reliable performance.

CONS

Footswitch options for “A”, “B” and “both”, but not “neither.”

SPECS

1 x XLR-1/4" combo (Hi-Z), 1 x Single RCA (line in)

1 x XLR (balanced out), 1 x Single RCA (unbalanced out), 1 x 1/4" (thru), 1 x 1/4" (buffered guitar out)

9V DC power supply (included)

Guitar Interactive star rating:4 stars

MSRP (UK) £349 (US) $TBC


Analog Alien EPI

Analog Alien Guitar Pedals has joined forces with legendary pro-audio designer Paul Wolff of Fix Audio to create the EPI (Effects Pedal Interface). The high-end routing pedal is designed to enable users to take the signal from your effects pedal and record it directly into your DAW or analogue tape deck, professionally, without any loss of signal or fidelity, but just how good is it? Here's Nick Jennison with more.

Pedals are great, aren’t they? Colourful little boxes of sonic joy, with puns for names and friendly, tactile interfaces. They’re great for sparking creativity because they’re so hands-on. They’re also a huge contributor to the guitar’s continued relevance in popular music. With the right pedals, the humble guitar can create lavish textures and grinding fuzz tones. It can be mournfully lyrical or ferociously aggressive. Pedals and guitars are a marriage made in heaven.

…Until you have to deal with the practicalities. Impedance mismatches, tone suck, signal routing, even just switching more than one pedal on or off at once - they’re all pains in the neck that get in the way of our ultimate goal: creativity.

Analog Alien’s Effects Pedal Interface is exactly the kind of tool that helps you make the most of your pedals. On the surface, it appears to be an A/B/Y box, but it’s so much more than that. There are two footswitchable send/return loops that you can toggle between, or engage both together, and they can also be used to split your signal to different devices. There’s also a comprehensive I/O on the top of the pedal, with a combi-XLR/jack input for connecting guitars or line level devices (like synths, or sends from your DAW), a direct out for wet/dry or parallel setups, an RCA in-out for connecting devices like tape decks, Kaoss Pads, turntables etc, and balanced XLR and unbalanced jack outs.

What’s especially clever is that all of these myriad connections have the correct levels and impedances, thanks to studio-grade buffers operating silently inside the pedal itself. This means you can connect guitars, pedals, studio gear, DAWs - anything you can think of. Some potential applications might include:

- Switching between two amps

- Alternating between two pedal chains

- Splitting your signal for a wet/dry setup

- Running synths/vocal mics/sample pads etc through your pedalboard

- Running your guitar through non-guitar gear

- Connecting your pedals to your DAW to use as outboard

- Re-amping a recoded signal

The possibilities are vast, and the EPI handled every configuration we tried with grace and quiet reliability.

If you need a rock-solid way of connecting your guitar, pedals, synths, DAW, studio outboard etc without sacrificing tone or introducing noise, the Effects Pedal Interface might be just the ticket.


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