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(Transition sound)

Most guitar players will tell you, if you want to get better, then you have to get with other musicians and play. Often, that turns into starting a band, or at least joining one. As the 2000s were getting underway, in the basement of my good friend Tony’s condominium, he and I started a band. We had jammed together once in his college apartment a few years prior, during our senior year, and we always talked about doing more of it. Perhaps we were having a quarter-life crisis, but we finally decided to get serious and play. (Well, somewhat serious, as we were always a couple of goofs.) Tony on drums, me on guitar, our friends Diego on lead guitar and Okem on bass, and we were officially a band.  

While we were deciding on a name, I decided that I wanted to upgrade my guitar rig. At the time, I owned a wah pedal (see Episode 3 for more on that), a Boss distortion pedal (Episode 1), and a Korg ToneWorks AX100G multi-effect pedal. The ToneWorks is a fun little unit but I wanted something more. Then I got an idea - what if I combined all three of those? Like Voltron! Enter the Boss GT-3 Guitar Effects Processor.

(Theme song sound)

My name is Wright Seneres and this is Effect Pedal. This is a podcast and art project dedicated to guitar effect pedals. In the universe, there are countless numbers of these pedals, creating an infinite number of sounds, and opening up worlds of possibilities for guitar players.  

The GT-3 combines 32 Boss effects, including 12 distortions and overdrives, as well as choruses and flangers, into one unit with dozens and dozens of presets. Notably, it includes something Boss’s parent company Roland calls a “Composite Object Sound Modeling” preamp, which emulates a number of famous guitar amplifiers in history. It also has a great variety of simulations of different pickups, speaker cabinets and guitar synthesizers. It was first released in 1998 as a low-cost alternative to the GT-5, and has since been discontinued and replaced by the GT-6 and other GT models. Like other Boss stompboxes, it’s constructed with a rugged metal case that would do well at a monster truck rally if it had wheels.

(Monster truck sounds)

It could win a demolition derby if you could drive it.

(Demolition derby sounds)

It’s as solid now as the day I got it.   

I got my GT-3 one evening after a tuna fishing trip Tony and his wife Laura took me on. I didn’t catch anything on the tuna boat, but I reeled in this beast of a multi-effect pedal on eBay. It’s a pleasing deep blue color with yellow Cheez Whiz color letters. It has seven foot switches, an expression pedal, a scroll wheel, an LED display, and twenty buttons. Twenty buttons! The seller lived a few miles from me, so I picked it up in person and raced home to plug it in. It was like that movie Pleasantville, when the picture goes from black and white to color. 

(Harp sound)

The ever-large palette of sounds that the GT-3 provided was just what I needed as our little band was beginning, which we called the Modes. I could do more things at once with the GT-3, customizing the footswitches for individual parts of songs. One of the songs we covered in that band was “Lucky” by Radiohead, and with the GT-3, I could get a nice delay effect for the intro, which is actually played where the strings...

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