During the last years, two pedals have been put on the market which are especially interesting for sound scaping and ambient fans.
In principle, both effects are quite similar.
The Gamechanger Audio Plus Pedal, as well as the Electro Harmonix Freeze are so-called sustain-pedals, that are able to record and reproduce single notes or parts of chords via an integrated looper.
In contrast to glitch delays, loopers and stutter effects, the samples are quite short though the signal appears as if the sustain stays for a long time – comparable to a piano or synthesizer.
Although the pedals are pretty alike, they vary in some aspects.
The Freeze comes along with one simple knob which allows the adjustment of the wet signals volume. The different aspects of the sustain can be adjusted via the three positions of the toggle switch.
The four knobs of the Plus Pedal permit to adjust the quantity of the wet signal added to the whole sound (blend), the speed of the fading-in (rise) and the different aspects of the sustain (sustain/ tail).
The volume of the signal can also be adjusted via the sustain-pedal: pushed down half the way, a lighter, quieter signal will be sustained, by fully depressing the pedal, the signal will be louder.
And, besides its four knobs, the Plus Pedal does also offer a toggle switch to choose between a mixed dry/wet and a pure wet signal.
Another knob allows to choose between Single and Group Mode. This mode defines how many layers are laid on top of each other.
In- and outputs
Here also, the Freeze excels in clear massages: it has one in- and one output.
The Plus Pedal offers a “Clean Out” which sends the clean signal continuously and therefore can be used to create a stereo effect with two amplifiers.
Furthermore, the FX loop of the Plus Pedal offers the connection with various other pedals which deal only with the wet signal.
The “WET ONLY” mode, enables the user to totally mute the clean signal by using the additional foot switch.
And via an XLR adapter, the Plus Pedal can also be used to work with vocal signals.
The Plus Pedal is pretty versatile and sounds quite natural. Therefore, it is the perfect companion for slow /spherical sounds.
The sustain knob permits the reduction of treble to create a natural and acoustic tone.
The Freeze captivates through its simple handling. Its short attack-times make it act very dynamically and therefore, this pedal is ideal for fast changeovers.
The tone always stays more synthetic.
In the end, the decision for one of these pedals depends on what you are planning to use it for and in what sense you are willing to engage in knob- twiddling.
In my honest opinion, both pedals work very well in its own area and I hope, this article and this video might help adventurous sound freaks to decide which pedal they will get.