At Summer NAMM back in July, boutique gear maker Old Blood Noise Endeavors demoed a prototype multi-effects pedal for microphones and mic’d up instruments – the MAW Vocal Pedal. It took home a “Best In Show” award, and for good reason – 2 channels for five modes of delay, reverb and modulation effects in a little stompbox. And a mic preamp, too. Well done!
There was one burning question left unanswered – when is this thing going on sale? Well, out of the blue, the MAW XLR Pedal (as it’s now called) is up for order at Old Blood Noise’s website. It sports a fresh coat of paint (though still green, like the prototype unit) and new graphics, along with a reasonable price tag of USD 279. True to expectations, the amount of functionality available in the end product is admirable.
The stompbox lives on!
First things first, the built-in mic preamp has a foot-switchable saturation section with blend, volume, and tone controls – so it’s not just your basic amplifier. Moving on, there are two independent effects sections with four kinds of reverb, long and short delays, rotary speaker, flanger, phaser, and octaver. That’s a nice selection of essential analog and digital effects to throw at your voice or instrument. Other highlights include a Send/Return circuit to add external effects, a post-saturation dry output (XLR) to get unprocessed signal, and relay bypass switching with effects trails and choice of momentary or latching style. Also visible are a pair of expression pedal inputs, selectable outputs (instrument-level on quarter-inch jack or a balanced XLR out), and A/B footswitches for the effects modes.
The MAW-gic of OBNE
I really like what I am seeing. In the era of endlessly tweakable digital multi effects, the old stompbox that started it all still holds its own. I’m sure a skilled artist can coax some memorable performances with the immediacy and sound palette the MAW offers. Besides, what else beats a stompbox-sized mic preamp with saturation and effects included for the price of a good guitar pedal? Head below to order the MAW XLR pedal or let the 12 minute introduction video convince you where mere words may fail.