Guitar World Platinum Award—Source Audio Hot Hand Phaser

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Guitar World Platinum Award—Source Audio Hot Hand Phaser
SOUNDC
AXL BADWATER 210 VECTOR SL SUBWOOFER 212 PEAVEY WINDSOR HALF STACK 214 FERNANDES MONTEREY ELITE 216 PETERSON STROBOSOFT 218
RING TONES
Source Audio Hot Hand Phaser/Flanger and
Wah motion-controlled effect systems
BY ERIC KIRKLAND
I
T’S INSPIRING TO watch legendary
guitarists like Prince, Hendrix,
Angus Young and Eddie Van Halen
perform, because they use their whole
body to create music through the guitar. In their hands, the guitar becomes
an extension of their physical and mental being.
But even the best guitarists find
it difficult to command their effects
with an equal level of expression: the
distance between the player and their
floor- or rack-based units makes it
practically impossible to achieve the
same level of control. I’m not diminishing the usefulness of standard effects,
but fixed settings on any effect dictate a
player’s tempo and phrasing, ultimately
presenting a barrier to absolute expressive freedom.
This obstacle prompted a group of
engineers and effect specialists to form
the high-tech firm Source Audio. The
fruit of that union is the revolutionary
Hot Hand family of motion-controlled
devices that let players control their
effects through hand movements. It’s
hard to predict where this groundbreaking technology will lead, but
there’s no denying Hot Hand’s potential as the ultimate expression tool.
ON
DISC
the Phaser/Flanger and Wah pedals
allow the user to tailor each unit’s
response to his playing style, and each
unit can store up to four programmable
presets. One side note: The wire that
connects the ring to the base made for
a somewhat awkward playing experience. I recommend purchasing the
optional wireless adaptor, which offers
a more natural feel.
SHARED FEATURES
SOURCE AUDIO’S engineers knew that
Hot Hands’ 56-bit
digital signal
processing and
24-bit audio
converters translate
to ultrasmooth
performance.
revolutionary effect operation would
mean nothing if the sound quality
of the effects was not equally impressive. To achieve this
goal, the Hot Hand
devices utilize a proprietary 56-bit
digital signal-processing chip and
high-grade 24-bit analog-to-digital/
digital-to-analog converters. This
translates into smoother performance
and far less noise and distortion than
you’ll find in lesser-equipped digital
effect devices. When the unit is not in
use, an active analog bypass routes the
guitar signal around the digital processing, ensuring no tonal coloration
or signal degradation.
Connections are made on the back
of the each unit. The sensor input
accepts the incoming signal from the
Ten wah filters are
available to serve
as a foundation
of your ultimate
wah tone.
HOW IT WORKS
A SPECIAL RING is the key compo-
nent in the Hot Hand system. Inside
the ring is a two-axis accelerometer,
which is affected by gravity and the
motion of the ring. Players typically
wear the Hot Hand ring on any finger
of their picking hand. The base unit
senses the accelerometer’s precise
change in position and, in turn, drives
the effect’s operation.
But placement of the ring is not
confined to the hand. Energetic players
may choose to place the ring device in
a headband, on the guitar’s headstock
or on their shoe. Motion controls on
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GU I TA R WOR L D
HOT HAND WAH FILTERS
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DCHECK
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DIVIDED BY 13 13/29 COMBO 224 PHIL JONES BASS FLIGHTCASE AMP 226 FISHMAN AURA ACOUSTIC IMAGING PEDALS 228 TECH EDUCATION 230
HOT HAND PHASER/FLANGER
SOURCE AUDIO
HOT HAND PHASER/
FLANGER AND
WAH MOTIONCONTROLLED EFFECT
SYSTEMS
LIST PRICES: Hot Hand
Wah, $349.00 ($299.00
street); Hot Hand
Phaser/Flanger,
$349.00 ($299.00
street); Hot Hand
wireless adaptor,
$150.00 ($125.00 street)
MANUFACTURER:
Source Audio LLC,
sourceaudio.net
BOTH SYSTEMS:
CONNECTIONS: Guitar
In mono, Guitar Out
mono, Sensor In,
Sensor Out, Expression
In, Expression Out
BYPASS: Active Analog
CIRCUITRY: Analog and
Digital
POWER: Nine-volts,
four AA batteries or
optional standard ninevolt adaptor
The Hot Hands units
operate superbly as
effect pedals even
when used independent of the motioncontroller ring.
ring, or another Hot
Hand device, and the
sensor output is used
to daisy chain the Hot
Hand pedal with other
Hot Hand units. An
expression pedal input
is also provided, and
an expression output
makes it possible to
route the Hot Hand’s
full-range signal to
other effect boxes or a
keyboard. Each pedal
is powered by four AA
batteries or an optional
standard nine-volt adaptor.
HOT HAND PHASER/
FLANGER:
EFFECTS: Seven Phaser
Types, Seven Flanger
Types, LFO, Envelope
and Sequencer
FEATURES AND
CONTROLS: Effect Depth,
Phaser Frequency,
Flanger Time Delay,
Effect type, Motion
Sensitivity, Modulation
Driver Speed, Preset
Save, Effect On/Off,
Preset Select, Alternate
Control Mode, Invert
Ring-Motion Detection,
Two-Axis Accelerometer
built into Ring Device
HOT HAND WAH:
The Hot Hand ring device controls each effects’ performance.
HOT HAND WAH
THE WAH’S FREQUENCY knob sets the
wah’s peak frequency, while the wah
selector provides a selection of 10 wah
types. These useful and well-crafted
wah filters include a classic wah, two
low-pass settings, two bandpass settings, four multipeak settings and an
auto wah. There is also a volume pedal
option, which is particularly useful for
creating volume swells and motioncontrolled tremolo effects.
PERFORMANCE
I REALIZED FANTASTIC tones very
quickly with the Hot Hand wah, before
I even bothered to read the manual
and watch the supporting website
videos. In no time at all, I adapted
my picking style so that I could generate wah accents with the flick of
my wrist. The array of wah types is
outstanding, as is the clarity of each
effect’s tone. Although the Hot Hand
wah doesn’t quite create the sexy
growl of a modified vintage pedal,
its innovative operation allows technique variations that are not possible
with a rocker-based pedal.
HOT HAND PHASER/FLANGER
SEVEN PHASER AND seven flanger
types are available for use with
the Hot Hand ring. The base unit’s
EFFECTS: Classic Wah,
Band-Pass Hi and Lo,
Low-Pass Hi and Lo, Four
Multi-Peak Settings,
Auto Wah, Volume Swell
FEATURES AND
CONTROLS: Wah
Frequency, Wah Effect
Type Selector, Motion
Sensitivity, Preset Save,
Effect On/Off, Preset
Select, Invert RingMotion Detection, TwoAxis Accelerometer built
into Ring Device
Attached to a Hot Hand, the wireless adaptor
gives you ultimate freedom of expression.
knobs control the phaser’s peak
frequency, the flanger’s delay time
and the depth of both effects. But
the Phaser/Flanger is also a terrific
stand-alone effect box that operates
without the ring. In this standard
operation mode, players select a LFO
(low-frequency oscillator), envelope
or sequencer to drive the phaser or
flanger effects and set the rate with
the speed knob.
PERFORMANCE
IT TOOK ME a little while to discover
my phaser and flanger styles in the
Hot Hand mode, but once I had a feel
for the effects, a huge variety of tone
textures and cycle lengths became
available. I was equally enthusiastic
about the pedal’s stand-alone performance, as this is where it really shows
off its processing power. I don’t know
if I’ve ever heard another pedal produce such clear layers of guitar tone,
low-frequency oscillation and phasing.
THE BOTTOM LINE
SOURCE AUDIO’S REVOLUTIONARY ap-
proach to effect control opens the door
to artistic expression like no other
guitar product. In addition to the innovative motion-controlled operation,
the audio quality of the effects is outstanding. For experimental players that
demand high-tech tone, Source Audio’s
motion-controlled Hot Hand wah and
phaser/flanger effects are among this
year’s hottest new inventions. ✺
PRO
CON
MOTION-CONTROLLED
EFFECT MANIPULATION,
AMAZING EFFECT
CLARITY, SOLID
CONSTRUCTION
CONTROLLING THE
EFFECTS CAN REQUIRE
THAT PLAYERS MOVE
HANDS AWAY FROM
THE STRINGS
GU I TA R WOR L D
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