Lvrgrl’s Weblog

Memory Who?
March 13, 2009, 11:42 am
Filed under: music | Tags:

The Stereo Memory Man with Hazarai is the pedal for today’s rocker.

The basic gist of a loop pedal is you play a small tidbit of music into the box and it will grab the sample and play it over and over again for all eternity.  What’s more, you can layer these loops on top of one another for a cacophonous effect.  This method is used by many a solo artist, like the recent Andrew Bird, to create the appearance of friends.

But the M squared is not just your run of the mill looper.  Nor is it a practical one, like the multiple phased Boss looping station used by Owen Pallett of Arcade Fire / Final Fantasy or the USB inputable Digitech Jam Man, even better than the station for a mere $20 more.  And sure, you could get the single nail polish red Boss pedal to add to your collection of colored things that look the same but better as you add more of them, but we’re models of conservation these days, right?

No, this Electro-harmonix jobby is not a piece of beginner’s gear, but then you don’t make beginner sounding music now do you. The looping function is paired with blend, decay, filter, reflect and delay controls.  This means a few things: one is you can click just the right hand bypass button and use these effects without looping or you can click the left hand button to loop and add the above effects to any sample – even after you’ve recorded it.  But most importantly the additional controls mean that the sound is immediately textured and forever pliable so you’ll be making noise out of music in no time.

The Hazarai doesn’t refer to the 70’s party pattern, but it’s eight different programmable modes, the true bells and whistles of this little guy.  Each of these modes, in combo with the controls above, allow you to create different settings for the repeated parts of your loops.  For instance you can make your bit of music start off soft and then grow louder and louder, like a rushing wave, each time it repeats. This happens automatic like and without turning a knob slowly in real time to get the effect if you catch my drift.

The stereo feature only works to create a ping pong effect between the two speakers if you actually have two separate outputs.  If you are just using one cable to one amp the whole stereo idea null and void.  The tap tempo is supposed to be critical for live performance but I wouldn’t know about that part since this thing has yet to see the light outside the basement.

Some actual down sides, just to be upfront:
There’s only one, yes one, input.  So if you want to layer say your vocals over your guitar you need some more gear, like maybe a switch pedal.  Also, unlike almost every other pedal in existence you have to actually HOLD DOWN the button with your foot while recording, which means you have to wear shoes.  This prevents you from tweaking the knobs with your toes and you are not likely to hold shows in galleries anytime soon.

You can find it at Main Drag Music real easy since it’s the only looper they carry.  Ask for Teddy: a moppy dark haired man who knows a lot about synths. You can use their private rooms to try it out with a Moog keyboard that practically plays itself.  If you find that the first line your record gets quieter when you record and play the next layer of the loop, it’s not a drawback of the device.  Just make sure the repeat knob is set to less than full and you’ll get equal levels for everything you record, if that’s what you are going for!


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Nice review! It’s a great pedal in my opinion and has been very useful as a compositional tool for me.

However, I’d just like to point out a couple of small errors… this pedal DOES have two inputs for stereo in/out. And, in your last paragraph where you mention that the loops may get quieter as you overdub… you need to keep the ‘Repeat’ knob at maximum to maintain the loops volume; turning it down determines how much the level (of the existing loop) is ducked on each successive pass.

Comment by kevindemuth

Thanks KD.

Comment by lvrgrl

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