Here’s something that came as a big revelation to me when I first saw it. Guitar effect pedals are an awesome addition to your synth setup!
( Keep in mind that I’m still a beginner in this field ;-), I’m easily impressed. )
I already had a distortion / fuzz pedal (Plimsoul) for my strat that I really, really like the sound of, and putting it in front of for example the Animoog running on the iPad, or the Meeblip gives a whole new range of possible sounds. I especially like how it gives you a truly tactile and immediate way of manipulating effects while playing live. Also, since it’s actual hardware sitting in the signal path before your instrument reaches the interface, it puts 0 load on the CPU of the host computer.
The obvious downside of course is that you cannot go back and manipulate parameters or dry/wet mix after the recording is done, but to me that is part of the thrill of recording a ‘live’ set.
That sounded very serious. To be honest, recording live is something I’ve only recently started to explore.
On that note however, I’ve been looking at adding a reverb/echo unit to my setup. If you are going to take the compact (like a pedal) route, one of the best options is def. the Eventide Space and TimeFactor stompboxes (http://www.eventide.com/AudioDivision/Products/StompBoxes.aspx) but they are a bit pricey for someone like me who is just starting out. Instead, I decided to take the opposite extreme and pick up an Echo pedal at Ebay :).
I found the Dan Echo pedal for only $30, and it was more or less exactly what I wanted. Very simple echo effect with separate controls for Repeats, Speed, Mix and Hi Cut. There is also a Low / Hi switch which let’s you change between a classical Echo effect (hi) and a more rocka-billy short echo (lo). It’s built like a tank and looks like it could really take a beating.
I’ve tested it out with my strat and the meeblip, and it sounds great! Highly recommend it if your looking for a cheap echo unit for your setup. I’ll point out when I have a recording of it uploaded.
I bought mine used, but you can get it new from amazon: Danelectro DE-1 Dan Echo Effects Pedal, if you’d rather get a mint one.