Moving away from floor pedal effects and stomp boxes can be a change too far for some players. Guitarists like things simple – especially in a live situation – where you can see at a glance which pedal is on or off and whether it’s set up correctly. If it isn’t, you simply reach down and tweak it. Programmable floor and rack effects are a different matter entirely and although having been around for longer than anybody can remember, are still a no-no for a lot of guitarists who consider that firstly, they alter precious tone and secondly, are too complex to program. As far as having all your effects on a pedal board, it has always been less than ideal to run a guitar signal directly through modulation devices like chorus and flangers and even less so through delays and reverbs. Now, these items do indeed suck the tone out of your guitar and should really be scooped off the pedalboard and placed in the effects loop. If your amp doesn’t have one, there’s plenty of loop pedals around that will do the job. If you can achieve this – compressors, overdrives and distortions and wahs on the floor and then everything else in the loop you have the ideal set up.
The TC Electronic G-Force is a rack unit that aims to solve a lot of these problems. It claims not to alter tone and it’s simple to program and operate. It offers flexible routing and full editing capability of the eight available effects. They can be placed in any order and swapped around on the fly, allowing you to find the perfect combination. It must be pointed out at this juncture that the G-Force contains no dedicated guitar pre-amp. There is a Drive effect but this is recommended to be used post-effect to add a little edge to the sound.
G-Force provides 225 presets which are listed and described fully in the back of the manual. The front panel is clearly and logically laid out with a large screen displaying the preset number, tuner if selected and the edit functions. A parameter knob toggles between settings and there’s a Value knob to alter levels. Being a TC product, it’s all very professional in its functionality and ergonomics – I particularly like the press keys which are used for selecting effects and the tuner and bypass functions. The effects include a Compressor, Pan+Trem, Pitch, Delay,Chorus, Delay, Reverb, Drive and Filters. There’s a Modifier, where you can assign Expression pedals to specific parameters, or let the dynamics of your playing control any parameter. External control is also possible with a MIDI pedal or expression pedal.
The quality of the effects is undoubtedly world-class and there enough presets that already have ready-to- go sounds that once the editing screens are familiar, it will only take a minor amount of tweaking time to assemble a library of essential patches. Ignoring the extensive features for a second, the quality of the sounds alone deems the TC Electronic G-Force best in show.