Friday, June 4, 2010

Thanks, Scott, for Saving the Morley Volume Pedal for Me

Or, "They're all retarded."

Morley makes expression pedals, like volume pedals and wahs. In fact, Steve Vai has a signature volume, the Little Alligator, and a wah, the Bad Horsie. The difference is that they're optical. They don't use pots with moving parts to wear out. Evidently, Mark Knopfler is using the same Morley volume pedal he started using back in the "Sultans of Swing" era 30 years ago. So, you'd think that it's a no-brainer that folks that really do volume swells a lot, country twangers, would absolutely be all over this.

But you'd be wrong. Go to the product reviews on Musician's Friend, for example, and you'll see folks saying that it's fine as a glorified mute pedal, but if you want to get your swell on, avoid Morley like the plague. Starting at 6:30 on the video, Scott explains why. Basically, it's as close to a perfect representation of almost no tone, almost no change, from 1-8, and 9 and 10 being wide open. Unless you carve the hole out with a screwdriver.

Also, he points out something. They use the same LED they use for the optical circuit stuff as a "pedal on" indicator. That's what one might call a neat hack. Especially if you're using it in a normally-lit indoor venue. But evidently, if you're playing a bright mid-day show, the light bleeds in and makes it always on. Not good, but fixable with electrical tape.

So, now I want one again.

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