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DigiTech Whammy DT DIGITECH Whammy DT

DigiTech introduces a new version of its innovative pitch-shifting pedal: now with true bypass and a new auto re-tuning feature that could render awkward on-stage instrument changes a thing of the past…

Words: Tim Slater

The DigiTech Whammy pedal has become a mainstay of more guitarists’ pedalboard setups than you can shake a whammy bar at. Besides bestowing guitarists with fixed bridge guitars the uncanny ability to mimic the dramatic dive bombing effects of a high tech locking vibrato system the Whammy pedal also ushered in a new way of using pitch-shifting effects that, until the Whammy’s appearance, had always felt a little too fixed and static. The DigiTech Whammy DT still uses pitch-shifting to offer the same wide variety of harmonized intervals, octave doubling and dive-bombing as the standard Whammy pedal but there is also a new features set based around a virtual capo that grants the guitarist hands free control over seven half raised steps and a whole octave up from the original note pitch. This mode can


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also be reversed to deliver powerful and extremely realistic sounding drop-tuned effects that fall seven half steps down to a full octave below the fundamental. True bypass circuitry is another new addition, as is the momentary switch that allows the player to kick-in a pre-set for rapid-fire pitch-shifted effects.

Red Rocker

The Whammy DT comes in the familiar bright red stomp box design whose build-quality reflects DigiTech’s typically robust standards. We’re talking pro-level gear here, folks; the sturdy design is clearly required to withstand a lot of hard work and the high number of professional players using the Whammy pedal is a fitting testament to its road-worthiness, at least as far as we’re concerned. As usual, a heavy-duty steel footswitch selects the familiar Harmony and Whammy presets whilst the central rocker pedal facilitates the innovative hands-free control over Whammy’s much- imitated dive-bombing mode. Two more footswitches that activate the pedal’s Drop Tune mode (with a separate a rotary knob that toggles between notes pitch-shifted up or down) and the aforementioned Momentary switch briefly actives any pre-selected Whammy DT preset for the duration that the momentary switch is held down. This Momentary mode can be very useful when soloing, for example if you suddenly

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want to shoot up a whole octave or switch to a brief harmonized section just step on the Momentary switch and the effect lasts until you lift your toe from the switch. One reason why the Whammy DT presets work so well is that the player doesn’t have to fiddle about with any controls to set the correct mix between the effects and the dry signal. The Whammy does, however, include the option to choose between ‘Shallow’ and ‘Deep’ De-Tune presets, depending on how far up front you want the effects in your tone.

The harmonized presets span plenty of intervals: besides an octave above or below there are also major and minor thirds, fourths, fifths, sixths and 7ths above and below the fundamental note. The intervals are fixed, there’s no so-called ‘intelligent’

harmonizing here but the harmonized intervals nevertheless track perfectly, adding a fat- sounding boost to single note lines. A quick word regarding the new

up-shifted and drop-tuned modes: these both sound incredibly effective. Using a guitar tuned to standard A440 and using the Whammy DT to lower the tuning by half a step results in incredibly realistic drop-tuned sounds with no latency or other dodgy sounding digital artifacts that give away that this isn’t a real drop-tuned guitar. Sometimes it is still fun to switch guitars during a live gig, or even slap on a capo whenever a quick key change is necessary but the Whammy DT’s Shift-Up mode sounds pin-point accurate, negating the need to do either. PM


It’s also surprising how quickly it is to adapt to the drop- tuned and up-shifted modes, at least once your ears are adjusted and particularly when used in the correct context i.e. in a band mix. I still think that there is an art to using a conventional capo that can really inspire, especially with an acoustic guitar, but this doesn’t detract from how useful the Whammy DT can be. More than just a standard pitch-shift pedal, the Whammy DT is a powerful and superbly designed effect that will add an astonishingly wide variety of exciting new sounds to your rig.

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