The Zoom G1Xon Guitar Effects Pedal with Expression Pedal is a recent buy of mine.  Frustrated with the built-in sounds of Logic X and the direct-in from my amp into my interface, I needed better sound quality, more tones, and much more versatility.  The Zoom G1Xon does not disappoint.

To start off, it has a very small footprint.  It is light, durable, easily packed up between sessions and gigs, and simple to deploy into the line of duty.

As you can see, form right-to-left I have a 1/4″ cable connecting the pedal to my guitar, a stereo 1/4″ cable running from the pedal to my interface, and a mini-USB cable to my power strip.  If you don’t want to shell out extra money for yet another power adapter (we all know how many different ones there are for our many pedals!), and don’t want to run on batteries, I have a trick for you: buy a really long USB cable, and use an unused iPhone/smartphone charger block to make your own power cable on a shoestring budget.

But, back to the pedal.  Here are 10 reasons you should buy it:

  1. Great sound quality.  Buy a stereo cable and connect it to your output device (eg. mixer, interface, amp, etc.), and bask in how the mono sounds open up and “pop” in stereo.  This is premium-grade sound coming from a simple little module.
  2. Great ease of use.  I went from tuning up my millions of guitars on it to trying out patches, to customizing them, to getting them set up for auditions and set lists, in the space of a couple of nights–and that includes becoming proficient in the pedaling setup, amp modeling modifications, and effects shaping.
  3. It has an expression pedal that works It is not as durable as other pedals, but for something that looks like it will break, I am happy to report that it can take a beating and still squeeze out every bit of nuance and tone you need.
  4. Great versatility.  I used this for an audition that featured tunes from Whitesnake, Pink Floyd, a-ha, and REO Speedwagon, while recording legato shredding for my own work, and still simulating an acoustic guitar for different self-started projects.
  5. So many darn options, but not confusing.  There are so many pedals to choose from, so many amps to choose from, so many functions you can assign to pedaling, and with every pedal and amp the level of control is impressive.  I was able to shape certain amps to get a heavier tone as needed, while assigning the expression pedal to the gain parameter, allowing me to dial in the tone using my foot.
  6. It is really freakin’ cheap for the bang you get out of it.  For its price range, I would be hard put to find something this good quality in hardware, software, and end result.
  7. Yes, it sounds good no matter what you are running it through.  It worked great through my amp, even when I decided to go crazy and add a bit of distortion, reverb, and boost on my amp (with the pedal connected).  It works great for direct recording into Logic or your DAW.  It has a headphone output that is great for practicing, but I would recommend also trying monitoring it through your studio speakers (if you have some), so that you can play loud and get pure, unadulterated tone.  Let’s face it: headphones sound great but are inaccurate to the actual end result.
  8. The instructions are easy to read through, but it is so intuitive that one or two glances at the manual were all that I needed.  It has an exhaustive listing of each preset patch, but it is best to just listen to them as you test them out.  That is the best way to get your set list patches perfected and in a chain.
  9. The display is clear, and while not beautiful, it does the job without confusion or over-complication.  The buttons that go along with the display are easy to manipulate.
  10. This pedal proves that, at bare minimum, all you really need are two stomp pedals and an expression pedal.  It is easy to use with one’s feet, immediately responsive, nuanced in expression, and ideal for small spaces (eg. pit orchestras or small stages/bandstands).  It is extremely light, too!  No more pedalboard madness needed.

You can buy it here.

Like how this reads?  1.) Take a listen to a graveley concept video I made with it and some sound design.  2.) Or, try a more open, accessible recording utilizing clean amp modeling, acoustic guitar modeling (via electric guitar and the pedal), and distorted background guitar that fills in the mix of strings and synths.  3.) Lastly, here is a lead tone and sound design experiment.

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Happy playing, recording, experimenting, composing, and shredding!

Dan

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