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Gamechanger Audio LIGHT Pedal Review

Eric Lapp • Posted on 03/01/2021 • 4 min read

In a flash of brilliance, the team at Gamechanger Audio have created a reverb pedal unlike any other.

The LIGHT Pedal is the newest in a series of groundbreaking effect pedal developments from the Latvian-based Gamechanger Audio. Dubbed the “Optical Spring Reverb System” the LIGHT Pedal is the world’s first analog spring reverb device of its kind. If that sounds interesting and innovative already, you haven’t heard that half of it. The LIGHT Pedal takes the classic spring reverb formula to new heights. Using Infra-Red optical sensors, the LIGHT Pedal is designed to capture every tonal nuance of its three-spring reverb tank. The LIGHT Pedal features deep functions, pinpoint precise controls, and altogether a truly new take on analog reverb. Let’s dive in.

How It Works

Spring reverb is a classic reverb voice that can be heard through generations of music. Its bright and full tonal character is easily recognizable and is a popular pick for giving guitars an extra spacious lift. Whether analog or digital, the sounds of a spring reverb are instantly captivating.

Playing off the classic operation of a spring reverb, the LIGHT Pedal takes the effect into its own hands. A traditional spring reverb relies on the movement of a physical metal spring cased within a pedal or amplifier to produce its sound. When you plug in and send an audio signal through a transducer on one end of a spring, the movement created travels through the spring, converting some motion into an electrical signal. By the time the signal has reached the end of the spring, part of the wave is reflected within the spring, creating its spacious and resonant sound.

The LIGHT Pedal’s reverb effect functions physically with a reverb tank with three springs, but there is some deeper magic at work. Gamechanger Audio brings a new formula to the table with the addition of multiple sets of special Infra-Red optical sensors. These sensors are placed and directed at different points of the tank’s three springs, acting as photoelectric pickups. What the LIGHT Pedal sets out to do with this spring reverb setup is to harness as much tonal character and nuance as possible which could not be previously done before with a traditional spring reverb output transducer. Each Infra-Red sensor is carefully placed to pick up smaller and finer movements throughout the springs to maximize frequency response, decay time, and tonal character. The science and magic of the LIGHT Pedal can be seen while you play. Within the LIGHT Pedal, the Infra-Red sensors and springs are at work displaying a real-time reaction to your playing with different sets of flashes in response to the different effect configurations the LIGHT Pedal can be set at.

Controls and Tones

Unlocking a wealth of analog spring reverb tones is easy and exciting with the LIGHT Pedal. The multiple control knobs and switches may seem daunting at first, but rest assured, the LIGHT Pedal is easy to dial into. Using the responsive and accurate controls to adjust effect parameters, the LIGHT Pedal summons a spectrum of reverb tones ranging from light and sweet to deep and spacious. The LIGHT Pedal’s controls include:

Three separate volume level controls:

  • Dry – the amount of dry signal active
  • Spring – the amount of spring transducer signal active
  • Optical – the amount of optical spring sensor signal active

    Drive: the amount of signal sent through the spring tank

    Gate: the form of the reverb effect – gated or ducked

    • Noon – the form of the reverb is unaffected
    • Counterclockwise – the reverb is gated and cuts off as you stop playing
    • Clockwise – the reverb is ducked and reduced in proportion to your playing

      Six unique effect modes:

      • Optics – choose a combination of optical sensors
      • Sweep – roll back and forth between different optical sensor pairs
      • Trem – rhythmically turn optical sensors on and off
      • Reflect – send your instrument signal back into the reverb tank
      • Feedback – send the reverb tank into self-oscillation
      • Harmonic – create harmonics and overtones

        Tails and Latch:

        • Tails: On for natural decay after the LIGHT Pedal is disengaged, Off for immediate cutoff
        • Latch: On for a standard footswitch control, Off for momentary footswitch control

          The depth to which you can take the LIGHT Pedal is incredible. For a couple pointers on where to begin, try out these modes to dial in a spectrum of reverb tones:

          • Reflect – Roll in on a delayed reverb with a unique lo-fi character.
          • Feedback – Build that classic “wall of sound” tone with large reverb pads.
          • Harmonic – Summon a shimmery reverb with harmonic highlights.

          The LIGHT Pedal’s large tonal palette encourages players to be free and explore with different voices that range from traditional to experimental while remaining fully analog.

          Additional capabilities available to players include expression pedal compatibility. Expression pedal control is first programmed to the Control knob, but can be assigned to Spring, Optical, Drive, or Gate to roll through the LIGHT Pedal’s wide tonal spectrum in real time. An especially impressive feature of the LIGHT Pedal is its unique shock-sensor mode. This feature detects sudden impact to the LIGHT Pedal’s springs and will instantly shut off wet signal output if detected. Spring reverb tanks are sensitive, so this function can be a heaven-sent when the pedal is heavily stomped or overly shook.

          Gamechanger Audio LIGHT Pedal Final Thoughts

          There has never been a device quite like the LIGHT Pedal. The combination of innovative design, careful construction, and colorful tonal palette makes the LIGHT Pedal a must-see on any reverb fan’s new pedal list. Engineers and studio dwellers are sure to find the LIGHT Pedal an exceptional tool for endless tinkering and experimenting while live players are sure to make great use of it on stage and in the moment. The LIGHT Pedal is an expressive and responsive device that is only made more impressive by its new take on spring reverbs. All the deep delay and rich shimmer a guitarist could ask for is right here, and what’s more, it’s still completely analog. If you’ve never seen a spring reverb in action, there has never been a better time. A truly unique analog reverb experience has never been more in reach and those springs have never sounded so sweet.