This is one of the coolest and most innovative inventions I’ve seen in pedals, well, ever! The Console : FX platform is an open source platform developed by devi ever: fx and engineered by Instruments for a New Electric Music. The goal for this platform is to create a standard by which developers and DIY enthusiasts can produce affordable effects in small, or large quantities, with low overhead and very little capital.
The idea here is that you buy a Console hardware interface that has the ability to load up to three cartridges, depending on the model. The cartridges are your effects circuits, so you can have up to three effects and only one console. Where it gets really interesting is when you consider the possibilities of combining up to three cartridges at once if you have the Console III interface. If one fuzz isn’t quite mangling the signal the way that you’d like, you can swap it out for a different circuit in a matter of seconds. The sky is the limit with this.
The big question I had was whether or not these are digital or analog fx. I came to find that cartridges can be either digital or analog. That’s the icing on the cake. Having analog fuzz and digital delay on the same pedal would have pretty much been unheard of prior to this. Each Console interface provides five knobs and a footswitch per cartridge, but the other features are variable per unit.
Key to the success of this format are the numbers of other developers that will get on board with developing cartridges. According to the info on hand, there are a growing number of known makers already interested. Some notable companies include Analogman, Earthquaker Devices, and Wampler just to name a few.
This project was started in concept and design by devi ever and Instruments for a New Electric Music, but start-up capital was still needed. A kickstarter was launched in May of 2012. The kickstarter reached its goal this June which catapulted the project into full blown existence and the product is currently in development. A recent forum post on the project’s site states that they will be ready before x-mas so sign up here to stay in the know. – Gus Green