Review of: Decibel Eleven Pedal Palette
Reviewed by: Gabriel TanakaRating:4.5On October 25, 2013Last modified:October 6, 2016
Having a good effects pedal switcher is very convenient when you need to manage an assortment of guitar pedals with minimal pedalboard space. You can use a signal router to streamline your effects chain and keep your effects completely out of the signal path when not in use. It’s also very handy to be able to activate multiple effects at once with a single foot-switch button press. And while all these things are pretty standard fare for most effects selector units, Decibel Eleven decided to take it a few steps further with the Pedal Palette.
The Pedal Palette gives you the ground-breaking ability to reorder your effects signal chain in real-time. This allows for certain creative performance abilities that weren’t conveniently available before the release of this innovative product. And it has the ability to run effects in series or parallel for maximum tonal flexibility.
While many guitarists often resort to a tried-and-true method of ordering their effects, having the ability to easily change the order of your pedals and experiment on the fly allows for some pretty interesting possibilities that you may never have realized otherwise. A simple order reversal of two or more effects can result in wildly different, yet very useful sound-sculpting possibilities.
Decibel Eleven have certainly created an ambitious offering with the Pedal Palette. Is it the best effects selector/switcher/signal router out there? We’ll find out in our Decibel Eleven Pedal Palette review. Let’s run down the features and try it out.
4 pedal effects loops.
True Relay Bypass for allowing your signal to pass unaffected when the loops are disengaged.
Swap order of effects loops instantly with dedicated foot-switches.
All effects loops can operate in series or parallel.
Store and recall up to 128 preset configurations.
Recall stored presets and sync multiple pedals with MIDI.
Tails control for allowing reverb and delay spillover.
Powered by included 12VDC adapter.
Visit Decibel Eleven for more info about the Pedal Palette.
Also featured in the video: Decibel Eleven Hot Stone Deluxe Power Supply
Sound & Performance:
While guitarists typically consider effects switchers/loopers as a utility, just a necessary tool for convenient effects routing, the Pedal Palette is not to be underestimated as a creative implement. Effects swapping sounds like an interesting idea in theory, but it’s only after spending some time using the Pedal Palette that the genius of this novel concept is appreciated.
For simplicity’s sake I started out with a single pedal in each of the 4 send and return effects loops. My chain was Wah (1), Overdrive (2), Chorus (3), and Delay (4). This is simple enough for wrapping your head around the basics while still providing a myriad of possibilities. I started out with everything in Series so that the signal is fully wet when an effects loop is active.
Kicking on loops 1 and 2, I started with some wah-infused playing. With a wah pedal in front of the overdrive, the overdrive is a bit more prominent with the wah coloring the sound in a way reminiscent of playing a wah straight into a distorted amp. But hitting the swap switch to reverse their order is another story entirely. By using the Pedal Palette to move the wah behind your distortion pedal, you can go from a more subtle wah-colored tone to over-the-top filtering of your overdriven guitar signal. Either option is useful in various circumstances. Having 2 distinct tones available at the press of the foot-switch means you won’t have to sacrifice one great sound for another.
After this little experiment I switched over to using loops 3 and 4. It’s quite standard to use modulation effects before delay, but the Pedal Palette affords the luxury of being able to use them in reverse to see what comes about. I was pleasantly surprised to listen to how my delayed repeats were affected by an all-analog chorus pedal. This offers an interesting way to add fully wet modulation to a delay pedal that has none.
But using these loops in parallel produces even more amazing results. By using the chorus and delay loops in parallel and reversing their order, the Pedal Palette was able to create a customized, modulated delay that still allowed me to blend my wet and dry signals to taste. Imagine the possibilities of creating your own personal modulated delay from your two favorite pedals. For some, this is worth the price of admission alone.
Things get much more interesting when you start swapping the order of all the pedal loops you’re using. The possibilities are staggering. Try switching delays and drive effects to have your repeats obliterated by distortion. Or see how amazing it sounds to move your wah from the front of your chain to the end to filter the entire effected signal. It gets intense. Decibel Eleven have created quite a sound-sculpting tool with the Pedal Palette. The Pedal Palette is more than just an effects routing utility; it’s a full-on instrument in its own right that rewards experimentation, creativity, and mastery of its many functions. And despite the complex possibilities, the Pedal Palette is intuitive and easy to use.
There are a few other noteworthy benefits of the Pedal Palette. There’s a handy tuner output, phase inversion switches for each loop, an option to activate reverb and delay tails, and a Buffer switch. I find the Buffer Out function particularly interesting in that it allows you to have your signal routed directly to the Send of Loop 1 when Loop 1 is activated and first in order. This ensures you get a direct sound to the pedal(s) in your first loop which may sound best when using certain distortion or compression effects first in your chain. A subtle yet useful feature that shows how much attention to detail when into designing the Pedal Palette.
The Pedal Palette also allows you so save and recall presets. If swapping out pedals in a real-time live situation is too much for you, no worries. With the Pedal Palette you can save and store selections of multiple effects configurations so that you can access various effects in any order with a single press of a footswitch. Decibel Eleven have considered just about everything to make the Pedal Palette a truly world-class piece of hardware.
The Pedal Palette shows a level of innovation rarely seen in devices as humble as an effects router/switcher. (Be sure to check out their Switch Dr. for comparison.) Let’s see the final result.
The Decibel Eleven Pedal Palette stands out among other effects switching/routing units by offering creative possibilities unachievable with any other device. It’s a sonic palette for any experimental musical artist. If you need simple switching of effects with the ability to store custom multi-effect presets, you can do it. If you want unrivaled real-time performance flexibility, the Pedal Palette delivers. And if you want to create entirely new sounds from your favorite effects pedals that are unachievable by any other means, the Pedal Palette is a vital addition to your musical toolbox. If you’re looking for the best effects selector/switcher/signal router with infinite creative potential, definitely check out the Decibel Eleven Pedal Palette.
That concludes our Decibel Eleven Pedal Palette review. Thanks for reading.
Want to buy the Decibel Eleven Pedal Palette?
December 30, 2013 at 1:18 pm
This unit looks incredible! I’ve been researching loop switchers and Decibel Eleven designers have covered so many bases with the Pedal Palette, I’m in awe of the possibilities. This may be the loop manager for me!