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Marks Gordius review


After all these many discussions of Softsteps and 12 steps, I felt that I should write a quickie to summarise how living with MY dream pedal, "the Gordius Little Giant" has been for the last 2 weeks.
I had to send my Softstep back because I didn't like the feel of the switches (no feel actually), I was sad, I had pinned my hopes on it, and it let me down.

Not so the Mighty Little Giant!

Oh my god, this is simply the most incredible footswitch ever, I will very briefly mention that the software, daunting as it looks at first glance, is easy peasy, once you discover what you DONT need. the Manual could use some re-writing, Why do people assume that writing things in the order the menus come is wise?  
So there is LOTS I don't need, like "songs" or "setlists" it took me awhile to figure that out, as these functions took so much room in the software pages, but they are still cool. I imagine my days in Cranes 20 years ago. We had about 50 songs we could play from our back catalogue, we played 9 at a show, plus 3 encores. With this you can have a different Bank for each song. The switches needed for each song are pre programmed (quiet flange, Heavy Crunch, whatever) and you drop in what you need for a song. THEN you can (on the night of the gig?) just drop the songs in order of how you are gonna play them.  THEN half way thru a tour, you discover that you are tending to play 3 or 4 different sets, so you can save THOSE orders, and just recall them.

Lets not talk about all the amazing, any midi channel any CC, sweeping CCs, looping thru commands, having switches cycle thru commands the more time you press, having some as "stomp boxes" that stay lit till you click, some as monetaries that stay lit as you press them.

Lets not mention any of that, 
Lets get to the good, no... GREAT stuff!

Remember what I didn´t like about the SS? The Gordius is different, for 2 reasons.
1, the pedals click, slightly, this isn't a Devi Ever distortion box, so no HUGE click, but I can feel it, and in socks, its silent, ok not silent, but if you set someone in the front row dropping needles, they will drown you out.

2. (the biggie) THE DISPLAY! Oh .. why do manufacturers thing that in 2013 a 2 digit display is OK? The Gordius is WONDERFUL, you can:
Have tiny small big or HUGE letters, tis your choice, 
You can have a bank remember which button was last pressed for when you re-enter that bank, oh I should have said, 
You can name you patches.. 
you can name the bank and the switch, and have them BOTH displayed.
You can have the button switches flash in time with midi clock,
you can set the brightness of the buttons,
you can set individual different brightness for different functions, used is dim, selected is bright.

What does this mean in practice?

Well, where on the FCB1010 I had 4 banks I used regularly (utility setup, EDP1 EDP2 and Repeater) (I couldn't remember any more) on Gordius I already have 6 banks, and Im going real esoteric on them
... because, I don't lose them, as I cycle thru banks I can see what they are.
the following functionality with FCB would have been dangerous and unlikely to be possible.

Start loop on bank EDP1, 
bank up and start loop on EDP2,
bank down 2 banks and multiply both on STEREO EDP bank
go up 4 banks, start repeater looper on track 1 DONT close the loop, keep playing
go down one bank and add a bit of what you are playing to an inserted few bars on EDP2,
go down one bank and start overdub on EDP1
go up 2 banks and close the repeater loop,
play for 20 minutes.. nimbly going up and down thru banks, and REMEMBERING what you have done, because.. well just because, it feels like YOU are in charge.

A bit like when I programmed my iPad to operate the hardware rack thru TouchOSC, I have to say that the Gordius really opens up your hardware boxes and lets you get to those obscure parameters that you never bothered with...

I know this is hardly NEW NEWS; but Ive heard many of you talk about it for a number of years, and all I can say is

Cos all I saw was the price...

and you know what?

its cheap man....

fucking cheap!!!

That is all...


Mark Francombe
twitter @markfrancombe