The Digitech Whammy is a pitch shifting pedal that allows for a vast array of note-bending options. The player can shift any played note on the guitar upwards to 2 octaves above, or down to 3 octaves below. That’s not all this pedal can do however, it also provides a harmonizer which, while doesn’t use intelligent sensing to select the correct harmony at all times, it certainly gives players an extra dynamic if used correctly. The harmonizer can also be used in conjuction with its namesake whammy effect (pitch-shifter) earning a respectful place on many guitarists boards.
Features and Specifications
In terms of pitch shifting up or down the Whammy provides certain intervallic options (both single note and chordal) that would be common and appeasing to the ear in a musical context.
By turning the selection knob you can choose to shift any given note down or up a Major Second, Perfect Fourth, Perfect Fifth intervals as well as 1 and 2 octaves. You can control anything in between by controlling how far down you press the foot controller. For those reading without knowledge of music theory, this essentially means you can change how far ‘up’ and ‘down’ you are shifting the note. There is also a very interesting ‘dive bomb’ feature which lowers the pitch 3 octaves and renders the sound unrecognizable.
On the other side of the control panel is the harmonizer settings. The intervals are more diverse here, including 3rds and 7ths. The way this feature works is that whilst the foot controller is all the way back the harmony you chose will play alongside your note. When you put the controller forward it will revert to the regular whammy effect and the interval is depicted right beside the harmony interval.
One other feature is “Detune” which has two settings; shallow and deep. This essentially will pitch shift notes in a way that will make your guitar sound out of tune. I do not see the point of this particular feature at all and personally never use it, but who knows maybe somebody can put it to creative use one day.
This pedal uses true bypass which means when inactive it shouldn’t affect your signal and thus your tone at all. It can be a bit of a power drainer though, requiring it be powered by 1200 milliamps. Enough to ruin most conventional power supply setups and dictating it needs its own separate power source in most cases. There is also a MIDI input for those who fancy that kind of expression
A fantastic pedal that can be used in so many versatile ways. From ambient chordal bending, all the way to novelty dive bombs and squeals. A couple drawbacks come in the form of its massive power requirement and its size, which’ll take up a lot of land on any pedalboard. But if you think you’ll find a use for it, you probably will and it will be worth your time.