Plug & program & play: The OWL Programmable Effects Pedal

Up until now, pedal-obsessed musicians who wanted a range of effects were short on options. The most basic would be to find a multi-effects processor or take out a second mortgage to buy a host of pedals and chain them together. A second option appeared via TC Electronic’s TonePrint series, which allows for USB-uploaded, self-designed effects — though you’d still need to buy separate pedals for different effects families (reverb, delay, overdrive, etc.).

Enter: The OWL Programmable Effects Pedal.

Now up on Kickstarter, the OWL (open ware laboratory) seems able to bring effects designing down to a universal level, offering a fully open-source and open-hardware pedal that requires no proprietary tools or hardware-specific knowledge. The Rebel Tech team, which is in charge of development for the OWL, designed the pedal with USB capability, a C++ framework, and patch-testing simulator software, which means that anyone patient enough to mess around with the code will likely come up with some pretty rad noises.

Support the OWL on Kickstarter and check out the project homepage — full price for the pedal is £225 GBP (about $345 USD), though if you hurry, you might catch one of the early-bird supporter tiers.