1 Analog Heat MKII
For electronic musicians, the Heat may be the only crunch box you’ll need. Effectively a multipurpose distortion unit with a filter, assignable LFO and envelope generator/follower and 2 band EQ, choose between eight stereo analogue distortion circuits to enhance your sounds. Then apply the filter and EQ to shape the tone further.
£619, buy here.
2 Snazzy FX Tracer City
Snazzy FX has reissued three of its most revered psychedelic FX boxes and Tracer City is our pick. Great for messing up drum loops or synths, its analogue multi-mode resonant filter and LFOs create all kinds of filter-sweeping craziness.
£347, buy here.
3 Boss VE-500
This handy box has all the tools you’ll need to process your voice live on stage. For studio hacks, there’s just as much potential to be exploited as its skills include looping, vocoding, harmony and pitch manipulation as well as reverb, delay, modulation, distortion, EQ, filter, and many others.
£349, buy here.
4 Bored Brain Transmutron
A handy pedal that lets your FX boxes talk to each other. You can input sounds such as synths or drum machines and then split the signal into two frequency bands to process with separate FX chains in parallel. It’s kind of like a filter and mixer in one.
5 Electro Harmonix Mod Rex
The Mod Rex is an advanced polyrhythmic modulator that lets you throw up to four poly-rhythmic synced modulations at a sound. Combine effects like vibrato, flanger, chorus, phaser, pan or filters (low pass, high pass or band pass) to create intricate textures.
£230, buy here.