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RE: what is the state of things with pedals these days?

I second the seconding (I think I recommended it buried in a note somewhere so I may be seconding the seconding of myself, sorry). You can get the inestimable emulations that Strymon have of all sorts of deterioration capabilities. There are 12 types of delay possible, and as F Clef pointed out they can be pre or post on the fly. There is also the option of a pre or post utilisation of effects and you can switch it on the fly. You get a choice of stereo in and out, or of the right in/out pair being used as an effect send. I have used that on a creepy  microtonal lift that has the regeneration slowly lifting, or a pseudo doppler effect that make the "return to base" point of the loop (the 0 in clock maths) feel like the entire thing is an exercise in relativistic travel (or if you set it at 23 in clock maths it gives the sensation of anacrusis without a musical event there). An excellent extra feature is that it has a dedicated Timeline system librarian program that you can run from Mac or PC that lets you tweak/save/load/share settings, and the sysex files for some of the extra effects are on the Strymon site. That's a nice feature for tweaking the right sound among so many - you can fork a sound experiment and then revert when you realise you were wrong* Also you can name the patches, so you can call them up by name in the dark. or have it called up with a midi board Also - I want to re-mention Molten Voltage Oz pedal that is especially made for the Timeline - it is outstanding in its features. It controls the Timeline through MIDI, and while you can do that through a general purpose pedalboard, but this has all of the features setup as stanard in a robust quiet metal box, and it also has an external pedal jack that allows external swell separately to the pedal in on the box itself. The Oz pedal on a 4 metre MIDI cable means that I can have the looping control completely separate from cluttered pedalboard which is really nice, then a further 2 meters to a pedal swell. Feature list follows for people who get irritated by long notes (UNSUBSCRIBE DAMMIT) but also because its a good account of the feature set of the Timeline as looper • Transforms the Strymon TimeLine Delay into a full-featured, high-fidelity, state-of-the-art LOOPER • Unlocks the hidden potential of the Strymon TimeLine delay by accessing its MIDI-only LOOPER features: • UNDO back to initial loop • REDO overdubs (after pressing UNDO) • REVERSE loop direction instantly • HALF-SPEED playback and recording with LED Speed indicator. • Single-press, soft-touch recording and playback --- Press and Hold the REC/PLAY Button while recording and the loop automatically plays on release --- This makes loop timing far easier and more accurate than pressing a second button • DRY Switch automates TimeLine's LOOPER without delay by setting the  Mix to guitar only upon Record • LOOP LEVEL control - adjust in real-time, or set it and forget it (auto-adjust on Record) • MIDI IN merges and actively filters incoming MIDI data for optimal TimeLine synchronization and performance • One-cable MIDI OUT connection to the TimeLine - no mods required! • Staggered, stair-step switch design for easy-access to rear switches • Optional side Record Jack for remote soft-touch footswitch operation • Simple, intuitive user interface Now available with Optional Loop Level Jack for use with an external _expression_ Controller! Note that the Loop Level Jack replaces the Loop Level Knob *you know how you get the sound just right because of some happy  accident, and then you tweak a bit more and it's gone forever because  you're too tired to remember what you did? Or turning it off at the end  of the day and having no memory whatsoever of what it was?