AER Pocket Tools

23 March 2012 | 6:48 am | Reza Nasseri

The fine folks at AER offer us their new Pocket Tools pedals range. AM examines the “Dual Para EQ”, “Colourizer” and “Dual Mix”. Each unit was tested going into a self-powered speaker.

The first pedal, the “Dual Para EQ”, houses two independent parametric equalizers, each with level, bandwidth and frequency controls. There are also two frequency range knobs on each EQ that places the range between either 90Hz to 1.6kHz, or 680Hz to 11kHz.

AER Pocket Tools

I started by bypassing the pedal and getting the best acoustic tone I could, then played for a bit before I turned the unit on. This made an already good tone, sound fantastic. Both equalizers were very smooth and it was evident that only the finest components had been sourced in constructing this unit. You could go from a tight scoop to a wide scoop by increasing the bandwidth and a wide crossover between frequency ranges 1 and 2 made for a very “musical” application.

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Up next was the “Colourizer”, an acoustic or mic preamp that employs an enhancer and equaliser in the signal chain. The preamp adds a fuller tone, the enhancer brings out harmonics, and the EQ either cuts or boosts frequencies. There's also an XLR output on the back and a unique 24v phantom power switch capable of powering condenser mics. I tested the Colourizer with a Shure Beta 58 microphone and a Line 6 acoustic guitar. First off, my voice sounded notably thicker just by plugging into the preamp. Switching on the enhancer and leaving the controls flat added a hint of sparkle and turning up the tone balance and intensity added more crisp detail, and I used the Equalizer to add in more low mids for extra punch. The results on the acoustic were just as pleasing. The enhancer really helped the strings cut when playing fingerstyle and the equalizer sounded great by adding some tight bass at around 90 Hz.

The “Dual Mix”, was by far the best of the lot. First, you can plug either a mic or line input into channel 1 or 2, set the gain and high or low EQ. There's also an “EFX” processor that adds either 2 types of reverb, a delay and a doubling effect over both channels. The aux-in takes in an RCA or mini-jack (1/8”) input and adds it into the mix with a separate control. Finally, a real world solution for musicians bringing backing tracks to gigs without a whole bundle of DI's onstage, or requiring the sound guy to provide house music.