Playing guitar with a Tesla coil is awesome!

Published

Lucas Polo with Gamechanger Audio showed us their innovative guitar effects including the Plasma Pedal which sends high voltage electricity through a Tesla coil! This pedal gives a really awesome crunchy distortion that is hard to forget.

Josh: So basically you're saying you're using a Tesla coil as a conductor of the music and that is what is distorting it, is that Xenon…

Lucas: It’s a transformer that is jumping the electrical signal and then sending it through here. So we are the gate, you know my hands. That’s a great thing. It's a more expressive distortion in the sense that I choose how much of the signal is being sent through.

Lucas: So we are called Game Changer Audio. We're a company based in Europe in Latvia, and we’ve released a bunch of products but our flagship is the Plus Pedal and the Plasma Pedal. So [with the Plasma Pedal] it's quite an innovative way of creating distortion. Traditionally you use transistors or vacuum tubes for emphasis overdrive, etc., however, we've come up with a new system that is using high voltage to create that distortion. And the way it works is that it's turning your guitar signal from one volt to 3,500 volts, which is roughly the power of a taser gun, used by the police. And the way it works is that it is transforming my signal and sending it through a Xenon gas filled tube which is creating that discharge.

The great thing about it as well, is that traditionally with forces you have no control over it, you know, if you have the distortion all the way to the top you're going to get some nasty feedback whereas with this, I am the conduit of electricity. So when I put my hand on it, it stops any strikes. So I can have the most vicious filthy tone. And then stop it. No feedback, unless I want it obviously.

We just launched the rack version as well, that has way more features, more complex EQ, tremolo, ring modulator functions, and steering capabilities.

The idea originally came when the guys were in the States, they were in the southern states, I believe, Alabama, but I would have to fact check that and they have these zap guns to kill insects, you know, because there are a lot of flies over there. So as soon as they get close, there’s a sensor that busts them up. So the team came up with the idea for this [Plasma Pedal].

Same with our first product, the Plus pedal. It just came from the idea of, “why are piano players the only ones who get to sustain the notes”, you know, like, we want to have that as well. Our new product that you can see our engineers working on right now live at NAMM is called the motor piano in was inspired by electric drills. So that has 36 different motors that can rotate at different speeds. And it's like a Mad Max take on the Hammond Organ.

Most of our products are inspired by something else, there are so many pedals on the market and it’s great, but we're trying to do something different, hence the name Game Changer. You know, we take inspiration in everyday things to try and make something different.

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