Music Gear Review: DigiTech FreqOut Pedal

The full name is DigiTech by Harman FreqOut Natural Feedback Creator. Feedback? Who would want feedback? Feedback between an electric guitar and amp happens at high volume levels and has become (sometimes) an unwelcomed part of high gain guitar sounds. FreqOut produces feedback at any volume--even when taking the pedal direct in my studio and using my monitor speakers at a very conservative monitor volume level. Awesome!

The FreqOut pedal adds feedback harmonics without coloring the guitar's tone. There are seven different selectable harmonic types to choose from right on the pedal itself plus controls for how loud (Gain control) and how long (Onset control) it takes for the feedback to build in volume--just like the real thing.

Other controls/features include: a red LED ladder that gives a visual indication of the attack time of the onset of feedback, a Dry switch for adding in the original guitar signal or not, and the Momentary on/off switch. When Momentary is off, the pushbutton footswitch acts as a true hardwired bypass switch. When Momentary is on, the footswitch becomes a momentary pushbutton that instantly engages the effect whenever you like and as long as the button is kept pushed.

Let's Feedback!

FreqOut requires a 9-volt power adapter (only) with at least 235mA of current available; there is no battery compartment. The Harman PS0913DC power supply is sold separately. FreqOut works best as the first pedal in your pedal board chain as it does emulate the interaction of your guitar and amplifier.
I found FreqOut super useful for all sorts of cool sounds. It will produce a nearly perfect tracked octave below. Called Sub, it is the first position of the seven selectable feedback types and with the Dry switch off, you'll get a clean bass tone from your guitar.

The 1st position produces a unison feedback note that worked great for sustaining notes as long as you want. If you turn off the Dry, you'll have an EBow effect as the feedback will fade depending on the Onset knob setting. The 2nd, 3rd, and 5th positions produce the second, third and fifth harmonics respectively. All of these positions evoke many creative ideas and encourage experimentation. I have been enjoying playing guitar more with FreqOut--there are so many sounds coming out of this pedal.

The last two positions are called Natural Feedback types because they act more like feedback you get from a loud amp--including some randomness--the same note may produce a different feedback each time you play it.

Position Nat Low restricts feedback to lower frequencies and doesn't allow feedback at the 5th harmonic or higher--so no feedback notes that sound major when you play a minor chord. (duh!) Position Nat Hi always causes feedback to be a little higher-pitched but tends to transition to lower frequencies as the note decays.

Still many more hours to use FreqOut and I am enjoying all of it! This is a highly recommended piece of guitar pedal kit I first saw at the 2017 NAMM Show. I'm impressed! Can't wait to record a great guitarist playing great music with this pedal!

DigiTech FreqOut sells for $279.95 MSRP and for much more about it, check out: digitech.com/en/products/freqout.

Barry Rudolph is a recording engineer/mixer who has worked on over 30 gold and platinum records. He has recorded and/or mixed Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hall & Oates, Pat Benatar, Rod Stewart, the Corrs and more. Barry has his own futuristic music mixing facility and loves teaching audio engineering at Musician’s Institute, Hollywood, CA. He is a lifetime Grammy-voting member of NARAS and a contributing editor for Mix Magazine. barryrudolph.com