Effects pedals haven’t been the sole domain of guitar players for decades. Increasingly, keyboardists and synthesists use pedals to transform their sound for a variety of purposes. Reverbs and delays are especially useful when paired with a synth, as they facilitate travel to the outer regions of space and time.
My Moog Sub 37 pairs nicely with the Moog MF Delay, as noted in a previous article. I wanted to get a reverb pedal for the Sub 37, with the Strymon Blue Sky being at the top of my list. Budgetary considerations prevailed – don’t they always – so I decided on a TC Electronic T2 reverb unit instead. I wasn’t sorry.
TC Electronic T2 – Features and Functionality
The T2 sports a similar footprint as many other TC Electronic effects pedals; in fact it looks very similar to my Dark Matter distortion pedal. The Celtic rune on the front brings a nice stylistic touch. A solid footswitch with true bypass, four knobs, stereo quarter-inch I/O connections, and a toggle switch used for pre-delay round out the pedal’s controls.
Three of the knobs control decay, tone, and mix, while the fourth switches between the T2’s 11 different reverbs. The unit is powered by either the traditional 9-volt battery or an AC adapter; I opted for the latter after forgetting to unplug the input and draining the battery more than once. A USB port is used for the pedal’s TonePrint capability (more on that later).
The 11 reverb types range from the subtle to the spacey to the ethereal. Of course, the decay, tone, and mix controls influence the ultimate sound of each type. Two ethereal reverb types (E1 and E2) are suitable for ambiance, with the latter adding a cool pulsing drone to the sound.
All told, there is enough variety in the reverb types to meet the needs of both synthesists and guitar players looking for something otherworldly from an effect pedal. Use the controls to dial in the exact sound you need.
TonePrint your Mind, Man
The T2 is compatible with TC Electronic’s TonePrint feature. This lets you download a customized effect using either an application for Windows or Mac over a USB cable, or by “beaming” it into your guitar’s pickup with a smartphone. Synth players are out of luck on the latter method.
Many popular music artists designed their own signature TonePrint effect; you can also build your own with the desktop app. As an added bonus, any TonePrint patches from other TC Electronic reverb pedals are compatible with the T2. Given a list of guitarists from the worlds of metal, rock, and prog, I chose an effect from the esteemed Gary Lucas, whose talent and pedigree (Peter Hammill, Captain Beefheart, and Jeff Buckley for starters) shine above most. I may try the Steven Wilson effect in the future (my old band, Quarkspace played with Steven and Porcupine Tree earlier in the 2000s).
The free TonePrint application is easy enough to use, but it needs some additional user interface shine. On Windows, there was no installation program (just an unzipped .EXE) and no confirmation dialog box when a patch was successfully downloaded to the pedal. If I ever get into building a custom reverb patch, I’ll write a more detailed review.
At a street price of $149, the TC Electronic T2 offers good value for anyone looking for a great reverb pedal at a reasonable price. I used it extensively with the Moog Sub 37 on the Church of Hed album Brandenburg Heights. The T2 is especially useful for space rock, psychedelia, electronica, ambient, as well as the cooler forms of prog.