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Re: Notes on my Akai Headrush

Cleaning the drool off of the keyboard....

>After playing with my new Headrush pedal for a couple of days, I can 
say with confidence that it was worth the investment of $207 
(including tax and shipping). As I stated earlier, it is a better 
looping tool than my DOD Dimension 12, which was $40 more (the 
shortcomings of the D-12 are well documented on the Loopers Delight 
web site). Akai seems to be marketing the Headrush accurately. Its a 
powerful stomp box, nothing more and nothing less. The Headrush has 3 
modes: Tape Echo, Normal Echo, and Loop Recording. I'll comment on 
each mode individually.
>Loop Recording:
>  a.. The Headrush can record a single loop up to 23.8 seconds long 
or an overdubbed loop up to 11.9 seconds. The interface is nice and 
simple for creating the length of the loop on the fly. There are two 
foot switches. The left switch activates the function and the right 
switch is used to determine the length of the loop. If you want to 
overdub a loop, click the left switch to activate the looping function 
and start playing. Then click the right button once to start 
recording. Clicking the right button a second time will close the 
loop. Click the right button a third time will allow you to record 
infinite layers on the original loop. To erase overdub loops, click 
the right button again to erase all but the original loop. If the 
original loop goes over 11.9 seconds, then you are committed to only 
one loop; you will not be able to overdub. An LED light above the 
right pedal will begin to flash a few seconds before you reach 11.9 
seconds, notifying you to either close the loop or live with the 
consequences. The LED light will flash again a few seconds before 
reaching 23.8 seconds, letting you know that the loop will 
automatically repeat. One drawback is that you can't tell the exact 
length of the loop. I find it helpful to know exact lengths for 
syncing drum tracks and such. However, unlike my D-12, I can determine 
with ease the length of a loop by feel which is cool. I don't have a 
foot pedal for the D-12 so I have to be quick with the hands. The 
Headrush is built like a good ol' stomp box.
>Normal Echo:
>  a.. The maximum tap tempo delay time is 23.8. Again, the left 
switch activates the function and the right switch is used to 
determine delay time. Click once then click a second time. The time 
between clicks is your delay time. There are course and fine Time 
dials to manually manipulate delay time. The sound quality is pretty 
good. The sampling rate and resolution are the same for all three 
functions: sampling rate = 44.1 kHZ; resolution = 16 bit.
>Tape Echo:
>  a.. This is the coolest function of the three. The Tape Echo 
function is designed to simulate a 4 head analog tape delay. Each head 
has its own output so that you can send multiple signals from the 
Headrush to multiple amps or mixer channels. I plugged all 4 into my 8 
track recorder and was impressed. There is a Head-Gap dial where you 
can sync up the delay times of the heads or stagger them. When they 
are staggered and you use the individual head outputs, you get some 
cool quadraphonic echo. Maximum delay time in the Tape Echo mode is 
only 5.9 seconds which kind of sucks but I'm not complaining. There is 
a HF Damp function where you can dampen the frequency of the delay 
feedback. This is supposedly designed to replicate the lo-fi qualities 
of the old analog tape delays. It may be a useful tool but the sound 
quality is too good to be mistaken for old tape heads. 
>There is a three stage switch to change the modes. The pedal was 
quiet enough for me to run direct to my 8 track recorder. All in all, 
a cool tool.
>I know I'm forgetting something but this e-mail is getting lengthy. 
I'll be happy to answer any questions and provide further updates as I 
get more familiar with my new toy.
>Best Regards,
>Alan Imberg

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