Stories » Bill Frisell uses the Line 6 DL4 pedal to create his expansive soundscapes / Pitchfork

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Bill Frisell uses the Line 6 DL4 pedal to create his expansive soundscapes / Pitchfork

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"It's possible the past 10 years could become the first decade of pop music to be remembered by history for its musical technology rather than the actual music itself," wrote Eric Harvey at the end of the last decade. He was referring to the impact of the mp3, but the idea rings just as true for creators as it does consumers. A less commonly discussed breakthrough of the era involved musicians' outboard gear, such as guitar pedals, which moved from analog to now-inexpensive digital architectures. There was one pedal in particular that emerged as a favorite: the Line 6 DL4 delay modeler.

Radiohead are known to fiddle the knobs of the DL4. Andrew Bird utilized two DL4s to create his glitched-out violin loops, as did Kishi Bashi. Grizzly Bear were known to have a DL4 or two on stage. Deerhunter's Lockett Pundt is known to have one on his pedalboard. Bill Frisell and Sarah Lipstate, aka Noveller, both used the pedal to create their expansive and florid guitar soundscapes. And Battles, arguably the wonked-out kings of '00s indie-prog, could not deny the presence and influence of the DL4. The band's vocalist on their breakthrough 2007 record Mirrored, Tyondai Braxton, utilized DL4s to achieve the unique sound of his vocals. He still has them on his performance rig today.

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