Airpatch puts wireless pedal control on your guitar
Back in 2016 we tried out a funky tremolo stomp that was wirelessly controlled by an on-guitar device called the Aero. We liked it. A lot. But sadly the company which made the system went bankrupt in late 2017. Wireless effects control didn't die with Aalberg Audio though, as Aviate Audio in the US is this week showing off the Airpatch at Summer NAMM in Nashville, which offers similar wireless stomp control but doesn't tie you in to proprietary pedals.
The Airpatch story began as an engineering project at the University of Buffalo, with two avid musicians wanting to call in favorite effects without having to be near a pedalboard. After graduation, Ryan Jaquin and Shane Nolan made it their mission to get the system into the hands of other players – which they're now doing over on Indiegogo.
The setup is made up of two parts. The wireless effects dock (pictured left below) is where you plug in your favorite pedals or effects chain to the send and return jacks. The dock rocks a center-negative barrel connector for pedalboard-friendly power.
The other piece in the puzzle is the 43 x 23.6 x 12 mm (1.7 x 0.9 x 0.47 in) controller (pictured right above) that's suction-cupped to the instrument and is powered by a Li-ion battery. The cable-free connection between dock and controller operates over the 2.4 GHz frequency band, with over 50 ft (15.24 m) line of sight range.
Airpatch makes use of a low latency loop switching system to wirelessly activate and deactivate pedals cabled to the dock when the single button on the controller is pressed. Players can choose from three modes – Latch turns the pedal(s) on or off; Momentary activates only while the button is held down; and Reverse Momentary switches things around by deactivating the effects from a default on state. Each mode has been given a different colored LED so that guitarists can see where they're at by glancing at the controller.
And that's about it. The Airpatch system will carry a recommended retail of US$199, but can be pre-ordered from Indiegogo InDemand for $125. Shipping is expected to start in December. The video below has more.