TC Electronic Flashback Mini Review
TC Electronic are a company that have always been keen to push the envelope and despite being one of the biggest guitar effects builders in the world they still maintain their enthusiasm ti make exciting and practical products. Way back during the 1980’s TC Electronic released the now legendary 2290. This unit which featured a massive 1Mhz sample-rate was, and still is, considered the greatest digital delay unit ever made, the 2290 was discontinued in the 1990’s due to increasing manufacturing costs as well as some components becoming increasingly difficult to obtain. TC Electronic have stayed faithful to this legacy and have consistently broke new ground with their products. In more recent times TC Electronic released the iconic Flashback delay, a fantastic well featured delay pedal that has a unique voice of it’s own plus you can upload ‘Toneprints‘ to the pedal. the Toneprints are patches developed by name guitarists which are then either uploaded via a USB cable or by use of something that, at first sight, looks like witchcraft. If you install the Toneprint app on an iPhone or an android phone you find the patch that you like the sound of in the ever increasing library and press upload while holding your phone up against the guitars pick ups, your pedal will recognise the uploaded information and store it in the pedals Toneprint memory. It’s this kind of sorcery that has propelled TC into the common language of guitar and bass players. As if all that wasn’t enough TC also developed the ‘strum tempo’, traditionally a guitarist would have to use tap tempo to determine the delay time, this is great but not everyone gets on with tap tempo, so the clever people at TC developed the idea of strumming while holding down the pedals switch to mute the output and the player then strum the tempo on the guitar (or bass) this is a strangely not shouted about by TC Electronic more than it is, it really is a great feature and once you start to use it you will wonder how you managed without it. After the Flashback TC Electronic then released the Flashback X4 a bigger variant of the Flashback with four toneprint locations, very handy if you need more than one patch. Where does a company go from there? Well a couple of years ago TC released the Polytune Mini which was super popular given it’s tiny size, logic then led the creators at TC to make the small form factor Spark Booster and the the HOF Reverb (Mini Hall of Fame), these proved really very popular given that space on any players pedalboard is at a premium. The HOF was the catalyst for what came next, with one control knob on the pedals top surface, you can upload a Toneprint or use the now readily available Toneprint editor and then assign the control dial to a parameter. It was a natural progression for the company to release their pedal range as small factor pedals, a move that will delight musicians the world over.
The TC Electronic Flashback Mini has three on board controls Feedback, Delay and effect level which make adjustment son the fly during a gig perfect. The Flashback is compatible with all of the Flashback Toneprints and these are totally free of charge. The pedal is standard 9 volt powered (100ma) but does not have a cavity for a battery so battery power is not available on the Flashback Mini. Above the 9 volt power socket is the mini USB socket for using with the Toneprint editor that is again, totally free of charge. The casing measures 90mm (L) x 42mm (W) x 33mm (H) and is ideal if you want a delay but have very little room left on your board. The build quality is typical robust, in line with all the TC stomp-box range. There’s a hell of a lot of pedal inside the se tiny boxes.