RTG Random Tone Generator review by Electro-Harmonix

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  • Ease of Use: 8
  • Sound: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.2 (6 votes)
Electro-Harmonix: RTG Random Tone Generator

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Ease of Use — 8
This is a very simple pedal. One volume knob, one toggle switch, and a stepping switch. It is fairly hard to get a great sound from it, as it's all subjective and most people will hate what it does. It's not meant to be pretty, and that's the joy in it. I hope that everyone who buys it has fun with it. Whether that fun be either with create spooky ambience or disturbing the neighborhood animals. Just buy one and give it a shot, you might like it. I do, so maybe you will too.

Sound — 9
As a guitarist, I think that experimentation with sound is what we all want to do. If we can find our own sound and exploit it, we can push the boundaries of our music and see how far it all takes us. Every once in a while, you come across a pedal that is nothing but flat out weird, and you say, "Damn, I have got to have that!" For me, the RTG was that pedal. It was one sterile sound, which is a randomly changing tone that can be controlled by a single knob. It also has a switch for a gliding effect. At the slowest speed, the sound is a slowly changing siren-like effect, but all the way up it sounds like aliens are attacking from above. The effect is cool, but it's shines best when you use it with your other pedals. The only drawback for most people is that this pedal is an output only box. It basically is an instrument on it's own, and you can't play your guitar through it. If you want to play both your guitar and this at the same time, you could do what I do. I place it at the end of my chain into my Stereo Memory Man, so it can run through a separate input and therefore plays with the guitar at the same time. The only issue here is that even when the pedal is disengaged, it actually becomes audible if your amp is turned up to a loud level.

Reliability & Durability — 8
This is a tough little pedal, as Electro-Harmonix's stuff usually is. It's small and is a great fit on my pedalboard. I throw it on at random times to disturb whoever is around, so it sits at the top, out of the way. The switch is strong and actually hard to push without pressure. The toggle switch seems small and breakable, but it's completely fine and away from the stepping switch. The paint on these pedals is easily scratched off, so be mindful if you like the always clean and new look.

Overall Impression — 9
Overall, I really like this pedal. I mainly use it for soundscaping when boredom hits, but I'm sure anyone could find a musical way to use it if they really tried. It would be better if it had a volume knob for the signal, as it's pretty loud. But that's fine, it's meant to be jarring! I'm sure that if they wanted to add one, they would have. This is a reissue of the pedal from the '80s, and this one seems pretty sturdy compared to the original.

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Seriously, WHAT THE HELL is that? EH must have been really high creating it.
    You don't realize how many times my neighbors have come to me asking the same thing.
    Sounds like the soundtrack to a 70s sci-fi film. Stick it through a synth and you have your own lo-fi Swedish electro album. Call it R2-LSD2.
    For effects, I´m using a Boss ME 70 into my Blackheart halfstack. The Boss has a stereo input - does this mean that I could use this pedal together with my guitar, so I could play lines over the randomly generated tones?
    I meant to say a mono input (it only has stereo output). Would I need an amp, or effects pedal, that has two inputs, or is there a way around this?
    You'd need a stereo output, unless you wanted to run this into a completely separate amp. Also, in a stereo pedal, it would have to be on to send the signal of the RTG through. That's a draw on it.