This patch combines a basic Blackface Amp Model setup — a very useful “soft” amp model for harmonica on the Digitech RP200 (my favorite), RP100, and RP300 — with a Phaser effect. The Blackface amp model in the RP200 is a crisp, punchy, but not overwhelming sound; it dirties up the harp without distorting it heavily. It’s got a lot of soul, and it sounds uncannily like early amped Taj Mahal (e.g. “You Gonna Need Somebody On Your Bond” from “Giant Step”).

The RP200’s Phaser effect isn’t a standout in the genre, but it’s useful enough. The foot pedal on the RP200/300 isn’t being used for anything else in this patch, so it’s assigned to control the depth of the phaser. Pedal all the way back means no phaser at all. This setup can be used with any other effect on the RP200/300 as well, and since it gives the player total control over the amount of effect applied to the amped sound, it’s well worth the extra money compared to the pedal-less RP100.

The Blackface amp model tolerates a pretty high Gain setting for harmonica compared to the Boutique model used in the Envelope Filter patch, and you can use the Gain control to punch up the sound of this model to your taste. Back off the Gain when you start to get more feedback than you can handle.

As per my previous comments, the RP series devices don’t have very good reverbs. In this patch, I use a short mono delay line instead. The mono delays in the RP200 are a bit cleaner than the “analog” delays; this one sounds fine with this model, and I don’t miss the reverb.

This patch will sound best when the output goes to a PA system or keyboard amp. Don’t put this through your Bassman ’59 RI and expect it to sound very good. Simulated tube distortion on top of real tube distortion rarely produces enjoyable results.

The RP100 has no expression pedal, and if you’re using an RP100 I recommend that you leave the Phaser effect off completely until you’ve tested out the Blackface model without effects.

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