Carl Martin Rock Bug

Carl Martin Rock Bug

A fail-safe against amp busts: a breakthrough… the Carl Martin Rock Bug.

A strange unit, to say the least, but potentially a life saver when gigging. Essentially, a stand alone unit that a guitarist would plug his/her daisy chain into to monitor tone and effects through its headphone output.

Meant really for professionals, the Rock Bug would be ideally used with a FOH desk or mulitracking PA system. The round up of effects would be fed into its normal jack-in input and then fed out of the unit via its XLR output to the desk. However, when trying it out I thought that perhaps a Boss DN-2 Dyna Drive pedal would be a fantastic fall-back to counteract the lowered signal level that the Rock Bug introduces.

As far as home recording goes, it ticks all the boxes. Regardless of whether you include this in your pedal board during a gig, or just using it at home, the Rock Bug is hugely user friendly. With balanced outputs (XLR and L/R Stereo) it makes for a reliable practise tool and efficient unit for home mulitracking.

Cleverly, you can also select either a closed or open-backed simulation to further augment the tones via a dedicated microswitch. When trying it out with a Boss DS-1 benchmark overdrive pedal it favoured the open-back setting as it gave the overall mix slightly more presence.

In retrospect, the Rock Bug is a little pricey – at £119 – but if you're into experimenting it could save those all important gig shares.