Farmer's Mill - Improved!
Ceramic Slides - New!
Introducing the selection
of Crushsound related materials.
Have a good time!
Jack White III
Lilly got this "surprise" postcard from Jack! Thanks :)
We hope Farmer's Mill does its job well.
Farmer's Mill used on New York, USA based Twincities - "memoirs: to dust" album, 2015
hey guys! i've had a farmers mill for the last year or two now and absolutely love it. one of the most inspiring tools i own.
i'm normally not one to do this but thought you might appreciate it - i just released a new album that basically uses the pedal as much as one album can reasonably. it's there giving movement to several layers of background sounds at basically any given moment throughout, and right in the forefront several times. i really love the pedal and never would have thought i'd find so so much use out of a random tremolo like i have.
without it this album would have been a very different beast. if anyone over there wants a direct download or anything let me know, it's the least i can do
-fletcher / twincities
Crushsound Ceramic Slide in Sold My Soul music video, May 2014
Check out the promo song from the debut album of Sold My Soul.
You can see the band leader Smok using one of our custom slides while delivering a masterful slide melody!
-Sold My Soul on Facebook-
Farmer's Mill demo review by Julien Bitoun, November 2013
"Cette pédale simule un jack à l'agonie, ultra utile pour des ambiances
à la ZZ Top période XXX ou simplement pour pimenter une intervention de la manière la plus inattendue possible.
En plus elle est livrée avec un bottleneck pour 99 euros, plutôt cool non ?" - RockStar Productions
Ceramic Slides in Magazyn Gitarzysta 11/2013
"pros: very attractive design, play comfort, warm sound
cons: none "
Boele Gerkes - demo music&video
author: B. Gerkes / Netherlands
"This is a demonstration of the Farmer's Mill pedal, a sort of level modulation FX
with a beautiful pre-gain overdrive on board as well (actually worth the money for just that!).
The effect on your instrument signal is like a random level off/on switch,
like someone is unplugging and re-plugging your guitar all the time :-)
The three knobs on top are:
Mix: controls the mix of the dry signal and the wet signal.
Rate: controls the time between the "plug/un-plug" moments.
Mill: controls the duration of the "un-plugged" moments.
On the back is another three way switch:
Full: the FX is applied to the whole instrument's signal.
Low Range: the FX is only applied to the low range frequencies of your instrument's signal = *beautiful*
The Rate and Mill controls do not have a wide control range but act within a range which is a complete hot spot range :-)
This is one of those very rare pedals that can sit on your pedal board, with a personal favorite setting and then have it left there. Untouched. Forever.
It's THAT good.
You won't notice it, until you turn it off. Then your sound suddenly turns into a flat, boring and lifeless experience.
To me, this is an incredible pedal for what it does with your sound.
And believe me, I have heard a lot of sounds in my life.
I did not demo the FX on/off differences in this particular demo.
You can/should check that out for yourself (Crushsound's website has a wide range of good audio demo's)
The usage can vary between a stand-alone effect and a subtle level-modulation effect. One way or the other, it has a huge influence when placed before (or after!) level depended FXs, like distortions, delays, filters and the like.
In my demo the signal chain is:
Stratocaster - Møller2 - Memory Man - Farmer's Mill on the first guitar line (doing the basic chord progression) and
Stratocaster - Møller2 - Memory Man - Farmer's Mill - EHX HOG on the second and third "lead" lines
(the sounds you hear in the left and right channels in the stereo field)
Verdict: this 99 euros(!) pedal is a *must* for anyone seeking a unique, organic level-modulation in his signal chain.
Works best combined with other pedals
And no, I am not in any way connected to Crushsound. I just ran into this pedal and I am loving it. :-)"
- original quote from YouTube movie description.
All trademarks belong to their respective owners.
Farmer's Mill on Hammond
The samples were recorded by our friend Michal Omyla.
Check out how cool Farmer's Mill sounds on a rotary speaker cabinet!
Hammond Music Sample
Pad Sample Music
Earlier release review from the world famous magazine "Guitarist".
Issue 356 / July 2012
Unboxing and hands-on demo by Chris Vinniecombe.
Accordo.it / Part 1
Earlier video review from Italian "Accordo" by Pietro Paolo Falco.
Accordo.it / Part 2
Earlier video review from Italian "Accordo" by Pietro Paolo Falco.
United Kingdom / issue 356 / July 2012
"It's reassuring to know that in a boutique effects world obsessed with cloning vintage guitar tones,
there are still a few mavericks hoping to bring something different to our ears.
Billed as the world's first guitar pedal to let you "take control over the infinite musical potential of the broken sound idea", the Farmer's Mill is certainly not for purists. Housed in a large enclosure that may seem excessive for a stompbox that's more of a special effect than a whole-set staple, the design has the advantage of spacing out the unit's trio of pots so that they can be easily manipulated with a mid-song toe nudge(...)
With the onboard mix and rate pots and the true bypass switch at the back all self-explanatory, the four-position mill control offers incrementally more chaotic degrees of crackle and stutter
akin to a malfunctioning guitar cable or spluttering amplifier in its death throes. This is engaged only when the footswitch is depressed, so your signal returns to a normal, healthy state when you lift your foot off.
Some readers may be wondering how on earth an effect like this can be used musically, but if you're familiar with the way that
Jack White uses heavily gated, distressed-sounding fuzztones with The Raconteurs then you'll get the general idea. From grainy old vinyl textures on clean tones with the mix set low, right through to implementing randomised, stuttering chaos with additional pedal or amp distortion, there are plenty of ways in which the Farmer's Mill can add interest to your sound.
And it's not just limited to guitar either.
Niche? Certainly, but for a certain type of guitarist the Farmer's Mill is a beautifully chaotic experience.
USA / August 2012
"Sometimes, in the quest for buttery, singing, and perfect diamond-like tones, you can forget about the twisted potential of stompboxes, how beautifully demented their creators can be, and what a delightfully varied art form music is in the first place.
Consider the Crushsound Farmer's Mill. This is a stompbox born of motivations most traditional guitarists would consider bizarre. It unapologetically exists - in part - to create the sound of your cable or jack crapping out. And if at first that sounds like a waste of your hard-earned cash, few would fault you. But the Farmer's Mill is a thoughtfully executed and wellbuilt piece of gear that digs deep into the artistic notion of creation through destruction. And no matter where you stand on that particular aesthetic gesture, for musicians that live comfortably outside convention and willingly incorporate more chaotic sounds into their playing, the Farmers Mill can be a surprisingly powerful musical tool.
Set to Destruct, Indestructible
The Farmer's Mill is a very cool, thoughtful, and downright lovely piece of stompbox design, which is no surprise given that architect Jedrzej Lewandowski (check out his "House on the Water" super-villain lair/ fantasy pad) is a part of the brain trust that conceived the pedal. The thing is a rock - built with thick, unbending steel that rings like a church bell when you tap it on the bottom panel. Considering that this is a pedal that's likely to be used in chaotic stage situations, that's a good thing. Apart from flinging it from a fifth floor apartment window, it will take a lot of effort to do damage to this pedal. It's also a good-looking pedal. The footswitch is situated in the center of a stylized windmill graphic, while the three chicken-head control knobs are stacked vertically along the left edge - spaced far enough apart to switch on the fly. Manipulating the controls is relatively intuitive once you get a handle on how the pedal works. But keep in mind that the controls enable you to manipulate some very unusual effect parameters.
Mix is the most straightforward, and permits you to balance your straight and effected signal. The rate knob is where things start to get more esoteric, but essentially it determines the frequency with which the crackling, broken effect kicks in. The mill knob is actually a four-position switch, and it increases the intensity of the effect as you move it clockwise.
The footswitch - rather than a click-it-and-forget-it type switch works only when you hold it down - an indication, perhaps, of how judiciously you'll want to use this effect.
You have to approach the Farmer's Mill with an open mind. But what really helps is a dose of punky, irreverent, smash-em-up attitude. To start, go to YouTube and check out a young Pete Townshend assaulting his Rickenbacker and stacks on "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere" it'll not only fire you up appropriately, but it'll offer important clues to how to best use the Farmer's Mill.
I set the pedal up on the tail end of a chain of fuzzboxes and just before an analog delay with a feedback-ready rig of a cranked blackface Tremolux and a Rickenbacker 330 - and taking a cue from Pete - launched into the barrage of hanging 1st position and power chords that makes up the Who's "Circles". With the mix and rate at high noon and the mill switch in its second-most intense setting, the Farmer's Mill became great punctuation for big-lingering chords - especially when I threw in some switch toggling to add to the anarchy.
It would be easy to dismiss such use of the Farmer's Mill as mere theatre - and to be sure, throwing the effect on is an attention grabber.
But there's a real musicality to the way the Farmer's Mill sounds in this context - and if you thrill to the sounds of Townshend's auto-destruct assaults or the raw, unbridled aggression of punk and garage, the Farmer's Mill has a knack for adding a clues to how to best use the Farmer's Mill. Sweet drop of adrenaline on top, and at high volume, the thrilling sensation that the whole house is about to come down.
The Mill works well with different flavors of low-to-medium gain fuzz and buzzing - 60s-style fuzz tones. And switching quickly between fuzz voices created a cool compound chaos that could be thrilling, were it not for the effort it took to keep the Farmer's Mill bypass switch depressed while activating different fuzzes. And this is one situation where the otherwise cool intermittent switch setup became a considerable limitation.
At more extreme settings, the Farmer's Mill is great for more experimental expressions. And it's a great texture to have on hand in recording situations. I mixed a few tracks of detuned chords subjected to the Mill's more aggressively crackling fourth position into a sort of melodic, musique concrete-styled sound collage - which added a touch of dread and menace not unlike the haunting sound of Thurston Moore's dying amp on Sonic Youth's "Providence".
More adventurous applications aside, though, the Farmer's Mill gets a lot less practical at these extreme settings - especially when you dial the mix way up. And if you are using this pedal in more conservative settings, it might be best to reserve use for a really big finish or the more controlled environs of the recording studio, where this pedal can be a real asset.
Most tone purists and traditionally minded players won't find much use for the Farmer's Mill, in fact, chances are that many will find it downright repellent. But guitarists who live on the experimental side of the fence and understand and value the expressive side of sonic chaos will relish the potential of what the Farmer's Mill can do.
While radical at its core, it can be dialed back to be very effective and highly musical when used judiciously.
And if it's pure bedlam you're looking for, the Farmer's Mill is more than willing to take the ride.
A few modifications - like a set-and-forget switch and an expression pedal option for the rate control - would make the pedal even more usable.
But the Farmer's Mill really is about surrendering control for your sound to some extent, which can be
a very powerful creative gesture.
It's fun to imagine the wildly varied and new music that can emerge from that mindset, and it's reassuring to know that madmen are building pedals like the Farmer's Mill to make such music happen. "
Australia / issue 1047 / June-July 2012
"Always on the lookout for sonic innovations, GEARED explores what might be the most radical effects pedal released in 2012 - the Crushsound FARMER'S MILL.
Some guitar players want to (metaphorically speaking) burn down the venue with their searing sound and others want not only that - they also want to hear their sound crackle and burn as they're laying waste to the surrounds. How would the latter work without the gear getting damaged or destroyed, you might ask? According to Crushsound, the Poland-based makers of the Farmer's Mill, very easily. Here's our preview before the groundbreaking effect pedal lands in Australasian music shops.
Unveiled in April this year - on the first day of the month, no less - the foolproof black-and-white unit with a distinctive "mill" logo is a dedicated "100% electric mud grinder". A bold claim, one might say - but then no signal-scorching guitar pedals were available prior to now (...)
Come to think of it, nothing even remotely similar ever came to fruition in the five decades of effects-making - yet the advent of the Farmer's Mill looks to have changed the game.
Earlier, the only way to produce broken sound was using, well, actual broken gear, dodgy cables or being Jonny Greenwood, but this heavy-duty stompbox is potentially capable of venturing way beyond the warped, oscillating weirdness that is Karma Police's outro without the use of envelope filter or studio wizardry. Sonically speaking, the Farmer's Mill goes from light AM radio/old record hiss and crackle to full-on sizzle and beyond. Housed in a sturdy steel enclosure, the handmade, all-analogue unit runs on 9V battery or power adaptor and is as visually no-nonsense as you'd come to expect from a built-to-last product: two LED lights, three control knobs (Mix/Rate/Mill), one footswitch and a true bypass switch. It's not so much a distortion as demolition pedal; what it does to your signal certainly isn't what you'd expect from something like a Big Muff. Your tone doesn't magically attain wooliness and singing sustain - rather, it gets mercilessly crushed.
So what's the proverbial sizzle the Farmer's Mill so generously provides? Basically, it stems from one old blues and rock & roll pioneers first stumbled upon (would we ever have fuzz were it not for Link Wray and Paul Burlison of Johnny Burnette's Rock & Roll Trio's efforts?): the so-called "electric mud". Once you hit a chord and stomp on the footswitch, you can practically smell the burning guitar cable, so spot-on is the vibe - additionally, you can fully control the resultant phenomenon and your live sound guy won't mind so much once he's in the know. Tantalisingly, the end position of the Mill knob is a "total unknown"; ie, you can't predict what's going to come out of your speakers every time you crank it to the max.
The FM demo video and sound files on the Crushsound website ably showcase what this beast is capable of doing, but its true beauty lies in what you can actually do with it. Combined with overdrive or distortion, the effect is the next thing to your amp experiencing a blowout or a fiery, smoky death, while ambient/post-rock soundscapists will delight in the sonic possibilities the pedal offers when hooked up with a delay unit and/or a looping device. Had he not become a reclusive acid casualty, the late Syd Barrett would have absolutely loved Farmer's Mill if it was around back then [I can already think of a few neo-psychedelicists who'd run amok with it - Geared Ed.].
Hell, you could run a keyboard into it if you're brave - like many remarkable sound-owning musicians have said before, it's not about the gadget, but what you do with it; it won't be a millstone around your neck, either. The electronic artists have BitCrusher - and now guitarists have their own crushing (de)vice.
Released practically out of the blue (if one can use that for term years of work), Farmer's Mill proves that not-yet-recorded guitar sounds exist - and it has the potential to become a staple.
Jimi Hendrix may have burnt his guitar in one of popular music's most iconic moments, but perhaps he wouldn't have to destroy a perfectly good Fender Strat if he had the little Polish tank at his feet at the time.
It's an ideal paintbrush for a yet-unexplored sonic canvas and you'd want to be looking out when someone commits their Farmer's Mill experiments to tape."
United Kingdom, International / June 2012
Many musical things sound best just before they are about to break - old instruments, amps, Madonna.
Following the reasoning this handmade analogue pedal sounds like a "broken, burning guitar cable" offering the random stuttering dropouts you'd hear if your lead was at breaking point and your amp was on fire. But with the bonus that it's adjustable, it will keep working, and your house won't burn down.
And, oh, you might sound like Jimi Hendrix.
United Kingdom, International / April 2012
We first heard about the Crushsound Farmer's Mill earlier this month, and simply had to get our hands on a unit and try it out for ourselves.
Any pedal that promises to introduce noise from "delicate vintage radio/vinyl dirt" right up to a "fully crushed and demolished sound" has to be worthy of investigation, so when the Farmer's Mill arrived, we wasted no time and plugged it in...
In the video above you'll see us unbox the unit and you'll also hear it in action. We ran the pedal in front of a Blackstar HT-1R combo straight into GarageBand with some additional EQ and fuzz and put it through its paces.
Check it out and let us know what you think. We've heard rumours that some seriously big names are taking delivery of their very own Farmer's Mills soon, but in the meantime you can hear it here on MusicRadar.
Sit back and enjoy the chaos...
Italy / June 2012
Overdrive e distorsori sono per dilettanti, chorus e phaser sono un lontano ricordo di epoche andate, l'effettistica per chitarra ? andata ormai ben oltre i canoni musicali riconducibili al rock, al pop o a tutte le altre branche di facile catalogazione che tanto piacciono ai discografici.
La controcultura del chitarrismo, chiamiamolo alternativo, porta sempre piu spesso a sperimentazioni azzardate, applicazioni impensabili di apparecchiature improbabili. Jonny Greenwood, il chitarrista dei Radiohead, e noto per la sua passione per l'elettronica e il suo uso di effetti costruiti con il software Max MSP e spesso un riferimento per i chitarristi piu pazzoidi, ma anche Jack White sa come far parlare di sé, quando si tratta di sperimentazione. L'ex White Stripes, infatti, e il primo VIP a utilizzare un singolare strumento di fabbricazione europea: il Farmer's Mill. E la polacca Crushsound a vantare l'illustre endorser, lasciando intendere che, tra non molto, sara possibile sentire l'effetto in azione su un prossimo e non meglio identificato lavoro discografico del chitarrista statunitense.
Pedale di recente produzione e gia oggetto di una occhiata preventiva qui su Accordo, il Farmer's Mill e un effetto unico nel suo genere, non classificabile insieme a nessun altro effetto per chitarra finora esistente in commercio. Il suo lavoro consiste nel simulare l'effetto di un cavo mal funzionante e renderlo controllabile attraverso alcuni semplici comandi.
L'idea potrebbe apparire un po' matta, ed e impossibile dire il contrario, ma non sarebbe la prima volta che la pazzia di un ingegnere dia vita a modi inediti di intendere la musica. Un'intero filone stilistico di noise e lo-fi, tanto caro proprio all'est Europa, fa da tempo largo uso di tecniche di registrazione utili a distruggere il suono, frammentarlo e rovinarlo per rivestire di una luce tutta particolare una produzione da studio. Microfoni usati al di fuori dei loro normali impieghi, apparecchiature con guasti attentamente selezionati e strumenti malconci sono all'ordine del giorno nelle sale d'incisione tedesche, polacche, ma non solo.
Non e raro che anche delle produzioni solitamente pi? patinate ricerchino soluzioni simili per rendere diverso e unico un brano, talvolta anche lasciando difetti introdotti per errore in fase di registrazione o aggiungendo volutamente manipolazioni sui generis, come il peculiare ma incontrollabile rumore di un cavo rovinato, per l'appunto.
Sul pannello frontale, leggermente inclinato verso l'utente, risiedono le tre manopole chicken head a cui e affidato il compito di domare il chaos generato dall'intricata circuitazione interna. Al centro della serigrafia con il grosso mulino stilizzato c' il pulsante di attivazione, un bottone heavy duty in grado di tramutarsi in switch true bypass all'attivazione della piccola leva posta sul dorso del pedale. Ai due lati di quest'ultimo controllo, i due jack per ingresso e uscita e una presa per l'alimentazione: 9 volt con polo positivo al centro.
La prima delle tre manopole, chiamata Mix, e assegnata alla miscelazione del suono dry e wet. E fondamentale per scoprire le sfumature derivate dall'incisivita dell'effetto sul prodotto finale.
La seconda, il Rate, ha un curioso compito. In un normale pedale di modulazione, un tale controllo sarebbe destinato a regolare con linearit? un lasso temporale. Il ciclo di un chorus o la ripetizione di un delay, tutti effetti statici e prevedibili. Il Farmer's Mill, invece, basa il suo funzionamento sulla produzione random di eventi sonori, quindi il Rate ha l'arduo compito di gestire quanto, piu o meno, gli eventi vanno a intaccare il suono. E interessante scoprire che, con livelli di Rate inferiori, il suono somigli maggiormente a un vero cavo torto e scassato, mentre con livelli pi? alti vada ad avvicinarsi quasi a un rumore bianco, un brusio confuso che si mischia al suono della chitarra.
Il controllo Mill, invece, e un selettore a quattro stadi che da all'utente un'ulteriore possibilita di personalizzazione sulla forma stessa del disturbo creato: andando via via scalando le posizioni, questo aumenta il grado di casualit? delle operazioni generate dal processore, partendo da un disturbo in cui e possibile avvertire un vago sentore di regolarita per finire nella imprevedibilita piu totale. Un parametro tutto da scoprire e che, a seconda delle posizioni delle due manopole sovrastanti, si colora in maniera sempre diversa.
A complicare ulteriormente le cose, l'interattivita del pedale con cio che si sta eseguendo sullo strumento. Come testimonia il lampeggio del LED arancione in alto a destra sullo chassis, accanto all'indicatore di carica della batteria a 9 volt, il Mill reagisce dinamicamente al segnale in ingresso, restando fermo quando non c' nulla in arrivo e dando inizio alle danze nello stesso istante in cui viene vibrata la prima nota.
Inutile nascondere che, per capire come interagire con il Farmer's Mill, e necessario un pizzico di pratica. Inizialmente potrebbe addirittura sembrare che il pedale faccia quello che gli pare a prescindere dalle regolazioni, ma se ci si prende maggior confidenza si scopre un mondo in cui i limiti stanno solo nella fantasia dell'utente.
Basta poco per pensare a possibili applicazioni al di fuori della chitarra. Abbassare la qualita di interi brani in modo studiato per ricreare sonorita da vecchio vinile o da radio rotta e possibile con un po' di pratica, come anche smantellare totalmente una registrazione per regalare a una demo il finale che avremmo sempre voluto ma che, senza un pedale del genere, ci sarebbe costato ore di reampling mentre si cerca di aggrovigliare il cavo del microfono in maniera utile al risultato desiderato. Tutto ci? diventa possibile in un batter d'occhio, se si ha il coraggio stilistico di far diventare il Farmer's Mill il prossimo scatolotto in studio, tra mixer e compressori.
Elucubrazioni da studio a parte, sono notevoli anche le soddisfazioni che ne pu? trarre un chitarrista ben intenzionato. E indubbiamente interessante l'uso con un clean, ma diventa irresistibile la miscela con un overdrive o, meglio ancora, un fuzz. Averlo a portata di mano durante la composizione di riff e arpeggi apre nuovi orizzonti alla composizione. Il Mill e quel piccolo ritocco che potrebbe caratterizzare pi? di quanto si creda una sequenza musicale. Con un paragone un po' azzardato, si potrebbe dire che, se usato a dovere, il Mill potrebbe diventare per il suo padrone ci? che sono stati il wah per "Voodoo Child" e il talkbox per "It's My Life". Sarebbero stati la stessa cosa, questi due brani, se fossero stati registrati con una semplice chitarra elettrica? Certo, non tutti sono in grado di partorire dei riff capaci di spedire un brano e l'effetto con cui ? stato registrato nella storia del rock, ma anche i meno fantasiosi potranno godere del piacere di concludere un brano lasciando andare la coda di un accordo ultra distorto e sentirlo frammentare via via, fino a spegnersi.
Per la sua singolare funzione e per il prezzo di (..) per l'Europa, il Mill - sicuramente un pedale da utilizzare con parsimonia se non si intende fare uno scherzetto al tecnico di palco o convincere qualcuno del pubblico che si hanno sul serio problemi con la propria strumentazione, ma puo anche rivelarsi un'arma segreta che non manchera di attirare l'attenzione se usata nei punti giusti."
Crushsound - since 2011
The brand is owned by the Le 2 Workshop architectural company.
Farmer's Mill is developed by a group of architects
and professional electronics engineers experienced in audio hardware design.
Farmer's Mill - how it started
Farmer's Mill idea was brought by architect Jedrzej Lewandowski over a decade ago.
The inspiration to search for a sound crushing guitar pedal came in mid 90's
after listening to the Rhythmeen album by ZZ Top.
It took the young guitarist years of searching and pedal testing to realize this sort of gear
is not available at all and simply has to be made from a scratch.
The name of the pedal is a tribute to early ZZ Top - The Moving Sidewalks.
It is a pun on the song called "Miller's Farm".
Originator of the Farmer's Mill idea. Founder of Le 2 Workshop
architecture and design studio.
Jedrzej's professional works have been numerously published in
architectural media all around the world comprising USA and China.
His press recognition includes Forbes, Newsweek, America Online, Hong Kong Oriental Daily News, Le Soir, Wall Street based LD+A and many popular European magazines including Mark and Frame.
In 2010 Daily Beast mentioned Jedrzej's "House On The Water" project in the "Most Outrageous Homes"
top ten ranking next to the estates of William Randolph Hearst, Aaron Spelling and Bill Gates.
In 2012 Forbes included the project in the "Floating Homes Of The Future" article.
Currently developing his PhD in architecture.
Besides professional life Jedrzej is a guitarist and a happy companion to his beloved wife Madame Le 2 Lilianna Prus.