Converse All Wah - Sneakers with Built in Wah

Converse and CuteCircuit unveil the final version of the Chuck Taylor All Wah, a pair of sneakers with built-in Wah control.

Converse All Wah

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This idea has been brewing for years now, with the first prototype introduced three years ago. CuteCircuit (known for their wearable technology products) has moved developed the technology further leading to what they call as the "final version" of the Chuck Taylor All Wah, complete with an actual video demo to showcase how it works.

The Converse Chuck Taylor is undoubtedly one of the staple shoes worn by musicians world over, from the most famous to the weekend open mic warrior, the Chuck Taylor. This popular pair of sneakers matches most guitar types and musical styles, and it continues to be in demand regardless of how fashion trends change.

So it is only fitting for this pair of shoes to have even more connection to music, more than just making a fashion statement, the new Converse Chuck Taylor All Wah takes the connection to the next level by turning the shoe into an actual musical gear - a Wah pedal. And since the Wah pedal is usually the biggest and bulkiest among pedals, this pair of sneakers provides a stylish way to save on precious pedalboard space.

Based on the video, the right sneaker comes with input and output jacks, so you literally connect your guitar via cable to your shoes (if Wah is first in your signal chain) and you then connect the output to your other pedals or amplifier. It basically works like an "Air Wah", where you simply move your toes up and down while your heel is anchored to the ground, as you would a regular wah, the built-in micro-sensor then interprets the movements much like how a physical wah pedal would.

J. Mascis put the pedal to the test on the latest video that they released, you can watch the video below:

Now I have to admit that this is a novel idea, and that musicians really need to benefit from wearable technology advancements, but I'm not too sold with the way the idea was implemented. The most awkward part of it is having your shoes plugged in, which forces you to be stationary. In my opinion this is a big no-no for bands that use Wah - be it Rock, Disco or anything in between, your audience expects you to move around. The press release did mention that the sneaker communicates wirelessly via Bluetooth to a Wah box for the Wah effect, so I'm hoping that they give you the option to plug straight into the box and not into the sneaker itself.

It was also mentioned that the All Wah can be used in conjunction with a Mac or iPhone, which will be interesting to say the least. It is said that 13 guitarists are already using the sneakers on stage, and I'm hoping that none of them forgets that their right foot is wired to their pedalboard so they don't trip themselves over.

Having aired my concerns, this is definitely an interesting innovation that can be better implemented. Imaging wearing your entire pedalboard literally on your sleeve, I'd like to see a fuzz pedal built into sunglasses, belts that let you adjust compression, and neck ties that let you tweak modulation.

There's no mention yet of when this final product will be available to the public, but you can read all about it at CuteCircuit.

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