Press release July 2017
The Submarine was designed and developed by critically-acclaimed singer-songwriter Pete Roe; a former stalwart of Laura Marling’s band, and erstwhile mechanical engineer. Having tried various studio tricks to create a boomy, bassy acoustic guitar sound for his 2010 release "The Merry-Go-Round" (Communion Records), Roe had started toying with the idea of making a guitar pickup that was as versatile and useful as a guitar pedal. When an unexpectedly large royalty cheque arrived in 2013, he quit touring and set up a basic workshop to develop a transducer for individual strings.
At the beginning of 2015, The Submarine’s production prototypes were quickly snapped up by artists such as Bon Iver, Royal Blood and, of course, Laura Marling who also offers support for Roe’s campaign by appearing in his crowdfunding video.
The successful campaign raised funds for tooling and manufacture of the first few hundred Submarines. Difficulties with suppliers nearly saw the project founder and at the beginning of 2016 the project seemed unlikely to succeed. Fellow musicians offered support by way of their time on the assembly line, by helping spread the word via social media, and some offering cold hard cash. The first units shipped later that year and upon release orders poured in from all over the world.
The Submarine fits most acoustic and electric guitars and is held in place by a new nano-material suction pad similar to geckos' feet. It requires no alteration and causes no damage to the guitar. The signal it picks up from two strings gives a second output to the guitar, to which various effects can then be applied.
This opens up an exciting new set of previously impossible guitar sounds and techniques. Alongside adding octave bass to the low strings, it is now possible to add overdrive, delay or atmospheric effects to other pairs of strings.
Roe has toured with Mumford and Sons, Ben Howard, Lucy Rose, Nathaniel Rateliff and Willy Mason, to name but a few and chose the life of a professional musician when he walked out of his Mechanical Engineering degree final exam, so he wouldn’t miss an important rehearsal. But his love of engineering remained, and proved invaluable ten years down the road.
In fact, the road is where The Submarine was born. During a long tour with a band that had only one space on board for Roe on their bus, he could not bring along his bassist. Being stuck without the sound to convey his songs the way they were intended, Roe experimented with various effects pedals and finally made his own one string pickups. In dingy dressing rooms and budget hotels, enamelled copper wire was wrapped around magnets with varying degrees of success. Used with an octave pedal, Pete found his homemade pickup could give the effect of a bass guitar accompaniment. The first prototypes paved the way for further development and, two years of hard work later, this first concept resulted in The Submarine. Roe is a ‘one man band’ entrepreneur who has created a pickup that allows musicians to be a one man band on the road.
Hi res jpgs can be found at this googledrive link
Further information and demo videos can be found at www.submarinepickup.com
An introduction to the Submarine can be found on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nj9Ahr5gpvY
Feel free to right click and save the images below (1000px). If you require higher resolutions they can be found in this googledrive folder.
However these images remain the copyright of Leviathan Instruments and should only be used with permission. If you've reached this page you probably have that already.