Effects review

Discussions on sound production outside the synthesizer such as mixing, processing, recording, editing and mastering.
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Effects review

Post by tallowwaters » Thu Nov 29, 2007 12:14 am

Going to make us a nice, big sticky where we can review effects processors (yes, we can count dynamics/pres as effects).

A few things - you have to have owned said piece of gear. twiddling in guitar center is not the same as putting it in your rack/pedal board. It is also a review, not a place to air out greivances against Alesis or whatever. If you think the MidiVerb sucks, tell us why. The big one? you can only post reviews in here. If somebody posts a review of one of those fancy new eventide pedals and you want to know more, make a thread about it. That way, we can keep it compact, and maybe I could think of a way of indexing it. Finally, make your own format, dont review like this -

dickcheese, a professional user from estonia writes:
The yamaha rev7 rocks becuz it makes my hts sound like they r in spacez, but drava dropped queso on it and it died, i called yamaha and they said 'f**k off'

help us to understand you.

Guess I will get the ball running
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Post by tallowwaters » Thu Nov 29, 2007 12:33 am

Boss VT-1

I bought this for 250 off of some ebayer.

Before I could even plug it in, the first thing I noticed was the damn RCA in/outs. It does have an unbalanced 1/4" out though, but no XLR in, another gripe.

Anyhow, the formant/pitch play is pretty fun. I use it on my samples, routing them out of my DAW via the line out, into the VT-1 and into the sampler while playing with the pitch and formant sliders. Can it make voices sound eerie, cute, scary, murky, chirpy, and fun? It can do so in spades, but with a peculiar sort of digital glitchiness. Of course, all sorts of artifacts are going to be created while pushing the sliders around in real time, so I accepted that, but for its normal application...

Whenever I try to use the VT-1 in its gender bender application, it still contains these very occasional artifacts where it seems to drop formants. Could my mic technique be the cause or is my unit glitchy? I am not sure, but I am sure the tue audiophiles out there, those that hate all things digital, are going to hate this effect. Does it make me sound like a girl? Yes, but not one I would like to talk to on the telephone. My unit is pretty noise free as long as the mic/room/singer is noise free. There is a knob on the back for turning from line level input to mic level input. A word of caution for those putting a preamp before it - check your gain stage. It doesnt take much to slam this device.

The built in reverb is useful in a live situation I suppose, but an XLR in would be a million times more useful. The robot function is pretty gimmicky as well, but I suppose you could get away with using it on one song.

Built like a damn tank, typical Boss affair. Also takes an easy to find power adaptor, which is big deal for those of use that have used EH gear. about the size of a typical half rack affair, nice and chunky.

Overall, its a cool effect, though it isnt worth the price of admission. 150 USD? h**l yes, but at almost twice that, this thing has a hard time justifying its worth. If you are going to use this thing it is either going to be part of your trademark sound (ala The Knife) or something you try earnestly to squeeze into tracks without much avail. Most of the time it is just easier to get mine or one of the other band mates girlfriends to sing a track. If mine were to kick the bucket, I wouldnt buy another, and as of currently, I am only holding onto to it for brute force sample mangling.

Demos to come.
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Post by GeneralBigbag » Thu Nov 29, 2007 1:38 am

I put this up at AH, Shawn asked me if I'd review it on the forum, and it seems worthy of a CTRL-C CTRL-V:

Schippmann Ebbe und Flut

I'm a bit of an analog filter junkie, in that every piece of my setup could be digital as long as I had an analog filter to run it through at the end of the day. To that end I've owned a

Sherman FB1 (love it)
Electrix Filterqueen (so boring, sold it)
Analogue Solutions Filtered Coffee (A bit bland compared to the Sherman, sold it)
Jomox M-Resonator (puzzled by it, enjoy it a fair bit)
Vermona Ph16 (Cause an allpass filter is still a filter, and I like my Dub)
and I use the Evolver's filters for signal processing fairly frequently.

So anyway, I bought the EuF with a pretty clear idea of what I wanted from it. The Sherman is a very powerful, versatile filter with a lot of character (I rarely have the gain past about 3, so I'm not going for the distorted thing with it), but because of the characteristics of the first filter in it, the 24dB filters you get in parallel mode aren't as smooth as may be desired..
So I bought the EuF as a smooth filter that could also get angry. I wasn't sure if it would render my FB superfluous, but I wasn't going to be surprised.

So. The unit itself:
Very well built (big surprise), the knobs are very solid and very smooth. Everything about the construction and aesthetics screams class. It's also somehow unassuming, I would have thought something this awesome would need to be bigger...

The Sounds:
There is a German review up on the Schippmann site which is translated as 's**t goes in, gold comes out'. This is in essence what's happening here. If you put gold in, e.g., machinedrum, you get double gold coming out. Perhaps even triple.

The main thing that amazes me about this filter is the clarity it offers. I don't mean it's transparent, but you can colour a signal all you want and still retain all of the subtleties of it. One major sticking point with the Sherman for me was that if I used it on my uWXT, I could lose some of the interesting spectral changes from the wavetable action. Not so with the EuF. You can have the resonance cranked, be doing wild modulations, and still keep the subtleties of the original signal present.

On the other hand, if you turn everything up and let it rip, you can make a signal unrecognisable, as Carsten demonstrates so well with his RX7 on the Schippmann site. I think that the marketing problem with this unit is not the price, but rather that it is too good at what it does to be believed. When you listen to the demos on the EuF site, within 30 seconds you forget just how lame the source material is, because it's hard to believe that a filter can do what is being done.

The two filters do have very different sounds, and it's not just filter-afficionado talk to say that the different versions of 1 and 2 pole configurations each filter offers (e.g., there are 2 12dB LPF configs on each filter, and 2/3 6dB LPF configs) sound different. You need to have the resonance up a bit, but it's very noticable. You can run a mono signal into this and do pseudo stereo out with the individual outputs of the filters, it works nicely, but isn't absolutely identical.

Perhaps a sign of the quality and originality of the design is how powerful the one pole filters are. They can self-oscillate, and they can be used for the traditional filter techniques. They're so good that it seems like overkill to use the 2 3 or 4 pole filters sometimes. Also, of course, if you just want to trim the top or bottom of a signal, they can do that too.

The distortion is very nice, and can be used to warm up the sound, or shred it. Like everything else on here, it's very smooth and clear, and when you have it fully on, you get amazing harmonic structure, it's great with pad sounds.

The envelopes are snappy, the modulation options are vast (this may be my gateway into (analog) modular stuff), even if you don't want to get into the patch points in the back, and the compressor is very useful. I seem to be getting the most pleasing results when I think of it as a total package, and use a little (or a lot) of everything, bring up the levels w/ the compressor, distort it a little, and then filter filter filter.

In case people are worried about the SoS review, the noise problem is not actually a problem, unless you put a really quiet signal through it, turn the distortion up all the way, turn the compression up all of the way, and set the resonance up. Honestly, if the settings are resulting in noise, one either doesn't know how to use the unit, or is making sounds so interesting that the noise is not actually a problem. This thing is way, way, more quiet than the Sherman when the Sherman's VCA is open, and the Sherman's noise has never caused me any problems (and I don't make excessively noisy music).

Finally: When I got this, I couldn't get it to sound like much, it's taken a week to get to the point where I know that it's capable of amazing things. To me, that's the sign of something being an instrument, rather than a 'signal processor', and I've had the same experience with every piece of gear that I've would up keeping. I can honestly say that buying another one to do true stereo isn't out of the picture. This is not the be-all-end-all of filters, I've decided to keep my Sherman, because it has a graininess which I think is quite unique, but I really don't see myself needing more powerful filtration than what the EuF offers. Given that I have all the sound sources I need (MDUW, uWXT, G1, DEvo), the money I spent on this is going to go a lot further in my music than if I'd bought another synth at the same price, it really is worth it.

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Post by TrondC » Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:13 pm

Allright, I'll play, as this thread seems dead already.. I was really hoping to read some good reviews here..

Boss SYB-3

Everyone who likes that 303-sound but is on a budget should have one of theese. Given a clean, unmodulated signal, it can burst out some pretty 303-lines at 100$. It's a strange box in that it's neitheran effect box nor a synth, because you need to have it triggered by an external source. That said, this box coupled with my microkorg or MC808 sequencer sound pretty darn acidish :) Now, the effects this box offers, are some strange filtering that sounds rather rubbish on most sound sources, but with drums, it's a whole other story..:)
I'm not gonna go on forever here, but for anyone interested in a cheap alternative to the 303, and can live with the somewhat clumsy tracking, (and thus making it even more analog-sounding) it's a very good option for 100$, and it will stay in my rig for a loooong time

Electro Harmonix Holy Grail

Now here we have one of the coolest reverbs i've heard. This little box can make my piano and organs sound like they're being played in a chrurch! I have mine at the end of my SYB-effects chain, and it's perfect for both bright and bass sounds. Other reverbs I've heard clips a lot on the bottom end, but this one can handle all the bass I can throw at it and still shine.
I haven't tried the Holier Grail or the Holiest Grail (the bigger models), but I can say that the sound of the Holy Grail is more than good enough for me, but if you can afford it, have a look at it's bigger siblings. Also, this is an effect mostly targeted for guitar use, but it sounds just as well with synths. SO if you have a guitar, you have yourself quite a deal here (got mine for 70$ used)

I'll try to make a little review of the BOSS DD-6 when it arrives some time this week :)

Oh, if anyone could take the time to do a Bitrman or CopilotFX review, I'd be thrilled :)

Great thread, but I hope more people take the time to do this..

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Post by nathanscribe » Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:52 pm

Hmm, I hadn't even noticed this one. Time to join in.

Electro Harmonix Deluxe Electric Mistress

Chunky, metal, but not too heavy. Mains adapter is a wall-wart, which isn't ideal. Dry and effected outs, mono input. I use this on synths, not guitars, so I can only comment on that.

Excellent for jet sweeps, strong flanging and odd ringing noises - there are three knobs, for rate, colour and range, and a switch to disable the sweep LFO. In manual mode, you set a fixed depth for the flange and that leads to something more static, metallic.

The footswitch is OK, but despite the unit being metal it feels somehow lightly built. There isn't much inside, I think, a lot of space - but the sound is great. If you have room for one, and want an interesting flanger, try it.

I've made a quick demo of a basic synth-string patch on the Nord 2X going straight through the DEM and otherwise totally plain. The dry Nord is first, then the flanged sound repeats the same phrase.

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Post by TrondC » Sat Feb 23, 2008 1:27 pm

Allright, got my Boss DD-6 Delay pedal yesterday, and after a couple hours of space-out noodling abut I decided to write a little review here.

So, as I've got little to compare this pedal with, I was not sure what to expect, as I thought there couldn't be much difference between dealy pedals, as they basically all do the same thing: copy the sound source and spitting them out again in different ways.
After owning a Danelectro PB&J and being used to the delay on my electribes, I was suprised to see that the DD-6 added a whole new dimension to Delay as an effect.
First of all, the sound quality is a lot better than the electibes, and it can do delays that are triggered long after the input signal is played. Which is very cool, and makes for some much more spacey delays than what the PB&J can do, which is only a mere repeat of the sound and nothing else.

The modes:
DD-6 can do up to 5,2 second delay, which is very cool for jamming and creating all sort of strange effects, and at max feedback is delays infinitely and slowly builds up volume until it overdrives. Very cool for effects, and loop-creating (record something in a loop, set the feedback to Max, a*s a couple notes now and then, record the output, and you have yourself a cool sample piece), and I'll try to see what happens if I send it to some distortion or bit-crushing post-DD.

and now for the fun part: The Reverse and Warp modes :)
Reverse delay is quite the dope at times, and set to rapid, short delays it adds a very cool tone to leads and pads, have not tried with drums yet, but I can imagine the reverse mode will be the standard mode when using it with drums.
The Warp-mode is very similar to the "warping" effect of the Delay-section of the ER and EA, and perfect for space-out delays.
In fact, this pedal does standard delay very well, and it's worth the 100-130$ they go for just for that, but if it only had reverse and warp mode it would still be worth the money :)
What's ironic is that the dd-6 made me lust for a Danelectro Back-Talk reverse-only pedal to add to my chain :)

All in all, I expected the pedal to be good and fun, but not this good, and it was more fun than I could imagine :)
A keeper for sure, I can clearly see why this is one of the most popular delays out there :) And being a Boss pedal, you can use duckttape it to a piece of metal, smash a brick wall with it, and still use it for your next gig :)
In a word: Awesome :)

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Post by TrondC » Mon Mar 31, 2008 6:15 pm

allright, my Boss PS-2 Pitch Shifter/Delay pedal arrived today, that I didn't really need, but the price was so low I had to go, even tho I will need to sell my PB&J Delay..


The Knobs:

-Balance - Controls how much of the input signal is affected by the effect, and how much leaves the PS-2 dry.
-Feedback - Obvoiusly feedback is controlled here. Can be quite brutal at times (I got my ears shredded a little atleast)
-Fine/Manual - if using as a Delay-pedal, this button controls delay time, but for some strange reason, it does so the othe way than other pedals, that is turning the knob LEFT inctreases delay-time...
-Mode - selects mode (pitch shift or delay)

the effects:
the Delay section is not as clean as that on my DD-6, but suprisingly nice sounding anyway. there are 3 modes for dealy: 125 ms (short delay), 500ms (medium delay), and up to 2000ms (long delay). I didn't buy this pedal for the delay-section, but it does sound pretty nice to my ears, and could be a nice alternative to the DD-6 if that one is occupied.

the pitch shifter is a whole other story. This pedal should be called "Boss Digital Audio Demolisher/Delay" I could not find any traditional pitch shifter ablilties in this pedal, but it sure could mangle my audio quite a bit. you can either hard-shift the signal one octave up or down, which sounds OK, but not without a little added strangeness, or the manual mode, which is sonic mayhem at best. The manual mode was cool, but rather hard to set up a specitif, tuned note (I guess that's what the tuner out is for). Anyway, the manual mode let me do drums that sounded very much like the strange into or Squarepusher's "Ultravisitor", on the first track.

verdict: Good delay, almost good enough for the price even if they left out the pitch shifting part. The pitch shifter is wicked, and will not be a popular choice amongst those who wish for a clean, good sound, but a nice weapon for mangling sounds, but live and in studio. I'l keep mine for the dirty piece of strangeness it is.

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Alesis Ineko

Post by xibalba » Thu Apr 24, 2008 6:33 pm

Alesis Ineko

Time owned: For about two months.

Layout: 7.5 out of 10 Im giving it a 7 because for one simple reason THE ARROWS. I know Alesis wanted to make a simple effects box for the artist Ineko (after she complained about effects boxes being complicated) but not including a back and up arrow is a minor but annoying drawback.

It is a very simple machine to use though the knobs are nice but the effects box as a whole feels plasticky and kinda cheap (but hey isnt that the point).

Effects: 9.0 The selection is vast and grand and for the price unbeatable. Three editable parameters per effect (each parameter is tied to one of the three knobs). No memory or patch settings, but do you REALLY need it. All of the effects are layed quite nicely and in a good order, they arent the best sounding effects but top-notch quality isnt the point of the ineko.

Outputs/Inputs: no midi but for me its not needed. You have your choice of stereo or mono which is quite nice considering its supposed to be a budget effects box, so one might assume that its strictly mono.

Overall: A great effects box at an affordable price. If your not a small efx box fan then you can always get the Akira (Rack version, patch storage, midi etc.) If you find one grab it.

Pros: Price (well it can only be found used so... :) ). Effects selection is a huge plus. Stereo outs and ins.

Cons: No back and up arrows.

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Post by kulten » Sat Apr 26, 2008 1:37 pm

TrondC wrote: Boss SYB-3

Everyone who likes that 303-sound but is on a budget should have one of theese. Given a clean, unmodulated signal, it can burst out some pretty 303-lines at 100$. It's a strange box in that it's neitheran effect box nor a synth, because you need to have it triggered by an external source. That said, this box coupled with my microkorg or MC808 sequencer sound pretty darn acidish :) Now, the effects this box offers, are some strange filtering that sounds rather rubbish on most sound sources, but with drums, it's a whole other story..:)
I'm not gonna go on forever here, but for anyone interested in a cheap alternative to the 303, and can live with the somewhat clumsy tracking, (and thus making it even more analog-sounding) it's a very good option for 100$, and it will stay in my rig for a loooong time
BOSS SYB-3 and SYB-5 "Bass Synthesizer" review :



The SYB-3 is a compact pedal built for electric bass players in 1996. The SYB-5 was born in 2004. Plug a sound source with a jack into the beast, and play ! Programming a SYB is very simple : select the waveform or the filter, then adjust frequency, decay (or LFO rate) and resonance. That's all !

SYB-3 :

* 1 DSP sound generator : 3 wave forms : saw, square,
PWM, and 4 variations : saw + noise, saw - 1 octave, PWM +
noise, saw + noise - 1 octave. (the "noise" is just an
added effect)
* 4 filters for external sound : wave-shape normal/reverse
and autowah normal/reverse
* frequency, resonnance and decay knobs

SYB-5 :

* 1 DSP sound generator : 5 wave forms : saw, square,
pulse 1, pulse 2, PWM, and 4 variations : saw - 1 octav.,
square - 1 octav., saw + LFO, square + LFO
* 2 filters for external sound : wave-shape normal/reverse
* frequency, resonnance and decay knobs
* the “decay” knob is also the “LFO rate” knob

Well, as you can see, the SYB-3 miss the LFO... but the SYB-5 miss the “noise” sound effect.

SYB-3 goodie : the "noise" effect can be trigged alone, but you must experiment and search for it...

SYB-5 goodies : the square - 1 octav. mode is a duophonic mode, the lower sound and the original sound are played simultaneously. An external pedal input jack has been added to the SYB-5 for connecting the Roland EV-5 Expression Pedal ($old $eparately), which allows you to control filter cutoff and LFO rate in real time.

With both SYB you can use the onboard pedal to hold a note while playing phrase over it.

It was built for bass players but... in fact the tracking is horrible with a bass guitar (I mean what I say, I'm a bass player too !). Better use it with a keyboard, a drum machine, a sampler : you can experiment with a genuine and simple synth module. It can be hazardous, but it's always exciting.


1) SYB-3

The SAW wave can be deep and liquid, soft, thick or aggressive. The PWM is really a good one, could be the coldest wave never heard or the noisy thing you can face... and the VCF is powerfull, and will increase the output level, so carefull ! The SQUARE is a bit light and soft... and not very usefull.

The autowahs sound clear and the wave shape will evolute with the external sound level from light distortion to amazing noises.

Of course the deep bass sounds are excellents, but the SYB-3 is good for noises, laser beam, powerfull leads, percussive shots, weird sequencing... it's not an effect, it's not a toy, it's a real analog monophonic synthesizer, with its own personnality.

2) SYB-5

Enter the industrial machine... SYB-5’s sounds are aggressiv, metalic, hard, distorted. The PWM is a modulated “pulse” waveform, instead of the SYB-3’s modulated “square” waveform, so it’s very, very different... SYB-5’s PWM is the ultimate drone generator...

SYB-3’s saw is better than SYB-5’s saw, but SYB-5’s square is fatter, and the duophonic mode is a good idea. The LFO is excellent, very usefull, and the SYB-3 really miss that stuff.

The “pulse 1” sound is dreadfull... but the “pulse 2” is a “vocoder like” sound effect, cool ! There are no autowah filters, but SYB-5’s wave shape is sharper than SYB-3’s. And the “expression” input is very usefull.

The SYB-5 is also cheaper than the SYB-3, with a better tracking.

I only use BOSS SYB bass synths in real time for all my stuff... go there :


You’ll find pictures, complete tracks and sound samples.


SYB-3 is an oldschool analog-like machine, SYB-5 is a thick industrial synth. Only 4 knobs each, but... thousands of sounds ! So let's try it !


a way of live : BOSS SYB-3 bass synthesizer



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MXR carbon copy analog delay

Post by shaft9000 » Thu May 29, 2008 3:28 pm

-- ------------------MXR carbon copy analog delay-----------------------

After looking at various sub-$200 pedals from Boss, Johnson, Behringer and others this one stood out due to a longer delay time (up to 600ms) and true bypass. It also has a very good reputation online.
Paid the $150 at the local music shop and hooked it up inline between synth(Moog LP) and the mixer(Yamaha MG 14/2). Doesn't clip that I've been able to tell. Actually, the pedal boosts the signal a bit when engaged, and can be a lot louder if you have the delay mix level all the way right, which can nearly double the output. The engineering level seems very high, and build is excellent.
I/O consists of a 9V power jack for AC (no battery compartment!) and mono 1/4" in & out. No frills.
Controls are very simple, w/ a little bonus. 3 knobs regulate standard Mix, Rate and Regeneration, plus a button engages Modulation. Mix is either no delay at all up to a 1:1 level ratio between the dry & echo signal. Rate seems calibrated toward longer times, as the shortest delay setting is perceivably 15-20 ms. But the beauty of this one is the 600ms max time, which is generous considering many pedals sell for a lot more coin and top out around 350ms. Regeneration increases echoes from one single repeat up to infinity...more on this later. The 'bonus' is the Modulation button which varies the echo rate slightly to give a thickening to the delays. This is not adjustable without opening the baseplate and using a jeweller's screwdriver to turn tiny trimpots that control rate and width.

As for sound: This sounds good. Very good, imho. Instead of bland digital 'time delay of exact same sound' you get a gradual darkening of tone with presence and musical character. It's very not noticeable in a mix and for most apps digital delay is perfectly adequate - better, even. But when there is a solo instrument that needs that extra 'something'...or drums that suffer from digital sterility... analog delay provides a musical variety that the digitals don't have.
The Modulation is very subtle and is no replacement for a chorus pedal by a longshot. But it does thicken the sound a bit, like on an analog chorus set to about a 20/80% wet/dry mix. Most effective on the shorter delay times.
This pedal puts out a very musical feedback/self-oscillation sound. I've had a Memory Man before, which was certainly a 'dirtier', more vintage sound. But one thing about the MM I didn't like was how quickly the feedback builds became overpowering. The MXR is similar but a lot less out-of-control. It just seems to behave and respond better when you ease back...and it is not so noisy as the MM. Better in the studio; if the effect is not as extreme.
One thing that I don't understand is why so many pedals, especially ECHO/DELAY pedals - they don't continue fading the echo when bypass is engaged. Instead, we are treated to the abrupt cutoff. Why is it so hard for engineers to design a pedal that doesn't chuck the effect as soon as it's bypass is activated?

Pros - 600ms in a sub-$200 analog delay. Strong, present sound w/ true bypass. Musically satisfying repeats and control ranges.
Cons - mono out. wet/dry mix limited from 0/100 to 50/50. no battery compartment. repeats cut off when delay is disengaged.

here is a track i made w/ lots of MXR delay. It's in the chain post-LittlePhatty and pre-yamaha MG mixer to E-mu 1820m interface.


drums: Korg ESX
bassline & all synth except 'organ': Moog LP
synth organ: Roland Juno-6
reverb and eq in Sonar
all echo/delay/feedback FX are the MXR....that's the bassline and two or three lead tracks of LP effected by the MXR.
Last edited by shaft9000 on Thu Mar 05, 2009 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
2600.solus.modcan a.eurorack.cs60.JP8.Juno6.A6.sunsyn.volcakeys.jd990.tb303.x0xb0x.revolution.

shaft9000.muffwiggler.com <- singles & mixtape
shaft9000.bandcamp.com <- spacemusic album
youtube.com/shaft9000 <- various synth demos and studies

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Post by mok » Thu Jun 26, 2008 4:56 am

Bit Crushing / Fs Decimating Hardware FX Roundup (a cut&pasty):

I have three of these types. Frostwave Alienator, Alesis Bitrman, and Bugbrand BugCrusher '08.
Frostwave I think sounds the best of the bunch, and includes a nice resonant LPF to boot. It does both bit crushing and sample rate frequency reduction at the same time. Filter first, crusher first, filter only, and crusher only settings. Fantastic, and worth the $200-$300 you can spend. Possible cons: it is mono only, and has no bypass or footswitch. If you don't need these, this is the one for you.
Second in sonics is the BugCrusher. It has sample rate reduction via an analog sample-and-hold circuit with analog CV control for the Fs. Built in LPF which is switchable to a band-pass! CV/Footpedal inputs for both filter cutoff and s/h frequency. Easily the most versatile in a live setup. Sounds great too. Nicely placed bypass switch and lots of surface area to drop your foot on. Switchable input and output levels for line versus instrument levels! Possible cons: mono only, filter is always in circuit and comes post-crusher only. Also, foot pedal controls do not sweep the full range of the pots - still cool though. If these don't bother you and the need for a bypass exists, this is what you need. Good luck finding it though - they are sold in batches of less than 10 at a time and are all hand made over weeks by a nice guy in England. Be prepared to spend for quality and expression like this, along with that dang exchange rate! I'm talking $400 or so... (small aside - let me know if you are looking for this as I may have an extra one???)
Third but certainly not least, the Bitrman. Digital effect, but a h**l of a good sounding one. Built in compressor, distortion, bi-phase, and "bitrness". This control is either comb filter, decimator, bit reducer, frequency modulator, ring modulator, or frequency shifter. If Bitrness is controller #4, you can put that and the above effects in these orders: 1,2,3,4 : 4,3,2,1 : 3,2,1,4 : 4,1,2,3 : 1,4,3,2 : 2,4,3,1. You can imagine the fun. Has a bypass which is footswitchable via a standard 1/4" switch. Mono or Stereo(!) operation. Variable input gain as well. Hard to find as all the ModFX are out of production. Expect to pay close to $200 these days. Still worth it! Highly recommended is linking this with the Philtre which is tempo-syncable filter action. So much fun. I should get around one of these days putting up demos of all these fun effects. All of them I would say are hands-on effects - rarely will you set it and forget it and more often sweeping the crusher bits and filter bits will result in super fun. Good luck.

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Post by hyphen nation » Wed Jul 09, 2008 8:33 am

First pass at the Sherman Filter Bank 2

I've only been able to spend a the last two nights with it, but my first impressions are strong...

I bought this first and foremost as a way to process my guitar. I have been playing for years and was looking for something new. When pushed to the extreme, and tracking [pretty decently] it turns my ax into a fire breathing instrument...and to be honest something completely new...for this alone, I am stoked, because, it had a profound influence on the way I approached the guitar...after 20 years, you kinda get stuck in ruts...[damn, I have to be getting old...]

Of course, I was also curious to see what it would do to some of the individual outs on my drum machine...and it was more than I could have hoped for. On an extreme setting I was able to turn a high hat into a weird wobbly bass line...on a less extreme setting, I was able to season with the freq some dirty drum samples into the right "electric" sound that I often am looking for look for...

I have only begun to explore more than the input and output on the back of this thing. One fun experiment was to set up my juno with high resonance, low cut off freq, and the vca on envelope, and run this through the sherman, using the kick from my drum machine to trigger the ADSR/VCF to create an interesting rhythmic processing of the arp...

need to try out the rest of the input options...

The other place I started to explore was it's gentler side...and it really does have one...

All in all, I think this was a sick pick up...It is breathing new life into all sorts of things that I have taken for granted...

The biggest con I have with it is the mono only thing...I think I may ultimately need to go and get a second one down the road for true stereo mayhem...

I'll try and get a virb account soon, and post some samples...

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Re: Effects review

Post by impaler42 » Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:47 am

Just got an Alesis Akira, and Im really diggin it. Its a very cool multi fx unit, and I couldnt be happier, but then again its my first unit of this kind. Up until now Ive just been experimenting with various guitar pedals. I really love the delays, reverbs, and filters on the Akira. Its a great being able to save your own patches, which really comes in handy when you create an amazing setting that you want to save and reuse. Im still getting my head around the unit, not that its hard to use. Its actually very simple. It is very easy, and fun, to tweak the parameters while playing for some pretty cool results. I get stuck on many of the patches for hours on end. All in all, Im very happy with this unit. I feel priveledged to have it since its out of production and kind of rare it seems.

I also have a Roland Clone Theory Analog Chorus pedal. Really cool pedal used by New Order bassist Peter Hook to get that phat signature sound. I know many other bands use it as well, and I can see why. Its a great sounding pedal. Very full and well rounded. I dont pick up too many pedals, but I had to make an exception with this one.

Lastly, the CryBaby Wahwah pedal. I dont have much experience with wah pedals, but from using this pedal on my synths, I have nothing but good things to say about it. Its really expressive if you use it right. But then again, there are many ways to really utilize it. Sounds great on pads/strings.
electronic music forever


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Re: Effects review

Post by TrondC » Thu Dec 18, 2008 8:58 pm

Boss RV-5

So, trying to make an all-stereo chain for my Acidlab Bassline, I ditched the Holy Grail and picked up a cheap Boss RV-5. Stereo is nice, but this pedal is far behind sound-wise from the EHX. The Spring mode is fun, makes things more "outer space" sounding as opposed to the "dropping glass in a huuuuge concrete basement" of the EHX. the other modes all sound very similar to me, but they offer enough variation to avoid having the same sound on everything.
Now, when applying the drums on my ESX to the RV, i get some very airy and nice results. I was suprised to see that it brought out the best in my more "realistic" drum sounds, and it works well with entire drum loops without overdriving on the low end.

A short review this one, but I want to warn anyone who is after genuine sound quality: get the EHX graiuls instead. If my Holy Grail was stereo, I'd never get rid of it, which is why I might have to pick up a Holier or Holiest grail some time soon. However, the RV sounds good enough to keep, as long as you're not looking for that "church" sound that makes the grails live up to their names..

-More modes
-Spring mode, which is a lot of fun
made by boss so it will survive the next world war

-sound, which is kind of boring
-It's a Boss, so it won't stand out.. (what?)

my tip: get a EHX one instead, It's just worth it

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Post by ned-ryarson » Wed Jan 21, 2009 4:16 pm

kulten wrote:SYB-5 :

t was built for bass players but... in fact the tracking is horrible with a bass guitar (I mean what I say, I'm a bass player too !). Better use it with a keyboard, a drum machine, a sampler : you can experiment with a genuine and simple synth module. It can be hazardous, but it's always exciting.
is there anything like this that doesnt have bad tracking when playing bass guitar through it?

its so appealling, but this is what i keep hearing about it...

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