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Re: SFX 101 [Re: Winston Psmith] #3010776 10/02/19 09:23 PM
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Winston Psmith Offline OP
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Here we go - How To "Tune" Your Ring Modulator!

Couple of cautions, first. Turn down from whatever your usual playing volume may be. Ring Mods can put out some truly abrasive Frequency Peaks, so get used to how yours behaves before you damage a speaker or an eardrum. Put your pets in another room, if you can; they'll hear frequencies we can't, some of which may be painful to them. No other effects for the moment, so you can hear the 'tuning' clearly, and finally, don't bother trying to play Chords, they'll just make a mess, no matter what. I wish I could recall, and thus give credit to, the first person to refer to a Ring Mod as an "Anarchy Box", but they surely had it right.

I use one of three approaches to "Tune" my Ring Mods, bearing in mind that I use the word "Tune" very loosely, in this case. Ring Mods work on very simple Math, not Musical Note values, so most of the tones output from your Ring Mod will not be Note Pitches. (There are devices that claim to be "Intelligent" Ring Modulators, which somehow remain more-or-less in tune, but why?)

First up, you'll need a Ring Mod with a Blend or Mix control, so you can hear your Guitar and the Ring Mod. If your Ring Mod also has a Filter, or High-Cut, use it for High Cut; if it has a High/Low switch, set it to Low.

Set your Mix to about 50%, enough so you can hear both the original Guitar sound, and the sound coming from your Ring Mod. Now, decide what Key or Note you want your Ring Mod to center on. Let's say the Key of E Major, just for simplicity's sake. Hit your open 6th string, and 'tune' the Frequency knob on your Ring Mod until it's in tune with your open "E". You can dial in an "E" that's at the same Octave Pitch as your open "E", or dial in an "E" in another Octave, Up or Down as you like, depending on the Range of your Ring Mod. Turn the Frequency value too high, however, and you'll wind up playing tones only bats can hear. This setting will work for your Tonic, and may sound nearly in tune for 4ths & 5ths; the rest of your scale is relative, distant relatives, possibly estranged, in many cases.

Next up, same basic approach, but this time, tune your Ring Mod to a 4th or a 5th, above or below, as you like, instead of your Tonic. With your Mix dialed back to less than 50% Ring Mod, these tones will clean up and stand out when you play, rather than when you return to your Root. Think of it as an odd, little Electronic self-accompaniment trick.

Last up, and a personal favorite, is what I call the "52 Pick Up" method. Anyone here ever play 52 Pick Up? Then you'll appreciate this . . .

This time, we're starting out at 100% Wet, all Ring Mod, no straight Guitar signal; you won't need it. Pluck the 11th fret of your 1st String (yes, I said 11th), and turn the Frequency knob on your Ring Mod until you hear a deep, booming metallic Bass tone, like an Electronic Steel Drum. You're trying to get the lowest tone (it's not likely to be a Note) on the fretboard to sound in this spot. If you've got it right, the result should be as if you'd taken a bunch of Electronic tones, thrown them up in the air, and had them land on the Guitar neck at random, thus "52 Pick Up". It should be impossible to play a recognizable scale, or a simple Blues riff. Congratulations, your Guitar is now a Tone Generator, a purely Electronic Instrument with its own rules, and potential applications.

You could also dial the Mix back until the Ring Mod sound became a sort of random Bass-Synth accompaniment in the background. How well this works would depend greatly on the type of Music, and the audience. If nothing else, have fun with it.


"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

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Re: SFX 101 [Re: Winston Psmith] #3010850 10/03/19 07:14 AM
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Very nice! Very helpful!


Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap”

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

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Re: SFX 101 [Re: Winston Psmith] #3014534 11/01/19 02:16 PM
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Winston Psmith Offline OP
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Here's something to waste your weekend - Barber-Pole Flangers, Bell Trees & Cascade Pitch Shifting.

Today's session is for those of you with Multi-FX. Sorry, most pedals can't manage these tricks, unless you have a programmable Delay with Pitch-Shifting, in which case, consult your Manual.

All of these are variations on one trick, Pitch-Shifting with Regeneration. The main differences among them are a matter of Timing and Pitch.

First up, dig into a Pitch-Shift patch or effect in your MFX, to see that there's a parameter for Delay Time and one for Regeneration, or Feedback. (Some Programmable Delay pedals, will also have these.) Got it? All good . . .

For Barber-Pole Flanging, set the amount of Pitch Shift anywhere from a few Cents, up to a Major 2nd, plus or minus. Set your Delay Time anywhere from around 10 milliseconds (+/-) up to around 40 ms, then, carefully, turn the Regeneration/Feedback up to 80% or above. It gets tricky, from this point, as different devices will start to self-oscillate at different levels of feedback. I've gotten up to 95% Regeneration on some boxes, without runaway feedback, but YEMV.

There's no LFO, so you're not going to hear the characteristic "whirring" or "rotating gear" sound, but you will hear a wash of ascending or descending tones, for every note you play. You can, however, place a very slow Phaser effect after the Pitch-Shifter, to add a bit of LFO sound.

For the Bell Tree effect, set your Pitch-Shifter to 1/2 Step/1 semi-tone, up or down, set your Delay Time anywhere from around 100 ms to wherever you like, just so you can hear the Pitch-Shifted Echoes as separate events, and again, set your Regeneration as high as you dare, or as high as you like, depending on the sound you get. Hit a note, and you should hear ascending or descending tones on the Chromatic Scale. A mild Chorus effect on either side of the Pitch-Shift effect can help smooth out some of the digital artifacts from this process.

Cascade Pitch-Shifting spreads out and slows down the previous effects. Set your Pitch-Shifter for a fixed Interval, a 3rd, a 4th, a 5th, you get the idea, again, ascending or descending, as you please. Set your Delay Time somewhere above 125-150 ms (I prefer somewhere around 200ms), and your Regeneration for around 90%. Hit a note and you should hear cascades of ascending or descending intervals, spinning off into oblivion. Again, a mild Chorus effect on either side of your Pitch-Shifter can help smooth out digital artifacts.

Now, I'm sure some of you are already ahead of me, and thinking, "If I can do this, why not Arpeggiated Chords, or entire Musical Phrases?" Well, it depends on your Pitch-Shifter. Let's take a look.

If you Pitch-Shifter only "plays" or generates one Pitch-Shifted tone at a time, you're not going to be able to get it to play even a simple Triad chord, sorry. However, set it to a 5th, with no Delay or Feedback, at about a 50% mix, and you have instant Power Chords on your 5th & 6th strings. Add Distortion to taste.

OTOH, if your Pitch-Shifter generates 2 or more Pitch-Shifted tones, we're good. For a simple Triad, your basic 1-3-5 formula will do. Set one Pitch-Shifted tone to a 3rd above, the other to a 5th above, and you have instant Major Triad. Now, add a bit of Delay Time between your input and your 3rd, and a slightly longer Delay time before the Pitch-Shifter plays back your 5th, then hit your Tonic. With a little work, you should be able to "play" an Arpeggiated Triad on your Pitch-Shifter, just by hitting any note, anywhere on the neck.

If you have a 4-voice Pitch-Shifter, you can generate more complex chords, or even short phrases. With a lot of programming, and the right foot switch, you may even be able to switch Keys, or Scales, within the same program, for more variation, but your options will vary greatly depending on the DSP engine in your particular device.

There is even a path to Guitar Sequencing, after a fashion, but I've only encountered it on Boss MFX up through the GT-10.

Boss offered an effect called Auto-Riff; the GT-6b had a variation called Auto-Slap, but it was the same idea. Auto-Riff gets much deeper than you might think from the name.

Yes, there were 30 Boss Preset Riff's, which you could choose among, and at least they gave you an idea of the potential. However, it was also possible to create Custom User Riffs, and that's where the fun lies.

It would take up more space, and verbiage, than this post needs, to address all the potential of the Auto-Riff effect. Anyone who might have a Boss MFX, (GT-3, GT-6, GT-8 or GT-10, all of them have Auto-Riff), who's curious about it, send me a PM, and I'll help as best I can. In the meantime, have fun . . .


"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

http://www.novparolo.com
Re: SFX 101 [Re: Winston Psmith] #3014584 11/01/19 08:12 PM
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Looks cool. Lots of good, usable info for pedalholics!

I have to admit, though, I only know barber pole flanging through my ownership of the Mr Black Shepherd’s End pedal:



And as I’ve mentioned before (Here? Elsewhere? I don’t remember.), I only know bell trees guitar effects as a trick like this:


Which I know is not what you’re getting at. Can you post a vid with a sample?


Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap”

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Re: SFX 101 [Re: Dannyalcatraz] #3014593 11/01/19 08:44 PM
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Winston Psmith Offline OP
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That first clip is much more the idea, less Modulation, but a slightly "bent" sound, overall. The Distortion brings out more of the Mod sound, when it cuts in, but still, you don't get that "gears turning"-sound I usually associate with OD + Flanging. Very nice, I'd use that sound, no question.

Here is, without question, the shortest and simplest demo of a real Bell Tree that I could find.



"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

http://www.novparolo.com
Re: SFX 101 [Re: Winston Psmith] #3014627 11/01/19 11:53 PM
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Right- seen those- just not anything like THAT in a guitar context.

But if your technique yields a similar effect? thu


Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap”

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

http://murphysmusictx.com/
Re: SFX 101 [Re: Dannyalcatraz] #3015599 11/11/19 02:42 PM
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Winston Psmith Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Dannyalcatraz
Right- seen those- just not anything like THAT in a guitar context.

But if your technique yields a similar effect? thu


Different Pitch-Shift devices will give you somewhat different response, but you should be able to dial in a sound that's very close. Hit a harmonic on the Guitar neck, for a more bell-like tone, to start off the effect.

Couple of additional thoughts - With Dual Pitch Shift effects, you don't have to use your Dry signal as the Root/Tonic. Depending on the range of your Pitch Shifter, you can have Pitch-shifted tones in intervals both above and below your Dry Input signal, triggering wider potential Chord voicings.

Another, slightly crazier trick with Dual Pitch-Shifting is to have Barber-Pole Flanging or Cascade Pitch Shifting going in different directions, both ascending and descending. It's much harder to set up this effect so it's Musically coherent, but it's a fun sound to experiment with.


"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

http://www.novparolo.com
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