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External effects for clonewheel


Jason Stanfield

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I'm getting a bit bored with my organ sound; I'm happy with the tone and functionality, but I want to experiment some with using external effects, namely phaser, flanger, delay, and ring modulation. But, I don't know a lot about external effects for keyboards, so I wanted to ask if anyone has had any experience using stompboxes before I start buying and experimenting with them.

 

(A) All stompboxes I assume are made for guitar, so they don't have line-level; I assume I'll need some kind of hi-/lo-z converter on both sides of the pedal (or chain), right? What's the best way to do this?

 

(B) I run my organ through Speakeasy's AMA, which (for those not familiar with it) has both a preamp and an amp inside. Steve Hayes brilliantly included an extra output just for the preamp, and separate input for the amp, so you could use both sides independently.

 

I imagine I'll experiment with both of the following, but do you think I should go organ --> effects --> AMA preamp --> AMA amp? Or organ --> AMA preamp --> effects --> AMA amp?

 

Just for context, my signal chain is

 

piano --> VTP* ch. A ----\

synth --> VTP* ch. B ---> mixer -> power amp -> speakers

organ --> AMA -----------/

 

(*Speakeasy Vintage Tube Preamp, blackface, two channel)

 

© Any other advice?

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There is no right way, it depends on what you like better.

 

I prefer echo and reverb post-leslie, but ring mod might be cool before. Experiment!

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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the more pedals you add, the weaker your overall signal will become. It may sound 'cool' but in terms of robustness, your tone will become harder and harder to "cut" through a dense mix with. If experimenting with cool effects is what you want to get into, start messing around with modular synthesis, moog voyager, etc.
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the more pedals you add, the weaker your overall signal will become. It may sound 'cool' but in terms of robustness, your tone will become harder and harder to "cut" through a dense mix with. If experimenting with cool effects is what you want to get into, start messing around with modular synthesis, moog voyager, etc.

Well, I'm not sure if it's something I want to use live (yet), and I imagine I'll probably start with a Boss multi-effects processor -- after all, if I don't like what the effects do to the signal, it's best not to get a bunch of little things at first.

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I'm assuming you are using a clonewheel and not a real Hammond?

 

I use some moogerfoogers (delay, ring mod, phaser), a Cusuck tap a whirl tremolo, and a full tone wah and they are indeed great fun, especially with the real wurli and clav. There is no need IMO for any line level converter, just plug and play.

 

But the more pedals you add, the more noise, ground loops, and the more watered down your pure tone gets. If you have a speakeasy (I have one too), then you likely care about that. But there are a couple solutions:

 

One is to trigger the effects via an effects loop in a mixer.

 

The other is to use an absolute bypass strip pedal like this:

 

http://www.pedalboards.com/bp%20strips.htm

 

Although intended for guitar, it pretty much addresses keyboard needs too if you are adding more than 2-3 effects in the chain.

 

I have one and it works great. In fact, I use it with the effects loop on my rack mixer too, and haven't really noticed the tone deteriorate.

 

Mind you, schlepping and hooking multi pedals, mixers etc. is a bit of a PITA as one quickly gets to too many cables etc., so I usually leave most of these extras in my home studio.

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the more pedals you add, the weaker your overall signal will become. It may sound 'cool' but in terms of robustness, your tone will become harder and harder to "cut" through a dense mix with. If experimenting with cool effects is what you want to get into, start messing around with modular synthesis, moog voyager, etc.

Well, I'm not sure if it's something I want to use live (yet), and I imagine I'll probably start with a Boss multi-effects processor -- after all, if I don't like what the effects do to the signal, it's best not to get a bunch of little things at first.

 

A word of caution on that - there is a huge difference in (price and quality) between mainstream pedals like boss, and the boutique/analog pedals. While boss is an excellent place to start (esp in the used market), you may find yourself gravitating towards higher quality analog/boutique pedals soon enough. You might want to check out a guitar pedal forum like the gear page for ideas and such.

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the more pedals you add, the weaker your overall signal will become. It may sound 'cool' but in terms of robustness, your tone will become harder and harder to "cut" through a dense mix with. If experimenting with cool effects is what you want to get into, start messing around with modular synthesis, moog voyager, etc.

Well, I'm not sure if it's something I want to use live (yet), and I imagine I'll probably start with a Boss multi-effects processor -- after all, if I don't like what the effects do to the signal, it's best not to get a bunch of little things at first.

 

A word of caution on that - there is a huge difference in (price and quality) between mainstream pedals like boss, and the boutique/analog pedals. While boss is an excellent place to start (esp in the used market), you may find yourself gravitating towards higher quality analog/boutique pedals soon enough. You might want to check out a guitar pedal forum like the gear page for ideas and such.

 

True. You might wanna check VanAmps Spring Reverb, it's a little on the expensive side but totally worth it. A guitar player friend of mine bought one and i've tried it once with my Nord, amazing! it made my other reverb pedals (including Boss)sound like S**t. Soundwise it's very close to the Hammond reverb tank.

 

I like Boss but during my time as a guitarrist i've owned many of their pedals and i don't know, they're solid and reliable and sound good but there's something about the Electro Harmonix pedals that i really dig, you might wanna check them out too. Some i recommend...

 

Stereo Pulsar, cool tremolo.

 

Holy Stain, now this one is a swiss knife, Reverb (hall & room), Tremolo, Pitch Shifting plus analog fuzz and overdrive.

 

Electric Mistress, amazing analog flanger. This and the MXR flanger are my fav. And check out MXR's phase.

"The purple piper plays his tune, The choir softly sing; Three lullabies in an ancient tongue, For the court of the crimson king"
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I use a Motion-Sound Pro3 and run an ancient DoD 16" Spring on the output to the electric split for the emulation of the wooden Baffle. Other than that, it's the old Creamware B2003 and doesn't need the -6db insertion loss with added pedals.

WIthout the Doppler effect it will be like mixing in a DAW, you will always be wanting to buy new plug ins even after claiming the last one you bought was killer.

Some sounds like the Doppler just suck when emulated.

 

I am assuming you already are displeased with the sound, so no pedal will get that sound like John Lord, or Emerson had.

Even though Emerson rarely used the doppler effect he overdrove the C3 and added extra percussion. Claimed he loved reverb better than the horn spinning, so a taste of an AMS and a Leslie was just fine.

Magnus C350 and a TV Dinner Tray Stand

 

http://soundcloud.com/you/sets

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