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Ensemble Pedal For Synths Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 27th April 2018
  #1
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Somebodyperson's Avatar
 

Ensemble Pedal For Synths

I am looking for the best ensemble pedal to use for my synths to get the closest thing to the "ensemble" on 70s string synths. Does such a pedal exist?
Old 27th April 2018
  #2
most pedals i've seen are simple chorus circuits - i.e. a single BBD line with a single LFO. even one that Boss calls "Ensemble", which is somewhat misleading. i've seen some pedals with single BBD and dual LFO, like Ibanez Bi-Chorus or Analogman, but that sounds more like postpunk guitars, still ain't the modulation effect what you are asking for.

> an ensemble like you will find in a solina, crumar or similar is basically 2 LFOs at different speeds (slower and faster) applied to two or three BBD lines, with third BBD line getting one of the LFOs offset by 120 or 180 degrees. this, plus various EQ and fixed filtering networks to further customize the tone varying from model to model.

so far on the market, aside from unobtanium vintage MTI box, you can either look for Synthoma Elkorus (rare expensive) or get someone to build you one of the Jurgen Haible triple chorus clones, or Tony Algood (Oakley) designs - he had a halfrack model called SS330 and recently made a new model, full 1U version called SRE330. TDA and MN3207 chips used, respectively.

other options i know that sounds decent without being the actual BBD: Roland SDX330, cna be found in $250-300 range. also iirc you could program three modulated delay lines like this on a Sony range like V77 or M7. bigger Eventide too, tho arguably overkill for this function.


i ended up with Elkorus - imo it sounds best and most authentic of these options. ive had no trouble achieving any variant of Eminent machines, Rhapsodies, Crumars , mild choruses, strong choruses, BoC-ish slow drunk vibratos , you name it. it uses original BBDs used in various early 70s machines.
Old 27th April 2018
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clusterchord View Post
most pedals i've seen are simple chorus circuits - i.e. a single BBD line with a single LFO. even one that Boss calls "Ensemble", which is somewhat misleading. i've seen some pedals with single BBD and dual LFO, like Ibanez Bi-Chorus or Analogman, but that sounds more like postpunk guitars, still ain't the modulation effect what you are asking for.

> an ensemble like you will find in a solina, crumar or similar is basically 2 LFOs at different speeds (slower and faster) applied to two or three BBD lines, with third BBD line getting one of the LFOs offset by 120 or 180 degrees. this, plus various EQ and fixed filtering networks to further customize the tone varying from model to model.

so far on the market, aside from unobtanium vintage MTI box, you can either look for Synthoma Elkorus (rare expensive) or get someone to build you one of the Jurgen Haible triple chorus clones, or Tony Algood (Oakley) designs - he had a halfrack model called SS330 and recently made a new model, full 1U version called SRE330. TDA and MN3207 chips used, respectively.

other options i know that sounds decent without being the actual BBD: Roland SDX330, cna be found in $250-300 range. also iirc you could program three modulated delay lines like this on a Sony range like V77 or M7. bigger Eventide too, tho arguably overkill for this function.


i ended up with Elkorus - imo it sounds best and most authentic of these options. ive had no trouble achieving any variant of Eminent machines, Rhapsodies, Crumars , mild choruses, strong choruses, BoC-ish slow drunk vibratos , you name it. it uses original BBDs used in various early 70s machines.
Is this the MTI Box?


Vintage MTI Auto Orchestra AO-1 Drum Machine Bass String | Reverb
Old 27th April 2018
  #4
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Somebodyperson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by clusterchord View Post
most pedals i've seen are simple chorus circuits - i.e. a single BBD line with a single LFO. even one that Boss calls "Ensemble", which is somewhat misleading. i've seen some pedals with single BBD and dual LFO, like Ibanez Bi-Chorus or Analogman, but that sounds more like postpunk guitars, still ain't the modulation effect what you are asking for.

> an ensemble like you will find in a solina, crumar or similar is basically 2 LFOs at different speeds (slower and faster) applied to two or three BBD lines, with third BBD line getting one of the LFOs offset by 120 or 180 degrees. this, plus various EQ and fixed filtering networks to further customize the tone varying from model to model.

so far on the market, aside from unobtanium vintage MTI box, you can either look for Synthoma Elkorus (rare expensive) or get someone to build you one of the Jurgen Haible triple chorus clones, or Tony Algood (Oakley) designs - he had a halfrack model called SS330 and recently made a new model, full 1U version called SRE330. TDA and MN3207 chips used, respectively.

other options i know that sounds decent without being the actual BBD: Roland SDX330, cna be found in $250-300 range. also iirc you could program three modulated delay lines like this on a Sony range like V77 or M7. bigger Eventide too, tho arguably overkill for this function.


i ended up with Elkorus - imo it sounds best and most authentic of these options. ive had no trouble achieving any variant of Eminent machines, Rhapsodies, Crumars , mild choruses, strong choruses, BoC-ish slow drunk vibratos , you name it. it uses original BBDs used in various early 70s machines.
Seems like I will have to bite the bullet and go for the Elkorus. The only bad thing is that it's rack mount and I dont use rack mount gear....but for this I would make an exception.
Old 27th April 2018
  #5
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Somebodyperson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by clusterchord View Post
most pedals i've seen are simple chorus circuits - i.e. a single BBD line with a single LFO. even one that Boss calls "Ensemble", which is somewhat misleading. i've seen some pedals with single BBD and dual LFO, like Ibanez Bi-Chorus or Analogman, but that sounds more like postpunk guitars, still ain't the modulation effect what you are asking for.

> an ensemble like you will find in a solina, crumar or similar is basically 2 LFOs at different speeds (slower and faster) applied to two or three BBD lines, with third BBD line getting one of the LFOs offset by 120 or 180 degrees. this, plus various EQ and fixed filtering networks to further customize the tone varying from model to model.

so far on the market, aside from unobtanium vintage MTI box, you can either look for Synthoma Elkorus (rare expensive) or get someone to build you one of the Jurgen Haible triple chorus clones, or Tony Algood (Oakley) designs - he had a halfrack model called SS330 and recently made a new model, full 1U version called SRE330. TDA and MN3207 chips used, respectively.

other options i know that sounds decent without being the actual BBD: Roland SDX330, cna be found in $250-300 range. also iirc you could program three modulated delay lines like this on a Sony range like V77 or M7. bigger Eventide too, tho arguably overkill for this function.


i ended up with Elkorus - imo it sounds best and most authentic of these options. ive had no trouble achieving any variant of Eminent machines, Rhapsodies, Crumars , mild choruses, strong choruses, BoC-ish slow drunk vibratos , you name it. it uses original BBDs used in various early 70s machines.

If you dont mind my asking....what is the difference between the
Synthoma Elkorus V1, V2, and V3?
Old 27th April 2018
  #6
Gear Head
 

Don't forget the Triko from Baloran Triko.
Old 27th April 2018
  #7
Lives for gear
 

theres also the shiva audio rack and pedal

Shiva Audio Devices
„... classic mode reminiscent of the ensemble chorus of the 70s“

and the tri chorus from fulltone Fulltone Musical Products, Inc. | pedals | That 80's Rack Chorus

no idea how close they can get to the solina chorus tho
Old 27th April 2018
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

Good like finding an Elkorus, and ill be jealous if you do! they are hard to find.
Anyone know who would build me a Jurgen Haible triple chorus clones?
Old 27th April 2018
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Somebodyperson View Post
I am looking for the best ensemble pedal to use for my synths to get the closest thing to the "ensemble" on 70s string synths. Does such a pedal exist?
Not a pedal, but you might still find this info useful:
How to emulate the classic ensemble effect ITB.
Old 28th April 2018
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Somebodyperson View Post
If you dont mind my asking....what is the difference between the
Synthoma Elkorus V1, V2, and V3?
can't recall exactly the difference btwn V1 and V2, but V3 brought stereo i/o.


stereo input isn't as crucial but output stereo is achieved with pan controls for each of the bbd lines, and it is nothing short of syrupy heaven when you pan one of them center and add other two left and right, for example.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rebelxd View Post
Good like finding an Elkorus, and ill be jealous if you do! they are hard to find.
Anyone know who would build me a Jurgen Haible triple chorus clones?

fwiw imo Oakley sounds better, and has more flexibility.. and is capable of rolandish quad ensemble (like on rs505 for example).

here it is played with ajuno2 with its chorus turned off:

http://www.oakleysound.com/SRE330%20noodling.mp3
Old 29th April 2018
  #11
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cramseur's Avatar
Don't bother with the Elkorus. It is also unobtanium.
Clusterchord just keeps bringing it up to torment us!
I've been looking for 2 years...nothing.
I'd have better luck finding Bigfoot.
Old 29th April 2018
  #12
Gear Maniac
 

is the MTI ensemble you're talking about look like this?


If so, send me a message. I can get you one.
I had no idea they were rare "unobtanium"
Old 30th April 2018
  #13
Gear Nut
 

other one is the korg sdd-3300 triple delay. 3 delays with programmable mix/feedback and lfos that can be phase offset. should be capable of emulating more than a few different types of string machine, though presets suck

http://www.retrosynth.com/~analogued...300/index.html
Old 30th April 2018
  #14
This thread always comes up, and the same answers each time.....get something that is unobtanium, old, and OOP.

There are a ton of really good chorus/ensemble pedals out there. The Analog Bi-Chorus was mentioned. Diamond Halo Chorus, Red Witch Empress, JHS Emperor, Retro Sonic Stereo Chorus/Emsemble (CE-1 clone), on and on. I really want to try one of these, a Roland SDD-320 Dimension D clone:
Seraph Deluxe – Fromel Electronics

Most pedals that say “ensemble” are digital. Many are just a chorus...so I dunno how they are defining that.

Still plenty of stuff out there that sounds amazing to try without dropping over a grand on a single effect. Longamp and Coppersound make Small Clone....clones, with added features. There are a couple of CE-1 clones, CE-2 clones, and as above, some really good modern chorus pedals.
Old 30th April 2018
  #15
Lives for gear
 

i hope these threads keep coming up until someone finally comes up with the brilliant idea to make a triple chorus ensemble unit that sounds like a solina, instead of yet another roland/ehx/mxr/... copy
Old 30th April 2018
  #16
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Somebodyperson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by superstupid View Post
i hope these threads keep coming up until someone finally comes up with the brilliant idea to make a triple chorus ensemble unit that sounds like a solina, instead of yet another roland/ehx/mxr/... copy

You could always create it and make the $$$.
Old 30th April 2018
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by superstupid View Post
i hope these threads keep coming up until someone finally comes up with the brilliant idea to make a triple chorus ensemble unit that sounds like a solina, instead of yet another roland/ehx/mxr/... copy
I’m sorry, but everything “tri-chorus” is digital, but that doesn’t mean it sucks, except for The Fulltone Custom Shop “That 80’s Rack Chorus”, which is analog.

I don’t think TC Corona sounds bad at all. Lots of demoes with synths, and has a tri-chorus setting. Free The Tone Tri-Avatar, Neunaber Inspire Tri-Chorus Plus, and Digitech Nautila are all quite popular, all stereo out. The Tri-Avatar even has MIDI. The Neunaber and Digitech have stereo inputs.

Did you look at that Fromel Seraph Deluxe? Its analog, stereo I/O, accepts line level, and adds depth and speed controls. They even make a version with NOS chips, if still available.
Old 30th April 2018
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EDGEK8D View Post
I’m sorry, but everything “tri-chorus” is digital, but that doesn’t mean it sucks, except for The Fulltone Custom Shop “That 80’s Rack Chorus”, which is analog.
fulltone, wave, haible, triko, mti, elkorus, oakley and the 70s stringsynth ensembles are all bbd based. i didn't say that digital sucks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EDGEK8D View Post
I don’t think TC Corona sounds bad at all. Lots of demoes with synths, and has a tri-chorus setting. Free The Tone Tri-Avatar, Neunaber Inspire Tri-Chorus Plus, and Digitech Nautila are all quite popular, all stereo out. The Tri-Avatar even has MIDI. The Neunaber and Digitech have stereo inputs.

Did you look at that Fromel Seraph Deluxe? Its analog, stereo I/O, accepts line level, and adds depth and speed controls. They even make a version with NOS chips, if still available.
like i said, i don't know how close all these 80s landau tri chorus units can get to the unique stringsynth ensembles, but i doubt it, if there aren't even individual settings for the 3 delay lines.
Old 30th April 2018
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Somebodyperson View Post
You could always create it and make the $$$.
ok. how hard can it be. but you have to send me your solina first.

but seriously if i would be good at diy, i would have get the haible or oakley a long time ago.
Old 30th April 2018
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superstupid View Post
ok. how hard can it be. but you have to send me your solina first.

but seriously if i would be good at diy, i would have get the haible or oakley a long time ago.
I remember once reading about that ensemble and looking at some schematic scan.
Maybe Google can find it again...

Or you can assume the developer did his homework and just analyze the ensemble effect in that old free Reaktor Solina recreation.
Solina-V String Ensemble | Entry | Reaktor User Library
and
String Machine MkII | Entry | Reaktor User Library
This way you can find the correct values for the LFOs rates and modulatio amounts.
Old 1st May 2018
  #21
i dont see a reason to bother making a solina ensemble yourself, if some great designers have already done it - Tony Algood a.k.a. Oakley Modular is pretty well known designer and beside modulars, has long standing obsession with wonderful analog effect circuits of yesteryear.

if i didnt have Synthoma already, i'd orded SRE330 parts yesterday. and maybe i will anyway . it sounds amazing.


Dytronics Tri Stereo Chorus rack, im not sure if its setup in param ranges to give you warbly elusive string machine tones. never tried one tho. you will get some Michael Landau guitar sounds for sure.


SDD320 i.e. Dimension D, the Dim C pedal and Seraph - all sound great, but again do not give you string machine ensemble which is far more obvious and chewy with unmistakeable sonic print. Dimension is an elegant effect and one of its main traits is it can be transparent. as if there is no LFOs working. you only notice how big it makes your sound when you bypass the effect. its what made SDD230 legendary in the studio - used on vocals. guitars, entire busses or tracks etc.


Shiva pedal is one BBD line. two lfo rate setting you choose btwn via switch. if you want three, you need their $$$ Wave rack. its Dytronics clone. with that said, must admit Shiva pedal sounds really gorgeous on guitar.. brings early 80s in a flash.


i had CE-1 and its also a chorus, not an ensemble circuit. a fantastic, dark and sad sounding one tho. postpunk darkwave in a box. in addition to chorus, it also has a vibrato mode, which is implemented by muting the dry signal completely, and listening to wet only. a "chorus" effect, to be heard ie perceived, needs both wet and dry.



to add to the list of digital devices that can emulate the triple chorus circuit, albeit with its own sonic signature: PCM80 and 81.

what a box of crayons that is, for synths and guitars. and all is midi controllable
Old 1st May 2018
  #22
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by clusterchord View Post
[...]
to add to the list of digital devices that can emulate the triple chorus circuit, albeit with its own sonic signature: PCM80 and 81.

what a box of crayons that is, for synths and guitars. and all is midi controllable
Would love to hear how to do this !! PCM80 is not the most fun thing to program and mess around with, but i'm slowly learning
Old 1st May 2018
  #23
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Somebodyperson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by superstupid View Post
ok. how hard can it be. but you have to send me your solina first.

but seriously if i would be good at diy, i would have get the haible or oakley a long time ago.
Haha yes I can make things DIY...but what I get is random and fun...but never as expected
Old 1st May 2018
  #24
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flowthrough's Avatar
wish my old SM Pro Audio V-machine was still working-

I'd load up CromFX VST and go to town ( CromFX Vintage Effects Plugin )

One could probably get something similar with a lowly Nord MicroModular.
Old 1st May 2018
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flowthrough View Post
wish my old SM Pro Audio V-machine was still working-

I'd load up CromFX VST and go to town ( CromFX Vintage Effects Plugin )

One could probably get something similar with a lowly Nord MicroModular.
WOW ! That first demo sounds really good.
Old 5th July 2018
  #26
Here for the gear
MTI ADL-100 Reverb Score

Scored an MTI ADL-100 String Ensemble on Reverb last week for $500. Nearly impossible to find one of these. I just typed in String Ensemble Effect and this was the only result that showed up. The second I saw it I bought it. Thinking on it wasn't an option. If anyone has seen any of my other posts throughout Gearslutz, they know I've got sort of an obsession with string machines and the classic Ensemble effect. Should be arriving any day now. YouTube demos will be following. Cant believe there's no demos of these expect for this site: mode zero - phase shifter phaser flanger chorus delay vintage effects photos mp3 demos
Old 16th August 2018
  #27
Gear Maniac
 
midicontrol's Avatar
 

just made the deal on a Triko ! Can't wait !
Old 4 weeks ago
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superstupid View Post
i hope these threads keep coming up until someone finally comes up with the brilliant idea to make a triple chorus ensemble unit that sounds like a solina, instead of yet another roland/ehx/mxr/... copy
I'm with you there. A thousand new pedals coming out every year and somehow no one has thought of a string ensemble. I still believe our day will come!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #29
an excellent ensemble/triple chorus from the past is the Wersivoice from the German organ company Wersi.
to get a real authentic 70ies stringmachine sound you need a triple/ensemble chorus AND also phase-locked oscillators.
But even with guitar or regular oscillators wersivoice sounds great.

Here an example @4:03 with Novation Peak and WersiVoice (& Vermona PH16 Phaser):



the Wersivoice is also part of the Rackunits EX20 and EX10R
the first 30 seconds is a stringsound of the EX10R with the internal WersiVoice (&EHX Polyphase) active:
Old 4 weeks ago
  #30
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string6theory's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by midicontrol View Post
just made the deal on a Triko ! Can't wait !
Me as well... I can’t wait!

Except mine is coming inside The River.

I def plan to experiment running other synths through the stereo external inputs and Triko.
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