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Analog Synth External Effects. Where to Go? Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 1st December 2011
  #1
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verve92's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Analog Synth External Effects. Where to Go?

Hey all.
Just curious on how to get a good reverb/delay on my Alpha Juno and Monotribe.
I have been using my MXR Carbon Copy, but it lacks punch on the synths. Perhaps because it's a guitar pedal.
I have been reading good stuff about the Eventide Space and Time Factor, but don't want to spend that much if I don't have to.
Anyone use the Roland/Boss RE 20 Space Echo? A guy I know has one but he's on the road.
I am having difficulty getting good ambient tones with my Digitech RP-1000 also a guitar effects system seems to kill the warmth. The tone of the Juno suffers even if I disable the EQ.
Seem s synth requires a whole different type of effects.
Anyone use a pedal that does not kill the tone of an analog synths? The Juno's chorus is striking, but I need more!
Old 1st December 2011
  #2
Jose Ramón Alvarado Villa
 
Don Solaris's Avatar
For Alpha Juno's more polished and stable sound you need something to dirt it up. Roland RE-201 or numerous BBD units (ie Boss, Yamaha) or Dynacord VRS (reverb & delay) will do job nicely.
Old 1st December 2011
  #3
Just got one of these for my MiniAK - lots of options, excellent sounds & happy user reviews. Bonus stereo I/O

Old 1st December 2011
  #4
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cdog's Avatar
I have the Line6 delay pedal (the little one, not DL4), and recommend it highly. Also, the Memory Man from Electro Harmonix is excellent. They also make awesome reverbs, like the Holiest Grail. I would go with EH, Eventide or Line6 (the latter if you dont mind buffered bypass).
Old 1st December 2011
  #5
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verve92's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
For Alpha Juno's more polished and stable sound you need something to dirt it up. Roland RE-201 or numerous BBD units (ie Boss, Yamaha) or Dynacord VRS (reverb & delay) will do job nicely.
I also need some reverb and delay that is best descibed as "Creamy" almost like slow modulation. Yeah my MXR is a BBD but as I said too weak. I need something to overtake the original signal without the total overload that can happen when an analog delay repeat is past 1 o'clock. Sounds horrible! To then point I worry about my amps and monitors!
It's hard to tell on these YouTube vids the subtleties. However the RE-201 seems awful popular. I saw it in many pro pedal boards- ie Radiohead.
Diversity is the key as the Alpha can be harsh as well at times.
I'll be damed if i can figure out the envelope.
Old 1st December 2011
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by verve92 View Post
I also need some reverb and delay that is best descibed as "Creamy" almost like slow modulation.
The Hardwire has a Modulation setting (almost chorus feel, but not in your face), but you can't control the mod rate.
Old 1st December 2011
  #7
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GeorgeHayduke's Avatar
 

Many guitar efx have too little headroom for synths, synths have way higher output than a passive guitar-pickup.

Diamond pedals all have a -20db pad which engages automatically when you run a line level signal through them. Cool in a way, though it's always annoying having to pad the signal.

I tend to look for 18volt guitar pedal, they generally seem to have better headroom than the usual 9volt pedals. Actually, I think almost all my pedals run at more than 9volt now, I had to let the others go or use them for guitar only.

I wish more pedal manufacturers would consider line level use, most seem not to. Obviously the Moogerfoogers are made for it but they are super spency.

Finally, don't underestimate spring reverb, it's cheap and sounds awesome in moderate doses.
Old 1st December 2011
  #8
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maisonvague's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
For Alpha Juno's more polished and stable sound you need something to dirt it up.
I would agree with this. I like the sound of the Juno-2 a lot but sometimes it can sound a bit dead... too precise... too solid. So I like to use FX that add lots of character such as real analog delays. Even cheap digital FX units like the Alesis Quadraverb can mess up the sound of the Juno in a positive way.

As has been mentioned, headroom can be an issue with stomp boxes designed for guitars. The EH Deluxe Memory Man is among my favorites but it can easily distort with synths. Another one to consider is the EH Cathedral. It's not analog, but it sounds really nice to me! The Cathedral includes several of my favorite algorithms from some of their other boxes making it an excellent one-box solution in a minimal rig.
Old 1st December 2011
  #9
Jose Ramón Alvarado Villa
 
Don Solaris's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by verve92 View Post
I also need some reverb and delay that is best descibed as "Creamy" almost like slow modulation.
DP4 has nice reverb with modulation (and a lot of delays as well). Plus it's a great unit anyway.
Old 1st December 2011
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeHayduke View Post
Many guitar efx have too little headroom for synths, synths have way higher output than a passive guitar-pickup.
1. What is "headroom"?

2. I only use guitar pedals on my synths (not surprising, I spent years playing guitar) & have had good results with all except for one (a Behringer - go figure, and even then only with one of my boards), so have I just been lucky or what?
Old 1st December 2011
  #11
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maisonvague's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tjporter View Post
1. What is "headroom"?

2. I only use guitar pedals on my synths (not surprising, I spent years playing guitar) & have had good results with all except for one (a Behringer - go figure, and even then only with one of my boards), so have I just been lucky or what?
From Wikipedia:

"In digital and analog audio, headroom is the amount by which the signal-handling capabilities of an audio system exceed a designated level known as Permitted Maximum Level (PML). Headroom can be thought of as a safety zone allowing transient audio peaks to exceed the PML without exceeding the signal capabilities of an audio system (digital clipping, for example). Various standards bodies recommend various levels as Permitted Maximum Level."

You can read more about it here:

Headroom (audio signal processing) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Basically it boils down to how hard you can drive an audio input before it begins begins to clip and/or distort. Regarding your own experience it could be either:

1. You weren't running too hot of a signal from your synths into the stomp boxes

or

2. Your years as a guitar player gave you a high tolerance for distortion! heh
Old 1st December 2011
  #12
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Demokid's Avatar
 

I use the following reverbs on synths Lexicon Model 200 Reverberator, Dynacord DRP-20X or if a need cold sounding reverbs the Sony MU-R201.
Old 1st December 2011
  #13
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GeorgeHayduke's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by maisonvague View Post
..

2. Your years as a guitar player gave you a high tolerance for distortion! heh
I was thinking the same thing :D

Though it could be luck, some 9volt pedals seem to work fine. I guess I just don't trust them anymore

Btw. on some older synths there's a hi/low output jack. Eg. on my Polysix I always use the lo output so I can avoid slamming the efx and leave the remaining gain boosting to my preamp.
Old 1st December 2011
  #14
Old 1st December 2011
  #15
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maisonvague's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeHayduke View Post
...
Btw. on some older synths there's a hi/low output jack. Eg. on my Polysix I always use the lo output so I can avoid slamming the efx and leave the remaining gain boosting to my preamp.
I do the same with my Promars and Jupiter-4 which both have low/mid/high output switches on the back as well. Gotta love those old synths!
Old 1st December 2011
  #16
Gear maniac
 

I just completed the Lexicon LXP 'trilogy'
LXP-1 / 5 and remote.. Sounds pretty raw, for more creamy i would go DP4 as suggested here earlier.
Old 1st December 2011
  #17
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Mefistophelees's Avatar
The Line 6 Pod series do a whole bunch of simultaneous effects and you should be able to pick one up pretty cheap.

I've had a Pod XT live and now have the HD500 and you can do all manner of weird stuff to synths with those. They also have a pad switch so you can drive them with a synth.
Old 1st December 2011
  #18
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GeorgeHayduke's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by maisonvague View Post
I do the same with my Promars and Jupiter-4 which both have low/mid/high output switches on the back as well. Gotta love those old synths!
They may not do it all but they do it right. Hard not to love such instruments, yes!
Old 1st December 2011
  #19
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recently re-set-up my old Lexicon LXP1 - still sounds pretty good.
Old 1st December 2011
  #20
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Old 1st December 2011
  #21
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Just saw this... looks like an awesome solution.



Crossfade between two effects loops...matches level and impedance...costs about what a reamp and di would...I could definitely use this on my pedal board.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Keymaster
Old 1st December 2011
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeHayduke View Post
I was thinking the same thing :D

Though it could be luck, some 9volt pedals seem to work fine. I guess I just don't trust them anymore
Actually, it is just the opposite - I'm tired of distortion tutt & demand my synths sound clean. Could be that most of my pedals are delays, with a couple of phasers, a flanger & a harmonist. None of these cause any unwanted noise except for a Behringer Digital Delay/Reverb & even that is, as I said, only a problem with one board, so I don't use the two of them together.

And, in my continued cheer-leading of the Hardwire DL-8, from the manual (my bold italics):

"...these pedals go above and beyond their peers to provide such distinguishing features
as true bypass, high voltage operation, and true stereo processing ..."

If you come across one, give it a try - it is one of the best sounding pedals I've used.

Not completely but close to off-topic: my Boss HR2 harmonist, like most pedals of its kind, has tracking issues when dealing with more than one note, which can create an interesting wavering effect (like a short LFO), especially if it is trying to do two things (in my case, detune on A, octave down on B) at the same time - helps take the digital edge off of my electribe EA MKII.


Last edited by tjporter; 2nd December 2011 at 06:59 AM.. Reason: Second thoughts
Old 1st December 2011
  #23
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Rude Talk's Avatar
 

I really like my Ensoniq DP4. The flanger and phaser are so lush and can go so deep.

It doesn't really have a "hifi" sound but it gives sound a somewhat a more lifely or "vintage" tone.
Old 1st December 2011
  #24
Gear Addict
 

The Eventide pedals are awesome (Space, Pitchfactor, Timefactor, etc.). On the cheap, I like the Behringer V-Verb Pro , although it's a rack unit, not a pedal (has different reverb algo's/chorus/phaser/flanger).
Old 19th April 2012
  #25
Gear addict
 
BaconTastesGood's Avatar
 

I just got my Keymaster and Polysaturator hooked up, and it's pretty much magical how it handles all the problems you might run into when hooking up external pedals. This is a clip of them with my Mopho running a stock factory sequence.

EDIT: posted clip



Last edited by BaconTastesGood; 19th April 2012 at 03:55 AM.. Reason: Posted clip
Old 19th April 2012
  #26
Lives for gear
I use a TC Electronic Hall of Fame reverb pedal (about $150) with my Mopho and highly recommend it. Beautiful clean controllable reverb from a touch of ambience to cathedral in a canyon. Mono or stereo in and out. That whole line of pedals -- which includes a FlashBack delay/looper -- is spec'd for line level as well as instrument, and has no problem with a hot signal from the Mopho.
Old 19th April 2012
  #27
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verve92's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by BaconTastesGood View Post
I just got my Keymaster and Polysaturator hooked up, and it's pretty much magical how it handles all the problems you might run into when hooking up external pedals.
Is that what Vinz Clortho the KEYMASTER of Gozer from Ghostbusters would use on his rig?
Seriously, they sound nice.
Thanks for demo.
How old is this post? LOL
Old 19th April 2012
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by BaconTastesGood View Post
I just got my Keymaster and Polysaturator hooked up, and it's pretty much magical how it handles all the problems you might run into when hooking up external pedals.

EDIT: posted clip


That is really cool, I was originally looking at the Little Labs PIP for the re-amp & DI feature so that I could hook up some pedals but the Keymaster looks like a very great contender!

Btw, sorry if this is a silly question, but how does everyone process a synth with pedals if it is in stereo? Do you just run it twice and record the left & right channels separately? Or do you just stick mono synths or a single channel through it?


*update* I just read a review on the keymaster and it says you can bypass one loop so that it maintains your dry signal and allows you to mix in the wet signal from the other loop in! If it really does maintain the dry signal as-is, I'm pretty much sold on it! That is such a cool feature
Old 19th April 2012
  #29
Gear addict
 
BaconTastesGood's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishy1500 View Post
Btw, sorry if this is a silly question, but how does everyone process a synth with pedals if it is in stereo? Do you just run it twice and record the left & right channels separately? Or do you just stick mono synths or a single channel through it?
I just stick to mono out from the synth and so far this hasn't been an issue. The guitar effects pedal chain is treated like a mono => stereo effects processor. Trying to use the guitar pedal chain as a stereo processor might not be worth the trouble since guitar pedals almost all assume a mono input.

Quote:
*update* I just read a review on the keymaster and it says you can bypass one loop so that it maintains your dry signal and allows you to mix in the wet signal from the other loop in! If it really does maintain the dry signal as-is, I'm pretty much sold on it! That is such a cool feature
That's actually exactly what I do in the video. When I manipulate the Crossfade it's blending between Loop A and Loop B, but since Loop B is bypassed I'm getting dry/wet mix instead, which means I have a really nice parallel effects routing system for an entire chain of pedals.

I think the Keymaster is one of those hidden gems that should sell for a LOT more than it does given that it's not much more expensive than some DIs I've seen.

And the thing is built like a tank.
Old 19th April 2012
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by BaconTastesGood View Post
I just stick to mono out from the synth and so far this hasn't been an issue. The guitar effects pedal chain is treated like a mono => stereo effects processor. Trying to use the guitar pedal chain as a stereo processor might not be worth the trouble since guitar pedals almost all assume a mono input.



That's actually exactly what I do in the video. When I manipulate the Crossfade it's blending between Loop A and Loop B, but since Loop B is bypassed I'm getting dry/wet mix instead, which means I have a really nice parallel effects routing system for an entire chain of pedals.

I think the Keymaster is one of those hidden gems that should sell for a LOT more than it does given that it's not much more expensive than some DIs I've seen.

And the thing is built like a tank.
Thanks! That is really cool, I might end up picking one up this weekend

Btw, did you ever look into the Little Labs PIP? I wonder why it is so much more expensive than the keymaster
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