Drop tuning - what's the best multi-fx?

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by Lele, Feb 4, 2012.

  1. Lele

    Lele Member

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    In my new band playing country rock, I have to drop the tuning too often (just 2 semitones). I just have one guitar and I love it, so the idea to get a cheap second guitar for the alternate tuning is not my target for now.

    I have the Digitech RP500, but I had never used the pitch effect.
    Yesterday, I tried it to detune (-2 semitones) and it's really awful. Very audible latency, and a bad chorused sound is the result, specially with chords, and I have to play also a lot of chords with open strings!

    Do you have any experience with other multi-fx (except for the hi-end expensive rack modelers) if there is something that can get me a good detuning to play live?
    I saw also a pedal - Morpheus Drop Tune - that seems to be good, but I know, maybe I should open a thread in the pedal section...
     
  2. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Member

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    I'm not sure of the RP500, but with the RP1000, the tuner allows for drop tuning. I'm not sure how practical that would be if you need to make changes on-the-fly, but in between songs/sets it could work for you.
     
  3. Lele

    Lele Member

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    The RP500 and RP1000 have the same processor. They are great modelers, but - simply - the pitch shifter effect is not usable for live playing for the reasons I said...
     
  4. RafterRattler

    RafterRattler Member

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    I've done this with my GT-8, but it's only good to about -1 before it sounds terrible. I've been considering the Morpheus, but I've read reviews that say the new Whammy DT does a better job. I haven't tried either yet.

    I guess the other option is to wait a few months and pick up the new Peavey auto-tune guitar for $500.

    RR
     
  5. lp_bruce

    lp_bruce Member

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    If you're looking for a pedal to detune for you, none of the mid-level MFX (like the RP, GT, HD) are polyphonic. So you can play a single string tuned down without an issue, but not chords. For that you need something like a Morpheus.

    Peace,
     
  6. scotchtape800

    scotchtape800 Member

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    Do you mean are NOT polyphonic?

    I had the drop tune. It's ok for live use but... if you actually listen closely, it kind of sucks. The tone isn't that great. Should be able to get one cheap on eBay ~ $120 or less used. At this point I don't think there are any good affordable options, but I think this will change in the next few years, maybe...
     
  7. green72

    green72 Member

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    I have the Morpheus, it works, but adds a slight chorusy effect. It's not too noticable with distortion, but you will notice it for cleans.

    Very little if any latency. It'll work if you just want to drop tune for a few songs. I did the exact same thing for a cover band I was in. We did a handful of songs that needed flat tunings, and it worked fine.
     
  8. lp_bruce

    lp_bruce Member

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    Yes, they are NOT polyphonic, which is why they sound like crap when you hit chords. The unit is searching for a note to drop and will latch on to just one or switch between them.

    I personally think you would be better off just getting another guitar and drop tuning it. There are plenty of decent, affordable guitars out there. I would consider it an investment and good planning. I ALWAYS gig with a backup.

    ... but it's your money...

    Peace,
     
  9. shasha

    shasha Member

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    I had a Morpheus too, experienced the exact same things. It's good for 1/2 step, usable for 1 full step, everything else gets pretty bad until you get up to the octave range where it's pretty good again.

    I also tried this with a L6 M5 and it was pretty much the same. Of course with the M5 you can hook up an expression pedal and use it as a whammy, but it's got it's own set of problems. But what's nice about it is that there are a ton of other effects it can do so I look at it as a swiss army knife that covered a bunch of oddball effects that I wasn't going to use often and only took up one slot. The modulations were good, the distortions were kind of mehhh. But I think that it's a good pedal if you only need one effect from something at a time.

    And polyphony is the key issue. On single notes these aren't bad, but once you start using chords or even do some vibrato and bends it starts to try to play catch up and you can hear it.
     
  10. Lele

    Lele Member

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    Thanks for the comments and the help!
    So, apart from the Antares Autotune that could really be a revolutionary product (when and what price will be important, too!) it seems that the Morpheus Droptune is the only viable solution today. The web sample I found are not bad at all for what I need, and it seems that it is better than the Digitech Whammy DT model.

    Now, out of curiosity, does the AXE Standard has a drop tune effect that is usable live for chords? From the wiki Axe page, I see a pitch shifter for polyphonic sources but it seems that its quality/efficiency is not that good ('cause they don't tell the world about it).
     
  11. bammbamm

    bammbamm Member

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    That's a flawed assumptions. Just because a feature is not highlighted, it does not mean it is no good. Anyways, I had an Ultra and the drop tune is just as good as the Morpheus.

    http://forum.fractalaudio.com/axe-f...x-ii-fx-ii-vs-ultra-vs-morpheus-droptune.html
     
  12. germanicus

    germanicus Member

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    Other option is get a gr55/vg99/ or Variax.

    Any of these can switch to whatever tuning you want instantaneously (and are polyphonic).
     
  13. shasha

    shasha Member

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    Well I'll just add that I have an old VG8 that'd probably fetch about $300 on e-Bay that does pitch shifting and alternate tuning extremely well. But the reason is because it's not actually polyphonic processing, each string is picked up individually by the hexaphonic pickup so it's a lot easier for it to latch onto for pitch shifting. It also does a pretty good acoustic and 12 string.

    Considering they're going used for about a tenth of what they did new isn't something I'm thrilled with though.
     
  14. glenndelune

    glenndelune Member

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    Line6 has an effect in the M5 (and the M9, M13 etc.) called Pitch Glide. It works very well, I use to drop down to Eb. I have the Morpheus too and it's OK but it does alter the tone. The Pitch glide is almost transparent.
     
  15. lp_bruce

    lp_bruce Member

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    I'm fairly certain the Pitch Glide is monophonic (from what I can see on the L6 site). To detune your guitar for chords, polyphonic is what you want.

    Peace,
     
  16. germanicus

    germanicus Member

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    What you are describing IS polyphonic. Per string pickups (hexaphonic pickups) are still called polyphonic processing, even though each pickup is only processing one string. The unit itself is polyphonic.
     
  17. shasha

    shasha Member

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    It processes the signals independently first and then comhines them so it's called cheating. :p Or perhaps smart.

    Either way the GK pickups kind of suck anyway. I mean they're not horrible, but you lose sustain and if you have a tremolo it dies really quickly.
     
  18. shasha

    shasha Member

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    I had one, it will do polyphonic almost as well as the Morpheus, but its still nothing to write home about IMO. As a matter of fact I think that in some cases it was better, but none of these are perfect.

    I don't remember how good the Ultra was at it, but I did fire up a patch on the II earlier that was 1/2 step down (high gain). Swapped out the amp and cab for something even more aggressive and got down about six steps and it sounded very good. Tracking seemed to be really solid (better than I remember the Ultra being). Then I went to a clean amp and it started to show some warts. Same low volume chorusing type issues that plagues most of them after you get to a certain point. I didn't have the amp levels set well, but the pitch block is the first thing in the chain so it shoulldn't have mattered in terms of what I was hearing.

    But for high gain stuff it was extremely convincing.

    If I had no alternative and had to pick a pedal I'd probably lean towards the L6 because I seem to remember it tracking better (plus the Morpheus is such a one trick pony and isn't any better), but I do think that Eventide makes one as well. I never got a chance to check it out and it's pricey.
     
  19. Blix

    Blix Member

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    I think you'll find adding a second guitar will be a much better solution.
     
  20. lp_bruce

    lp_bruce Member

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    Completely agree. All of these devices are pretty cool, but an actual detuned guitar will sound better.

    Peace,
     

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