El cheapo way to get Van Halen (Van Hagar) Detune effect

Superpippo

Member
Messages
69
How to get this chorus-y tone that EVH got with his H949 Harmonizer (wet dry wet setup)? What are your experiences with:

Digitech Luxe

Mooer Pitch Box

MXR Stereo Chorus

According to Jeff Fiorentino: "Though not really a Van Halen effect as far as one that everyone who's into Van Halen has, I've found through my own tinkering that the MXR Stereo Chorus is phenomenal for dialing in an amazing mid and late era VH tone. It's a great substitute for the expensive harmonizer as well. This is the ideal Chorus effect for the Van Hagar era sound and it doesn't break the bank. Like the Phase 90 I also recommend running the stereo Chorus in the FX Loop of your amp. But again to each his own, what works for me and my specific guitar and amp setup may not be ideal for your setup, so try both ways and figure out what works best for you. Either way the settings below are a great guideline Chorus setting for the Van Halen tone, provided your amp EQ is set properly and your guitar is setup properly. (see earlier sections of this page for tips)
Standard setting (basic rule of thumb guideline only!! You'll need to tweak based on your setup): Bass = 40% Treble = 60% Intensity = 25% to 80% - depends, for sounds like on OU812, a 60%-80% setting is suggested. Width = 25% to 60% - I keep the Width setting the same or close to the Intensity setting, but no higher than 60% Rate = 10% to 25% max."
http://jfrocksguitarlessons.com/van-halen-brownsound/

TC Electronic Brainwaves
OK, this is the new one and the question is: can it play Van Halen? TC claims that "BRAINWAVES also nails the squeaky clean, watery ‘80s tones we all know and love. Or slap on some dirt and dial up a shallow detune for the secret thickening agent from Van Halen’s post-1984 tone". However, TC is well known for claiming things that are not true (e.g. tap tempo in Flashback delay II).

Oh, and what about Quintessence Harmony?
Quintessence Harmony can absolutely be used as a detuner.
Check out the “Detune” templates in the TonePrint editor (UnisonicMASH), where the harmonizer is set to unison mode. This means that the two voices are on same interval but slightly detuned.)
This is done by setting tonebend intervals for the two harmony voices to 1 halftone / -1 halftone and then mapping MASH to control tonebend percent.
Now if you set TP max/MASH max value to 100%, it will bend a full halftone up/down. However, by setting it at 30%, you just bend a couple of cents and get great “static” chorus type sounds. You can then change the degree of detuning with the MASH switch.
If you want a static detune, just set the tonebend percent parameter to a low value.
Here are the parameter settings for the dynamic detune settings, where you use the MASH switch to set amount of detune and revert back to a clean sound when MASH is released.
If you want it to be static, just set the two Tonebend percent Parameters to 5-10% or change the “mash Default” curve Modifier value to same values.
https://kb.musictribe.com/musickb/vi...d-as-a-detuner

What are your thoughts, settings, etc.?
 

plexified

Member
Messages
484
Check out this excellent demonstration by James Santiago at Voodoo Labs. He will walk you through the layers up to Diver Down. This will set the foundation for the Eventide rig that uses the micro detune. His delay was roughly 10 miliseconds, so you can hear how that impacts the tone as you get the right blend of feedback or regen. The detune kind of widens the stereo spread, but this should help you to compartmentalize each effect and recreate it with other gear. Have fun!

 

Superpippo

Member
Messages
69
The EVH Chorus doesn't really do that detune sound. Of those listed, the pitch shifters does it, like the Luxe, Quintessence and Brainwaves.
Any idea which one is the best? Luxe is discontinued, so Quintessence vs Brainwaves? Quintessence would have to go in the effects loop or after dirt, while Brainwaves (pitch shifter) before dirt? If so, a little plus for Brainwaves. But what about the sound quality?
 

Blix

Supporting Member
Messages
24,928
Any idea which one is the best? Luxe is discontinued, so Quintessence vs Brainwaves? Quintessence would have to go in the effects loop or after dirt, while Brainwaves (pitch shifter) before dirt? If so, a little plus for Brainwaves. But what about the sound quality?
I would guess the TC's are using the same base pitch tech, so the quality would be pretty much the same. But the Brainwaves are set up to do detune on the front panel, so that would be my choice. Detune have to be post dirt and/or in a loop to sound right. :)
 

Superpippo

Member
Messages
69
I would guess the TC's are using the same base pitch tech, so the quality would be pretty much the same. But the Brainwaves are set up to do detune on the front panel, so that would be my choice. Detune have to be post dirt and/or in a loop to sound right. :)
Yet it is commonly believed that Digitech Luxe sounds good before dirt?
https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/digitech-luxe.1476881/

I got one, and it sounds great. Love it as a pre-dirt effect for a 90's VH type of sound, or as a chorus with no rate/ear fatigue.
I recently got a Luxe to check out and it's great. Agreed with the above poster that it sounds particularly good before dirt.
Same applies for Brainwaves?
https://www.thegearpage.net/board/i...ronic-brainwaves-pitch-shifter.2011657/page-4
Well, this certainly isn't a "plug in and go" pedal. I think I prefer it before everything but would need to check again at proper volume levels.
Hello Rockfreak611,
For now i put the Brainwaves first (before overdrive, distortion and fuzz). Certainly it changes the way the fuzz sounds but not that much.
Still, the manual says opposite...

Anyway, thinking about trying out Brainwaves.
 
Last edited:

Blix

Supporting Member
Messages
24,928

5150

Member
Messages
271
The Digitech Luxe sucks. So does the Mooer Pitchbox. I have used the Hotone Harmony with great success. You can use two for stereo, or get a Boss PS-6 that will do stereo ($99 used). The detune effect is more prominent/effective if you use a wet/dry (two amps) setup or the best option is to run wet/dry/wet (three amps) My most simple setup was a Boss dd2 delay and a Hotone Harmony in the effects loop of my single amp. EVH Chorus does not do detune, is inspired by DC-30 chorus. I tried it, no dice. Of course, nothing will beat an Eventide H9 or Pitch Factor (micropitch algorithm).
 
Last edited:

Superpippo

Member
Messages
69
The Digitech Luxe sucks. So does the Mooer Pitchbox. I have used the Hotone Harmony with great success. You can use two for stereo, or get a Boss Ps-6 that will do stereo. The detune effect is more prominent/effective if you use a wet/dry (two amps) setup or the best option is to run wet/dry/wet (three amps) My most simple setup was a Boss dd2 delay and a Hotone Harmony in the effects loop of my single amp.
Hey man! I am confused. Few years ago you said
Trust me, Mooer Pitchbox, set to detune, -2 is all you need. $88 minus some coupon and you're in business. Beats H9 in cost and ease of usability, not to mention power draw, plus not having to worry about it getting stolen. Van Hagar 1993-1995 is my favorite sound of all time and my Mooer Pitchbox gets me there no prob. Mind you, I had the BOSS PS-5 before I bought the Mooer Pitchbox, and the BOSS PS-5 sounded nowhere near as good or accurate as the Mooer.
What about your settings for Hotone Harmony? 10 cents? What about the dry/wet knobs?


***
My amp has no FX loop. Can I run the FX in front of the amp, and get dirt and delay from the amp?

I know the second option is to get a distortion pedal, run the amp clean, and place effects normally placed in the FX loop in front of the amp.

***
I would guess the TC's are using the same base pitch tech, so the quality would be pretty much the same. But the Brainwaves are set up to do detune on the front panel, so that would be my choice. Detune have to be post dirt and/or in a loop to sound right. :)
Gotcha! However... :) Now I am leaning towards TC Quintessence Harmony. In addition to detune I would be able to do some intelligent harmonizing. This way I will get the two-in-one package.
 
Last edited:

5150

Member
Messages
271
@Superpippo: Mooer Pitchbox - true, I said that 4 years ago! but, new insights, new lessons learned. In my case, I discovered that with my Mooer Pitchbox, I had a audible flanging effect in my amp with the effect OFF. Then it suddenly stopped working. After maybe two years of light use - so not reliable and noisy in my experience. After that one died, I got the Digitech Luxe, which sounded terrible. Thin, artificial. The Mooer Pitchbox sounded better for less. I subsequently got a Hotone Harmony, and quickly bought another one, so I was able to do wet/dry/wet. If you do not have an effects loop, no problem, just get the LO-1 from David Bray. A little box that sits between your amp and your speaker (cab), and allows you to send a direct 'line out' signal to feed an effects pedal (eg. delay and/or detune). You will however need to feed that effect to a separate amp, can even be a little cheapie practice amp. Feeding a detune in front of the amp is unlikely to work as well, as Blix has pointed out already. Settings on the Hotone Harmony are 5 and 7 (-5 cents and +5 cents, where '6' is 0, or double). I've tried the -10 and +10 (4 and 9 on the Hotone), but found that a little overbearing with my setup.

https://www.hotoneaudio.com/downloads/manual/skyline/Harmony Manual.pdf

You can however, also go for a BOSS PS6, as I mentioned. Ultimately, the only way to truly replicate the Van Hagar sound is to use separate amps. At minimum, you need to use 2. It will not sound the same in an effects loop. The whole reason wet/dry(wet) is used is to retain the distorted dry sound, ie. have it be unaffected by the delays and detuning. The delays and detune are there to widen the sound, and are mixed in with a little dry in each of the outer 'wet' cabinets. Brian May does the same thing, for the same reason - it does not muddy or alter the core amp sound, as it would if you run it through an effects loop. I hope that helps. For what it's worth, I've graduated to an Eventide H9 Harmonizer, and I'm very happy with that setup. Totally worth it.

Here's more on the wet/dry(wet) setup, and the why:

 
Last edited:

Superpippo

Member
Messages
69
I would guess the TC's are using the same base pitch tech, so the quality would be pretty much the same. But the Brainwaves are set up to do detune on the front panel, so that would be my choice. Detune have to be post dirt and/or in a loop to sound right. :)
So, assuming no FX loop and to make it cheap, can I wire it like that:

Clean Amp - Delay - TC Quintessence (Detune) - Distortion pedal - Wah

Alternatively, is it OK to use built-in amp delay instead of delay pedal when doing that detune sound or not? The less pedals the better.
Thank you kindly for your feedback.
 

Superpippo

Member
Messages
69
So... my proposed pedal order:
Clean Amp - Delay - TC Quintessence (detune pedal) - Distortion pedal - Wah

I PM'ed the guys and:
Blix thinks this order is OK.
5150 claimed detune after delay
Riffa thinks delay should go before dirt.

how many people, so many opinions:)
 

Waldo Nova

Member
Messages
238
The EVH Chorus doesn't really do that detune sound. Of those listed, the pitch shifters does it, like the Luxe, Quintessence and Brainwaves.
Doesn't do the detune sound?? The EVH Chorus IS a pitch shifter. Just to recap: you ask for a EVH detune solution, the EVH branded solution for a detuned effect created for this very situation is at your disposal... and you keep looking.
 

5150

Member
Messages
271
Doesn't do the detune sound?? The EVH Chorus IS a pitch shifter. Just to recap: you ask for a EVH detune solution, the EVH branded solution for a detuned effect created for this very situation is at your disposal... and you keep looking.
Sit down, Waldo! ;) Blix is correct. The EVH Chorus does NOT do the detune from the Van Hagar years. Tried it. Nope.
 

5150

Member
Messages
271
So... my proposed pedal order:
Clean Amp - Delay - TC Quintessence (detune pedal) - Distortion pedal - Wah

I PM'ed the guys and:
Blix thinks this order is OK.
5150 claimed detune after delay
Riffa thinks delay should go before dirt.

how many people, so many opinions:)
Thing is, it depends on what you like. You ask for our opinions, and you will get different answers. There is no right, or 'correct' way to do it. Just your way. And mine. And that's perfectly ok! Have fun!
 

Blix

Supporting Member
Messages
24,928
Doesn't do the detune sound?? The EVH Chorus IS a pitch shifter. Just to recap: you ask for a EVH detune solution, the EVH branded solution for a detuned effect created for this very situation is at your disposal... and you keep looking.
It's not a pitch shifter that does detune.
It's basically the chorus section of a Roland DC-30 in pedal form...
 

Jason_77

Member
Messages
7,218
I have a Luxe and I think it works well. It definitely adds that extra something you need for a convincing VH tone. I use mine in the loop of my Power Station, so it's after my Superlead. I wish it could shift up and down simultaneously but that's a minor complaint.
 




Trending Topics

Top