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Faking bass - EHX Pitch Fork vs. Digitech Drop (audio comparison)

whoismarykelly

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I'm about to leave for tour in a week and some internet chatter had me second guessing my choice of octave pedal for my live rig. I run a guitar amp and a bass amp simultaneously and the bass amp gets a signal that is one octave below the guitar. I currently use an EHX Pitch Fork but the internet consensus seems to be that the Digitech Drop is a superior pedal. So I ordered one. It arrived today and I knew within about 10 seconds that I was sticking with the EHX but I decided to make a clip since this is a purpose that seems popular yet there aren't any comparison clips on the web that I have seen.

Recording rig is as follows:

Guitar in E standard with a humbucker in the bridge > EHX Pitch Fork or Digitech Drop > Yamaha TH10X on the 'bass' model > Garageband

EQ on the amp is flat. No EQ or compression applied in the DAW.

Audio track is sequenced as follows:

Dry guitar > Digitech Drop > EHX Pitch Fork

The primary issue when you are faking bass guitar is volume loss in the octave down signal and extreme treble rolloff in octave pedals. Its very difficult to get away with just an octave pedal into a second amp and have it sound good. In my live rig I use a bass preamp and a compressor after the octave. In the clip, listen for the playing artifacts in each section, especially the string noise and the pick attack. One pedal sounds like it retains a lot of both and the other pedal seems to have a low pass filter well below the frequency range of those artifacts.

[soundcloud]
 

the_Chris

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Thanks for the share! There's no comparison - the Digitech Drop tracks much cleaner. The EHX has a nasty artifact that almost reminds me of the "Hum Debugger" I bought (and returned) several years ago.
 

whoismarykelly

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Thanks for the share! There's no comparison - the Digitech Drop tracks much cleaner. The EHX has a nasty artifact that almost reminds me of the "Hum Debugger" I bought (and returned) several years ago.
IMO the EHX sounds a lot more like you're playing a real bass. While playing there was no difference in tracking or latency between the two pedals.
 

KoskineN

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2,291
The Drop sounds better to me. I agree that the EHX has some weird tone to it. I've been using a Drop since it hit the stores,
especially to drop my guitars to 1/2 or one step, and so far so good, I love this pedal. Good sounds and good tracking.
 

bluenova

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414
I also like the sound of the drop in this demo better. No one will know the difference live though.
 

whoismarykelly

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I also like the sound of the drop in this demo better. No one will know the difference live though.
The difference live is quite dramatic. The Pitch Fork has punch and brightness. The Drop sounds like you have the tone rolled all the way back. Just depends on your preference for bass tones. I'd say the Pitch Fork is like a Musicman Stingray and the Drop is like a Pbass with flats.
 

the_Chris

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IMO the EHX sounds a lot more like you're playing a real bass. While playing there was no difference in tracking or latency between the two pedals.
Wow, goes to show everyone hears things differently. The "ghosting" effect on the EHX with the upper harmonics would have me running to return it, the Drop sounds EQ'd more like I like to hear bass in a mix (taking the low pass filter and chopping off the electric guitar frequencies).

Great idea for emulating a bass in your group, very cool!
 

whoismarykelly

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Wow, goes to show everyone hears things differently. The "ghosting" effect on the EHX with the upper harmonics would have me running to return it, the Drop sounds EQ'd more like I like to hear bass in a mix (taking the low pass filter and chopping off the electric guitar frequencies).

Great idea for emulating a bass in your group, very cool!
To me that sounds like pick attack on bass strings.
 

rhaas

Silver Supporting Member
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52
Dry guitar > Digitech Drop > EHX Pitch Fork
In the clip, listen for the playing artifacts in each section, especially the string noise and the pick attack. One pedal sounds like it retains a lot of both and the other pedal seems to have a low pass filter well below the frequency range of those artifacts.
The Pitch Fork has punch and brightness. The Drop sounds like you have the tone rolled all the way back.
Wow, goes to show everyone hears things differently.
Thanks for sharing! I'm confused, though. By any chance, was the actual order Dry guitar > EHX Pitchfork > Digitech Drop? To my ears, the third sample seems to retain far less in terms of definition and brightness.
 

TTBZ

Member
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802
I think the drop sounds better too. The EHX has some weird artefacts going on, almost sounds like modulation effects. But it does sound punchier. Is there no way the brightness can be eq'd back into the Drop?

I always wonder about doing something like this for a band as it's so hard to get all the band members together on the same page! Plus it works ok for riffy rock stuff as a 2pc!
 

Caprica

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1,481
I had the drop, and i can confirm it does track really well. To me that made it much easier to play.

However, I found it chewed too much power and I needed one of my 250ma ports back from my pp2+, so it had to go ...
 

whoismarykelly

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Thanks for sharing! I'm confused, though. By any chance, was the actual order Dry guitar > EHX Pitchfork > Digitech Drop? To my ears, the third sample seems to retain far less in terms of definition and brightness.
The order of the clip is as I described.
 

whoismarykelly

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His rig is similar to mine. Im running octave for the whole guitar as I dont think a separate bass pickup for only two strings contributes positively to the overall sound. Im also significantly more organized than three tuner pedals being used as mutes :D
 

DonaldDemon

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I can see the EHX cutting better in a mix, even if it sounds less authentic soloed with the Drop. Live results are what matter, go with what works best in the mix.
 

Junta

Member
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I have tried the analog ehx multiplexer, pitchfork and TC sub'n up for faking bass for recording.

I ended up with a fender jazz bass, a tube Ampeg bass amp and a 2x10 bass cabinet, but that is a different story... ;)

The TC sub'n up was much much better in my opinion, tracking and sounding 'realistic'
 

ksandvik

Member
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6,328
Hmm, my EXH Pitchfork has never had any hiss -- then again I try to isolate all power outputs for each pedal via VoodooPad PP2+.
 






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