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Free The Tone Tri Avatar dry path analog or not?

peter_heijnen

Member
Messages
2,100
The Tri Avatar sounds really great. So i've been looking into specs and stuff but i just can't figure out if the dry path is analog or digital. My experience: if a manufacturer avoids explicit terms like 'analog dry path' or 'true bypass' we can be pretty sure the products don't feature those since they are more or less explicit selling points in nowadays market.

True bypass and analog dry path are not essentials for a great pedal but i just can't stand manufactures not being simply straight about it. Especially phrases like 'Three independent pitch-modulation signal paths and one dry signal path for mixing in the analog domain' irritate me. What does it actually mean?

Judging on everything i was able to find about the Tri Avatar, i'd say it is 100% digital in and out and it uses buffered bypass. I've read several people saying that the Tri Avatars dry is analog. Maybe they can prove me wrong?
 

splatt

david torn / splattercell
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
24,929
peter, have you asked them directly, via email, FaceBook or etc?
 

S. S. Bender

Member
Messages
2,474
I can't recall any digital modulation pedal to date as having a true analog dry path. (I'm speaking specifically of digital Chorus, Flange, Phase, Tremolo, and related modulation effects) I think that comb filtering and other sonic issues would be a nightmare for electronic designers to overcome. That being said, when it comes to digital delay and reverb only pedals, analog dry path seems to be much easier for them to implement.
 

peter_heijnen

Member
Messages
2,100
peter, have you asked them directly, via email, FaceBook or etc?
No, maybe i should. I think such shouldn't be necessary since it's so incredibly easy to get that simple message out to anybody that is willing to read their manuals and specs tables.
 

peter_heijnen

Member
Messages
2,100
I can't recall any digital modulation pedal to date as having a true analog dry path. (I'm speaking specifically of digital Chorus, Flange, Phase, Tremolo, and related modulation effects)
TC has a few i know of: Corona, Vortex, Dreamscape, and probably a few more.
 

CarlGuitarist

Member
Messages
3,332
TC has a few i know of: Corona, Vortex, Dreamscape, and probably a few more.
The TC mod-pedals are not analog dry-through, Tore even said so in a recent interview on That pedal show. You can't do digital modulation with an analog dry path due to the latency. At least I've never heard of anyone pulling it off
 

peter_heijnen

Member
Messages
2,100
The TC mod-pedals are not analog dry-through, Tore even said so in a recent interview on That pedal show.
Strange, it still says so, very explicitly, on the TC site.

You can't do digital modulation with an analog dry path due to the latency. At least I've never heard of anyone pulling it off
Even more strange. Chorus is modulated delay and latency is nothing else but delay. Could you explain how latency could be any problem regarding time based effects?
 

chlorinemist

Member
Messages
647
Strange, it still says so, very explicitly, on the TC site.


Even more strange. Chorus is modulated delay and latency is nothing else but delay. Could you explain how latency could be any problem regarding time based effects?
The delay induced by the analog->digital and digital->analog conversion is generally in the <5ms range. In this range you are in danger of delaying the wet signal just enough that it layers the inverted version of the waveform on top of the dry signal, resulting in lots of unintended phase cancellation.
However, with that said, digital Strymon pedals DO feature analog dry through. So did the TC 2290 and some other gear. I don't know know what kind of engineering feats they pulled to accomplish this without phase problems.

Source audio has an interesting take on the topic also:
http://www.sourceaudio.net/blog/post/the-advantages-of-digital-dry-signal-path-design
 

peter_heijnen

Member
Messages
2,100
.....generally in the <5ms range. In this range you are in danger of delaying the wet signal just enough that it layers the inverted version of the waveform on top of the dry signal, resulting in lots of unintended phase cancellation.
Yes i know that, but since we're talking about time based fx, how hard can it be? Unless there is more to it.
 

chlorinemist

Member
Messages
647
Yes i know that, but since we're talking about time based fx, how hard can it be? Unless there is more to it.
Good question. I don't know precisely.

I notice Eventide, and most companies, take the same stance as Source: https://www.eventideaudio.com/support/faq/do-eventide-stompboxes-have-analog-dry-path

I was curious to see if I could find a rebuttal to these arguments from Strymon, but I discovered that, while the Timeline and BigSky have analog dry-through, the Mobius does not. This suggests to me that the phase issue is more problematic with modulation effects than with effects with longer delay times. Consequently, dedicated delays and reverbs can have analog dry-thru, but if the device does modulation fx (or multifx with modulation algos like H9) it seems to become more of an issue
 

AnalogKid85

Member
Messages
1,318
The delay induced by the analog->digital and digital->analog conversion is generally in the <5ms range. In this range you are in danger of delaying the wet signal just enough that it layers the inverted version of the waveform on top of the dry signal, resulting in lots of unintended phase cancellation.
Actually, this is not a big deal, and it's done on purpose for a lot of sounds too! When it's just part of the sweep, it's not such a big deal. A lot of BBD chips actually have very similar "latency" times (look up the specs for the MN3007 and you'll see what I mean).

If you've ever used a TC 1210 or a similar chorus that's capable of a short pre-delay, you'll know that this is an integral part of the "character" of those sounds. You can really get some great stuff happening there—for both chorus and flangers—but it has to be used in just the right doses. It tends to work better for wide sweeps than narrow ones when you're dealing with delay times that small (too short of a sweep=hovering around the "comb zone" too much=too much phase cancellation—something that can be put to great use for flangers, but not so useful in making a great chorus).

However, with that said, digital Strymon pedals DO feature analog dry through.
Except the Mobius!

So did the TC 2290 and some other gear. I don't know know what kind of engineering feats they pulled to accomplish this without phase problems.
No "feats" to speak of here—the 2290 just has total control over the dry signal levels AND panning (an "internal mixer," really), and this is part of many of the great FX you can do with it (you can even pan the dry signal and the wet signal in opposite directions!).

You could absolutely cook up some "phase problems" with that unit if you wanted to though ;) No safeguards there like you'd see on some more "modern" pedals.

To me, the ideal modulation pedal should be built like the 2290, or the Rocktron Intellifex/Replifex/Xpression, in that they would have the ability to bring dry analog dry signal in/out on a per-preset basis. This requires extra circuitry & control, but I think it's worth it. Some modulation FX do pretty much have to be 100% wet, but what really gets left out of pedals like the Mobius, etc. is that others really do sound better with a pure analog signal + a digital wet signal. I've experienced this firsthand, over and over again, with different units. Chorus and detune probably benefit the most from this approach. All my PCM80 chorus sounds underwent a substantial improvement the day I started mixing them in parallel :D

It doesn't have to be an "either/or" approach (analog dry vs. digital dry)—it can, and has been, a "both/and" approach, when the companies are willing to go down that path. I'm sure it's more expensive to do this, but I think it's worth it in the end.
 

peter_heijnen

Member
Messages
2,100
Good question. I don't know precisely.

I notice Eventide, and most companies, take the same stance as Source: https://www.eventideaudio.com/support/faq/do-eventide-stompboxes-have-analog-dry-path

I was curious to see if I could find a rebuttal to these arguments from Strymon, but I discovered that, while the Timeline and BigSky have analog dry-through, the Mobius does not. This suggests to me that the phase issue is more problematic with modulation effects than with effects with longer delay times. Consequently, dedicated delays and reverbs can have analog dry-thru, but if the device does modulation fx (or multifx with modulation algos like H9) it seems to become more of an issue
My first ever rackmachine -haha mid 80's, like the stone age- was the sde1000 and i loved it. It had push buttons to change delay times in ms steps. I remember once playing around with very very short delay times and changing the delay. I was very amazed about the huge differences in sound resulting from just 1 ms more or less. So i can imagine that it might take more -smaller- than single milliseconds steps to offset the latency and prevent phase problems when working with short delay times like chorus and flanging.

I have an H9 on my board and i love it, there is something about it's sound quality that i love. On the other hand i sold my Source Audio Orbital Modulator. I don't know why, but that one just didn't do it for me. I know both pedals use digital dry path, but that's obvious since both manufacturers don't play mind games via their product descriptions and manuals.
 
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peter_heijnen

Member
Messages
2,100
To me, the ideal modulation pedal should be built like the 2290, or the Rocktron Intellifex/Replifex/Xpression, in that they would have the ability to bring dry analog dry signal in/out on a per-preset basis. This requires extra circuitry & control, but I think it's worth it. Some modulation FX do pretty much have to be 100% wet, but what really gets left out of pedals like the Mobius, etc. is that others really do sound better with a pure analog signal + a digital wet signal. I've experienced this firsthand, over and over again, with different units. Chorus and detune probably benefit the most from this approach. All my PCM80 chorus sounds underwent a substantial improvement the day I started mixing them in parallel :D
Same here, with the Intellifex and Lexicon MPX1 G2. Sounding definetly better in parallel and the difference was quite big. Pity still that the serial/parallel functionality was global only.
 

drbob1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
27,156
Flanging is done with a 5+ msec delay range. But to make it work, you have to be able to manipulate it-the LFO has to move back and forth across that center delay, which is not possible with a fixed AD/A conversion delay. So you end up with a flanger that isn't able to do the shortest delays and loses some of the whackier sounds. That said, only being able to do a 10+ msec delay with maximum depth of 5 msec would still give you a lot of great sounds. What it doesn't do, as the Analog Kid has mentioned, is give you control of those sounds. So, what most of the modern modulators do is pick a subset of the available parameters and limit the end user's control-you can vary delay range over only a limited area, vary modulation also limited-basically you're recalling sounds that Source or Strymon or Boss felt were musical and modifying them a little.

In the old days with the 2290, the PCM80, the Lexicon and especially with the Marshall Time Modulator, there was no net. Want to set things so they sound awful? Go ahead. Want to increase your modulation so that it exceeds the delay time and folds over? Sure, be my guest. Was that better? Probably not, it's easy to get musical sounds with a Strymon and hard to get ugly ones. But it has lost us some of the more adventurous studio manipulation that used to be available. I don't think Frank Zappa would have been satisfied with a Strymon!
 

jnepo1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
14,721
The discriptions that I've read in the past of the Tri Avatar states: AD/DA conversion
 

peter_heijnen

Member
Messages
2,100
Flanging is done with a 5+ msec delay range. But to make it work, you have to be able to manipulate it-the LFO has to move back and forth across that center delay, which is not possible with a fixed AD/A conversion delay. So you end up with a flanger that isn't able to do the shortest delays and loses some of the whackier sounds.
Thx, that makes perfect sense.
 

jackdog

Member
Messages
49
The Tri Avatar sounds really great. So i've been looking into specs and stuff but i just can't figure out if the dry path is analog or digital. My experience: if a manufacturer avoids explicit terms like 'analog dry path' or 'true bypass' we can be pretty sure the products don't feature those since they are more or less explicit selling points in nowadays market.

True bypass and analog dry path are not essentials for a great pedal but i just can't stand manufactures not being simply straight about it. Especially phrases like 'Three independent pitch-modulation signal paths and one dry signal path for mixing in the analog domain' irritate me. What does it actually mean?

Judging on everything i was able to find about the Tri Avatar, i'd say it is 100% digital in and out and it uses buffered bypass. I've read several people saying that the Tri Avatars dry is analog. Maybe they can prove me wrong?
Hi just got this back from them

Thank you for your message. Yes, the Tri Avatar’s analog dry signal goes through to the end and will be mixed with digital signals as same as the Flight Time.
Best regards,
Emi Ohryouji
****************************
Free the Tone
 




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