Ring Modulator: Moogerfooger or Ringtone?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by staplek, Jun 21, 2006.


  1. staplek

    staplek Member

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    hey all,

    im looking for people opinions on ring modulators. i've never really used one persay so im in the dark. Both the zvex ringtone and moogerfooger seem cool. Can anyone tell me the differences? any opinions on other models out there would be helpful as well.

    thanks
     
  2. Bryan T

    Bryan T Guitar Owner Silver Supporting Member

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    Ring modulation is an interesting effect, as it can produce sounds that range from "pretty" to very, very ugly depending on the settings and what you are playing on the guitar. Both pedals are versatile, but in different ways.

    One "pretty" sound you can make with a ring modulator is to tune the carrier frequency so that it is in tune with the key in which you are playing. I've found that this allows for notes on the I chord and the IV chord to sound great, but other chords start sounding pretty dissonant. From what I know about the Ringtone, it seems that the pedal is designed to allow you to step through multiple settings. Thus, you could have one setting be in tune (or out of tune) for each chord you are playing. Pretty cool, but that use is also pretty specific. The Ringtone also has the sequencer to automatically step through the settings at a set rhythm, which is also a cool feature.

    The Moog pedal is also quite versatile. You can tune the carrier frequency from sub-audible (which produces tremolo effects) through the entire audio spectrum. Because of this, you can get tremolo sounds, clangs, bells, and fuzz like sounds out of it. The built-in LFO can modulate the carrier frequency, which allows for a lot of cool dynamic sounds. Additionally, the amount of control on the Moog with control voltages is pretty much awesome. You can use an expression pedal to control the carrier frequency, the effect mix, the speed of the LFO, or the amount of the LFO. Additionally, there is an LFO out, a carrier out, and a carrier in that allow you to patch things in interesting ways.

    If you are interested in modular synthesis, then the Moog is a no-brainer. As a stompbox it is a very nice ring modulator with lots of tones. The Z Vex is unique due to the sequencing and multiple carrier frequency settings, though I think it is pretty pricey for what you get. I personally love ring modulation, but it is definitely an acquired taste, so try before you buy.

    Bryan
     
  3. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    Bryan -

    Am I correct in assuming the ZVex has no 'mix' control, to adjust the blend of clean to ring mod? That 'just enough to know something's f-ed up but not enough to tell how' sound you can get with mixing in just a little bit of ring mod is one of my favorite sounds....anyone know what kind of RM Frisell is using on his last few records? It sounds pretty good to me.
     
  4. fyler

    fyler Member

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    the ringtone has an internal trimpot to control the mix. not the handiest place for it...
     
  5. Bryan T

    Bryan T Guitar Owner Silver Supporting Member

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    The Z Vex has the mix control inside the pedal. I love blending in just a touch of ring modulation to my clean tone for character.

    I'm not sure what Frisell is using, but it definitely brings a smile to my face when he turns it on.

    Bryan
     
  6. markom89

    markom89 Senior Member

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    I just got my Moog ring mod a few days back and Im loving every minute of it, together with my MuRF they make awsome sounds, and even alone I love it, I really like the bell sounds I can get out of it, prior to buying it I was able to try out the ZVex as well, I really liked it too, but as with all of Zachs pedals it was different, dont get me wrong its a good different, otherwise I wouldnt own several of his pedals, I just found the Ring Mod to better suit my needs, and its a bit cheaper. If you decide on the Moog I would go with the expression pedal too since it gets you some wacky sounds too, but I wasnt able to get one, musictoyz was out of stock :(
    Hope that helps a bit...
     
  7. Bryan T

    Bryan T Guitar Owner Silver Supporting Member

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    Just a tip: The Moog expression pedal isn't worth the money. It is made of plastic - fine for light home use, but I wouldn't gig with it.

    Bryan
     
  8. Aj_rocker

    Aj_rocker Member

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    I think if your going be COLOUR it has to be the ringtone, i think its a good pedal, and the videos (on zvex.com) shows only a small range of the pedal.
    However the moog looks better if you have big feet or have a phobia of breaking the tiny zvex knobs.
     
  9. markom89

    markom89 Senior Member

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    really? the moog expression pedals plastic? It says on the site its solid diecast or something like that...if it is as you say, whats a good expression pedal for it then?...(and i will be gigging it)
     
  10. staplek

    staplek Member

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    thanks all. any other opinions??
     
  11. Jumblefingers

    Jumblefingers Supporting Member

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    Don't forget about the Frantone Glacier ring mod. That is a very good sounding pedal and pretty versatile as well. There is also the Frostwave I think but have not heard it.
     
  12. Occam

    Occam Member

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    Are you running it before or after the MuRF?

     
  13. Frosted Glass

    Frosted Glass Member

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    I'm putting serious thought into building a Maestro Ring Mod clone from GGG. Don't have much experience building effects (a friend's asked me to build a Green Ringer, so that'll be a good way to cut my teeth). The exotic power supply +-15VAC + circuit and the 5 trimers to 'tune' the circuit are intimidating.
     
  14. dan-o-guitar

    dan-o-guitar Member

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    Another often overlooked pedal for ring modulation is the Electro-Harmonix Frequency Analyzer. It runs at 40 v+ so it has a huge amount of clean headroom. It's the only RM I've played through that sounds clean and fat and wonderful all at the same time.

    I just finished a re-house/true-bypass and CV-in mod for a local guy's Frequency Analyzer. It was really hard to give it back :)

    -dano
     
  15. sysexguy

    sysexguy Member

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    I'm doing the GGG build too.....but finding the time:NUTS ......re the trimpots, I chose multiturn pots on recommendation from......somewhere or someone who'd done it......the rare chip is now stocked at small bear but I found a batch at a arcade game parts web store.....go figure.

    The frostwave will likely be "the pizza if I burn the roast" :messedup or if I win the lottery, the DACs Freque......trying that was a BIG MISTAKE!!!!:jo :dude

    Andy
     
  16. forgivenman

    forgivenman Supporting Member

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    Just to chime in, I ordered the Moog expression pedal for my MuRF and... yep, cheap, light plastic. Bummer considering the amazing quality of the MuRF.
     
  17. axe2grind

    axe2grind Senior Member

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    it is cheap but it's what like 30 bucks
     
  18. Benny

    Benny Gold Supporting Member

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    The Electro-Harmonix frequency analyzer is actually quite useful in terms of connections and ease of use, and has the tone. I've gigged my current one for about 5 years with no problems, and the one I had before that worked great until it was stolen. They might even be true bypass now, but I'm not sure.
     

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