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Source Audio Orbital Modulator - replace my boutique mod pedals?

T-Wire

Member
Messages
183
I have a Retrosonic phaser and chorus (script phase 90 and CE1 clones), Hartman flanger and Sweetsound Mojovibe. They get little use these days and don't all fit on my board.
Have any OM users compared the OM to similar vintage or boutique analog pedals? If so, how does it compare tone-wise?
I'm wondering if it can replace all the above.
Thanks
 

jasonmitsch

Member
Messages
37
I haven't used an Orbital specifically, but I own 3 SA pedals (OFD, Manta, and Dimension). I've found that with any modeling vs analog debate you need to ask yourself:

Do you like your boutique/vintage/analog pedal for the inherent quirks and baked in qualities it possesses? or do just like the type of effect it can do, and would benefit from getting close enough? And if you're on the fence, remember the digital modelling can offer a lot more options in terms of easy presets, expression parameter controls, and new things analog could never do.

For me, the obvious choice has been obvious to go digital. My board is almost all digital pedals. But I also play bass and use a solid state head, so my opinion is a bit different from most around here.
 

T-Wire

Member
Messages
183
I suppose my main concern about a digital modulation pedal is that it minght not fully recreate the warm, thick, chewy nature of my current pedals. I also wonder how well it will mix with overdrive/fuzz as I've never been terribly pleased with digital modulation in that regard.
Having said that, it's been years since I even tried a digital modulation medal so it may be that my concerns are no longer valid as I know modelling, etc has moved on rapidly since then!
 

Mr. Limbic

Member
Messages
3,096
Nice choice of mod pedals there! I just did the tourbox and was really impressed with it. I hunk you would be happy with it. It even sounds warmer and more "analog" than my H9. I was also able to basically clone my phase 90 sound
 

mkr1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
887
I agree with Mr. Limbic. I was also on the Tourbox and got a nice phaser sound that could replace my Retro-Sonic. But it came up short vs the specific warble of the RS Chorus/Vibrato.
 

Goldwing

Member
Messages
498
Yes, but you can only have 2 presets... so basically you need to adjust settings-effects for each song you play. And although most of the times we stick with just one setting for one effect, still with this pedal, you need to adjust it when you need flanger..oh wait next song needs a phaser and I don't have it on a preset..need to go down and adjust it again before the song... maybe I'm just lazy but this doesn't work for me. Hope it works for others, it's all good.. cheers!
 

cubistguitar

Member
Messages
6,144
I agree Goldwing, but you can add the midi hub pretty cheaply and get access to at least 128 presets with a controller that saves patches. The same midi hub can be a host for 4 other Source Audio devices , and the usb helps display preset controls for each effect. Good add on to the product line to expand them into full system solutions.
 

Jet Age Eric

Member
Messages
7,681
The SA phasers, in particular are excellent, as is the Flanger on the Orbital. My big box Small Stone and Maxon FL-9 have been off my board for a couple of months now. These aren't effects I use a lot, so it's not like my babies have been replaced, but I am picky about my sound in all things, and the Orbital and Manta are not lacking. -E
 

ChampReverb

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
12,051
For me it largely comes down to control interface.

I prefer the discrete controls on my existing modulation pedals to those of the Orbital.

I want to be able to reach down and quickly tweak a setting without having to scroll around or flip through button modes.

-bEn r.
 

nateco

Member
Messages
3,556
The pros of this pedal outweigh the cons...IMO

I'm not a big modulation user....but like to mess around with it every once in a while. I don't ever think that I'm using digital with this pedal...which is good.

It covers all my modulation needs in a small footprint...and surprisingly, works off a 100ma tap from my power supply.

The low retain is great for fattening things up.

With the shape knob, it'll do a lot of sounds other pedals won't do, but I usually stick to the stock shape...maybe a little square wave every once in a while.

The Phasers are great.
The chorus is good+
Flanger is good++
The Vibe is ok....useable, not as good as an Aqua Vibe or Dejavibe, but better than others.

Tremolo is an add on, not a true trem replacement....but along with the shape knob, will let you create some really unique sounds.

Tap tempo is great, not something I'm used to having on these type of effects.

Two presets is all I need. If you hold down the option button for a couple seconds, it will set the chosen effect to a factory preset, which are surprisingly good. I'll set two presets to the foot switches, ones were I've tweaked the effect. The stock presets on most of the others are great, so it just takes a single knob turn to get to it... then tap tempo lets me set the speed...it's much more usable than just 2 presets would lead you to believe.

I didn't like the fact that the expression pedal input is not a trs ¼" jack, you need their exp pedal.

It's not the easiest pedal to master. Out of the box it was easy to dial in some great sounds, but it took me a couple weeks to get the most out of it.

Weather it replaces the high end modulation you have now, I can't say. It probably depends on how much those effects are part of your sound.

The Orb is great pedal, sounds great, lots of features, compact, usable tones. Weather it's better than any single effect, probably better than most, not as good as some....I don't expect it to beat every pedal for a given effect, but it would beat a lot of them, it's like having twelve 3rd place finishers...which is good enough for me.
 

ERGExplorer

Member
Messages
6,051
The Orbital Modulator got a lot of notice when someone on TalkBass was posted some blind pedal clips and asked for opinions. The Orbital beat out even analog pedals as being the most analog sounding, and was the top choice.

I can't find the topic right now, but it's come up here on TGP.
 

rsmith601

Vendor
Messages
6,763
The Orbital Modulator got a lot of notice when someone on TalkBass was posted some blind pedal clips and asked for opinions. The Orbital beat out even analog pedals as being the most analog sounding, and was the top choice.

I can't find the topic right now, but it's come up here on TGP.


This is the link to the shootout between the Orbital and a collection of higher end analog phasers. When not using eyes, analog pedals can sound digital and digital pedals can sound analog.

http://www.talkbass.com/threads/a-quick-6-phaser-shootout.1024989/
 

SigurWes

Member
Messages
55
I couldn't stand the chorus on the Orbital. Nothing on its pile of features could make it not sound metallic. There was no warmth to be found at all.

The other sounds were fine, but I returned it over the bad chorus.
 

NewDr.P

Member
Messages
2,291

nic'o'caster

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,291
Does the Orbital do the Hartman flanger Electric Mistress type of sound ?
Nope ! That was the only deal breaker for me. Besides that great pedal.
 

ERGExplorer

Member
Messages
6,051
Interesting. I think Jules-RM said the Orbital's chorus sounded better than the Modfactor. I've also heard that it compares favorably with the Mobius.

I'd recommend the OP actually give it a try in person, or at least listen to demos. I've witnessed folks who heard metallic artifacts even in what was just captured natural reverberation in a church, so I believe that people's perceptions can vary. It's worth the OP seeing if he or she falls into that same category or not.
 

rsmith601

Vendor
Messages
6,763
this is the notion i was going to state, im glad someone has already proven it to be true.

its amazing how looks and internet bragging rights influences sound to some people. :rotflmao

I have mentioned the Stradivarius blind test project before. All of the best players picked the Strad when they could see what it was. Most picked the modern instrument when they could not.

JohnK was the most interesting person to participate in the TalkBass discussion. His collection of analog pedals he has made and collected is epic. His previous dislike of digital was also epic. This shootout changed him forever. His page on overdrives and fuzzes is without any comparison that I have seen. He has 264 of them. Here is the link:
http://johnkvintageguitars.homestead.com/Overdrive-Pedals.html
 

rck

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,081
I couldn't stand the chorus on the Orbital. Nothing on its pile of features could make it not sound metallic. There was no warmth to be found at all.

The other sounds were fine, but I returned it over the bad chorus.
I love the Chorus on the Orbital, as much as the Mobius in fact; Flanger and Zero Thru Flanger were as good as the Mobs'.

What I notice with the SA products I have is, they can not only come very close to replicating traditional effects' sounds, but can also have very unique sounds themselves and the Orb def falls in this category.

Very inspiring products.
Interesting. I think Jules-RM said the Orbital's chorus sounded better than the Modfactor. I've also heard that it compares favorably with the Mobius.

I'd recommend the OP actually give it a try in person, or at least listen to demos. I've witnessed folks who heard metallic artifacts even in what was just captured natural reverberation in a church, so I believe that people's perceptions can vary. It's worth the OP seeing if he or she falls into that same category or not.
 

WhoJamFan

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,574
Does it clip or distort if you hit it with a slightly hot clean tone? I loved the sound of the Dispatch Master I had a few years ago, but it couldn't take my Les Paul pickups without it getting that "digital distortion" sound.
 




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