Synth Swells, strings etc.

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by fenderbender4, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. fenderbender4

    fenderbender4 Gold Supporting Member

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    Does anyone know of an effect besides the Digitech EX-7 and XP300 that do the synth swell/strings orchestra effect? That's something I'd love to find, but haven't seen any. Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. NewarkWilder

    NewarkWilder Member

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    probably not exactly what you're thinking of but i imagine a EHX HOG/Volume pedal combo could produce some cool results
     
  3. fishlog

    fishlog Member

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    The POG or the HOG and the Micro Synth But you should read my little spat with EHX on the newest version of the Micro Synth before you buy one.

    Despite the sustain problems with the newest version the older ones really do a nice job with the filter attack and that classic Moog sound.
     
  4. fenderbender4

    fenderbender4 Gold Supporting Member

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    Bump for more input. Thanks.
     
  5. dreed

    dreed Member

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    The Verbzilla from line6 has an Octo setting that adds a synth/string like octave to what you're playing. check out the demo from the proguitarshop guys.
     
  6. GuiltySpark

    GuiltySpark Supporting Member

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    I combine an octive, DS-1, and the auto-volume feature on the DL4 to get this effect. I also have to apply a liberal amount of finger vibrato to really imitate the violin sound.
     
  7. vulcaniza P

    vulcaniza P Member

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    just get the digitech ex 7
     
  8. g-nem

    g-nem Member

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    The string swell effect is really a combo of different effects- a triggered volume swell (slow gear), pitch shifter, and delay. You can mix and match individual pedals, or find a device that does all three and roll your own. Boss Multi-fx I know have all the ingredients. I'm sure there are lots of others. As with everything, though, not every combo will get the sound you want to hear. If you really want the space station sound, get an ex7. If you want something similar but different, experiment.
     
  9. rogue.guineapig

    rogue.guineapig Member

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    +1
    I really like it a lot
     
  10. KagakuNinja

    KagakuNinja Member

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    Use a fuzzface with the volume rolled off, and/or light OD pedal, then send volume swells into a delay at about 50% regen. This works for me.
     
  11. iualum

    iualum Member

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    ...yeah, the EX-7 & Verbzilla are both the ticket...the Space Station & Octo settings were my reasons for buying the pedals & they alone are well worth the price of admission...

    ...and of course, both the POG & HOG are among the greatest pedals ever made...
     
  12. paulgroove82

    paulgroove82 Supporting Member

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    I use an OCD, PS-3 up 8va and an old Ibanez AD9 cranked rather high.

    Oh yeah, don't forget the diads and volume pedal!
     
  13. jaywalker

    jaywalker Member

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    My board is setup for trancey type stuff (do a lot of sessions as an FX guy)
    here's a demo, it's not just one pedal though:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QJ5aWKcJ8U

    there's a few more demos on my youtube featuring trancey octave stuff as well.
     
  14. ben_allison

    ben_allison Member

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    First, let's identify the major differences between guitars and the sounds you're trying to emulate.

    With something like synths or strings, what immediately jumps out is that they have different volume envelopes. Guitars have a very fast attack time while strings do not. So we need to shape the attack. The best way to do this is with a volume pedal. Autoswell's just don't work – they can't read your brain and they respond in an inconsiderate manner.

    So, we need a volume pedal.

    What else? Well, strings also have (potentially) infinite sustain – just keep bowing or holding down keys as long as you want.

    There are two ways to address with issue. First, distortion. If dialed in properly, what you end up with is increased sustain and tone shapping that imparts a "string" like quality. Second, the eBow. This offers the same kind of "infinite sustain" that string and synth player enjoy. Alternatively, you could use an actual bow. Plenty of fun to be had (just listen to Sigur Ros).

    Thirdly, we could benefit from some polyphony. The Pog or Micro Pog are as good as it gets. While not necessary, they will certainly not hurt.

    Fourthly, and most importanly, space. This is where we start to depart from the strict "strings" model we've been working with. By employing time-based effects, we hope to smeasr and spread out one narrow signal to fill up a broad portion of the soundstage. By using reverb and/or delay, and we turn a singular sound into a much more enveloping "pad."

    It might be boring, but those are the building blocks:

    - volume pedal
    - delay (preferably with modulation)

    These two devices are all we need to create soundscapes, however, they will become more interesting when we add:

    - distortion
    - octave/harmonizers

    Beyond this, any effects that inspire you or your audience are welcome, but they will probably not allow you to "fill up more space" than the simply act of using reverbs and delays properly.

    Best of luck.
     
  15. fishlog

    fishlog Member

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    Ben-Allison really good break down...

    The thing with delays as you said they can't read when your trying to sustain a note or keep it tight. They are tempo based effects (thus the need or want for one with tap tempo). Now the way I do it is with the Micro synth. It has an envelope filter which is attack sensitive, Fuzz, and Octaves (low and high). after the Micro I do run a delay usually not set at a typical setting but with modulation or what ever to get that spacey-haunting effect so that so that notes float away and are not quit as direct as the MS alone.

    There is no doubt in my mind that the Micro Synth is the way to start. after all if your looking for synth it is a synth (or a synth emulator)! many of these other suggestions just create that Gilmore type guitar spacey-ness. The MS gets you to that Flaming lips area. A lot of the pedals people are suggesting also just have one setting where it emulates a synth. The MS has a countless number of synth effects to dial in and emulate.
     
  16. ben_allison

    ben_allison Member

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    i almost forgot: if you really want "synth" sounds, fishlog, great suggestion! another great one is the boss bass synth pedal. works great for guitar too.
     

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