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Vendor UltraWave - Multiband Processor: Next Generation Multiwave

rsmith601

Vendor
Messages
6,232
As mentioned a few times, we are planning on putting the Multiwave Distortion technology into our One Series housing. The purpose of this thread is to better understand what people might want to see in such a product.

For those of you who may not know, the Multiwave Distortion blended a few different things together that are either really difficult or downright impossible using analog circuits.

First, on most sounds the guitar signal is split into ten separate bands, and each band is distorted separately. The allows for each guitar string to finds its own path through the distortions and one can play complex cords with unusually high levels of clarity. The second thing is foldback distortion, which is much more interesting and complex than simple clipping. This white paper is a really good overview of all the technical stuff. (scroll down a bit)
https://www.sourceaudio.net/technology.html

So what does it sound like? Pete Thorn did one of the best videos. It covers some, but not all, of the key sounds:

I guess the first question is should we do this pedal at all? I know a few of you love it. Many others find the sounds to be too different. Why did we sell so few of them?
  1. Soundblox housings too weird?
  2. Sounds too non-traditional?
  3. Did not know/trust Source Audio back then.
It is interesting that a handful of artists got REALLY into this pedal: Reeves Gabrels, Adrian Belew, Steven Wilson, Chuck Garvey, Jake Cinninger.

Should we stick to the same basic feature set of the past pedals? (simple EQ and noise gate) What about using the envelopes from the C4/Spectrum to morph or crossfade from one distortion tone to another? In the past one could use the expression input to morph from one sound to another. Not cross-fading, but really going from one sound to another with all points in between. It was really cool (try doing that with an analog pedal!

Any other thoughts?
 

3waytie4last

Unfluencer
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
4,379
Super squelchy.

Can you tune the 10 bands individually? That's the first thing that occurred to me as something I might be interested in.
 

Killshakes

Member
Messages
1,563
I would say numbers (1) and (3), coupled with a persistent aversion to digital distortion effects. I think people may feel differently now (for the most part), especially if you can bring something new—and musical—to the table.
 

Peetlett

Member
Messages
54
I’m definitely interested. I have the pro version (actually my first of many SA pedals) and love it. I was considering getting the SB2 version since it’s much more pedalboard friendly, then saw you were thinking about bringing it to the 1 Series format. So I’ve been waiting.

I’m guessing it was too weird sounding for guitarists used to classic distortion sounds. But, synthetic stuff is obviously getting more popular, so it might be more welcome now. It would be awesome to have some envelope controlled stuff in there. Being able to manipulate each of the 10 bands individually could be really interesting, too. Panning, volume, EQ, etc. Then you’d also be able to use it as a crossover.

If you were to include some traditional engines from the LA Lady/Kingmaker (or a new take on them), I think it would make it more approachable for the average guitarist looking to explore a bit.
 

MojoRisin

Member
Messages
1,098
Why did we sell so few of them?
  1. Soundblox housings too weird?
    • That housing is pretty hideous. :) It looks more like a kitchen scale than a guitar pedal. Put it in your newer form factor (Ventris, Nemesis, Collider, etc.) and you have a winner in that department.
  2. Sounds too non-traditional?
    • I personally love that. Different is good, but we all know there are a lot of stalwarts out there who are stuck in their ways and lack any interest in moving outside the box. Something like this is bound to have less market appeal than more simple distortion boxes no matter what you do. I'm betting it will appeal to younger players more often than older ones....just sayin'. Unfortunately the younger players don't usually have the bank to invest in the newest tech, so it's sort of a catch 22.
  3. Did not know/trust Source Audio back then.
    • Guilty. I've really only started looking close at your products over the last year and will likely make my first purchase (the Collider) this week.
I think if you make it Neuro capable so users can connect and tweak things to their taste, then the more creative options the better. I won't pretend to understand all the possibilities with something like this, but I'm all for unique sounds and innovation, so bring it.
 

4b454e

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
5,436
Why did we sell so few of them?
  1. Soundblox housings too weird?
    • That housing is pretty hideous. :) It looks more like a kitchen scale than a guitar pedal. Put it in your newer form factor (Ventris, Nemesis, Collider, etc.) and you have a winner in that department.
  2. Sounds too non-traditional?
    • I personally love that. Different is good, but we all know there are a lot of stalwarts out there who are stuck in their ways and lack any interest in moving outside the box. Something like this is bound to have less market appeal than more simple distortion boxes no matter what you do. I'm betting it will appeal to younger players more often than older ones....just sayin'. Unfortunately the younger players don't usually have the bank to invest in the newest tech, so it's sort of a catch 22.
  3. Did not know/trust Source Audio back then.
    • Guilty. I've really only started looking close at your products over the last year and will likely make my first purchase (the Collider) this week.
I think if you make it Neuro capable so users can connect and tweak things to their taste, then the more creative options the better. I won't pretend to understand all the possibilities with something like this, but I'm all for unique sounds and innovation, so bring it.
+1 to all this (except #1 - see below) particularly the bit about not really grokking all the possibilities.

I’ve been wanting to explore SA multiwave work, but decided to wait until they came to the one series. I’m particularly interested in the routing and editing advances. I think routing should match the current one series dirtboxes.

Also, would love to see some of the traditional dirt engines available. But only because I am a cheapass! Actually, I think it might be better to NOT have any of the traditional models, to keep this distinct.


As to #1, the SB2 enclosures are inexplicably polarizing and definitely shut off a lot of peoples ears.
@MojoRisin you’re clearly not in the “ears-off” camp but I can’t help but notice some tension between your points 1 and 2 ;)

I liked them myself, they caught my eye and then the SA way, if you will, brought me further in.


Anyhoo, subscribed :)
 

Gibs210

Member
Messages
8,266
As mentioned a few times, we are planning on putting the Multiwave Distortion technology into our One Series housing. The purpose of this thread is to better understand what people might want to see in such a product.

For those of you who may not know, the Multiwave Distortion blended a few different things together that are either really difficult or downright impossible using analog circuits.

First, on most sounds the guitar signal is split into ten separate bands, and each band is distorted separately. The allows for each guitar string to finds its own path through the distortions and one can play complex cords with unusually high levels of clarity. The second thing is foldback distortion, which is much more interesting and complex than simple clipping. This white paper is a really good overview of all the technical stuff. (scroll down a bit)
https://www.sourceaudio.net/technology.html

So what does it sound like? Pete Thorn did one of the best videos. It covers some, but not all, of the key sounds:

I guess the first question is should we do this pedal at all? I know a few of you love it. Many others find the sounds to be too different. Why did we sell so few of them?
  1. Soundblox housings too weird?
  2. Sounds too non-traditional?
  3. Did not know/trust Source Audio back then.
It is interesting that a handful of artists got REALLY into this pedal: Reeves Gabrels, Adrian Belew, Steven Wilson, Chuck Garvey, Jake Cinninger.

Should we stick to the same basic feature set of the past pedals? (simple EQ and noise gate) What about using the envelopes from the C4/Spectrum to morph or crossfade from one distortion tone to another? In the past one could use the expression input to morph from one sound to another. Not cross-fading, but really going from one sound to another with all points in between. It was really cool (try doing that with an analog pedal!

Any other thoughts?
Man I love watching that solo from @sinasl1 its like an octavia on steroids sound. Been awhile since I’ve seen that video.

I might be an SA employee now, but I’ve never got my hands on any of these, so I’m curious what a 1 series unit would turn out like. I think the demo does a good job of showing that these things can do some traditional sounds with a certain amount of edge that you would never get out of a traditional pedal.
 

fitzo

Greybeard
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,825
I will be heartbroken if you choose not to make this into a One Series offering. :(

I have wanted one since I first saw Pete's vid, but when he held the Soundblox housing out to the camera, it looked the size of a cigar box and my available space would simply not allow for it.

Foldback is the most-used type of distortion on my Kingmaker. I seriously want to experiment with all the other options that the Multi-Wave offers.

Please continue this project to completion, Roger!
 

4b454e

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
5,436
VERY curious to see what the key parameters are (in Neuro app end desktop)!
 

DR5Guy

Member
Messages
806
IMHO, this pedal needs a very different marketing that a regular dirt pedal. Ideally, the demo should empathize the main selling point (clarity of play complex cords with distortion) and minimize the "weird" modes that much. The unusual housing doesn't help as well. People are very conservative and still don't accept digital overdrives; Boss, who have very clever marketing now sells digital ODs as "hybrid".
 

Flip362

Member
Messages
707
I love love love my multiwave distortion pro. I really like seeing the EQ on the pedal. I know a normal one series single pedal would not allow for this. I would even be interested in more ways to apply this sort of complex tracking distortion to other ways to mangle my guitar and bass tones. Lofi/ bit crushing/sample rate reducing destruction.

I can attest and really love how defined my sounds can be using this as both a destroyer and a shaper on my tone. Anyway, really excited about this!
 

rsmith601

Vendor
Messages
6,232
IMHO, this pedal needs a very different marketing that a regular dirt pedal. Ideally, the demo should empathize the main selling point (clarity of play complex cords with distortion) and minimize the "weird" modes that much. The unusual housing doesn't help as well. People are very conservative and still don't accept digital overdrives; Boss, who have very clever marketing now sells digital ODs as "hybrid".
The Boss Adaptive Distortion (2013 vs Multiwave 2008) is clearly a copy, but they did not market it that way! :)
 

Peetlett

Member
Messages
54
The Boss Adaptive Distortion (2013 vs Multiwave 2008) is clearly a copy, but they did not market it that way! :)
Whoa, I didn’t even know that Boss pedal existed. I agree with @DR5Guy. The marketing needs to be very salient for a product like this. Less emphasis on the tech (which is amazing BTW), more emphasis on what it will do for the player- how it will make them unique, bring excitement to their playing or rise above other guitarists/bands.
 

sizzlemeister

Member
Messages
427
I agree with @Peetlett and @DR5Guy on the marketing. Your new pedal format is a step in the right direction, as that's the first thing people will use to filter out whether they want to investigate the pedal further. I know when I breeze through pedals on Reverb, I see this one and keep going as it seems, just from a quick glance, too "complex" to be a dirt pedal I would want to deal with during a show.

This is the first I've decided to really look into it, and it seems very cool and unique. In the video, Pete Thorn gives you several key talking points to start with: the clarity of distorted chords; the pedal's unique, forward sound signature ("it makes parts jump out"); dynamic, responsive behavior that responds dynamically to pick attack; gives you a large sonic palette in the studio.

Then, go from there. I would also probably say up front that it's a next-generation digital distortion that guitarists can respect. Or something along those lines to address the negative impressions the general market might have of digital distortion (accepting the reality that analog distortions/ODs/fuzzes are still king, no matter how many modelers exist).

Good luck!
 

jquanmusic

Member
Messages
1,294
I think the enclosure was the main issue coupled with some marketing issues. The amount of players that have no idea the Reflex exists baffles me.

I wrote this a few months back and would love to see it.

"For years most of us, myself included, said that digital dirt would never be as good as analog. I think SA has proven that digital emulation is 95% there and it can offer features analog can't touch.

Now, I think it's time SA releases a dirt pedal that focuses in on all of the things digital can do that analog can't (or at least not easily). Multiwave, foldover, sample reduction, bit reduction, wave shapes (Geiger Counter), pitch tracked ring mod, whatever insanity Bob can come up with, etc..."

People are also much more open to the weird than they were when the Multiwave first launched. You didn't seem so inclined to believe this a few months ago. I hope the C4 launch has changed your opinion a bit.

Edit: Yes to the envelope morphing. Big yes. Sounds fun.
 
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