Effects (Part 3)

30 minutes
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In the pitch category, there are a few effects discussed the most basic is the October which is in its most basic form takes a monophonic line and then simply does some simple math to have or double the frequencies to give you an octave below or an octave higher, more. So more recently, the PRG or polygon polyphonic octave generator made famous by Electro Harmonix has done some very, very clever engineering to do this with a polyphonic signal or chords for some amazing results with multiple octaves above and below. There are also some other pitch shifter affects that shift in musical intervals. Just like a dumb fist that just go straight up and it's always seven semitones above or intelligent harmonies depending on what a key chord shape that you're in. Let's see some examples. All right, we're gonna get into some pitch shifting real quick here.

It's been around for a long time, Steve buys Stuff that he did a long, long time ago with pitch shifters was amazing. There's a, you know, a lot of pitch shifting that has to do with either just a static note with just a dumb third, basically, you know, a third that does not diatonically move, I think, between Steve and eventide, they ended up coming up with a harmonizer that would actually track diatonically to the key the song that you're playing, making it a smart pitch shifter instead of what we would consider a dumb pitch shifter. Both had their places both were used big time. This in this application here that we're going to use just because I think most people have heard most of these before, we'll just do a quick demo. I'm using the Whammy digitech Whammy setting, which the pedal works absolutely awesome. I just have it turned on inside my axe effects.

And so basically what we're doing is we once again have a manual LFO that's gonna start from where I'm at here. So if I'm going They're you know we can take off with it so it is it's just manually on this setting going from zero which is my standard a 440 tuning up to two octaves and not carrying another note with it that's the difference it's just changing that one static note all the way up two octaves so if you played a chord, they would change the whole chord up two octaves, you know, obviously, Tom Morello from Rage Against machine made that digitech Whammy pedal really famous. When I put together Joe Perry's pedal board from Aerosmith, he had one of the old original digitech Whammy pedals on his board. A lot of the gadget nuts really are attracted to that whole thing. There's a lot going on there a lot of crazy stuff that you can do.

But here's a quick demo of how Tom Morello would have used his in context. delays are a really fun place to experiment. Listen to any YouTube a guitar heavy song you hear an army of delayed turns coming out of David Evans guitar or the edge as he's more commonly known. A Pink Floyd The wall is another great study in echoes, no matter how echoes are achieved delays, they're just a repeat of a signal you can have just a single Echo Echo, or many of them fed back in a polyrhythmic kind of setup. Now, the way in which we get these echoes started out with very early on just tape machines at the Roland space echo that had a specific way in which the echoes were quite dull in comparison to the original signal. tapeless units, using backup regret of backup brigades of capacitors followed suit with kind of dull echoes until digital layers came on the scene.

With near perfect echoes, in terms of their fidelity, but as usual, we always seem to come full circle. And now we have digital delay models that mimic the lo fi sound of the early echo unit. There's just something about the way that they sound that just places the echoes in the mix just a little bit better. Here's some examples of some delays. Alright, so we're gonna move over to delays right now. delay is many, many different avenues that you can go depending on what genre music that you're playing.

We're going to touch on the quick slap back. If you were a chicken pick country player that's pretty popular in that genre. The rockabilly slap back is very similar. Most of the time they're you they're utilizing analog delays for both of those kind of slap backs because the repeat is not this crystal clean digital thing. It kind of when you hear the sound back. That's your initial tacked, the slap back is kind of uh huh.

And it adds a little plumpness to your sound. And that's why analog. You know, analog is a dirty repeat compared to a crystalline digital repeat where you hit and you hear those duplicated sounds, bam, bam, bam, bam, and they don't degrade as the feedback is, as your repeats, continue to, to repeat, and then slowly fade away. If you listen to something that's real crystal clear digital, that's what they're designed to do stay clean from beginning to end. an analog delay is a little bit different in the respect as to where the repeats a bit are dirty. They get there, they're kind of it's the sound of the pedal really, and I think that's why the slapback players started using analog pedals for that is because it, it kind of takes away the synthetic thing that you would be getting from a real clean, snappy Repeat as to where we want this little dirt Repeat that follows that note there.

We're also going to touch on a runaway delay a lot of session players I know use runaway delay for effects, you know, you create a sound and then you go back and you marry that into your track. Or maybe it's the intro of a song or maybe you're live and you're coming out of a song and you want to have this thing that just is going and when depending on what you play into it, you know, it can turn into a massive amount of delay that just starts cascading itself and overturning, you can turn the speed up, turn the speed down during that break to create different effects. So that's more of an effect for delay as to where like the analog delay is going to be. It's in effect, per se, but I think you know, a lot of players that probably started using I know when I started using slapback Chicken picking with one tidy little slap back on there.

It kind of helps to relax your upper body. It's like putting a little bit of reverb on your amp, but you're not adding any reverb. It just kind of gives you that ambient feel in your in your rig and sometimes that can help your upper body relax your arms, relax your chicken pickin mo your whole vibe of your muscle memory, it won't be so dry and to the point and it allows you to route relax a little bit, but also it does create an effect as well. Then we'll talk about dual delays where we have our amplifiers set up in stereo. So we will set one as like say a quarter note 1234 and then we'll set the other one as a whole note. So it's 123412 and that's how they start lining up.

So a lot of players use that in a live sense like Brian May has his boxes set up that way so that way he has a nice clean sound right to the front of house and then onstage for him to listen to only he has a quarter slap or a half, you know, a half slap and a hole slap, you know that are decaying out by maybe three or five or seven repeats, you know, and it's all designed for amnesia, making And a lot more syrupy for you to play on stage and whatnot. So we'll go over a dual delay where we have independent control over left and right, that that is really true stereo delay too. And a lot of people have a tendency to mix that one up. So when we listen to our, our slapback delay in this scenario, yes, we're running through two amps.

But we're not getting a ping pong effect. We could have this one going, bap, bap, and then that's the how it sets up. So in my axe effects rig, that's a lot of times if I'm playing that country through that, I'll have my ping pong effect slap over here. That's considered true stereo delay when you have independent control of the left and the right side. We have an analog delay that's plugged in mono I have my runaway delay plugged in mono, and also have my other delay that we're going to be using to illustrate the dotted eighth thing it's very very popular in today's music has been for quite a while. Those will all be heard in as duplicates in two amps.

So that's Considered dual mono only when you can have independent time or ping pong effect does it actually really become stereo delay? Okay, so we're going to start with a delay category here and we're going to work with our boss dm to it's a vintage analog delay and I'll read I'll show you how one repeat with a slap back would be applied to a chicken picker sound. So first, here it is dry. Okay, and then here it is with the one slap back repeat. Okay, so we're going to jump over to the rockabilly sound not at the same delay still using the boss dm to the analog delay and what I've done As I've slowed the time down just a little bit, and now I've added, I don't know, there's maybe four or six repeats or something like that in there. But here, here's the the sound of it dry.

And I'm gonna have the delay now. One thing that's cool about using that style is a lot of rockabilly and music from that era that we derived rockabilly from, was played as three piece. A lot of times you don't only have an upright bass player, maybe a guy playing a snare drum, maybe a kick drum, and another guy hammering away on electric Taran, that little trail that goes behind there helps to kind of fill up your sound as a three piece band. I don't know if that's why it originally got started quite for sure or not, but it certainly does. And I've seen interviews with Brian Setzer talking about that a little bit in and it does it did just kind of carries over those notes. And so it's used for an omni in effect for sure.

Okay, so we're moving over to runaway delay. I've seen some session players use this really, really cool. It's great for like intros or outros. Or maybe you catch a little sample and then you go back through and you might be used as an underlay or on your bridge or like under layer underneath of a vocal. It's all producers choice or whatnot. But this is what that sounds like.

So, first of all, we have just nothing. And I already have my delay all set up to run away here. So I'm going to turn it on. I'm going to smack a note and we're going to give you some runaway here. So here you go. Okay, so we'll step over to the digital delay now and we're going to just represent dual delay so this is true stereo delay because we have independent time on this side we have independent time on this side.

I will give it to you dry and I'll give it to you affected and you can hear in your speakers how we have time division going on here. Okay, so we're still on the digital delay here. And we're going to use that same effect we're going to use the the dual delay where we have the quarters over here and the holes over here and we're just going to do some swells up against that and show you how we can do a seamless chords from one to the other by using our delay as an effect and not just an amnio in effect Okay, so we're running over to pattern delay, still stereo because we have independent control of each time on each side. So this is just a quick demonstration on how you can put a rhythm to your to a pattern delay here. Okay, so we're still on our digital delay here and we're just going to show a quick thing of the reverse there that was used quite a bit and you know, earlier psychedelic music and stuff, they would actually snip tape and put it backwards and whatnot.

But we have the luxury now of having them right on a stop box on our pedal board. So here's just a brief demonstration of what you might be expect from something like that. Okay, so now we're going to move on to doing dotted eighth real real popular in today's music. A lot of the of the contemporary boxes that we see on the market unlike the vintage ones that we were dealing with with our boss, um, they just have a subdivision built right into them. So much, some might say dotted eighth or whatever it is my, my brown box that I'm using right here actually has subdivision button right on it. So I just clicked my subdivision, tap in my quarter notes, and then I I get what the dotted eighth feel that I'm looking for.

So this is what it sounds like before I start putting a plane in time. So this is there's no rocket science behind this. It just has to do with How the time starts catching your phrase. Okay, so here it is with just the effect and then I'll go ahead and play it into a pattern. Okay, so one of the more commonly used applications for delay is just to give yourself a little bit of ambience during your guitar solo. That's why you'll see people tapping on their pedal board a whole bunch, you know, so if the song is, is, you know, cruising along, and you're able to just tap your tempo and 1234 I don't know No, no, no, no, no, you know, and you want to put it in as a quarter note, or maybe you've got tap division already in there and you want to tap in triplets for your half notes or whatever the most widely used would just be a quarter note in so I'll give it to you, just so you can hear the quarter notes.

And then I've got my mix blended back quite a bit here. So that it doesn't make the guitar solo swim, I think a good way to look at using delay for guitar solo is, is he really don't really want to hear the delay. In the band mix. If you were to solo just your guitar, you're going to hear some of that. But if you're hearing it over the top of your solo, then it's becoming more of an effect. And it's not really just an amnesia thing to help give you a little bit more space in your solo makes it a little bit easier to play sometimes to loosens up your upper body.

But here is that and then I'll go ahead and make it dirty and I'll give you it I'll put it in context for you. reverbs that are an approximation of what you hear naturally in any environment where they're in measureable echoes think of a cathedral. Right in a reflective environment, you have a ton of echoes all blending together to give you a rich wash of reflection and the way most guitarists achieve this until relatively recently was a thing called a reverb tank. The many guitar amps have a spring reverb tank in them, that takes a portion of signal not unlike this kid's toy microphone that has a spring in there and drives the guitar signal into one end. And then there's kind of a pickup of sorts on the other side that picks up the reverberated sound. And that comes through that spring most modern reverbs a digital vote, a lot of them will actually model the oldest spring reverbs.

Not necessarily because they sound better, but because they just have that, you know, vintage sound that we really like. All right, a quick thing on reverbs here. I mean, reverb can be very subjective on how much you use in your rig, that's for sure. We'll talk about reverb using it in effects. Not so much just as an ambient thing because ambient has to do with personal taste and the size of your rooms and what kind of rooms that you're playing. If they're reflective or not.

I can say one thing that I've seen A topic out there quite a bit for people is is if you're a bedroom player that practices in your bedroom, your living room maybe down in your recording studio where you've deaden your sound and you need some reverb you know to help your your sound out in a tighter enclosed debtors space. Let me put it that way non reflective space, totally cool. But what happens a lot of times is that I see people setting tones with their eyes and not their ears. So maybe your reverb in your bedroom is set on three or four and you like it where it's out there, you know, but then you take it to your local church, or, you know, your rehearsal space that might have tiled floor in it or maybe now you're at the nightclub and the nightclub has glass on the walls or has mirror and has hardwood and has all kinds of reflective stuff.

That's when you would want to start turning that reverb down and I think the the best way I've ever seen it put was by a very famous guitar player record producer that we all know and love and he simply put it is you're getting the arena sound Before it gets to the arena, so it's something to be cautious with when you're when you're going out to your gig. Because what ends up happening a lot of times is that the more reverb that you have in your rig, the more that it places your guitar in the background, the dryer more to the foreground. And obviously, you want your, you know, your hard bar chord rhythm part that you're chunking on to be when the band mix pumping, you know, and then the more reverb that you put on that, the more that it kind of layers it back into your mix.

So it's just something to be careful and watch for, to not maybe use your same reverb settings that you would use in your bedroom that you would use down at your local gig. But anyway, we've set it up with spring reverb for our first demonstration and this is real tube driven reverb and both of the old Fender amplifiers, just straight up spring reverb and so we're just using it and using it as an effect like how the famous guitar player that used it for this effect did Okay, so we're gonna jump over to some digital reverb and just use it as an m&e, in effect. It's, it's great, you can use this on many instruments, not just guitar, you know to really really layer your track back if you're using it in the recording studio or whatever your application may be. But this is just a digital reverb with time set and I do have the tone knob pulled back because you have the option of making your reflection you know your decay of your reverb to be real sparkly in the room.

Or maybe there is blankets or maybe there's a, you know, they've treated the back walls of the room and so your decay gets a little bit the the tone of it gets dark and a little bit as the as the the reflection happens. So you have those that's kind of the way To think about that, do you want your decay when it bounces and causes the echo in your room? Do you want it to echo as it being a little darker Do you want it to echo is being real sparkly. Hi, I've pulled it back to about a quarter you know, so I could continue up to 50% onto 100%. I have it set at about 25% right now. So this is just a quick example of ambient reverb.

Loop is our great way to last sounds upon sound so you can have a multi layered performance. Now you might have seen a performance use this with microphones or keyboards, or even percussion instruments as well as guitar Let's jump into some examples. So now we have all these types of effects, we need to place an order, what's the best order to place demand? Well, there's no limitation that will cause you or your gear damaged. For the most part, you can place them in any order you like. But there are generally agreed upon guidelines that will get you the best results.

Now, before we start looking at graphics of this effect, order and animations of how it all works together, we've got to kind of throw something aside in the Western world, we tend to read from left to right. And so a lot of instructions tend to be, you know, here's your input that goes through there and then there's the output we tend to think from left to right, but that's not the way things are and the effects pedal. Well, with very few exceptions, your input is on the right hand side, and that goes out, and then out there. Everything goes from right to left and you can see that in this effects pedal board. We have our input which then goes to the output the input the output, input to output, everything is daisy chained together. So in our example here, where we have our analog delay, followed by a noise gate, remember we're looking from right to left, we have a signal coming in, it gets delayed, SOME ECHOES put on it.

And if it goes through a noise gate with the threshold set to say half, then those very faint echoes will get completely cut off because they won't make it past the threshold. The same thing could be said with a reverb followed by a delay, we have an original signal coming in, that will reverberate it and then we know that all the tails of that will be cut off. And that might not be the effect you're after game. You're not going to break anything putting things in various order orders, but this if you're after a result where you want those reverb tiles to ring out, then a noise gate after a verb is not going to do the trick unless you're pro cons back in at And you want to get that peak drum sound that was a happy accident that led to, you know, in the air tonight, all those massive drum sounds.

So let's have a look at a noise gate placed in the middle of a bunch of dirt pedals. So in this example, the noise gate would be sciencing. Everything is coming out of the blue Strava and overdrive if would have flipped that around and the overdrive would not be muted, but it would just be the blues driver. So you'll generally want to have your noise gate up to your noisiest pedal, and then yeah, and move on from there. Now a lot of people will place a tuner at the first position because quite often they have a mute function that allows you to feed them the signal of your guitar so that you can tune but it stops that signal from going through the chain to your speaker so that you can tune in pace. Now a lot of tuners also have buffers in them which isolates your pick up your guitar tone controls and Cable impedance from the downstream signal chain.

Now the only exception would be that some vintage analog gear can react negatively to a buffer. So just experiment with maybe an old fuzz or Wow, they may not play well with that. Now, pitch it this, you know, certainly sound different before or after dirt pills, if you're starting with a pitch shift is going to shift a pure guitar tone and then that will get shifted and then then then that gets distorted. That might give you a different result. But if you are, then if you were pre med around the other way, where you have a pure tone being distorted, and then the pitch shifter is asked to, to to shift those distorted guitars with all those generated harmonics, you know, sometimes that may not work well just feel free to experiment. It's not obviously your call.

So as you can see, most decisions are just title judgments are those some rely on you getting the precise results you want, for example, say a volume pedal. If you place that at the front of your chain that'll affect everything downstream of it. If you were to have that halfway down in the signal was so low to maybe not even too high, the following dirt pedals into distortion, that might be what you want. Or maybe you want a constant state of distortion, and just a volume adjustment of that static amount of distortion. Then you place that volume pedal after the dip pedals. That makes sense.

Now, if you had maybe a long reverb tail swimming at the end of a signal chain, then a volume swell at the beginning of your signal chain would leave all those reverb towels ring out if you place a volume pedal after the reverb, then rocking on that volume pedal would obviously kill all those reverb tails. Do you want That'll not and basically I think of pedals as workers on a factory assembly line, if one worker maybe places decorative stickers on the cars body, then worker two applies paint, you'll have a lot different looking car, if you applied paint, and then the stick is kind of a domino, which is a really dumb analogy, but I hope you get the idea, the order of effects, make a difference. And, and use needs to kind of understand how that all works. So this has all been the work of effects.

Let's see how modern rigs are put together with all of your effects, amp and guitar switching and you know, basically the whole shebang

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