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Multieffects processor for a synth (Prophet 12)
Old 30th December 2020
  #1
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Multieffects processor for a synth (Prophet 12)

I tried a Dreadbox Hypnosis earlier this month and overall I was disappointed. My idea was to have some hands on effects to help with ambient exploration and get a bit of “vibe.” The reverb tank was so noisy that it was unusable (unless I rotated the entire thing 90 degrees... and then it was only fairly noisy) and the rest of the effects seemed good, but not $500 good.

So I have $500(ish) in my grubby little hands. I’m not specifically interested in analog effects, and frankly digital is fine. Stereo in and out is a must. Smallish desktop or rack would be best. I’d like it to have some modulation effects (chorus, flange, etc) delay (analog delay type controls, ie continuous time and tap/MIDI tempo would be nice) and some pretty lush reverb.

My problem so far is that either something seems interesting (Zoia) and no real hands on controls or standard (TC Plethora X5) with some hands on controls. I guess with the Zoia seems to be really what I want and I did find a demo where parameters were being controlled in real time via MIDI. I guess I could do this with Maschine and get 8 knobs, or later get a dedicated MIDI knob box. Before I make the plunge, I just figured I’d see if there was something I was missing. Ideas?
Old 30th December 2020
  #2
Deleted fc89c17
Guest
Line 6 HX if you can stretch budget to $600.


Switchable line-level input, stereo in/out, midi, looper, can run up to 9 effects simultaneously.


Awesome.
Old 30th December 2020
  #3
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Moonwhistle's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Boss RC-202 is surprisingly good for a stereo FX unit. You could just ignore it's a looper (without decay.)

H9 is good, I sold mine in favour of the entire eventide collection on iPad. Line 6 HX looks good too.
Old 30th December 2020 | Show parent
  #4
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zerocrossing's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pythonis Rogue ➡️
Line 6 HX if you can stretch budget to $600.


Switchable line-level input, stereo in/out, midi, looper, can run up to 9 effects simultaneously.


Awesome.
Interesting. I was hoping someone might chime in. I used to use a POD500 in the effects loop of my Kemper Amp Profiler and it was kind of fun, especially using high gain amps (sans cabs) as distortion boxes. (I thought the cabs sounded kind of plasticity and artificial, but that didn’t matter.)

I’m wondering if the Line 6 M13 might be better, as it has a lot more knobs. Three is fairly minimal if I might want to be messing with flange feedback and delay time at the same time. I’ll dig around and see if they’re the same effects, because I really don’t need amp simulations. Thanks for the tip. If you have any demos, I’d love to hear them.
Old 30th December 2020
  #5
Lives for gear
I bought a line 6 helix rack the other week and while I have no idea what to do with all the ‘amp” effects it is otherwise pretty great sounding. It needs more filter and mod stuff, but I guess they can add anything.

I was going to post about the helix here this week, I do wish there was a synth equivalent ( less emphasis on distorted cabinet sims ).
Old 30th December 2020
  #6
Helix/HX IMO, as of the latest firmware - the distortion/fuzzes are okay, the pitch and modulation effects quite good, the delays okay and the reverbs okay to good (the 2.0/3.0 reverbs modeled after Strymon algorithms are a step up).

I don't have a lot of experience with multi-effects pedals - individually the pieces don't measure up to my individual pedals on the HX Stomp, but that's probably a bit of an ask. The Zoia seems much more interesting to me than the HX FX, because the quality of the individual pieces matters less than what you can do with them. I'd probably go for a used Zoia + Zoom CS-70 combo to get straight effects in addition to the Zoia's abilities.
Old 30th December 2020
  #7
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Jpro600k's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Why did you give up Pro2 with Audio in? It should have been a great effector.
Old 30th December 2020
  #8
Gear Head
 
Lyonart's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Not had chance to try these out in person yet but have you seen the Digit and Beebo pedals from Poly? They look very interesting for complex fx configurations. Both retail for about $400/€400/£400 but are sold out just now.

https://www.polyeffects.com

There are some videos on YT from Andertons and also from Gaz Williams on his channel both of which test with guitars.

I can also recommend the trilogy of OTO pedals but these combined are not in the specified price bracket sadly.
Old 30th December 2020
  #9
Deleted 41485c6
Guest
If you still play the guitar, maybe you could try fractal fm3 for double duty.. i hear they've significantly upped the overall quality of the processing in the last generation of their effects/preamps.
Old 30th December 2020
  #10
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Quartermass's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
How about the Audiothingies Doctor A? Stereo In/Out with midi control for @$350.

No distortion or phaser (etc) but it sounds pretty darn good.

Cheers.
Old 30th December 2020
  #11
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
H9 Max, done. It will get you the hardware for that price with all the effect asks you have.
Old 30th December 2020
  #12
Deleted 5974f48
Guest
Maybe the Planetarium 2?



£319

http://www.neonegg.com/Info/
Old 30th December 2020
  #13
Lives for gear
 
MOD Duo X is worth a look and a think ... lots of options there to explore.
Old 30th December 2020 | Show parent
  #14
bax
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by grainsynth ➡️
H9 Max, done. It will get you the hardware for that price with all the effect asks you have.
That's the way I went initially, but what rained on that parade a little bit for me is that you can't chain effects inside the H9; you just get one algo at a time so it really doesn't act like a "multi-effect processor". True, there are a few algos in there that mix some effects but it isn't nearly as flexible as one would think.

That said, I love using my Max to jam with if a single effect is all I need, especially with the iPad to control it. H9 Control basically turns it into a "Factor" pedal as far as controllability with knobs and ribbon and stuff. I put together a rolling FX cart that kinda acts as a mobile "pedalboard" with pedal+regular power, mioXM MIDI interface, small 8-port patchbay, and an iPad mount on it that can roll around with me when I want to use pedal effects instead of the stuff in the rack...lots of fun! For variety, I also keep a Zoia, Specular Tempus, and Ocean Machine on that cart to mix & match. In particular the H9 + Specular Tempus combo is really fun... Working on using MIDIDesigner more to extend the iPad control capabilities to all the pedals that don't have enough knobs (I'm looking at you Zoia...)

@ Pythonis Rogue - I will second the HX Stomp idea...I initially got mine to use as a multi for synths but I found it so useful and powerful that I built a small pedalboard around just it and a Morningstar MC6 and basically that's totally dedicated to guitar at this point. Might move up to an LT or full-blown Helix at some point; if so the Stomp will definitely go back to synth duties...

Thanks!
bax
Old 30th December 2020 | Show parent
  #15
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zerocrossing's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by grainsynth ➡️
H9 Max, done. It will get you the hardware for that price with all the effect asks you have.
My issue with the H9s has always been their inability to run multiple algorithms at a time and no real interface. I don’t expect the moon for that price, but being able to run at least two full algorithms (I know some have dual effects) and have 3-4 knobs would have made this a much more attractive box for me.
Old 30th December 2020
  #16
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Jpro600k's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
https://www.arturia.com/products/sof...ction/overview
Has this already been introduced?
Old 30th December 2020 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bax ➡️
That's the way I went initially, but what rained on that parade a little bit for me is that you can't chain effects inside the H9; you just get one algo at a time so it really doesn't act like a "multi-effect processor". True, there are a few algos in there that mix some effects but it isn't nearly as flexible as one would think.

That said, I love using my Max to jam with if a single effect is all I need, especially with the iPad to control it. H9 Control basically turns it into a "Factor" pedal as far as controllability with knobs and ribbon and stuff. I put together a rolling FX cart that kinda acts as a mobile "pedalboard" with pedal+regular power, mioXM MIDI interface, small 8-port patchbay, and an iPad mount on it that can roll around with me when I want to use pedal effects instead of the stuff in the rack...lots of fun! For variety, I also keep a Zoia, Specular Tempus, and Ocean Machine on that cart to mix & match. In particular the H9 + Specular Tempus combo is really fun... Working on using MIDIDesigner more to extend the iPad control capabilities to all the pedals that don't have enough knobs (I'm looking at you Zoia...)

@ Pythonis Rogue - I will second the HX Stomp idea...I initially got mine to use as a multi for synths but I found it so useful and powerful that I built a small pedalboard around just it and a Morningstar MC6 and basically that's totally dedicated to guitar at this point. Might move up to an LT or full-blown Helix at some point; if so the Stomp will definitely go back to synth duties...

Thanks!
bax
What’s keeping me away from the HX Stomp idea is that I really can’t find many demos of people using it on synths at all. There’s one Sweetwater demo where the guy goes to it every now and then for a second, but it’s not really a good example of kicking the tires, so to speak. It’s funny, there’s one part where he’s testing distortions and he cuts the HX part super short after it sounding kind of terrible. I don’t really care about distortion, but I found that to be funny.
Old 30th December 2020 | Show parent
  #18
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zerocrossing's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jpro600k ➡️
I’ve got it. It’s fantastic. (The Intensity Reverb is quickly becoming my favorite creative reverb. So great!) Running it inside Maschine works pretty well, though I can’t seem to figure out if I can make a custom knob map... I need to dig into the manual.

The point of having a dedicated box would be for two things. One, so changing a preset on the Prophet 12 automatically changes the preset on the effects, and more importantly, when I run out of CPU (like when I’m using Equator 2 and it seems to want an entire core to itself) I can still have decent quality effects.
Old 30th December 2020 | Show parent
  #19
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zerocrossing's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ofutur ➡️
Maybe the Planetarium 2?



£319

http://www.neonegg.com/Info/
Hm, that does look like a contender.

So far the top 3 seem to be...

First place: Mod Devices Mod Duo X (a bit more money but seems worth it)
Second place: Zoia (might be fine using my Maschine as a controller)
Third place Planetarium 2 (bit limited but I like the idea of it)

I guess the Line6 HX is still in the running... but the lack of demos puts me off. I have a question: Is the Helix native plugin the same algorithms? If that’s the case, I could demo it, which would be excellent.
Old 30th December 2020 | Show parent
  #20
bax
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing ➡️
My issue with the H9s has always been their inability to run multiple algorithms at a time and no real interface. I don’t expect the moon for that price, but being able to run at least two full algorithms (I know some have dual effects) and have 3-4 knobs would have made this a much more attractive box for me.
Exactly. The H9 Control app takes care of the knobs/interface issue (at least it works very well for me) but yeah, not having a second algo to mix and match without buying another H9 (core) pedal (and power and cables and real estate) to go along with the first one is disappointing. I figured if I was gonna have to do that, then I would just go the route of combining different manufacturer's pedals for different flavors. I have an H8000FW in the rack if I really wanna go all-in on that side, but TBH there really is such a thing as "too much Eventide".

Thanks!
bax
Old 30th December 2020
  #21
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Kerbkrawler's Avatar
My Zoia is hardwired to the P12. I don't like the verb as much as I do the Big Sky or Eventides (just a personal preference), but it's still pretty good. I have had mine for a year and am still learning new tricks on it. The community is pretty active and it's about as compact and flexible pedal that I have ever come across (mind you I haven't tried some of the newer multi-effect boxes coming out). I was initially bothered by the lack of immediacy like with a typical pedal, but one look at the module index and seeing all the capabilities for modulate and control the effects should encourage you. Think of it in the same terms as a you would a P12, there is gold to be found. The immediate sound won't wow you, but with effort I think the Zoia is an amazing piece of gear the compliments the P12 nicely.
Old 30th December 2020 | Show parent
  #22
bax
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing ➡️
What’s keeping me away from the HX Stomp idea is that I really can’t find many demos of people using it on synths at all. There’s one Sweetwater demo where the guy goes to it every now and then for a second, but it’s not really a good example of kicking the tires, so to speak. It’s funny, there’s one part where he’s testing distortions and he cuts the HX part super short after it sounding kind of terrible. I don’t really care about distortion, but I found that to be funny.
Agreed, and there's *still* not much out there for synth demos of the Helix stuff this far down the road... After having it for a month or so, I found it more effective to use it as it was intended (for guitar) rather than synths. Needs a waaaaaaaaaaay better control scheme to be able to use it as a multi for synths (which I get, that isn't what it was built for). I suppose you could do a lot of MIDI work to get there (and the MC6 or other button box is almost a requirement if you are gonna use the Stomp), but it wasn't as gratifying for me on synths as it is on guitars.

And yes, the Helix native is the "same" algo-wise but will sound different based on your AD/DA on the computer. The added benefit is that it is as powerful as the real Helix (not block-limited like the Stomp is). That is great when using it on the computer (which makes it a lot easier to control, BTW) but you can do a lot more with it than you can with the HX Stomp from a "concurrent effects" standpoint.

Plus, it really just "sounds" like a guitar effects chain...useable effects designed to fit a bunch of them in a small box. Nothing crazy-great as far as what I usually associate with higher-end rack effects (Eventide, Kurzweil, Lexicon, TC) or boutique pedals (Eventide, Strymon, Empress, etc) that I am used to using with synths. Gets the job done, and the impulse capabilities are really cool, but I found it not really "sexy" enough for me when compared to other options.

Last edited by bax; 30th December 2020 at 06:48 PM.. Reason: Added Helix native comments...
Old 30th December 2020
  #23
Deleted 5974f48
Guest
Some things to be aware of regarding the Mod Duo X: The screens are terrible (look a the pictures on Thomann to get a taste) and unlike the Dwarf (or the Zoia), you can't program anything from the device itself. You also have to map all the controls every time you create a new "board".
Old 30th December 2020
  #24
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kraku's Avatar
Exactly what you're looking for:

https://www.strymon.net
Old 30th December 2020
  #25
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
one thing i am eyeing atm is the finegear dust collector 2x drive/tape sat, phaser, spring reverb, delay, 2x lfo. modular routing and CV modulation. fully analogue fwiw.

other than that, i am a really big fan of the FV1 chip for multieffects. you could build a tiny desktop eurorack skiff with 2x happy nerding FX Aid for around 500$. these can hold 32 different algorithms each which you can easily change out yourself from an evergrowing list of really good sounding algorithms, via a super convenient editor app.
all modulation effects, tons of different reverbs, delays, filters, etc etc etc.

i also was pretty happy with the 20$ behringer MFX pedal. at this price, you could just add 2 of these to whatever else you end up buying. definately will be used!

two pedals that are not fully MFX but i really like for synths are the Collider(delay & reverb in series with several great sounding algos each side) and the Synestesia (modulation/mfx).

i do have a Zoia (pedal version) since it came out, and tbh never use it. while i really admire the UI and architecture ideas in it, it is just way too slow and complicated for me to use in everyday work. adding to this is the lack of hardware UI parameter control, ie. some real knobs to twist. i need something more immediate when i make music. also tbh a lot of the effects modules in it don't have enought control parameters and/or simply don't sound very good, to me.

i tried a couple strymon pedals over this last year but aside from them being VERY pricey, there is no real MFX option available. you'd really need at least 2-3 of their units, which would set you back 3 times the money OP quoted. and i feel the times of the big sky being the reference reverb are over. too many at least as nice alternatives.

Last edited by james gardener; 30th December 2020 at 08:37 PM..
Old 30th December 2020
  #26
Gear Addict
 
Sarrova's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Source Audio Collider + strymon deco / Some modulation box?
Old 30th December 2020 | Show parent
  #27
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zerocrossing's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bax ➡️
Agreed, and there's *still* not much out there for synth demos of the Helix stuff this far down the road... After having it for a month or so, I found it more effective to use it as it was intended (for guitar) rather than synths. Needs a waaaaaaaaaaay better control scheme to be able to use it as a multi for synths (which I get, that isn't what it was built for). I suppose you could do a lot of MIDI work to get there (and the MC6 or other button box is almost a requirement if you are gonna use the Stomp), but it wasn't as gratifying for me on synths as it is on guitars.

And yes, the Helix native is the "same" algo-wise but will sound different based on your AD/DA on the computer. The added benefit is that it is as powerful as the real Helix (not block-limited like the Stomp is). That is great when using it on the computer (which makes it a lot easier to control, BTW) but you can do a lot more with it than you can with the HX Stomp from a "concurrent effects" standpoint.

Plus, it really just "sounds" like a guitar effects chain...useable effects designed to fit a bunch of them in a small box. Nothing crazy-great as far as what I usually associate with higher-end rack effects (Eventide, Kurzweil, Lexicon, TC) or boutique pedals (Eventide, Strymon, Empress, etc) that I am used to using with synths. Gets the job done, and the impulse capabilities are really cool, but I found it not really "sexy" enough for me when compared to other options.
Yeah, I just spent an hour trolling YouTube for Helix demos, and I personally just don’t like the sound, especially of the reverbs. They probably are tweaked to primarily sound good for guitars, while something like the Eventide and Strymons are more hi-fi studio effects.

What I really want is a single box that’s the Strymon Mobius, Volante and Big Sky all in one. For $500.
Old 30th December 2020 | Show parent
  #28
bax
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing ➡️
What I really want is a single box that’s the Strymon Mobius, Volante and Big Sky all in one. For $500.


Sadly, if Strymon put all their stuff in a rackmount box ala Eventide with enough horsepower to string 'em all together in a flexible manner, I'd add another zero to the end of that $500 number to get my hands on it.

I am continually surprised they haven't gone there yet; they would totally give Eventide a run for their money...
Old 30th December 2020 | Show parent
  #29
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarrova ➡️
Source Audio Collider + strymon deco / Some modulation box?
Could be.

I’m now caught between thinking this should sound very good (as a Collider/Ola would) or be super flexible and fun like a Duo X or Zoia.
Old 30th December 2020 | Show parent
  #30
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 5974f48 ➡️
Some things to be aware of regarding the Mod Duo X: The screens are terrible (look a the pictures on Thomann to get a taste) and unlike the Dwarf (or the Zoia), you can't program anything from the device itself. You also have to map all the controls every time you create a new "board".
I don’t mind setting up a patch on my computer, as long as I can make smooth performance adjustments during performance.
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