Author Topic: So it's digital. I *know* you won't care.  (Read 9801 times)

Mark Hammer

So it's digital. I *know* you won't care.
« on: August 08, 2005, 11:50:01 AM »
Line 6 has added a spiffy flanger to their Tone Core series: http://news.harmony-central.com/Newp/2005/ToneCore-Liqua-Flange.html

I've had the pleasure of being involved in beta-testing of this baby, and without wishing to sound like too much of a "beard for the marketing department", I suggest folks at least take one out for a spin when it arrives in stores later this year.  Finer points are:

1) Does through zero flanging VERY nicely.  Big, big sweep.  A/DA and Dave Fox will have to make room at the table.
2) Envelope-controlled flange sweep (extremely soulful).  Like an autowah in spirit but richer in tone.  Sweeps up AND down.  Nicely responsive and generally more tunable than the typical autowah.  It's like a free second pedal.
3) Sample-and-hold type stepped flange sweep (confident it will start showing up on singles as a gimmick intro).  You may want to hold off on your Maestro FSH-1 build.
4) Very wide and usable range of adjustments on all parameters.
5) Pos/neg flanging and three different "voices" available.
6) Diverse sweep waveforms.

There are a lot of really interesting and traditionally hard-to-get sounds in this pedal.  I don't know that it will render everything you own in your swept-delay bin as obsolete (there is SOME magic left in analog after all), but there is a lot of "hmm, I never even thought about doing that before" built in.  A very deep pedal, although I've known few flangers with 4 or more controls that weren't demanding of the user's planning.

One of the true delights of the Tone Core line is the stereo ins and outs.  They are not "true" stereo (i.e., completely independent parallel processing of each channel), but if you take the output of one channel and plug it into the input of the other channel, you can get some really interesting outcomes.  Especially since the input of each channel shows up in the output of the other.  Cross-channel feeds used in tandem with a stereo delay unit like their Echo Park can nail some fabulous constantly shifting textures and pads.  

My only misgiving is the tap tempo.  It works fine, certainly, but I personally find it awkward to use tap tempo for very long sweeps that don't lend themselves to a rhythmic feel.  On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with having traditional manual adjustment of sweep time, in tandem with tap tempo for those occasions where it is convenient and easy to do so.  Just keep your feet away from the treadle when gigging to avoid accidentally changing the sweep time/rate if its the sort of LFO rate that might be hard to judge and mentally convert into foot presses.

I've been champing at the bit to tell folks about this one.  Thankfully, the marketing people have finally made it possible.  Many thanks to Jeorge Tripps and his buddies for this one. Yet one more thing to ask for in your Christmas stocking.  Go ahead.  Ask.  It's way cheaper than a PS2 or PSP. :wink:

MartyMart

So it's digital. I *know* you won't care.
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2005, 11:58:05 AM »
I DO Care !!
I use the Space chorus/Tap Tremolo already.... sounds VERY cool !!

Can't wait, cheers Mark, you lucky S.O ******  :D

Marty.
"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm"
My Website www.martinlister.com

Arno van der Heijden

So it's digital. I *know* you won't care.
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2005, 12:06:52 PM »
Sounds awesome!!! Can't wait to try it out!  :twisted:

Now if I could first find some cash to buy the Line 6 Echo Park....

gez

Re: So it's digital. I *know* you won't care.
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2005, 12:11:20 PM »
Quote from: Mark Hammer
but there is a lot of "hmm, I never even thought about doing that before" built in.


There's a hell of a lot that digi can do that sounds totally unique.  I hear stuff all the time in dance music and think 'how the hell did they do that?!'.  There was a bit of a backlash when digi first reared its head (well, amongst guitarists - who tend to be conservative at best - there was), but there's a lot of potential for new sounds with this new technology and I find that quite exciting.

I can only echo Paul's comments in another thread, if I could do it all over again I'd be a programmer... :)
"They always say there's nothing new under the sun.  I think that that's a big copout..."  Wayne Shorter

cbriere

rt-20 ...wow
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2005, 12:12:25 PM »
looks interesting, all you can do with phasing effect....
I listen to the audiodemo of this one, BOSS RT-20

http://www.bossus.com/index.asp?pg=1&tmp=148

i like it preaty much, you???
cbriere

Vsat

So it's digital. I *know* you won't care.
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2005, 12:30:36 PM »
Mark,
Looks to have the makings of a nice digital unit.

Heck, my 24-stage phaser built 5 years ago has most of those features ...including continuously variable waveshape control with step modulation, norm/inverse modes=pos/neg regen, LED that indicates position in sweep plus rate. ...
Cheers, Mike

petemoore

.
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2005, 12:40:50 PM »
Does it "Like' a prefuzzed input, or is there an internal DSP fuzz that's 'nice'?
Convention creates following, following creates convention.

puretube

So it's digital. I *know* you won't care.
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2005, 12:44:43 PM »
yeah, Mark: since I *don`t care* too much about digistuff in that sense,
I didn`t go out tell it on the mountain, when I found friday`s news... :
http://acapella.harmony-central.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1002165

 :wink:

PS: anybody got the schemo/v*ro-layout, can I put an xpres..... :?:

Mark Hammer

So it's digital. I *know* you won't care.
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2005, 12:51:38 PM »
Quote from: Vsat
Mark,
Looks to have the makings of a nice digital unit.

Heck, my 24-stage phaser built 5 years ago has most of those features ...including continuously variable waveshape control with step modulation, norm/inverse modes=pos/neg regen, LED that indicates position in sweep plus rate. ...
Cheers, Mike


Mike, I have little doubt that you could make your phasers fetch the mail, trot to the Tigre GĂ©ant for milk, and invite Cheryl Tiegs herself over for dinner ( :wink: ).  I have seen and can humbly bear witness.  (I have a car again, and we should schedule a trip up to Shawville soon.  There chips in it for you, and I'll bring the Juno 106.)

Of course what exists in the world/universe of those who know and what exists in the universe of those who simply play can be two different things.  What I find so pleasing about this pedal as a product is that stuff the synth types have been responding to with "Yeah, there's some patching involved.  So what's your point?" for years now, finally turns up in a compact and easy to use package where patching is moot.  Sample & hold flanging in something the size of a DOD pedal that will run off a 9v battery (though not for a LONG time, but still...)?  Me likey.

Ton, I wasn't aware it was this close to release, and that samples had been posted.  I'm not so sure the samples do it justice, but they give some idea of the range.  The Step function is actually capable of being much more melodic than demonstrated.  If you like Alex Lifeson and Rush, there is much to be found in this pedal.  Tragically, the stereo-reprocessing possibilities are not illustrated, although I suppose at a certain point you have to say "That's enough posted samples".

puretube

So it's digital. I *know* you won't care.
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2005, 01:31:34 PM »
Probably the chance is quite small that you`ll hear me complaining about too much samples of a guitar being cut 44.1k times per second into 65k amplitudibitsies in an effect, then being recorded likewise (at other timeslices...), and then being "empeethreed" for bandwidthreducing...
(yes, I played in a band 22years ago with one of the guys of that workgroup @ the "Fraunhofer Institute" in Erlangen-Tennenlohe, 7 min. by bike from my home, that decided by algorithm which audio-information they regard "redundant").

Samples that I really dug, came from a Mellotron...

 :)  endofrant

Doug_H

  • Guest
So it's digital. I *know* you won't care.
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2005, 01:59:58 PM »
The sound clips sound awesome, Mark. :wink:

Doug

Vsat

So it's digital. I *know* you won't care.
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2005, 02:09:10 PM »
Mark,
Generally speaking, there are very few features which are truly "new" in any contemporary gear. Step-mod for phaser first implemented (AFAIK) in the ARP Quadra keyboard, the Countryman 968 IIRC gave a choice of  +/- envelope response.

For many products, all other things being equal, intelligent choice of a good set of features from a large range of possibilities may give it an edge on the competition. With digital, perhaps there is something to be said for keeping the interface simple and straightforward and avoiding inclusion of extra features of dubious value.  Anyway, congrats to Line 6 for getting the R&D done and putting this on the market.
Cheers, Mike

Mark Hammer

So it's digital. I *know* you won't care.
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2005, 03:16:26 PM »
Quote from: Vsat
Mark,
Generally speaking, there are very few features which are truly "new" in any contemporary gear. Step-mod for phaser first implemented (AFAIK) in the ARP Quadra keyboard, the Countryman 968 IIRC gave a choice of  +/- envelope response.


Bingo. A great deal of what makes for an exciting pedal these days is really and truly the efficient and cost-effective repackaging of accomplishments achieved over the decades with a jungle of patch cords by folks in the synth and studio trade.  Well, that and whatever improvements in control or sonic quality as may be achieved through improvements in newer components.

Quote
For many products, all other things being equal, intelligent choice of a good set of features from a large range of possibilities may give it an edge on the competition. With digital, perhaps there is something to be said for keeping the interface simple and straightforward and avoiding inclusion of extra features of dubious value.  Anyway, congrats to Line 6 for getting the R&D done and putting this on the market.
Cheers, Mike


Absolutely.  There ARE some things that I'd probably want on this pedal (though, like Jack Orman, my only role was to get one in the mail, play with it for a couple of weeks and say what I liked and didn't) that aren't on it.  But all the same, being able to simply rotate a small switch and go from TZF to sample & hold type sweep to envelope-controlled sweep without having to plug in, unplug, re-adjust, flick this switch, flick that one, etc., is pure luxury.  You can enjoy a product because of the things it lets you do, but sometimes you can enjoy a product because of how it lets you get to doing things, even if it doesn't let you do them all.  Like you say - intelligent choice.

There are a few other fun pedals on the way in this series, but I need to be discrete about them for now.

aron

So it's digital. I *know* you won't care.
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2005, 03:17:07 PM »
The Echo Park is also a killer effects unit. There are just so many things you can do with it.

I love tap tempo and it works great with chorus and delay etc...

http://line6.com/tonecore/echoPark.html

Mark Hammer

So it's digital. I *know* you won't care.
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2005, 07:33:01 PM »
Quote from: aron
I love tap tempo and it works great with chorus and delay etc...l


After living with it for a bit, I confess to liking tap tempo a lot too.  Still, it works best when you can mentally go "ONE, steamboat, TWO, steamboat", etc.  You can certainly use it for repeat times that sync up with song rhythms, but once the inter-tap interval starts to turn into "ONE, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen.....ONE, two, three, four, five, etc.", it starts to get wonky and perhaps more trouble than it's worth.

One way around it is to provide some visual feedback of how long it's been since the last toe tap, but then that starts to oblige the sorts of visual displays, chassis space, and concommitant electronics that make the device more complex and more expensive.  I think Jeorge, Angelo, and the rest of the team did what they could within the medium and at the designated price-point and current consumption.  In that regard, they succeeded nicely.  They have little to apologize for when it comes to the limitations of the human/machine interface.

But while we're at it, here's a challenge for all the PIC-meisters out there.  Howzabout a generic standalone PIC-based tap-tempo LFO for feeding to "expression pedal" inputs or functionally equvalent CV inputs.

Come to think of it, that's not a bad idea for a commercial product.  Not the HUGEST of markets, but clearly a niche that has been essentially unexplored.  Hell, why *shouldn't* someone with an A/DA Flanger have the convenience of tap tempo?

aron

So it's digital. I *know* you won't care.
« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2005, 08:22:38 PM »
Quote
You can certainly use it for repeat times that sync up with song rhythms


I use it all the time live and it works perfectly. It's great to have chorusing that's in time as well as delay.

Peter Snowberg

So it's digital. I *know* you won't care.
« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2005, 09:36:55 PM »
This is a good opportunity to encourage some digital effects hacking.

Basic digital LFOs are SUPER easy to create. The big issue is usually the output mode and the I/O required for it. In this case we can output two square waves for clocking a BBD directly and the I/O requirement falls considerably. Now we just need speed. At $1.40 in singles, the Atmel ATtiny13 delivers exactly what we need in an 8 pin package. :D

I designed a super-duper digital LFO a while back and then lost all the code in a hard disk crash. That one pushed me to buy a RAID setup.  :(

The principle is very straight forward. You create an interrupt via a timer with a known rate. Every time you reset the timer, you invert the status of the two outputs. Since you are under program control, you can make sure the waves are not overlapping for the best BBD control. You can also control the overlap to create degraded signals if that's what you wanted.

The 8 pin package doesn't give us enough I/O, but with a simple mux (multiplexer) we can get 8 control signals in and have 3 status LEDs. The control signals can be a pot with 1024 position resolution, a two or three position toggle, a rotary switch, or even a CDS cell if you wanted. Three pins of the tiny13 are used to drive a 1-of-8 mux like the 4051 while a fourth pin feeds the selected signal to the A/D. The remaining two I/O pins are the phase1 and phase2 outputs to the BBD.

Here's an example that could be easily created:

LED1: tempo indicator
LED2: status indicator

INPUT1: Clock speed (pot)
INPUT2: Modulation LFO clock speed (pot)
INPUT3: Modulation clock wave shape (12 position rotary switch)
INPUT4: Tap tempo switch (momentary N.O.)
INPUT5: Reset LFO (momentary N.O.)
INPUT6: LFO Symmetry (pot)

I'll be selling something like this in the future (it would be ill advised to hold ones breath until then though ;)), but I've got to save up a little to get the JTAG ICE Mk-II whcih supports DebugWire (TM). Until then I'm "stuck" with the JTAG ICE Mk-I and the chips it supports. :D
Eschew paradigm obfuscation

d95err

So it's digital. I *know* you won't care.
« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2005, 06:06:02 AM »
Quote from: Mark Hammer
But while we're at it, here's a challenge for all the PIC-meisters out there.  Howzabout a generic standalone PIC-based tap-tempo LFO for feeding to "expression pedal" inputs or functionally equvalent CV inputs.


The problem is that different pedals will interpret the expression pedal input differently. You would need some way to calibrate the tapped tempo to the CV interpretation of the target effect. This would be really difficult, because each pedal would interpret the CV differently.

For example, one pedal could interpret CV in the range 1-300ms delay and another in the range 200-400ms. The interpretation might not even be linear (e.g double voltage does not necessarily mean double delay time).

Mark Hammer

So it's digital. I *know* you won't care.
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2005, 09:44:20 AM »
Those are excellent points you raise.  On the other hand, I would think that a standalone unit could be designed to be "recalibrated" or have its output rescaled in some manner to anticipate exactly those needs.  For instance if the CV range between 3.3vdc and 5vdc is where the "hot zone" of the pedal lives, then the LFO output should be rescalable to cover the same range.

Arno van der Heijden