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Reply To: Digital Bigsby on H9?

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krcassid wrote:

I am a Bigsby/ trem addict.  Unfortunately, I have a number of guitars that don’t have them.  On those guitars, I constantly find my right hand reaching for the missing trem/ Bigsby arm.  It strikes me that it might be possible to get close to the “wavering” sound (I don’t divebomb) with an H9 and expression pedal.  I played with the vibrato algo a bit and it wasn’t bad.  But, it strikes me that I might be better off with a pitch algo … 

  Your first consideration here is that – if you’re going for realism – the pitch algorithm will have to be 100% wet, or have the ability to switch instantly from dry to 100% wet.  I’d go through all of the pitch algos, with the pitch controls set to unison, and MIX at 100.  Then decide if you can live with the tonal change as (somewhat of) an ‘always on’ effect.  Some algos will do this better than others.  And the change in tone may be exactly as intended for other types of effects.

krcassid wrote:

… What I am trying to do it to create that gentle wavering in pitch, but not perfectly like vibrato does.  I was thinking that maybe using an expression pedal to control the pitch across a very narrow range (the range of a Bigsby, maybe 50 cents, primarily down).  But, to make it more realistic, I need some modulation in the rate.  A Bigsby/ Trem is not fixed.  Typically your rate of pitch change (as opposed to depth in cents) varies.   So, I’m looking for an algorithm that will do both the pitch and the rate w/ 1 exp pedal … 

  I can think of several pitch algorithms that will get you all or part of the way there.  Each one is going to have its own advantages & disadvantages.  After ‘testing for tone’ with the algorithms, let me know if any particular pitch algo is more acceptable to you (at 100% wet).  Then we can work out the specifics on how close you can get to your requirements here.

Some Leading Candidates:

  • HarModulator
  • MicroPitch
  • H910 / H949
  • PitchFlex

  A few of these are going to be too coarse (100 cents / m2), or jump from a +/- 30 cent increment to m2, but there are ways around that.  MicroPitch meets most of your criteria, but the +/- 30c modulation has locked symmetry over the 50c up & down pitch shifts.  The FLEX switch doubles the current pitch shift values (up to +/- 100 cents).  PitchFlex is the better option for polyphonic whammy, but you’ll have to manually control range and wavering modulation with your foot.  There are choices and compromises to be made.

krcassid wrote:

… Any ideas how this would be best done?   The vibrato/ pan algorithm wasn’t bad, just a bit too mechanical.   I’m going to post same to Rack Forum as my Eclipse might be a better option but I’d prefer the H9.


  The Vibrato algo might not be ‘deep’ enough for what you’re after here.  Setting the TYPE to RETRO can get you some wide wobbles; especially with more STAGES.  But this mode does fold in more of a phase-shifting effect.  And your lowest SPEED limit bottoms out at 1.00 Hz, which is still too fast enough to disguise its regularity.

  There are ways to get around the ‘mechanical’ aspect, though.  The ModFactor algorithms have that hardwired, double-layered modulation.  It causes confusion among traditional effects users, but it’s tremendously versatile … once you wrap your head around the concepts.  In the example below, DEPTH and SPEED are increased heel to toe by an expression pedal.  They are both modulated up to 25% by a RANDOM waveshape.

  This pitch modulation-on-modulation can get a whole lot more RANDOM than that: [https://www.eventideaudio.com/community/forum/stompboxes/some-random-h9-presets

  But whole intent here is to dial up the DEPTH, change the SPEED, modulate both parameters regularly, plus add random variations, and put it all under control of one foot pedal sweep.

  I should note that I ranged DEPTH from 1 to 50 here.  Sometimes having the Heel position at 0 will produce a noticeable ‘jump’ to engaging the effect. (… You just happen to hit a deep RANDOM position, while kicking in the expression pedal, and … )  The SPEED is varied from 1.00 Hz. (should be lower) to 4.00 Hz. ( A slow, ‘natural’ vibrato rate, but maybe a bit too fast for this application).  The idea is to give more range to the expression pedal than you actually may need, then use the pedal with active dynamics & tight control.