H9 Harmonizer… Harmonies are useless!

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    • #112403
      MrT
      Participant

      I love my H9, great delays and many other useful sounds, but what really annoys me, and is quite ironic, is that it's called a 'Harmonizer' yet I can't find a decent harmony sound that I can use for solos for example.. all the sounds on the Octaver and H910 are silly 3-4-up to 10 part harmonies which sound ridiculous! Half the reason I bought this pedal is to get a nice clean 3rd or 5th which sounds clean and real. Here's a link to a 'Steel Panther' song which is a perfect example of what I'm looking for.. I'd love to know what he uses to get this effect, cause he gets the same thing live, so it must be an effects pedal. If anyone has any suggestions on how to achieve this please let me know! Pretty sure you can't get it on the H9. 

      Solo I'm referring to is at 2.51

      Many thanks!

    • #127613
      LA Keys
      Participant

      Let me first say that I'm not a guitar player but according to wikipedia you will see that Satchel use very few stomp box.

      As a strating point have a look there:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russ_Parrish

      I then suggest to find out if this is exact. The idea is that once you know what he's using to produce that sound it's much easier to replicate it…

      Just my $0.02

      LA

    • #138486
      Bodde
      Participant

      Why is the harmonizer useless?

      You can do this with the H9 easily. But you have to know how to set this up. I have listened to that  Steel Panther song you mention (at 2:51). For that one you have to use the Diatonic Shifter algo. Can't do this with the H910/H949 algo because it follows a certain scale. Set scale to Eb harmonic minor scale (Hmin). Use only Pitch A and set that to a third above (+3). That's it.

      • #151703
        BillHolmberg
        Member
        Bodde wrote:

        Why is the harmonizer useless?

        You can do this with the H9 easily. But you have to know how to set this up. I have listened to that  Steel Panther song you mention (at 2:51). For that one you have to use the Diatonic Shifter algo. Can’t do this with the H910/H949 algo because it follows a certain scale. Set scale to Eb harmonic minor scale (Hmin). Use only Pitch A and set that to a third above (+3). That’s it.

        Dont know if you are still around but can you share a screen shot of what you mean? I dont see Diatonic shifter- I have the diatonic algo- and it seems that im not clear also about the A+B mix, etc…?

    • #138487
      MrT
      Participant

      Thanks for that LA.. Yes I have read about his gear before, but unless you physically go to a Steel Panther show and see his pedal board it's hard to know exactly what he still uses, but there is definitely a great sounding harmonizer there. Would love to know what it is!

    • #138489
      MrT
      Participant

      Thanks for the response bodde.. Yeah I've had a play around with the Diatonic Algo but it still sounds a bit 'fake'. I'll purchase it and spend more time on it but so far it still doesn't come close to the sound on the song I mentioned. His guitar harmonies are so clear and distinct it's as if there's another guitar player playing the harmony part! I must find out what he uses! I still find that for a pedal that's close to $1000 AUD (if you max it out) there are a lot of Algorithms that you just would not use in a live situation; not saying they're not cool to play around with, but not realistically useful. They should have focused on more Chorus sounds, or better Phaser sounds for example. The EQ Compressor is pretty useful, and I love the Delays. The Q-Wah is pretty cool also.

    • #138490
      gkellum
      Member

      MrT:

      They should have focused on more Chorus sounds, or better Phaser sounds for example. 

      There are more chorus sounds in the H9 than might meet the eye at first glance. Beside the chorus algorithm, you can also get some interesting chorus / thickening sounds out of MicroPitch and H910/H949.  Listening to that video, I thought he probably had a couple of different effects going. We had a guitarist who played at our booth in NAMM that used a small bit of chorus and a small bit of delay to thicken his guitar sound besides adding distortion and sometimes more obvious effects.

    • #138491
      joeydego
      Participant

      This post leaves me scratching my head and wondering if the op is using the same pedal the rest of us are. 

    • #138494
      MrT
      Guest

      If you are finding the harmonized note to be too 'fake' sounding, try having the H9 generate the lower of the two notes. That way the lower synthetic harmony may be masked somewhat by your natural/pure/direct top note.

      I haven't got around to trying that yet, but read the tip from a Line6 M-series user who was recreating the harmonies from that Thin Lizzy number (you know the one).

    • #138496
      LA Keys
      Participant

      MrT:

      … His guitar harmonies are so clear and distinct it's as if there's another guitar player playing the harmony part! I must find out what he uses! …

      Well, that's maybe just what he's using for recordings: himself as the second guitar for the harmonies….

      My point is that unless you saw him playing live with that sound you just don't know how he's doing it…

      I've seen countless of songs where a guitar was doubled by the same musicians in the recording studio. Elton john did it on some recording where you can clearly hear 2 pianos playing at the same time. One of my friend, a drum player, also found that even drummer use that "trick" sometimes, making it impossible to reproduce the same thing with a single man. On the same line: I was at a Van Halen show lately and heard him playing both the guitar and the synth for the song "jump" at the same time?!? Of course the synth was pre-recorded, even if this was a live show…

      Even live sometimes lies Geeked

      LA

    • #138498
      MrT
      Participant

      Thanks for that Timmy! Ill play around with it

    • #138499
      MrT
      Participant

      Yes obviously it's easy to do in the studio.. But he does it live too so it has to be either a great sounding Harmony Pedal, or its on a click track in which case the drummer has to be right on it and not waver at all for it to blend in!

    • #138501
      MrT
      Participant

      Thanks gkellum. Yep I actually prefer the chorus on the H910/H949, and its a very useful Algo! Perhaps "useless" was a little harsh of me to say for the Harmony effects but I'm still trying to find a nice sounding one, I'm sure I'll come up with something.. Cheers 🙂

    • #138521
      Bodde
      Participant

      MrT:

      Thanks for the response bodde.. Yeah I've had a play around with the Diatonic Algo but it still sounds a bit 'fake'

      Did you try my settings? You have to know how to set up the diatonic harmonizer for that specific song. I am convinced he double tracked that guitar in the studio. A harmonizer never sounds as natural as a double tracked guitar.

      Also it is important where you place the harmonizer in your effect chain; before the distortion or after, in the fx loop of your amp or not. All options have different sounds which can have different uses. For some sounds I prefer it before the distortion for others after.

      So before dissing the H9 harmonizer you might want to experiment some more.

    • #138522
      MrT
      Participant

      Yes I've been playing around with it. There's some ok sounds there; I actually found some pretty cool sounds in the H910 Algo. I'm not "dissing" the pedal, I love it, just frustrating sometimes. Yes that doubled guitar would be tracked in the studio, but he does get the same sound live, that's whet I'd like to know, how he achieves that!

    • #127620
      LA Keys
      Participant

      This was bugging me, so I did some research and found a few clues:

      First clue is at 11.21:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMgLWFL_Rfs

      (Also note that this guy know for sure how to use a looper…)

      Second clue: http://metalassault.com/gig_reviews/2012/07/17/steel-panther-sleaze-up-the-regency/


      " The guitar harmonies during Satchel’s solos seemed to come out of nowhere- he moved around onstage too much for it to have been a harmonizer pedal, so either a second guitarist was playing backstage or the harmonies were being piped in"

      … I would agree with the later…

      LA

      The guitar harmonies during Satchel’s solos seemed to come out of
      nowhere- he moved around onstage too much for it to have been a
      harmonizer pedal, so either a second guitarist was playing backstage or
      the harmonies were being piped in. – See more at:
      http://metalassault.com/gig_reviews/2012/07/17/steel-panther-sleaze-up-the-regency/#sthash.TwW2HEwT.dpuf

      Show More...
      The guitar harmonies during Satchel’s solos seemed to come out of
      nowhere- he moved around onstage too much for it to have been a
      harmonizer pedal, so either a second guitarist was playing backstage or
      the harmonies were being piped in. – See more at:
      http://metalassault.com/gig_reviews/2012/07/17/steel-panther-sleaze-up-the-regency/#sthash.TwW2HEwT.dpuf

      The guitar harmonies during Satchel’s solos seemed to come out of
      nowhere- he moved around onstage too much for it to have been a
      harmonizer pedal, so either a second guitarist was playing backstage or
      the harmonies were being piped in. – See more at:
      http://metalassault.com/gig_reviews/2012/07/17/steel-panther-sleaze-up-the-regency/#sthash.TwW2HEwT.dpuf

      The guitar harmonies during Satchel’s solos seemed to come out of
      nowhere- he moved around onstage too much for it to have been a
      harmonizer pedal, so either a second guitarist was playing backstage or
      the harmonies were being piped in. – See more at:
      http://metalassault.com/gig_reviews/2012/07/17/steel-panther-sleaze-up-the-regency/#sthash.TwW2HEwT.dpuf
      Show Less...
    • #138526
      MrT
      Participant

      Hey thanks for the research! Yeah I'm starting to believe that the guitar harmonies are on the click track! They have some keys etc. on click so maybe the guitar harmony part is on there.. The drummer is pretty good to stay right on the click (my drummer uses a click and it's quite handy). There's no Harmony pedal that can sound like that so I'd say that assumption is correct.. I have some friends in the LA scene that would probably know Russ, so I'll tell them to ask him!! 🙂

    • #138547
      Grigg Haws
      Member

      I won't mention names here. A good friend of mine is touring Nashville player and I also do FOH for regional bands.  Very likely it's tracks.  The reason I mention the Nashville guy is.

      He is currently on tour with a instantly recognizeable name in the business.

      Everything is on tracks, all of it, they have a ducker built in, and when anybody wants to stop playing, they just let up on their instrument, and the track takes over.

      That way they can run around, smile laugh, pose for the girls, and make generally better wrestling faces while they solo etc. When they want to go live again they just start playing their instruments with authority. 

    • #138551
      MrT
      Participant

      Yeah I figured that must be it! Cheers for that Grigg 🙂

    • #138570
      atomheart411
      Participant

      I've seen rig run downs where a roadie talks about being back stage with a pedal board clicking things in and out. Zack Wylde does this for instance. If you don't believe, here's the link. He first mentions it at the 3:20 mark but also mentions it later. Not that this answers the original question.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Jd0zypZlXY

    • #138572
      MrT
      Participant

      Yeah mate, nothing unusual there.. I have my pedals off stage also and run everything via midi to foot controllers

    • #138693
      jnorris
      Member

      The harmonies are not useless by any means, but they are somewhat fake sounding. With a bit of subtle application, there is hope. I usually run the diatonic with a mix setting of around 20-25 for a harmony part, and usually only use pitch a. I just set up different presets for different keys and scales and generally use a third down. I agree with the earlier post that it sounds more convincing if the harmony is the lower pitch.

    • #138697
      Grigg Haws
      Member

      I have used them, The trick with them or any other harmonizer I have ever used. Don't try to mix it in too much. The more you draw attention to it, the more unrealistic it sounds. Think about it, Usually harmony voices in a vocal mix are not nearly as loud as the lead vocalist carrying the melody. Keep that in mind when using a harmonizer.

    • #138698
      MrT
      Participant

      Thanks for that!

    • #138699
      MrT
      Participant

      Thanks Grigg Haws, very true… I think I'll just record a harmony part on the Click Track!

    • #141895
      crabalocker
      Member

      I know this thread is old but I found this….maybe it will help  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qiarun8ZPMA

    • #141907
      MrT
      Participant

      Thanks for that crabalocker.. Since this post I’ve had a good play around with the harmony Algo’s available and have more of an understanding on how they work.I’m pretty sure Satchel form Steel Panther has the harmony part on Track.. I’m using different settings from Pitch Flex etc…

       

      Thanks everyone for your input!

    • #142324
      breath_electric
      Member

      I sort of get where the op is coming from, although the title is a bit extreme. I used to have an ehx pog2, which I loved (probably going to buy another one actually). I love my h9 for the delays, and reverbs, and flexible fine-tunability combined with an enormous pallette of possible sounds. I have never had so much fun with an expression pedal before! But…the pitchfactor portion of the pedal I struggle with a bit. I miss the surprisingly organic cello, mellotron flute, organ, etc. sounds I could get with just the octaves/filter/attack/detune settings on the ehx pedal, and with a fuzz it was just crazy, filthy, synthy heaven. I’ve found some awesome sounds lurking in the pitchfactor algos but not without a fair amount of diving, and it seems to be much better at whacked out craziness than it does at creating organic, rich sounding harmonies and textures. I enjoy making my guitar sound like anything but a guitar…my wishlist for the h9 would be almost all improved pitch algorithms for changing the timbre of a guitar to: cello, banjo, sitar, oud, flute, sax, viola, organ, synth, banjo, etc. Granted, I’m not a designer and I have no idea how difficult or possible that is, but…    

       

      • #142331
        MrT
        Participant
        breath_electric wrote:

        I sort of get where the op is coming from, although the title is a bit extreme. I used to have an ehx pog2, which I loved (probably going to buy another one actually). I love my h9 for the delays, and reverbs, and flexible fine-tunability combined with an enormous pallette of possible sounds. I have never had so much fun with an expression pedal before! But…the pitchfactor portion of the pedal I struggle with a bit. I miss the surprisingly organic cello, mellotron flute, organ, etc. sounds I could get with just the octaves/filter/attack/detune settings on the ehx pedal, and with a fuzz it was just crazy, filthy, synthy heaven. I’ve found some awesome sounds lurking in the pitchfactor algos but not without a fair amount of diving, and it seems to be much better at whacked out craziness than it does at creating organic, rich sounding harmonies and textures. I enjoy making my guitar sound like anything but a guitar…my wishlist for the h9 would be almost all improved pitch algorithms for changing the timbre of a guitar to: cello, banjo, sitar, oud, flute, sax, viola, organ, synth, banjo, etc. Granted, I’m not a designer and I have no idea how difficult or possible that is, but…    

         

        Thanks for the input Tangent! yeah I was a bit annoyed at the first instance of writing this post! Since then, yes I find the H9 extremely useful, in fact it’s now the only pedal on my board (apart from a gain pedal) and I use Voodoo Lab Ground Control to control all the presets and channel switching! I hardly use the Harmonizer section, apart from the ‘Flex’ which provides a good ‘Whammy’! I use a one octave harmonizer on one song, but yeah I think my point was valid as it call itself a Harmoizer pedal, so you’d think that would be the ‘prize’ sounds! I do love the delays, reverbs and even the flanger is pretty useful.. the Phaser Algo lacks a bit I think..

    • #151706
      MrT
      Participant

      Thanks Bodde, I had it pretty much sussed, but since this post unfortunately I had to part with my H9, but do intend to get another one some time in the near future

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