Pitch Factor – Harmonizing Distorted Guitar Leads

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    • #108804

      I bought a Pitch Factor primarily to harmonize my guitar lines (with distortion). Initially I thought it was horrible, both tracking wise and sound wise, but searching through this forum has helped me tweaking its tracking performance.

      Now, my main concern is how the unit affects my tone. Initially I placed it post gain, in the FX loop of the amp, with a result that really slaughtered my tone. It sounds like the tone is trapped within a tiny box… Horrible! So, I've moved it in front of the amp. To use the harmonizer like this would require two amps, which will make my rig bigger, heavier and more expensive. That would be okay if it really solved my problem, but I still think it colors the tone too much, although it's a lot better than it used to be in the amp's FX loop.

      So, I need some input from you experts here. Is the "tone killing" I've experienced due to the FX loops of the amps being poor (I've tried it with a Marshall JCM2000 and an ADA Mp-1)? Or is it simply a bad idea to use a distorted input on these boxes? What's you recommendation for getting an optimal harmonized result? Would an Eclipse be a better tool for me?

    • #123485

      The way you described your sound with PF attached after the preamp ("trapped within a tiny box") makes me think that maybe you should check your Killdry setting in PF. If the effect loop section of your amp is marked as parallel, you should set Killdry to ON, to avoid phase problems caused by running two dry signals at the same time. If your efx loop is serial, you should set Killdry to OFF and than set the amount of processed (pitched) tone with dry/wet knob.

      If Killdry setting doesn't solve a problem… I would suggest 3-amp-configuration. Your JCM could remain the main amp, and the other two (possibly smaller and cheaper) could monitor your stereo effects – choruses, delays, modulation, pitch, anything that comes after the preamp in your chain. In my honest opinion, that is the only way to keep your initial tone uncompromised, not only with PF but with any effect box on the market.

      Hope this helps.

    • #123486

      Usually a distorted input works fine PitchFactor. I haven't tried PitchFactor with a JCM2000 effects loop so I can't say whether it's the loop that is poor. Do you know whether it is a parallel or series loop? That makes a difference in the sound and you you should set things up.

      Consider that if you did have a real guitar player playing harmonies, he/she would probably not plug into the same amp as you. They would probably have their own amp. If you are using PitchFactor strictly to simulate another guitar player
      playing harmonies, then sending the PitchFactor's wet signal to another
      amp would sound closest to the real thing.

    • #123487

      Thanks for your reply. I've used the same reasoning as you, ending up with a dual amp setup as the ideal for my needs. But I felt I needed some confirmation before spending a lot of money on two new heads (the JCM2000 has two series loops btw).  

      A follow up question, would another unit (for example the Eclipse) give a better end result? I guess the rack units have more processing power and better converters than the Pitch Factor? Or would it be overkill to use such a unit as a dedicated harmonizer in front of two amps?

    • #123488

      Thanks for your input. I've never thought of a three amp solution. I had come down to either:

      i)Guitar -> One preamp -> Pitch Factor (stereo out) => stereo power amp
      ii)Guitar -> Pitch Factor (Mono in/Stereo out) =>  preamp Right/preamp Left

      Where the Pitch Factor is placed in the loop of a rack switcher. I will surly test the three amp approach! 

      The loop of the JCM is serial, but it won't be my main amp in the end… I will keep in mind that I have to enable KillDry for the MicroPitch FX that I want to have in parallel post gain. 

    • #134574
      Eventide Staff


      I guess the rack units have more processing power and better converters than the Pitch Factor?

      This is no doubt true, but the PF is neither low powered nor equipped with bad converters. While we might have a financial interest in persuading everyone to buy rack units, I'm not sure that this would be the solution to your situation unless your requirements are very demanding. There is a whole world of issues involving bad cables, impedance mismatches, incorrect gain staging etc which are more likely to be the cause of your problem.

      Unfortunately, it is obviously hard for us to diagnose these problems remotely. It's very helpful when other users have similar setups and have solved the same problems.

    • #134575

      I've heard that the Eclipse has a lag while switching presets. Has this been improved, or do the Pitch Factor still have an advantage over the rack unit in this respect?

      My needs are a dedicated unit for harmonizing guitar leads. I assume that the Pitch Factor has enough processing power to do this, at least with some delay to allow processing, but I'm not sure whether the more advanced converters of the Eclipse would yield a better end result or not. 

      The setup I've used for testing is really simple, only my guitar, the Pitch Factor, an amp head and a speaker cabinet. the input/output switches of the Pitch Factor has been set according to how I've connected the gear. I've also adjusted the output level.

    • #134576

      The Eclipse is a very different unit to Pitchfactor, program change wise there is a slight lag when going from one preset to another…but not when you are engaging / bypassing or manipulating the parameters within a preset.

      As the others say though, it is not likely to "solve" the issues you are having.

      i went from running a rig with 3 factors in to an Eclipse and in all honesty I did not notice any improvement or degrading of the signal…but then I never had an issue in the first place with "tone suck"

    • #134577

      I enabled the Killdry on my Space as it is placed in the loop of my Boss GT-10 guitar FX. That loop has 3 modes – normal (serial), direct line (parallel) and branch out (output only). I've sometimes switched the killdry on/off. In most cases, there has been no difference. I am using lots of the GT-10's internal FX too though.

    • #123562

      I found the PF did not sound good in an fx loop or before an overdrive. For me it works best AFTER a OD/distortion pedal and into an amp's guitar input (pre amp). If used pre OD (pedal or amp), the distortion just smears the multiple note lines. My advice is to use pedal OD when you need harmonized runs and use a clean-ish amp setting (doesn't have to be completely clean, juts not heavily OD'd).

    • #123568

      Thanks for your input. I'll get hold of an OD pedal and try it out. 

    • #123579

      I have a Pitchfactor and it doesn't slaughter my tone at all. I run it through a Bogner Ubscherschall with a pretty hot signal coming out.

      Did you check your input meters? Also, do you have the correct Input/Output switches set correctly? You will want it to match your effects loop.

      Also, do a quick a Google search on JCM 2000 effects loop. It appears many people have issues with these loops.

    • #123580

      What input meters? The unit is not clipping. I set the in/out switches to line when used in FX loop, but it sounds more or less the same no matter how I put them. It sounds as bad in the loop of a JCM2000 as a Mesa Rectifier.

      The only way I can make it sound decent is to split my guitar signal, running one straight into amp A, and the second signal through the PF into amp B. What I've found since my last post, is that it responds better when I use the neck pickup. That leads me to believe that if I cut certain high frequencies, I could make it sound good. I'll get hold of an EQ to experiment. Maybe a noise gate in front of it would be beneficial also?

    • #123608

      The PF works 100% ok with distorted sounds(high gain double solos,etc.), only in the effects loop of the amp head.This box can send your imagination to the ultimate level.I put it in the effects loop right out of the box(for listen to it how it sounds,i tested it in front of the amp too and it sounds horrible) and it is still there,making double solos every time i want.I have it for about a month and until now, i've already read only how to save one sound in the first bank( BANK 1:1).I bought it only for the diatonic shifting,nothing else(until now)Please make sure that the cables you use,the connectors,the plugs,everything is ok.I'm telling you that,because i didn't noticed those problems you have posted.Just ultimate harmonizing and a completely true bypass pedal with no signal problems.Be careful when you use the mixing knob (upper left knob) maybe you haven't the right blend of the signal and ofcourse the two little switches beside the ins &outs.REMEMBER: The manual shows some paradigms of where you must have these switches with every connection……..but………sometimes your ears want something else.Try these little switches in different possitions.There are no rules here,it's just what you want to hear from the PF. PitchFactor does not killing your tone,it is making your tone better,and you sound better as a player.Something else in the signal chain is not ok.Check out the manual and make a reinitialize to its memory if it's possible,if you buy it used (i have not read my manual yet).Take it from the start ,step by step and you'll find the solution.I play metal with high gain settings all the time and i think that this pedal is the best pedal i've ever owned.One thing i want to tell you more: for a month,every time i'm taking the manual and my guitar in my hands and say to myself:now you're gonna learn this pedal(how to save sounds in banks,how to change presets via midi and other things to have the 100% of my eventide pedal), i'm  ALWAYS playing with only one or two sounds and the manual finally collecting dust on my desk.I want to play with this pedal more than any pedal i've tryed all these years.It is amazing. And i'm just using only the Diatonic shifting until now.So check it out,something else happening


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