Shimmer Demo (Or, the Extent of the Madness Demo)

Shimmer. That synthy, symphonic reverb sound that plays secondarily in the background off of whatever you’re playing. Nearly impossible to obtain, and the holy grail of using effects on guitar.

This is all true. If you’re living in 1985. Which sometimes I am. (That also means I’d be one year old, but don’t bother me with logistics.)

The truth is, you really don’t need a shimmer demo. All you need to do is buy a Line 6 Verbzilla. Or an Eventide Pitchfactor. Or a Roland UD-Stomp. Digitech Timebender. Lexicon reverb. Line 6 M13. M9. There are inventions now that allow you to get shimmer by pushing a button. Inventions that allow you to not be me. See, I have convinced myself that none of those shimmer effects sound good enough. Or that it really is 1985 and none of those shimmer effects have been invented yet. And I’ve created my own. Never mind that it takes 3 pedals, 3 power supplies, 4 cables, and enough pedalboard real estate (don’t you hate it when people refer to the pedalboards as if they’re beachfront property being sold on Glengary Glen Ross? Oh! Or what is infinitely worse…Boiler Room? Gotta love Vin Diesel. Except that you don’t…) to fit 3 Varidrives. It’s that whole lego thing for me again. Why build what’s on the box?

So I humbly submit to you this demo, for those of you of which whom (stupid grammar) the madness has overtaken as much as it has me. The sound here is a little less crystalline, and a little more earthy. I’m trying to get the desired effect of washy beauty underneath everything you play, without completely ripping off the pristine crystal-sounding ‘shimmer’ that Edge pioneered. (Stupid Edge and his pioneering. Leave something for the rest of us!) Which is difficult because I love him so much. But in general, I love the feelings his sound brings, and would like my sound to bring those same feelings, but while ‘sounding’ different. Which is probably a good rule in general for heros. And I tend to like a bit more of an earthy (sorry, trying really hard not to use the word ‘organic’) tone.

The Pedals for shimmer

–Dan Burgess (This1smyne) parallel looper
(–>Boss RV3–>EH POG–>

All hooked up as the last thing in the effects chain before the amp.

Other Pedals (on at various times)

–Hartman germanium fuzz
–Hermida Mosferatu
–Damage Control Timeline’s
–Diamond Memory Lane
–Arion SAD-1

Clean Tone

Prairiewood Les Paul–>
VHT Valvulator (JJ gold pin, hehe)–>
Matchless HC30

Gotta mention the Valvulator, as in order to show a demo of how effects react to other effects, you should probably run through your whole board. :)

And the Demo (this one’s edited a bit, as I was even more mumblier and long-winded than usual…hard to believe, I know):

So the keys, for me, are having a parallel looper so that I can have a separate wet/dry mix so that I can 1) keep my dry signal untouched should I wish, and 2) be able to run the reverb at full mix for that slow gear/delayed attack effect. It also helps that I can mix it to taste on the fly with my foot. And it really helps to have something like the POG, which can do two octaves up, instead of only one. It keeps a lot of distance between what you’re playing, and between the shimmer effect, which helps maintain clarity while still getting some ambient warmth. The RV3 was my choice for reverb, because I don’t really like it as a reverb. But it leaves these weird digitally artifacts in its decay, that I really dig for the shimmery, crystalline decay. Oh, and you really need to run the reverb before the POG, so that the delayed attack is what’s hitting the octaves.

The POG also holds up very well to overdrive being fed into it. I’m sure that’s partly helped by the diffusion of a full mix reverb before it in the chain. But that was my main worry about all this was that it would only work with clean tone. But it does actually work when driven, and even takes on a different character sometimes that may even be more desirable than when run clean.

I have gotten questions asking if there is a reason I chose the POG over the POG2. And yes. Yes, there is. I could not afford a POG2. The used prices on those things are still not far enough below retail to justify that. And, since they are so popular, people are basically giving away these original POG’s. So, for now, it’s the original POG for me. I mean…um…the original silver box version has the old military grade clipping diodes that are nearly impossible to find now. The silver box POG’s sound way better, and will retain their value more. There we go. Now that’s on the internet, and I can sell my original silver box version POG for $1250 in a couple years.

So that’s my version of shimmer. I like to call it the warmer, weightier, more transparent, better version. Others might call it the why-on-earth-would-you-go-through-all-that-trouble-you-loser version. Eh, either one. Whichever works best for you. ;)

Oh ya. And then blasted Strymon came out with the Blue Sky reverb with what sounds like an incredible and tweakable shimmer mode, right as I was in the middle of putting all this together. And I have their compressor, and it’s quite fantastic. Strymon, you’re making it really hard for me to keep the musical side of my brain still thinking it’s 1985.

Oh, and because it’s awesome (meaning, not very much at all):

Mr. Diesel in Boiler Room. That man, in that movie, almost made Ben Affleck look like he can act. Almost. And my other favorite actor, Giovanni Ribisi, also cries and mumbles his way through this movie, but I figured I’d give him a reprieve since I just watched a Friends episode with him in it, and he is very funny in that. And yes…I do watch, and thoroughly enjoy, Friends. I know, now you can’t take any of my movie criticisms seriously. But let’s face it…did you really before? I’m gonna guess no. hehehe Vin is funny.

Splendid.
Karl.

54 thoughts on “Shimmer Demo (Or, the Extent of the Madness Demo)

  1. Nice. Do you like running the shimmer unit after the overdrives? Currently, I’m splitting the signal before the overdrives and they join back up at the end before the amp; so the shimmer is not affected by any other pedals. But I’m thinking of switching so the shimmer is affected by the gain and volume of my OD pedals (primarily a Tim & clean boost).

    Also, I would like to see you do a review of a BBE Sonic Stomp sometime. ;)

  2. Gary,

    Got a Sonic Stomp a while back, didn’t make a huge difference in what I could hear, rarely use it. It’s going off the board and away to make room for some additions coming up. I’d be interested in what Karl says, but I wasn’t impressed.

  3. this is unfair! how can you come up with these very interesting/creative sounds just like that :cry:

    in all seriousness, it sounds great. it’s like having “DAW-in-a-box” with you all the time!

  4. I’m sure you’ve seen the Strymon Blue Sky reverb. That one looks amazing. I’m probably gonna have to pick that one up. Did I mention that I’m ditching the M13 and going back to pedals?

      • I just sold the M13 a couple of days ago. It sounded fine, but it wasn’t as fun as a board full of pedals.

        I’m going back to a DD-20 for now, but I’m eyeing the Strymon Brigadier. I think those two Strymon pedals would totally hook me up as far as spacey, textural stuff. I think I’m also gonna pick up an Ibanez DE-7 for self-oscillation stuff.

  5. The Strymon Blue Sky is amazing. I cannot wait to play it with my usual bag of tricks on Sunday. It will make people weep instantly…kind of like Dm

    Mark

  6. Love the monk straps. Can I ask what brand and where?

    Oh and the guitar sounds good. If I can find a way to do that for under $100 bucks I might give it a try.

  7. man.
    this sounds great.
    I’ve been wanting to fiddle around with shimmer for ages.
    Been trying to figure out a pedal that will do pitch shift sounds up octaves (there’s not many available around here).
    Do you think the Pog is a good investment?

  8. For my fellow poor folk, Behringer RV600. Verbzilla Clone. But priced for us students ;)

    and trust me Iv heard every possible insult or issue you could bring up about behringer or danelectro but honestly guys listen with your ears, not your eyes. If you closed your eyes and AB’d them you’re not going to tell which is which. I don’t care if you’re Eric Johnson. Haha. The point is, I’d like a verbzilla or some hand painted beauties but sometimes you just don’t have the cash. Haha

  9. Gary–right on! I ran it like that for a while, but ended up liking it better after the delays. I was worried that it wouldn’t like being after the drives, but it actually sounds really cool! (At least to my ears. hehe)

    As for the BBE, I haven’t been incredibly impressed with the one’s I’ve heard on other people’s boards, but I haven’t heard all that much of them. I’ll try to get ahold of one and demo it out!

    Craig–kind of my same impressions for the limited time I’ve heard them. Seem to take away some dynamics and frequency range, too.

    Rhoy–haha Well, I hear a sound in a pedal like the Verbzilla, and then I think, ‘How can I make that more complicated?’ lol ;)

    And what is ‘DAW-in-a-box’? I feel like I should know, but I can’t figure it out. hehe

    Phillip–you honestly have no idea how happy that made my heart. Beautiful. :D

    Larry–aye. :) Strymon seems to have actually listened to what the players want.

    Phillip–haha No worries! It’s no wonder you’d skip parts…I’m not exactly quick about getting to the point. ;) hehe

    And I’m stoked on what you said about pedals being more fun. It’s the same for me. (Well, and some tone issues that may or may not be all in my mind.) But playing guitar should be fun, and for me, pedals bring a lot of that fun.

    Mark H–like a ‘Mach’ piece? hehehe

    Stoked you’re diggin’ the Blue Sky!

    Keith–lol I think it’s the guys line from Liz Claiborne? They were on a closeout at Kohl’s for cheap, and I got excited because they had a platform in the back (my wife won’t let me call them high heels), and looked like Jude Law would wear them whilst walking on cobblestone. This is how I live my life. ;)

    And I’m pretty sure the Verbzilla goes used for under $100, and does this type of effect. It’s not my personal favorite tone, but a lot of people dig it.

    Jacob–to be completely honest, I don’t think the POG is a great investment right now. Because of the POG2 coming out, the POG prices are dropping like crazy. But the POG2 will probably retain its value for a good long time if you can find one used. :)

    Andrew–thanks, brother! I’ve not yet heard of that. And we have some Behringer stuff at my church because, yep…the price is right and it’s not junk. Thanks for the tip, bro!

  10. Nice shimmer effect but it’s a bit too much real estate for me. I’m looking for something in a more apartment size like a Strymon BSR (remember acronyms make you sound cooler) where as you seem to have a Hollywood mansion.

  11. Haha, my POG2 has a swell option and I can blend the dry and the octavesignal in the pedal!

    Sorry – just feels good that I own a pedal you don’t have on your board. Really enjoy the POG-shimmer, but most of the time I use it for the distorted heavyriffing organ sounds in my rockcombo – one of my favorite effects ever.

    Great shoes btw

    love your demos
    ben

  12. Bout the Parallel Looper – I wanna build one, so I’m wondering if it’s one you purchase or built yourself? Where would I get one/find the schematic or layout?

  13. i’m not sure if you realize this, but you just told the entire internets you’re still watching friends. can’t take that back

    but for real, that sounds awesome. and even though i’ve used the verbzilla/m13 shimmer live like 3 times ever, and i’m not even sure it could be heard in the mix, and it made me embarassed to be so transparently immitating the edge, and the keyboardist probably thought i was stepping on his toes for no good reason, and there is absolutely no chance of ever fitting a pog on my board, and i can’t afford one, and even if i could the money would be far better spent on jazzschool tuition, and even José Saramago would scoff at my misuse of commas in this post, i really really want one now. thanks

  14. Rhoy–haha Gotcha. You know, maybe on some levels that’s what I’m trying to do. Maybe I just can’t stand the fact that something could be done in the studio that I couldn’t do live! lol If that’s the case, I may need to get a bigger truck. hehe

    Sam–stupid Strymon coming out with good sounding and well built effects that are actually also small and versatile and rendering my mad scientist creations obsolete. hehehe ;)

    Ben–lol But then, when people ask you what gets that swell effect shimmer sound, you can’t give them the 15 minute grand tour of your circuit creation! ;) hehe Although, actually…I’ve done that about 6 times since I started using this, and each time after my long and expertly-narrated dissertation on the beauties of my creation, they go, ‘So it’s the POG, right?’

    *Sigh* hehehe

    Jacob–your screen name is the funniest thing I’ve read all week. Good form.

    And the one I’m using was built by Dan Burgess at This1smyne effects. But the circuit can’t be too complicated, and if I was better with building things, I might try it myself. There should be schematics online, although I’ve not checked yet. Sorry for the distinct lack of information in my response there! hehe

    Paul–hehe Good point. Unfortunately, over the course of this blog, I think I’ve told the entire internet many things I wish I could take back. ;)

    And that was the most awesome sentence ever! And do you really want one? If I caan get just one person to go through the trouble I’ve gone to to get shimmer to sound just maybe one iota better by doing it this way rather than buying a Pitchfactor, I’d be stoked. :D haha

  15. Pingback: Organ « Confessions of a Wanna Be Guitar Player

  16. Yea… you gotta admit that he is a funny character in friends… “I know… why don’t you just get drunk? That worked for a bunch of girls at my high school?”

  17. Are you using the “mini blender looper”? I’ve wanted a simple one from Dan for awhile now and I wanted to make sure it was the same because yours looks super easy. I’m kinda confused though; So you’re running your board normal with your delays last and then from the delays, into the looper and then into the rv and POG and then back out into the amp? Also, I typically run my Super Hard On last in my chain as a buffer, so would that go after this or after the delays (before the looper)??? Sorry if I just made that ten times more confusing, haha! Thanks so much man, your blog is incredible!!! God Bless…

  18. Hey brother, one more question….? As of now I’m running guitar into lovepedal clone buffer, Boss tuner, Xotic RC Booster, Catalinbread Dirty Channel Hyperpak, CMATMODS Signa Drive, ernie ball jr volume pedal, rv-5 verb, line6 echopark, DL4, POG, and then Super Hard On that stays on all the time as a buffer before running into my HC-30…Could I be running too many buffer type boosts in my chain? Granted, I plan on using your trick with the looper and the POG and RV5, but other than than would you run anything differently? I’ve been in a funk lately and even though I have pretty great gear, nothing seems like it’s being used at it’s full potential….HELP!!! Thanks so much again…

  19. Hey Karl

    I have been following your blog for some time now and I love the delays you have set up on your board. But the problem for me is that I am still stuck in college and have to scrap together every little penny possible for gear. My question is in regards to the DamagControl TimeLine… Have you ever put it up against the Empress Superdelay? Sonically, I have yet to hear a real difference between the two, and as far as I am concerned the TimeLIne has 2 tubes and flashing lights so it wins automatically! Any light you can shed on the situation would be greatly appreciated!

  20. Along the same lines, what is your impression of the TC Electronic Noval Delay? How does it compare to the Damage Control Timelines you have? Including price :)

  21. Tyler–yep! It’s the mini-blender looper, and it’s the very last thing in my chain. So, in essence, when it’s engaged, the POG is the last thing in my signal chain. Traditionally, that would sound bad, but since I’m not running it or the RV3 as they’re usually run, it’s okay. Because it’s not really a POG sound last in my chain, it’s a highly diffused octave-up reverb sound, and mixed in the background a good deal.

    As for your chain, ya…at first glance I would say that since you’re already running two independent buffers, that the TU2 and the RV5 are now probably too much, and robbing you of some dynamics. The two Line 6 pedals are also huge tone-suckers, and the Ernie Ball does a little. I’d have two different suggestions. The first one is fairly mild and will probably help a good deal. The second one is slightly more extreme.

    1) Get a tuner mute switch, and the Mini-blender looper you had already talked about. So:

    Guitar–>
    Loop-Master True Bypass tuner Mute switch–>
    (–>TU2
    Lovepedal buffer–>
    Catalinbread–>
    Signa–>
    Ernie Ball–>
    Echo Park–>
    DL4–>
    Looper mini blender–>
    (RV5–>POG–>
    ZVex–>
    Amp

    2) Same as above, but get a bypass strip for your non-true bypass delays and volume pedal. With this one, if you’ve got your tone-sucking pedals out of the chain when they’re not on, plus the Lovepedal buffer, you should be set even without the ZVex at the end. So you might even be able to put the ZVex into your overdrive section as another drive/solo boost. So:

    Guitar–>
    Loop-Master True Bypass tuner Mute switch–>
    (–>TU2
    Lovepedal buffer–>
    Catalinbread–>
    Signa–>
    ZVex–>
    Loop-Master True Bypass strip–>
    (Loop 1: Ernie Ball–>
    (Loop 2: Echo Park–>
    (Loop 3: DL4–>
    Looper mini blender–>
    (RV5–>POG–>
    Amp

    Hope that helps a bit. And love that you’ve got a Matchless! :)

    Adam–lol Well, of course the lights win! Who cares about tone? ;)

    But seriously, I’ve yet to own the Superdelay. And here’s why. I owned the Timefactor, and just couldn’t get over how much it robbed my dynamics. So I finally did some research and found out why…because it convertes your dry signal to digital, and then back to analog. And the Superdelay does that, too. So, maybe the Superdelay does it better and it’s not noticeable, but I haven’t taken the time to find one at a good used price and check yet.

    As far as I know, the only multi-setting digital delays that don’t convert your dry signal are the Timeline and DD20. The Strymon Brigadier and the T-Rex Replica don’t either, but they have slightly less features, also. So, my humble opinion for a budget option would be the DD20. I think that’s an incredible delay, and highly underrated. Every time I hear one I wonder why they aren’t more popular. Maybe because of the lack of lights. hehe

    Hope that helps!

    Ben G–the Nova delay is a little digitally for my personal tastes. For others, I can see why they dig it…because it does have the ‘rackmount pristine’ quality to it. But it was (please don’t hate me) a tad fake sounding for me. And it also, like most digital delays, converts your dry signal to digital, and then back to analog.

    As far as price goes, when I first got my Timeline’s, they were pretty unknown. So I got them used for right around $200, which was right where the Nova delay was being priced used at the time, so it was pretty much a no-brainer for me then. :)

  22. wow, thanks so much Karl….great advice, I’m on it!!! Should I still use my RC booster? I typically have it as my first and left on as an”OD/sparkle adding pedal”, but I know some dudes use it after their volume pedal….?

  23. It’s totally up to taste on that one. Typically, I like my od’s and boosts pre-volume pedal. Now, it’d depend on what you like and what your ears hear, but I’d wager that were you to go with option 2, you might not even need the RC as the always on ‘sparkle’ pedal anymore. Especially with an HC30, I’ve found that just turning the amp up a bit more, usually sounds better than any pedal clean boosting it. But that’s just me. Others like clean boosts, and get great results! :)

  24. Thanks for the sage advice on the delays… I found the Eventide to be extremely underwhelming for a $400 price tag…. I was just about convinced to go with the TimeLine, and now I am certain… I have been using a DM2 and DD5, but they are tone-sucking beasts…

    And thanks for the shimmer how-to, I am picking up the POG just in time for our Easter service (We have no keys player, so I will be filling in via shimmer) and will unleash the fantastic ambiant backdrop…

  25. Awesome! Thanks Karl. Does the DD-20 have subdivisions like dotted eights or is it strictly by the MS? I really like my m13 because it gives you note lengths and then you can tap tempo. I know the Nova Delay does this and the whole reason I wanted it was for a super clean digital delay as well as the option to make it sound kind of tape-ish with the modulation. Also it has 9 presets for tempo and delay settings that you can scroll through with your foot which would be SUPER helpful. Perhaps I’ll get the noval delay and a dd20 and do some layering??

  26. Yes, the DD20 gives you subdivisions on any delay you like, and then you can select the readout to be in ms or bpm on any subdivision. Very user friendly. And cascading delays can never be a bad thing. hehehe ;)

  27. Eh…the Space Station was a pretty ‘specialized’ sound to begin with, let alone it being modeled by a Digitech. But then again, I am hopelessly biased towards individual pedals. lol :) So it might be great! But I’d rather go with even a Verbzilla over a multieffects shimmer.

    haha Way sorry for being so opinionated! :D I’m sure there’s a demo out there to prove me very wrong. hehe

  28. I got an Xotic EP Booster in the mail today as birthday gift for myself and……….it’s amazing! Adds a little more shimmer and improves tone by a bajillion AND tiny footprint (without sacrificing a battery too!). Karl you really have to try it out! I’m using mine as an always on boost/buffer.

    My signal chain is Ampeg J-20 w/ Celestion Gold -> Xotic EP Booster -> Line 6 M13 >> Zendrive clone -> Catalinbread Silverkiss MKII < Fender Stratocaster Plus. I’m finally satisfied with my tone….for now. Still looking for other possible guitars though.

  29. lol This post made my day, bro:

    “I’m finally satisfied with my tone…still looking for other possible guitars, though.”

    haha That was incredibly awesome, my friend. Spoken by a true gearhead. :) And yes, you peaked my interest in the EP Booster. haha One gearhead to another.

  30. Hey Karl, your blog is officially the most insightful and entertaining blog on the web…Congrats for stealing hours of my life away, ha! Anyway, I called Dan and got the Mini-Blender (I also sent him a copy of the shimmer demo link which he put on on his Face Book page) and I’m running the RV-5 into the POG and I just can’t seem to get the same effect as you have in your video…??? I adjusted the settings on the POG as close as I could get to yours and even though you have the RV-3, I figured they’re pretty close. The problem I’m having is not having the separation of my clean tone and the POG “tracking” the notes instead of the cleans being totally on their own and the POG and verb floating in the background like yours. I can get a similiar effect if I turn it almost totally down, but then I’m missing it. Do you think it’s an issue of the dry signal or effect signal too high or low on the POG? Also, I’m wishing I could have more verb in there too, it’s just not the same….(sniffle). Thanks so much again brother!

    cheers,
    ty

  31. Tyler, thanks for the kind words, bro. And thanks for giving that video to Dan! He makes great stuff.

    It just so happens that I’m right next to my camera. So, here’s the pics:

    Photobucket

    Photobucket

    Make sure the RV5 is first in the chain, out of the blender loop. That helps the attack. And the RV5 has to be at full reverb mix, so there’s only a verb sound coming out of the RV5, and then into the POG. And make sure the POG’s LFO switch up top is on setting 1.

    If it still doesn’t work, maybe you do need an RV3? I like the sound of the RV3 just slightly better, but it really shouldn’t matter…they should both do the same thing. I hope that helps! Let me know. :)

  32. Karl, I don’t know how I missed this post.

    Since I got my POG, I’ve used it in a variety of ways. Sometimes as a novelty sound to throw into an intro or maybe a bridge.

    It’s also handy for laying down organ or synth fills when we don’t have a keyboard player and someone else is there to play the guitar part.

    I’ve even used it on occasion for bass parts on demo recordings.

    But this shimmer thing is a pretty sweet idea. Where did you get this little a/b/y switch/mixer? I jokingly told some of the guys on Easter Sunday that I was going to start bringing two Pedaltrain boards that connect via jumpers. If I end up liking this shimmer thing, I just may have to. Well played sir…well played.

  33. Thanks, bro. And ya, the POG is a pretty cool pedal. :)

    I got the blender pedal from Dan Burgess. Just google ‘This1smyne Effects’, and he should come up. If not, that’s his Gear Page handle as well.

    And if it makes you have to bring two pedalboards, then you should most definitely do it. ;) hehehe

  34. I use the the T-REX COMP > MICRO POG > BOSS RV5 (modulation setting) to obtaim the shimmer effect. It works realy good! you will get the COLDPLAY/U2 sound instantly. And the level of control is amazing. The sound is string/organ/glassy like. With the POG you also can get (near real) organ like sounds! especially in combination with a slow pulsing tremolo (square wave).

    P.s. I find it strange to put the Reverb before the MICRO POG…because the RV5 (modulation) is triggerd by the octaves from the MICRO POG!

    I have also tried the Verbzilla, but dif not like it because i found the sound to be…..how should i say it….too pronounced and just too much of too little……and almost no control over the sound.

  35. Right on! Stoked that’s workin’ for ya. :) The Micro POG is great, it’s just that I really need the ability to go up two octaves, which the original POG gives me.

    I’m sure the reverb works well after the POG or whatever pedal you’re using to get octaves. Personally, I like it before, because then I’ve got the slow attack going into the octaves, which softens them a bit. Keeps the sound mixed well, and from taking over. At least in my rig. :) Stoked that you’re found a way to get that ‘Coldplay/U2 sound instantly’, though. If it works for you, rock it. Cheers!

  36. Karl – I’m an east-coast worship leader and new to your blog but really wanted to thank you for sharing all your expensive lessons-learned for the rest of us to learn from (I already have too many pedal-mistakes clogging my basement) :) I wanted to comment on this post because this particular sound is heavenly and I don’t think the strymon is really the same thing. Your nice clean strings with the two-octave harmonics through the matchless is where the magic comes in. The trick I learned was also the wet/dry mix and reverb before octave. Thanks again! Blessings

  37. Hey Karl-

    Funny – I was just thinking about a similar setup, using the delay loop of an EHX Deluxe Memory Boy to feed a Ring Thing and a Holy Grail Plus (not that I, y’know, *own* any of these pedals right now, but they’re all on my “buy in the next six months” list). I would have put the RT first in the loop, though, to improve tracking – do you really see that much of a difference with the reverb first?

    Your comment about pretending it’s 1985 cracked me up, but the more I think about it, the more telling it seems. We’ve gotten to the point where powerful processing is so cheap that you can stick pretty much any sound in a stompbox and sell it to some kid who started playing six months ago. (See, for example, the ridiculous amount of processing power on tap in the Eventide pedals.) That’s cool from a certain perspective, but it also encourages people to just buy the pedal and turn it on. The Strymon Bluesky surely sounds nice, but how many people will buy that pedal to get the shimmer effect and then never really think about it again? Doing it in this DIY fashion encourages you to really understand how your effects work, both singly and in interaction – and in the process, provides a whole lot more flexibility and opportunity for creating original sounds than just buying it canned-in-a-pedal. With the reverb-to-POG, for example, what happens if you add a sub-octave for some thickening? With the Ring Thing, how’s it sound if you add a little (or a lot!) of modulation to that pitch shift, or if you use a tuned ring modulator setting instead? What if you sweep the pitch shift with an expression pedal? Can’t get those sounds with a Strymon!

    (By the way, I also really enjoy your writing, and am looking forward to checking out more of your posts now that I’m here!)

  38. Scott, thanks for the kind words, and looking forward to more tone conversations! I totally agree with you on how as technology progresses, we may be losing a little something in actually creating sounds. Really great point!

    And there’s not a ton of difference with the reverb first, except that it seems to set the pitch shifting a little further back in the mix, which I kind of like. But essentially, either order sounds the same. :) Cheers, bro!

    • And to keep it light, I’m minded to quote something that Reeves Gabrels said in a late-90s interview (during Bowie’s drum-and-bass phase): “I pride myself on creating the sounds that will be used to sell beer in twenty years. If we don’t do it, there won’t be anyone to rip off!” (Possibly not the exact quote, but you get the idea.)

  39. I should have read this before asking the same questions on you other blog. I give myself an old school TGP – use the search field -smackdown just on principal. Ouch.

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