Multiple pitch and harmony effects in one pedal
|Download Example 1|
Octave below pitch shift setting
|Download Example 2|
Thick chorus setting
|Download Example 3|
Super Bend mode with full step setting
|All clips recorded with a Hamer Korina Special into Overloud's TH1 amp modeler in Pro Tools.|
The Harmonist is housed in a metallic-blue version of the Boss casing. In addition to the standard input jack, the PS-6 features an expression pedal jack. It also offers stereo outputs.
While there are only four controls, each has multiple functions. The Balance control blends direct and effected signal, and also doubles as the Rise Time control when in S-Bend mode. The Shift knob controls pitch shift intervals, and also functions as a Voice Harmony control. The rotary Key pot sets the key signature chromatically from C to B, and also does duty as the Fall Time control. Finally there is the Mode knob that selects algorithms consisting of Minor and Major for the keys, Pitch Shifter, Detune, and S-Bend (Boss’ abbreviation for Super Bend) modes.
Let the Games Begin
Going directly into Pro Tools, I fired up the pedal with a TH1 amp modeler and used a Hamer Korina Special for my guitar in all tests. The first setting I tried was the S-Bend mode. In this mode, you use the Rise Time and Fall Time knobs to determine how long it takes for the note to reach its pitch. Pressing down on the footswitch shifts the pitch of the notes, and when you release the footswitch, the notes either climb or drop to the actual notes you’re playing—an effect not unlike the radical pitch-shift craziness you can get out of a DigiTech Whammy pedal. This was a blast. In S-Bend mode, by tapping on the switch I was able to create ultra-wide and dramatic sweeps up to notes for solos, as well as a slew of crazy effects.
In Detune mode I was pleasantly surprised with the unusual chorus effects the PS-6 delivered. Using the Shift control, I was able to dial in the style of detuning from very subtle to bold, and the unit’s Balance control let me sneak in just a bit of chorus or really lay into it.
Harmonizing your own lines can be an effective way to add a virtual member to the band, or it can fall completely flat. The Harmonist is a strong performer for most common harmonizing applications, but its performance is not without some glitches. For example, octaves, fourths, and fifths sound clean and strong. However, I found thirds and sixths were slightly less clear and often produced less-than-musical digital artifacts.
That said, the Harmonist’s collection of chord inversions and harmony types makes it a valuable pedal. Latency wasn’t bad and tracking was spot on except for a few times when the pedal got confused on the major/ minor setting. In that case, you could hear it flipping back and forth between major and minor thirds.
With the PS-6, Boss built in a lot of features you don’t typically see in a harmonizer pedal. And over the course of a gig, you could conceivably get a lot of very usable and unique textures without covering the same ground twice. More reserved players may not find much use for features like the S-Bend mode. But if you’re looking for new ways to add dimension to any facet of your playing, the PS-6 packs a lot of options into a single box.
you want multiple pitch and harmony effects in one compact pedal.
you need pristine pitch shifting of all intervals.
Street $149 - Boss US - bossus.com
|Tone Games 2010: 30 Stompboxes Reviewed||Next in OUTER LIMITS: Electro-Harmonix Freeze Sound Retainer|
Looking for more great gear for the guitar player in your life (yourself included!)? Check out this year's Holiday Gear Finds!
D'Addario XPND Pedalboard
DR-05X Stereo Handheld Recorder
Wampler Pedals Ratsbane
Created in collaboration with legendary guitarist George Lynch of Dokken and Lynch Mob fame, the Mr.Scary Mod adds an adjustable tube gain stage and an onboard Deep control, which together are designed to enable an amp to have increased sustain while still retaining note definition and dynamics.
LegendaryTones, LLC today announced production availability of its new Mr. Scary Mod, a 100% pure tube module designed to instantly and easily expand the capabilities of many classic amplifiers with additional gain and tone shaping. Created in collaboration with legendary guitarist George Lynch of Dokken and Lynch Mob fame, the Mr.Scary Mod adds an adjustable tube gain stage and an onboard Deep control, which together are designed to enable an amp to have increased sustain while still retaining note definition and dynamics.
Originally released as the Lynch Mod in February 2021, the updated Mr. Scary Mod features the same core circuit as the Lynch Mod but is now equipped with a revised tube mix combo per George’s preference as well as a facelift in a newly redesigned electro-galvanized steel enclosure. As with the Lynch Mod, each run will be limited and the first run in Pumpkin Orange with Black hardware is limited to just 150 pieces worldwide.
The Mr. Scary Mod adds an adjustable tube gain stage on top of the cathode follower position, keeping note definition and articulation while further increasing sustain. Each Mr. Scary mod is meticulously built by hand in the USA, one at a time, and tuned using high-grade components. Equipped with a single ECC81 (12AT7) in the first position and ECC83 (12AX7) in the second, the Mr. Scary Mod can clean up beautifully when rolling down your guitar’s volume, and still adds scorching gain when you roll it back up. This is a gain stage that’s been tuned and approved by the ears of the maestro George Lynch himself.
“The Mr. Scary Mod excels with dynamics and is incredibly touch-responsive, allowing me to shift from playing clear, lightly compressed cleans to full-out aggressive sustain and distortion –and control it all simply by varying my guitar’s volume control and picking,” said GeorgeLynch. “In many ways, it’s an old-school approach, but it’s also so much more natural and expressive in addition to being musically fulfilling when you can play both the guitar and amp dynamically together this way.”
The Mr. Scary Mod installs in minutes, is safe and effective to use, and requires no special tools or re-biasing of the amplifier. Simply insert the module into the cathode follower preamp position of compatible amplifiers (includes Marshall 2203/2204/1959/1987 circuits) and
immediately get the benefit of enjoying a hot-rodded amp that delivers all the pure harmonic character that comes with an added pure tube gain stage. The handmade in the USA Mr. Scary Mod is now available to order for $319.
For more information, please visit legendarytones.com.
October Audio has miniaturized their NVMBR Gain pedal to create two mini versions of this beautifully organic-sounding circuit – including an always-on gain device.
The NVMBR Gain is a nonlinear amp that transitions gracefully from clean boost to overdriven tones. Volume increases from just over unity to about 10db before soft-clipping drive appears for another 5db of boost. Its extraordinary ease of use is matched by outstanding versatility: you can use it as a clean boost, push a stubborn amp into overdrive or create a just-breaking-up sound at any amp volume.
October Audio’s new family of mini NVMBR Gain pedals includes a switchable version that allows you to bypass the effect: one option features brand logo pedal graphics, while the other sports a fun “Witch Finger” graphic with a Davies knob as the“fingernail”.
The second version in the new lineup is an always-on device featuring the Witch Finger graphic and Davies knob, with the same NVMBR Gain circuit that lies at the core of the switchable version.
- Knob controls gain and clipping simultaneously
- Stunning silver hammertone finish
- Switchable versions are true-bypass, available with classic or witch finger graphics
- Authentic Davies knobs, including the “fingernail”
- 9V center negative power supply required
- Dimensions: 3.63 x 1.50 x 1.88 in
Witch Finger (always on NVMBR Gain) demo
All October Audio pedals are assembled in Richmond, VA, and available for purchase directly through the online shop. Street price is $109 for NVMBR Gain footswitch versions and $89 for the always-on device.
For more information, please visit octoberaudio.com.