Badass synth tones from a petite pedal.
How much synth can you cram into a small-format stompbox? Hell if I know, but Mothership 2 puts sardine cans to shame.
The second incarnation of Pigtronix’s guitar-synth pedal has a footprint less than half that of its predecessor. That’s good news for players with overpopulated pedalboards. It omits version No. 1’s “smart ring modulator”. But it adds cool new features: a third voice, a morbidly obese sync mode, an innovative timbre/sweep control, and dynamic sensitivity.
Mono a Mono
Mothership 2 is a three-voice analog synth. It’s monophonic, though, so its three oscillators mirror the pitch of your playing, but only for single-note melodies. Chords and even slightly overlapping notes yield glitchy chaos. The tracking is fast and consistent, though as on most devices of this type, you get the best results when picking and damping cleanly and favoring the neck pickup. The three voices are a smooth triangle wave, a buzzier square wave, and a potentially bone-rattling sub octave.
The interface is ingenious. Using custom-designed concentric knobs, the pedal provides 10 controls in the space of five. These include level controls for the three voices and your clean signal. (You can mute the guitar signal for pure synth sounds). A dynamics knob sets the degree to which the synths mimic your picking intensity. The glide control ads variable lag to the pitch tracking, so synth notes can swoop up or down en route to their destinations. Other controls set the intervals of major thirds, fourths, and fifths between guitar and synth signals.
That Synching Feeling
A dedicated toggle activates sync mode, wherein the three oscillators are slaved to the sub oscillator for ultra-fat single-note sounds. The sweep knob, active only in sync mode, controls the overtone for each of the voices, or the pitch of the slaved oscillator within the corpulent sync sound. The timbre knob, also available only in sync mode, controls the amount of sub-octave square wave present on each of the oscillator voices. The glide knob, meanwhile, modulates the overtones of the square wave and triangle wave voices. Even though there are no LFOs, you can create sounds with timbres that vary over time.
You can hear the pedal’s amplitude tracking starting at 00:27 in the demo audio clip. It may take time to acquire the touch needed to make most of the feature. The hour or two I spent weren’t sufficient for me to master the feel. Softly played notes often fell below the synth-trigger threshold. But I suspect the results would improve after a bit more practice.
Born of Bernie
The name Mothership, with its P-Funk associations, is perfectly appropriate. Since the pedal has no attack/delay/sustain/release-style amplitude envelope controls, its synth tones invariably have fast, guitar-like attack. And with no release control, they sustain continuously until you damp the strings or the notes fade out. Thanks to the synth’s speedy tracking and punchy presence, the Mothership 2 is perfect for funky groove parts. The less-than-nuanced synth colors are often humorous, but seldom pretty or dreamy. The sensibility is far closer to Bernie Worrell than to Brian Eno. That said, you could definitely take these tones in atmospheric directions using downstream reverb, delay, and modulation pedals.
The Mothership 2 requires an 18V adapter (included). There’s an expression/control voltage input (pedal not included). In sync mode, the pedal sets the sweep knob’s overtone frequency. In regular mode, it’s a pitch-bend for the synth voices. Another cool feature is a dedicated sub oscillator output. This pedal’s lows can sound pretty badass through a guitar amp, as heard at 00:52 in the demo clip. But routed through a beefy sound system, they could loosen bowels.
The Mothership 2 is a small pedal full of big sounds. It’s not a full-featured synth, but it excels at punchy lead lines and humungous bass tones. It’s beautifully made, ingeniously designed, and fairly priced.
Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses.
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the release of the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses. The new Relentless P and Relentless J series pickups feature the Relentless cover designed in collaboration with Billy Sheehan.
As with the Relentless pickups, we removed all the hard edges from the standard P Bass and standard J Basspickups, and added an arch to the top of the pickups to bring the sensing coils and pole pieces closer to the strings. These improvements increase the dynamic range and make active circuitry unnecessary.
The Relentless P and Relentless J pickups incorporate Neodymium magnets and produce 70 percent more output than traditional passive pickups, and they’re dead quiet due to the incorporation of metal covers and foil-shielded cables. To dial in (or fine-tune) the individual string output, the Relentless P and Relentless J include eight adjustable pole pieces. These pickups also have a broad magnetic field so you can even bend notes without volume dropout.
DiMarzio’s extra shielding makes the Relentless P and Relentless J better for both recording and stage performances. We’ve mounted them onto robust .09375” thick circuit board base plates to eliminate the annoying protruding mounting screws — ultimately creating a more comfortable and consistent foundation to rest your fingers on.
The new Relentless P steps beyond the traditional P-Bass sound and can only be described as massive. It has more of everything: more volume, beefier lows, a growling midrange, and crispy highs with better individual string definition.
The Relentless J incorporates a new invention, (patent pending) parallelogram-shaped coils, offering an expanded mid-range punch, snappy highs, precise lows, and a new dimension to the sound of the Relentless series pickups.
Relentless P and Relentless J pickups will breathe new life into any bass, increase playability, and work well for any style of music from Motown to metal.
DiMarzio’s Relentless P, Relentless J Bridge, Relentless J Neck, and Relentless J pair are made in the U.S.A. and may now be ordered for immediate delivery.
Suggested List Price for the Relentless P is $169.00 (MAP $119.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Bridge and Relentless J neck is $155.00 (MAP $109.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Pair is $296.00 (MAP 209.99).
For more information, please visit our website at dimarzio.com.
Mystery Stocking is coming soon! Sign up for PG Perks below so you don't miss it.
Sign up for PG Perks on the form below to make sure you don't miss the launch announcement!
About Mystery Stocking
Each year, Premier Guitar likes to put out these mystery boxes as a part of bringing some fun to the holiday season. Remember, this is supposed to be a fun holiday treat! If the contents of this box will ruin your holiday, deplete the last of your bank account, or end your ability to see the good in humanity, it may not be for you.
- This year's Mystery Stocking will cost $44.95. ($39.95 + $5 Flat shipping)
- Each box will be guaranteed to contain $40 or more in value.
- US only. (Sorry World.)
- Make sure your shipping address is correct.
- Have your credit card ready to go before you refresh the page. Paypal is not available. Autofill may not fill in your information.
- There will be NO REFUNDS given.
- There has been a huge demand for these in the past. We really did sell out in less than 4 minutes last year. When they are gone, they are gone.
- One per household, one per person.
Q: What's in the Mystery Stocking?
A: It wouldn't be much of a surprise if we told you, now would it?
Q: Will I definitely get my money worth?
Q: Can I return it if I don't like it?
A: Nope. All sales final.
Q: What if I live outside the US?
A: Sorry, US only.
Q. How much is it?
A. $39.95 Plus $5 shipping
Q. When will it ship?
A. On or before December 10, 2022.
Q. What form of payment do you accept?
A. Credit cards only. Sorry, no Paypal for this.
Q. Can I ship to a different location than my billing address?
Q. I tried last year and didn't get one. Will I get one this year?
A. There is an overwhelming demand for Mystery Stocking. Be sure you have a fast internet connection and be ready when they go on sale. Last year we sold out in 3 min 33 seconds.
Q. I want to buy 5. How can I buy 5?
A. You can't. This year, we're limiting to one per household, so more people can get in on the fun!
Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
Origin Effects introduce the new M-EQ DRIVER mid booster & drive pedal. Based on a vintage Pultec studio EQ, this unique pedal offers a range of mid-focused tones, from a subtle mid boost to thick, resonant overdrive. Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
A choice of three mid-range frequencies ensures that you can boost just the right part of your guitar signal and, when pushed harder, can elicit a range of saturation from a classic “mid-hump” overdrive to fierce “cocked wah” distortion. Thanks to the Adaptive Circuitry, the high-end roll-off of the Cut control is reduced as the pedal cleans up. This allows for a smooth transition from warm overdrive to bright clean tones in response to playing dynamics or guitar volume knob changes.
Introducing... M-EQ DRIVER || Mid Booster & Drive
Built-in the UK to the highest standards, the M-EQ DRIVER continues the Origin Effects tradition of vintage, studio-inspired tones in modern guitar pedals. The Origin Effects M-EQ DRIVER is available now from Origin Effects dealers worldwide.
RRP: 259 GBP (Inc VAT) / 319 USD (Ex TAX)
For more information, please visit origineffects.com.