This might be interesting to everybody who is using expression enabled effect devices.
As a bass player who doesn’t mind to use some gear to pimp up my sound, I like to use an expression pedal to modulate the filter frequency of a low pass filter. For me the iron ether xerograph deluxe low pass filter does a great job producing authentic wobble bass lines. When trying to sound like a real dubstep wobble bass synthesizer the only problem seems to be the speed limitation, as even Usain Bolt can’t move his feet as fast as a beat synchronized lfo in a synthesizer can do.
You might connect a tap tempo lfo to the low pass filter but this means that you always have to readjust the tempo when your drummer is floating. If you want to retain full control over the modulation, you will have to stay by your expression pedal.
But how can you speed up the modulation tempo using an expression pedal without risking serious damage to your feet?
I searched the internet for a solution but could not find any. Finally I asked Neels, an old friend of mine, to build me something that could double the taper of the response of my expression pedal. Neels is a great guy and knows everything about programming and electronics, and he understood my worries as he is a bass player himself.
He needed some months to finish the first prototype of the ‘Repedal’, and when he handed it to me, I found myself in wobble paradise.
Repedal is a digital expression pedal shaper, which allows changing the taper of the expression pedal response in every way you can think of. There are some similarities to the Expressionator from Mission Engineering, but there are many important functions Expressionator is missing. Normally, an expression pedal consists of a linear pot, with the minimum value at heel position and the maximum value at toe position. This means, when connected to the filter frequency of a low pass filter, moving the foot from heel to toe and back to heel produces one ‘wob’. Connect the expression pedal to Repedal and Repedal to the expression input of the filter device and you can easily double the modulation speed by adding one slope to the output wave. There are now two maximum values, one at heel and one at toe and one minimum value in between. When you move your foot at the same speed as before, the wobble speed is in double time. This function already allows creating complex rhythmic patterns as it is easily possible to wobble slow or fast, e.g. in triplets or sixteenth notes with some practice, over a dubstep beat at 140 bpm. And this is only one of hundreds of possibe settings. There are two outputs, so you can control two expression enabled devices simultaneously. You can edit both output channels individually, add as many slopes as you want (up to 128
), invert the waveform or bend it to taste. Also sawtooth and staircase waveforms with different numbers of steps can be created. Settings can be saved on three slots.
I tested the Iron Ether Xerograph and Frantabit with Repedal and both are working great. Controlling both together makes you feel like a lion tamer. The fun is already endless, though it is only the first prototype. The next and final version will have an additional tap tempo lfo and other great features.
If you are interested, check out this website: http://updn-lfo.de/
What other features wouldn’t you want to miss? Write us a message for questions and ideas.
Neels is taking preorders for the final Repedal, which will be finished soon.