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Effects pedal riddle

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by thump326, Aug 15, 2007.


  1. thump326

    thump326

    Apr 30, 2004
    Hey guys, I recently purchased a Hohner Pianet T electro-mechanical piano (also known as the poor man's Rhodes). It's no bass, but it's got a killer mellow tone! Unfortunately, there's no way to sustain it mechanically.

    I'm looking for an effect pedal that will create sustain or over-the-top reverb to help blend arpeggios together without having to hold down each individual key (they mute as soon as they are released).

    Here's the twist. I'd like it to behave in the manner of a piano's sustain pedal, where you have to keep your foot on it for it to operate rather than the normal on/off toggle on standard guitar pedals.

    I can only think of two ways to achieve this. One is that a pedal like this is already on the market, in which case I'd like to buy it. My second idea is that there might be some way to use a volume/expression pedal to control to the amount of sustain/reverb being output by a sustain or reverb pedal.

    Any ideas or suggestions?
    Thanks in advance!
    eric
     
  2. sonicvi

    sonicvi

    Jun 10, 2005
    Houston, TX
    I love Pianets. I used to have a Combo Pianet, which used the earlier brass reeds and had that Zombies kinda tone.

    Anyway, what you want is a pedal with momentary bypass and I don't think there are any available that do that stock. But I'm sure it could be done with some modification. I don't know if it would give the results you're hoping for though.
     
  3. Some pretty hardcore squishy compresser triggered by a momentary switch might work for you, but it might also play merry hob with that "killer mellow tone" you like.
     
  4. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I just sold my trusty Pianet T last year, and of course I wish I hadn't. Such a cool unique sound.

    The only suggestion i can think of at the moment would be to put a reverb or delay in the loop of the new (not quite available yet) Barge VBX with an expression pedal, or the Morley blender built into an expression pedal. I'm pretty sure nobody here has offered up any hands-on experience with the Morley yet. Make sure you set the delay or reverb output to 100% wet, so that you do not increase the volume of your clean signal when you fade in the effected signal.

    You could also use the ZVex Tremolo Probe fantastically in this application, but you'd need to add a small mixer to recombine the wet and dry signals.
     
  5. thump326

    thump326

    Apr 30, 2004
    Thanks guys,

    sonicvi- thats exactly what i want, but i don't think one exists either. it's unfortunate, it seems to me that pedals like that would be marketable, especially on sustain and delay.

    CosmoReverb- would you further explain or post a link regarding the "momentary switch"?

    bongomania- are you basically suggesting to split the signal, having one clean and one with the effect (on max) followed by an expression/volume pedal, and then mixing them back into one signal? Are those pedals unique or just something you'd recommend? that seems like it would work, and it would allow me to have the effects on top of the piano where i could adjust the parameters by hand without bending over.
     
  6. sonicvi

    sonicvi

    Jun 10, 2005
    Houston, TX
  7. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Yes, that's the idea. Many delays and reverbs have two separate outputs, one dry and one wet; many also offer the ability to adjust the wet/dry blend going to the wet output. So depending on the unit, you may have the "splitter" part built into the effect already. The less common thing is the "mixer" part, however it is found in bypass-loop pedals that have a "blend" function, such as the two named. There are other blender-loops on the market, but they do not have the expression-pedal control option ready-made "off the shelf". The Barge has an input jack to connect your own expression pedal, and the Morley is built into an expression pedal.

    I guess with one of those two units, you could set the effect blend onboard the effect to whatever level sounded best for the "sustain" sound, that way you would only be fading between the dry signal and the "sustain" setting, rather than using an outboard device to recombine the two signals. The key there is to buy a delay/reverb that has an onboard blend to a single output, but again fortunately those are common.
     
  8. Sir Edward V

    Sir Edward V Not Actually Knighted... Yet!

    Dec 11, 2006
    Massachusetts
    hmm would that stuff actually work?

    I remember seeing a thread similar to this MONTHS ago, I didn't think we came up with a solution...

    the only thing I can think of is to have your bass trigger a midi system and have an actual sustain pedal as well
     
  9. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
  10. sonicvi

    sonicvi

    Jun 10, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Using an expression pedal as a piano sustain-pedal-alike seems like it completely unnatural to me, rocking instead of stepping.
     
  11. speak_onion

    speak_onion

    Jun 22, 2007
    Queens, NY
    It would be pricey, but what about a custom Pigtronix Attack/Decay? Considering all the custom/mods that he lets you do, I don't think it would be hard to allow a jack for a momentary switch that mutes/bypasses the sustain section. Then again, I'm not quite sure how that pedal works. . .
     
  12. thump326

    thump326

    Apr 30, 2004
    i think i'm going to try the blending pedal route. it won't feel like a piano's sustain, but i haven't been playing piano long enough for it to feel unnatural. plus, i like the idea of having total control over how much sustain (or any effect for that matter) is saturating my signal.

    thanks again to all of you,
    eric
     
  13. bass-->blender-->amp

    blender loop-->slow gear/volume pedal-->delay
     

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