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Empress Effects Zoia

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Rojd, Mar 29, 2019.


  1. DeltaPhoenix

    DeltaPhoenix Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2011
    Gainesville,FL
    That sounds great! What is the synth that you used?
     
  2. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Hollywood
    Thanks!
    Thats a Dreadbox Medusa. It is a beast, and I'm just starting to figure it out. Add in the Zoia and I'm really jumping in the deep water of new gear and just trying to stay afloat.
     
    allenhumble and DeltaPhoenix like this.
  3. DeltaPhoenix

    DeltaPhoenix Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2011
    Gainesville,FL
    Those are super cool. I like how quickly you can get the modulation routed. The sequencer is fun. It is a great sound designing synth (I have on too). It is cool that I didn’t even this that is what could have been the synth.
     
    monsterthompson likes this.
  4. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Hollywood
    I do a lot of drone work, so the 2.0 firmware features are really helpful.

    Pop into the Ambient/Post-Rock thread in the Effects forum. There are a bunch of synth users there and we tend to chat about them pretty regularly, along with bass and effects.
     
    DeltaPhoenix likes this.
  5. allenhumble

    allenhumble

    Oct 22, 2004
    Acworth GA.
    I finally got a chance to spend some time exploring last night. Super cool pedal. Took me a bit to figure out how to set up a tap tempo switch. This thing is fun. I see this opening up a lot of things as I learn what the different modules do and different ways to apply them. I've gone done YouTube worm holes with different synth stuff but never owned any. Big learning curve in figuring out what lfo, vca, ect......and how to apply them. Having fun figuring it out but I see a synth in my future.
     
    monsterthompson likes this.
  6. allenhumble

    allenhumble

    Oct 22, 2004
    Acworth GA.
    I've looked at the dreadbox medusa as well as some of the elektron stuff. Digitone and analog 4 as well as the octatrack even though it's not really a synth. Any other recommendations I should look at?
     
  7. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Hollywood
    What’s your budget? Do you need to be able to play chords (mono vs poly)? Do you already have a controller (other than Zoia) like a MIDI keyboard or sequencer, at a DAW with a MIDI interface? How much MIDI control do you need/want? With the Zoia you’ll be able to send plenty of control commands.

    I’m a big fan of Dreadbox. The Medusa has a bit of a learning curve, but has lots going on and a built in keyboard and sequencer. I love my Nyx, and will probably get the new version when it comes out. I’ve got an Erebus V2 I’m selling on Reverb. I’m selling because the Medusa uses the Erebus analog guts under the hood. I didn’t reach for the Erebus often but that’s because I needed/wanted less conventional sounds.

    Make Noise 0 Coast is pretty cool, but is a little tricky to learn as a first synth. Lots of sounds in there but not traditional subtractive synth sounds.

    Moog is certainly worth considering. The Grandmother is probably a good starting place.

    Korg Volca products are small, cheap, and pretty well respected.

    Pittsburgh Modular makes some good stuff. The Microvolt Looks like a decent desktop synth.
     
    cosmicevan and allenhumble like this.
  8. allenhumble

    allenhumble

    Oct 22, 2004
    Acworth GA.
    Budget is probably $800 max. Solid sequencer is a must. That's one of the reasons I'm attracted to the elektron stuff.

    I currently have a Arturia minilab mk2 and the V collection running in ableton 10.
     
    monsterthompson likes this.
  9. allenhumble

    allenhumble

    Oct 22, 2004
    Acworth GA.
    What about the korg minilogue xd desktop?
     
  10. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Hollywood
    That looks like a great value and feature set. Hard to beat.
     
    allenhumble likes this.
  11. allenhumble

    allenhumble

    Oct 22, 2004
    Acworth GA.
    On some of the presets the low end is cut. What modules are you guys using to balance eq or boost lows?
     
  12. Adamixoye

    Adamixoye A PT Pro is cool for worship, right?

    Apr 9, 2012
    Occasional Beta Tester for Confusion Studios, Singular Sound, and Source Audio
    I haven't played with it but there is a parametric EQ module
     
    allenhumble likes this.
  13. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Hollywood
    haven't been using the presets.
     
    allenhumble likes this.
  14. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Hollywood
    Considering selling mine. I appreciate what it does, but I don’t find myself enjoying the patches I’m creating nor easily adopting the patches others have created. I’m a hobby player with a day job, and my time is a limiting factor. If I was a sound designer by trade, I’d probably be able to do more with it in my daily life. As it is, I have an Empress Reverb and Echo and can get most of what I want out of those. It’s got a ton of potential, but it doesn’t have presets I love, and I want something more plug and play. As for the midi functions, I run a laptop and can program all of that in Ableton Live or Reaktor which I’m more comfortable with.
     
    cosmicevan likes this.
  15. cosmicevan

    cosmicevan bleep bloop Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2003
    New York
    After getting to play with one in person I fell in love and it was added to my must have list. Granted, my exploration only included scrolling through patches that were downloaded onto the ZOIA, I was floored by what it was capable of. I'm also a hobby musician, so to me, this is the perfect toy to play with - again, based on surface exploration, I have done 0 investigation into the designing aspect of ZOIA. I don't see this being something that would go on my main board any time soon, but would love to have one to play with. I love PLLs too but don't have any on my main board, but I love playing with them for fun and occassionally will slap one on a board for a jam.
     
    monsterthompson likes this.
  16. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Hollywood
    It’s fun to explore. I like a lot of the functionality and the concept. I’d be more inclined to use it if there was an app for building modules and then loading them. The interface just isn’t facilitating my use and enjoyment of it.

    It does still have some functionality I’d like to explore, so it’s not on the chopping block yet, but it won’t be on my gig board for my next performance.
     
    cosmicevan likes this.
  17. Adamixoye

    Adamixoye A PT Pro is cool for worship, right?

    Apr 9, 2012
    Occasional Beta Tester for Confusion Studios, Singular Sound, and Source Audio
    I've had it on my board, ridiculously, as a MIDI controlled noise gate. It fills that role better than the Zoom MS100BT that it kicked off---no MIDI on the Zoom and the Empress has much more control with a more natural attack and release.

    I have plans to do more, but it's just hard to find the time to learn (e.g., how do I make a phaser?), create from scratch, AND tweak. But there are plans I have for it beyond just playing at home that I think it is capable of.

    Re: the interface, I think I've said this before, but though I understand why people would want a computer editor, I personally find the interface to be an amazing achievement. I totally see what they were going for and I think they succeeded in their intent, even if it's not for everyone. My two biggest complaints are (1) wrapping my mind around the modular synthesis lingo and concepts and (2) having to bend down to the pedal to program it. But the way the grid buttons work conceptual and practically is amazing to me. I feel like I've already learned a lot about effects in general.
     
    cosmicevan likes this.
  18. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Hollywood
    I think my plans for it will be more as a utility than as an effect. It seems silly since it has effects and is a pedal, but if it works it works.

    It certainly is a great interface achievement. If I hadn't spent time messing with hardware and soft synths then it would've been a bit harder to wrap my head around. As it is, it reminds me of what NI Reaktor did when it released Blocks. Reaktor is a powerful software for building effects and instruments, but the earlier platform was a bit clunky for new users. They simplified it significantly and created as base set of "Blocks" influenced by modular units, and they connect together like LEGOs. Of course, if you make something idiot-proof, then idiots will use it :)
     
    cosmicevan likes this.
  19. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Hollywood
    ...and we are back off the fence.
    I just figured how to route the expression pedal into the Zoia and back out to a hardware synth for control over the Mod-Wheel command. I also just realized that the LFO adjustment on the Zoia has a bigger range than the LFO built into the hardware, so I'm now using a Zoia LFO to modulate the Mod-Wheel control and I'm able to get really long, slow filter sweeps. This is useful.
     
  20. cosmicevan

    cosmicevan bleep bloop Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2003
    New York
    what doesn't ZOIA do?
     

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