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Noise Box or Heliotrope?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by bobbass4k, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. These days I'm mostly playing experimental/noise/soundscape/sludge/glitch/generally weird stuff, a part of which is making completely insane unpleasant noises, my current board is great for it, but it involves a lot of knob twiddling, which apart from being kind of annoying when I have to do it 5 or 6 times a gig, is getting painful and unpleasant now my back problems have come back (accidental pun, I swear)

    So I was looking at getting a single pedal that can take some off the load off, not replace my knob twiddling completely, but for some of the atonal wall of noise stuff where i just make it up anyway, it would be great to just have one pedal that i can just play normally into to achieve a wall of noise weirdness

    So any opinions on the Heliotrope vs. the Noise box? from short clips i've heard they'd both be suitable, anything else I've overlooked? Just looking for some advice/opinions
  2. I would view the question from a perspective of how controlled you want things to be. The Heliotrope is a MUCH easier beast to tame than the Noise Box for most applications. One millimeter of motion in any knob on the NB can lead to a completely different sound from what you had before, not so much on Heliotrope.

    Now you say that you want to do knob twisting, and the NB WILL excel at that. The Heliotrope is for a more GENERALLY usable, controlled lofi sound as I see it, so the NB might be just the ticket for you in that respect.
  3. Also, if you really want to get into some pedals that can have you twisting knobs for eternity, check out 4ms pedals.
  4. Control isn't a big issue, ideally I want to be able to just play an open E, and out of the amp comes a wall of completely random glitchy fuzzed up noise that lasts until i turn the pedal off, but If I'm spending £100 on a pedal, I'd want it to be a little more versatile too, at least a few settings that are usable with regular playing.

    To give an idea, one thing I do now between songs is use the OD in the feedback loop to get a constant note, then there's a setting on my giga-delay that gives a great stuttery tremolo effect, add in some filter on my discombobulator or use my crybaby bass then slowly turning the high-band eq on my OD to get an arpeggio effect, sounds awesome, that's the kind of thing i'd be looking to replace
  5. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Northern California
    Pretty different sounds IMO. The Heliotrope is basically a less atonal ring mod (subtractive only) with a fuzz which can give some lo-Fi, almost bit-crushing sounds.

    The Noisebox is like a squirty, out of control fuzz/filter combo.

    The Catalinbread is a lot more controllable, but the tradeoff is that the Subdecay can give a wider range and more extreme sounds.

    But I don't think of either of them for "wall of noise" sounds.
  6. rnilson


    Mar 8, 2008
    Kansas City, MO
    I have both and I don't think either pedal is really what you are looking for. I would look at a 4m pedal called Nocto Loco. That sounds more like what you are looking for.
  7. Smallequestrian

    Smallequestrian Rock and/or Roll

    Jul 6, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Beta Tester: Source Audio
    The Heliotrope can actually be quite refined, yeah it has some crazy tones available, but its not all about that.
  8. The Lurker

    The Lurker

    Aug 16, 2002
    I have not tried the Noisebox, but I like the Heliotrope. It has a very wide range of sounds to it, some of which are pretty outlandish.
  9. truly beautiful disaster? wall of noise and freaky tunes. and you can control it with your foot via the light sensor....

    alternatively: you could put some of your noise pedals on a stand. that way you can go knob twisting berzerk without moving your back too much
  10. tigerbass


    Jul 28, 2006
    Crown Point, IN
    I owned both, sold the Heliotrope and kept the Noise Box. Personally I couldn't work the Heliotrope. Although I am not sure from your description if either is actually what you are looking for, I just love the Noise Box and with a little help from various other things, or also by its lonesome, I can get some INCREDIBLY KILLER walls of noise, but in a usable sort of way...if that makes sense?!
    Plus it has other applications besides "Walls of Noise", but you really need to experiment with the knobs...they are very touchy and they all kinda work together.
  11. If you already have a ton of nasty sounding pedals and you want to create a wall of unholy noise terror, a feedback loop would seem like a cheap and simple solution. For example:


    Also a bit crusher, like the Hexe or the WMD might also work well (at least from descriptions/sound samples/reviews not actual personal experience).



    Matt :)
  12. The Lurker

    The Lurker

    Aug 16, 2002
    +1. Adrian Belew did this. There's also at least one guy here on TB who has some effects on a music stand or something.
  13. I did consider it, but it's just too impractical, my amp's too low so i'd probably need a stand or something which is more gear to carry round, and most of playing involves a lot of stomping, so i'd need a true bypass strip to put on the floor, and i'd need 7 or 8 switches which makes it very expensive, plus the more I think about it, the more I'm liking the idea of having a pedal like this, I bet the noise box would sound INSANE in my feedback loop

    ATM I'm definitley leaning towards the noise box, but any other pedals I'm overlooking?
  14. It's double the price of the NB, but definitely consider the above mentioned Geiger Counter. As far as I know, no one on TB has tried it, but it seems to me to be one of the most versatile gain pedals ever. Also, you can plug an expression pedal into it, for some "knob twisting" by foot. IIRC, the exp. pedal controls the bits and the sample rate, so you can use that to get instant LoFi.

  15. The Lurker

    The Lurker

    Aug 16, 2002
    Delay-->blue box-->Heliotrope--> delay

    Tried this today.

    It is uber.
  16. I need to stop reading this forum. :bawl:

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