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What is a practical use for a Ring Mod?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by SlavaF, Dec 26, 2004.

  1. SlavaF


    Jul 31, 2002
    Edmonton AB
    So I got a Boss GT-6B, which is equipped with a Ring Modulator. I tried it out, and as far as I can tell, it just makes what you play quieter and adds a layer of high pitched noise (kinda like feedback) to the sound. Is there a practical use for this effect in, say, a band situation? I'm pretty sure that I'm doing something wrong, since it sounds completely unusable (or maybe it's supposed to sound like s**t :D )

    Anybody got any clips or something they'd like to share?

    happy boxing day by the way ;)

  2. That's really it. It's suppose to make something sound "wrong". You could be playing all the right notes, but add a ring modulator, and it doesn't sound right. There really is no practical use for it.
  3. Samurai


    Sep 13, 2003
    Basically you can use it to start a song wuth that crappy sound and then turn it off right as the band comes in, or do the same thing with a bridge or breakdown in a song. You are right though, it isn't the greatest effect, but you only have it as part of a multieffect so it's all good because it's just an extra sound to use if you ever want.
  4. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    I absolutely love ring mod; it's one of my favorite effects. It's certainly a special effect, but if you have a blend knob on yours you can get some very interesting synthy type sounds with it.

    By the way, a ring mod works by using an internal oscillator and balanced mixer to generate new harmonics that correspond to the sum and differences of the frequencies of the input signal and the local oscillator.

    For example if the input signal from a guitar or keyboard is 800 cps and the local oscillator is at 600 cps then the output will be two frequencies of 200 and 1400 cps. Make sense?
  5. well, from what i've heard, and used on my old BFX-708's ring mod, they can actually add dissonance (sorry about the spelling) if used correctly.
  6. Kelly Coyle

    Kelly Coyle

    Nov 16, 2004
    Mankato, MN
    I've got a first rate ringer, a Frantone. On bass, it doesn't knock me out -- I think it's because the low fundamental is harder for the modulation signal to mess with. (That's just a theory -- perhaps it's something specific about the Frantone.) On guitar, it's a whole different matter. Superbassman2000 PMed me and asked me to link this, it's Saxman from Planet X. That's me on guitar. This is my (defunct) quartet, and you hear me with the ringer doing the atonal riffs at the beginning and the end, with a ProCo Ratted solo in the middle.
  7. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    I think they are cool... but their is no practical use for a lot of effects.
  8. haujobb


    Dec 16, 2004
    I think there is a practical use for every effect, anyone can use effects, but it takes skill to find these practical uses.
  9. wingnutkj


    Mar 27, 2003
    I've used a ring mod on a drum loop to good effect, but never managed to find a practical application for it on bass (that's not to say there isn't one):


    There's 4 things you can hear there - bass, the untreated drum loop, the droney chord thing and the squeaky melody thing, which is the drum loop through a ring mod and delay, with me tweaking the resonance control of the ring mod to make it squeaky and melodic.
  10. Tecx

    Tecx Radio Rock Leads To Sterility

    Jun 9, 2002
    Halifax, NS, Canada
    I do not agree at all, listen to the bass tone on the most recent Squarepusher album "Ultravisitor", Tom plays with a ring mod for 90% of the album and it is incredibly musical. Ring Modulator was orignaly invented for analog synths - infact its a key componant of many modular synths. Later it was used to process piano and voice, it can be a VERY musical effect - IF you know how to use it. I own 2 frostwave blue ringers, and I consider them to be the cats ass. Like any other effect, its takes time and practice to know how to work it into your own sound - but then again some people would find it usuless...



    ps. **Shamless plug** I am selling one of my frostwaves....