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poly sustain


rudomat
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37 minutes ago, rudomat said:

hi,

question: can the poly sustain replace a fernandes sustainer...?...i know, i can hold a note....but can i just use it while playing, like i'd use a sustainer pickup...?

 

No, it's a different thing.

 

Poly sustain does sample a micro slice of your playing (a little and infinite loop in the millisecond range), and does play it until you press the footswitch again. It's like a freeze pedal, more or less. It's to create a drone (single note or chord) to play on top of it. Sustainer is a system that use a little driver enclosed in a pickup, that engages an eletromagnetic field that moves the strings, producing a "bow" effect (sustain).

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The Sustainer will sustain each note or chord as you play. It will give infinite sustain and/or feedback using sparkly clean or loud distorted settings without the need for excessive volume or extra outboard gear. Stop the note, no sustain. Clean or distorted each sounds great. The Sustainer will also hold each note into feedback, feedback at low volume (if desired) BTW. 2 modes of feedback: the root note or a 5th above the root note played and the Sustainer 401 model gives the option of a "mix" mode, that blends the two modes at the same time, and an intensity control knob.

Poly Sustain is more like a looper pedal with no feedback.

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The only way to make a fernandes sustainer or sustainiac or e-bow is to physically have the device in your hand (ebow) or install it into your guitar (the other two).

 

The way it works is it listens to your sound (which, yes, the helix can do), and then filters that sound to it's fundamental frequency (treble cut), amplifies that sound a LOT (like to drive a small speaker, that much power), and outputs it into a special coil "driver", either a single string one (ebow, that you hold in your hand, which also contains the pickup and amplifier within the single device you hold), or a pickup-sized one that sits under all the strings.  What does the "Driver" do?  it electromagnetically drives the string into vibrating, making it sustain.

 

The way the commercial sustainers work is pretty amazing, if you've ever tried to build your own or have watched the videos of DIY folks on youtube trying to build their own.

 

And all your helix could possibly do is give you foot control to turn an aux output on or off, add yoru own filters in the helix to control the output. The real work is taking that aux output, putting it into a small power amp, connecting that to another long cable back up to your guitar (but not along the same guitar cable since the high output of the driver amp cable would easily be picked up by the guitar cable, so two cables far apart!!), and then into a custom driver in your guitar (drivers are very different from pickups, despite having bobbins that look similar on the surface). 

 

So the helix could become part of it, but having it external from yoru guitar would be a huge problem.  I suppose the driver amp could go in teh guitar, so the aux output from the helix could be on a 2nd normal guitar cable, but that's still a huge nightmare to setup.

 

And one advantage to the real sustainer commercial products is they allow the driver to be used as an active pickup, which generally sounds alright (fernandes) to pretty darn good (sustainiac), but you'd need their circuit and everything on the guitar to do that.

 

I own a fernandes sustainer (after market) that I installed into a cheap ibanez RG (a 370 somethingOrOther), and it's absolutely amazing!  But installing and setting it up to work well are incredibly difficult and touchy.  Also, they happen to take advantage of a floyd rose really well since the pitch driving the string follows the pitch you're guitar is currently playing, so you can have some crazy sustain as you slowly adjust your pitch down or up crazy amounts (eg: steve vai).

 

Having experimented myself (I'm pretty decent with electronics and circuit design etc, I build my own rack gear from scratch or from pre-etched boards), and building a diy is just too difficult, and requires too much filtering and other work that the commercial vendors worked out how to do long long ago for much less total cost.

 

Sorry for the bad news.  Also, I owned an e-bow briefly - couldn't stand it.  Nothing is like a built-in sustainer effect; either sustainiac or the older ferndandes designs are both excellent.

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2 hours ago, rudomat said:

(285) Digitech Freqout feedback creator, demo by Pete Thorn - YouTube

i was hoping the poly sustain could do sthg like the freqout...

Hmmm yea.... that would be cool.  But "poly sustain" is a copy of the electroharmonix freeze pedal, not the freqout.

 

I managed to make a pretty convincing "poly sustain" effect in helix 2.9 without the "poly sustain" model even existing yet, so I'll see if there's anything in the helix 3.0 stuff that could give us something sorta like the freqout with a lot of patch editing and level triggering and pre-delay stuff...I doubt I can do a convincing freqout effect, but I'd love it if I could, so I'll give it a shot.

 

Don't hold your breath though - I'm just an end user who understands pedals and programming pretty well, but I have no special skills with the helix (in fact I'm pretty new to it)... but since I was successful-ish once, who knows!

 

But I won't be able to start until later tonight or, more likely, in a couple days.

 

I'll update this thread if I ever do have a status update, success or fail.

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UPDATED:  Please see the post several below this from me, with V3 of my frequout hlx patch.  This V1 was only an experiment to see how it could work, but V3 is actually useful and sounds good, imho.

 

Original, legacy post about V1 follows:  I tried something here, but it has lots of issues.  It has no adjustable parameters other than a bypass pedal and a reverb pedal.  The bypass bypasses the freqout, and it works opposite to how it looks - light is on?  it's BYPASSED (no effect).  light is off?  Freqout is ON.  It's button is the yellow one, A1.  D1 is a reverb that I set to On by default cuz I like it, but you can turn it off.

 

Keep in mind that I put the freqout effect after the amp, which is probably stupid, and so any volume changes from teh amp really screw up it's triggering. So for now just leave teh amp alone and play with it.

 

It's not ready for prime time and may never be, but that was an hour of time worth having some fun with at least.

 

What I really need is somethign that can tell if you're retriggering and only sends a signal past if you are NOT retriggering the gate, which is the opposite of what the helix gates do currently.

 

I'll keep thinking about it though.

 

It's basically some eq, 3 swell effects in a row with low sensitivity on the first one particularly and lots of predelay on each one's trigger, but it still responds in real time once the effect goes through, so your vibrato etc will still work like a real guitar.  There's a tiny delay cuz of everything going on and cuz I need to go get dinner now so am not taking time to see if I can fix it, but it's close.

 

It runs into an octave up effect, and I purposely am filtering out most of the guitar's range of notes from triggering the effect cuz the octave up sounds stupid and triggers too easily most of the time. But play a lower note and let it hold for a few seconds, with enough guitar signal, and it should do the feedback thing.

 

This is very easy to screw up, so play with it as you like, but don't expect it to get much better using the block chain I created here.

 

But - it's a neat experiment!

 

Dbk is my initials, hence the name of the file.

 

Other than the effect (which is the entire bottom block row, in parallel with an empty row above it for the non-effected sound to get through), the amp is one I like and the cab is a built in 412 with greenback 25s in it, not too shabby.  Prob should have more overdrive on it, but that'll likely screw up the freqout triggering and you may find you need to put a gain block in that bottom row at the start and reduce or increase gain BY ONLY A COUPLE DB to adjust the triggering how you like.

 

Cheers, and good luck.

Dbk Freqout.hlx

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13 hours ago, rudomat said:

great!!!! thanks a lot man!! ;-) 

 

Totally updated, improved version 3 in the next post... please get rid of the one I gave you and try my new one, V3, below.  I think it's actually really useful now and sounds pretty convincing....

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Ok, here's V3.  It sounds WAY  better and behaves WAY better than V1, so forget that one and try this one please!  (I had posted, then deleted, V2 but it really did need the changes I just made to this to become V3.)

 

This one replaces the bypass footswitch with a momentary footswitch.  So now it plays normally, use any amp you want etc... but when you want to trigger the effect you hold down the BOTTOM left footswitch (It's currently called "Position" which I tried changing the text for, but it changed back.... you get the idea though).

 

You have to hold teh footswtich down WHILE you play teh chord (like, before), for feedback to trigger, and keep holding it to get the feedback, although if the signal is strong enough and you have the compressor pedal on then it might still trigger if you play a note and then hold down the pedal.  When you let go, feedback stops, although it'll stop itself when guitar volume fades enough from strings just fading as they do.   It's not real feedback after all!  I did add a reverb in the freqout path at the end, which you could bypass or edit of you like, cuz the way the feedback ends was so abrupt that I hated it, and the reverb adds a messy end to it that just sounds more like a real amp's feedback ending, to me.

 

I also turned up the sensitivity of the feedback and the volume of the feedback when enabled, since mistriggers aren't likely now due to you being able to let go of the pedal when you are playing normally.

 

Note that I purposely eq'd down the higher strings and higher notes on the guitar within the feedback trigger path (not in the regular guitar sound, don't worry), so higher guitar strings and notes don't do any feedback, because they don't feedback in real life as much as the low ones, and when they do they should feedback the real note, not an octave higher, which will be a much more complicated (maybe impossible with helix) task....(cuz I'd need to have two feedback systems, one for regular notes, one for octave notes, and so on.... ugh... but even the real freqout pedal doesn't do that)

 

I also added a compressor, tube screamer, and increased the amp gain, and all effects have foot switches now.  I suppose I should add volume pedal and wah pedal too... I'll add that another day.

 

I reversed the paths so it's like this now: comp, freqout, screamer, amp, cab, reverb.

 

This one, to me, is really good sounding and actually useful!  I sorta wish it would trigger reliably by hitting pedal without having to replace your chord, but whatever, this is good enough for now.

 

Dbk Freqout3.hlx

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Here's a little blues wank demo of me playing my les paul through the patch.

 

First note is just the patch with compressor/TS/amp/verb.  It sustains great etc, but no freqout effect.

 

Second note is me pressing and holding the freqout pedal and playing the same note.  Note the feedback effect of my freqout emulation.

 

Yes I have a floyd rose after market on my les paul (the top mount FRX kind  - no routing).

 

That's both pickups on, even though the freqout effect works better with just bridge pickup I find (just like real live feedback)...I chose this setting for the demo because my LP buzzes like mad on the bridge pickup (although it sounds amazing, I didn't want that in the demo).

 

Then I wank some more and press the freqout pedal only on a couple of notes to emulate how real live amp feedback might work, from my personal experience.

 

I'd say it's pretty convincing, although not as over the top as the digitech freqout pedal is.

 

Oh, and I'm using an aftermarket cab ir instead of the stock cab for my demo - just adds some presence and brightness to it.

DBK Freqout 3 for helix - demo by DBK.mp3

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Note that while it sounds IMHO very convincingly like real amp feedback, maybe moreso than the freqout does, you do have to take your foot off the pedal when playing normally.  You can actually hold it down for several notes in a row and it'll build up the feedback effect while you play, which is cool, and then let go when starting to play other notes again cuz otherwise it will sort of just turn into a heavy octave kind of effect.

 

I'm really enjoying it and finding it very expressive to work with.  I updated the patch so volume pedal works now and there's a wah pedal also, although I haven't uploaded that one here yet.

 

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4 hours ago, donkelley said:

Note that while it sounds IMHO very convincingly like real amp feedback, maybe moreso than the freqout does, you do have to take your foot off the pedal when playing normally.  You can actually hold it down for several notes in a row and it'll build up the feedback effect while you play, which is cool, and then let go when starting to play other notes again cuz otherwise it will sort of just turn into a heavy octave kind of effect.

 

I'm really enjoying it and finding it very expressive to work with.  I updated the patch so volume pedal works now and there's a wah pedal also, although I haven't uploaded that one here yet.

 

hey donkelley...thanks for your great work...i haven't gotten to try it yet...i hope i can do it this weekend...thanks a lot!!!!! ;-)

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14 hours ago, rudomat said:

hey donkelley...thanks for your great work...i haven't gotten to try it yet...i hope i can do it this weekend...thanks a lot!!!!! ;-)

No prob.  Please let me know how it works for you.  Keep in mind it is basically a gate followed by a long delay and slow fade in that drives a synthesizer (set to an octave up) followed by a short thick reverb.  Then then what digitech did was similar, but with a special algorithm that detects when you change the note you're playing and resets the gate/delay path, so you don't get that problem mine has where you can get into feedback, and NOT let go of the foot pedal, and it just turns into an octaver that tracks everything you play.  Hence why I added the momentary button so you can let go when you change notes, and it sounds pretty much like it should if you remember to do that.

 

Note on adjusting sensitivity of the effect:  Go into the 2nd path (out of 3 total), which is the one that has all of the auto-swell effects etc.  That path is the freqout thing.  In first of the 3 autoswell effects, turn DOWN the threshold parameter (first param in autoswell effect), and it will trigger when you play quieter, so you'll get the effect running much more easily.  I personally don't like it lik ethat, but you could get a little closer to the delayed-octave freqout effect from the real pedal that way.  Also I'm experimenting with the complete opposite of the settings I have now for the freqout's first EQ block, to instead emphasize higher notes rahter than reduce them, so you can get feedback on higher notes on the guitar.  But even then it really doesn't work very well on those notes, and it makes it so sensitive that it no longer really works properly to me so far.

 

Anyhow, this patch is a good starting ground for anyone to play with.  Technically speaking the helix doesn't have the right type of pick trigger to work how the freqout works... but this is a good effect, either way.

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