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Vortex of Fun..

DStagner said:
> The Vortex is a really neat little box.  

> Basically, it's just two delays, two modulators, and an envelope 
> follower.  

It sounds so simple, but there's really a lot to it.  I also like
that ultimately, though it effects your signal, it doesn't ruin
your tone or change it significantly, it just effects what is
already there.  And the effects are warm and organic sounding.

> Lexicon gives a number of programs putting these effects in 
> various orders, in heavily interactive ways.  

I especially like the dynamic changes just the slightest touch
(in terms of guitar) can effect.

> Many programs feature cross-feedback for the delays, 
> or series delays with feedback loops going from one delay 
> to the other.

This is one of the more powerful features - it's especially good
for drum machines since you can create powerful polyrhythms with
> Tempo is tapped in, like the JamMan, and the delay "time" is 
> actually set as a fraction of the tap.  So it's easy to set up 
> consistent polyrhythmic echoes with this thing.  

Yep.  You can create pseudo "Discipline"-era King Crimson interlocking
guitar parts with just one guitar this way, too.

> Some of the programs also use the envelope follower to modulate 
> delay feedback, either fading out old sounds as new ones come in, 

Especially good if you start finding that the building of your loop
is starting to generate tons of noise from the older signal and you
want it to evolve a bit.  It's also great for drums since it takes
older signals out as new one comes in and makes it sound much more
natural than drums going through a delay unit.

> or modulating the volume of the echoes relative to the 
> input signal.  

It won't get in your way, although you can shut the dynamic response
off and make it spew all over your signals too if you want.

> In other words, it's the most dynamically responsive low-cost 
> rackmount effect I've ever used.  

I can't believe that Guitar Center was all but giving them away
for $150 a pop.  They were selling about ten a day towards
the end.

> Unfortunately, total delay time is limited to around a second.  

Actually, 1946 milliseconds to be exact.  Anyone who can modify
this thing to have longer delays will be practically deified.
Any takers?  What does Lexicon say about that?

> But there are LOTS of cool things you can do with that!

> I really like using the Vortex to build a short, complex 
> atmospheric sound, and then feeding that into the JamMan and 
> letting it loop and modulate. 

Or, you could work it the other way around - take a long loop
from the JamMan and process it to death in the Vortex...

Andre said:
> How much does an echoplex cost (US) anyway?  Is
> there anywhere i can try one out within a reasonoble
> driving distance from Philly?

> Echoplexes often aren't as expensive as you'd think.  The retail is 
> $879 for a new unit, but for just over $500 I picked up a brand new unit 
> *plus* the foot controller.  

A really good deal, I might add.
Anyone have a clue as to a dealer in the upper midwest who has these
where I could try one out?  

> Why?  The store I got it at (Nadine's here in L.A., incidentally one of 
> the few places I've found that even stocks the thing) wanted to move the 
> units.  

Wish someone in the upper midwest would do that.

> Loopers are pretty esoteric; very few people know what they are, and 
> most of the few that do don't have the right combination of interest and 
> finance.  

Probably why Guitar Center was selling Vortex for $150 and JamMan for
somewhere in the $300 range....most musicians, despite their reputation
are a conservative lot and the marketing campaign for Vortex kind of
made it sound like a WACKY effect (BLEEN and AEROSOL and FRACTAL
effects notwithstanding).  

My theory is I'd bet most people didn't try it because of that.  

Most people are reluctant to buy $478 (list) rack effects that 
don't do anything useful for them..or are gimmicky.  It's far
from being gimmicky, but the marketing was weird for that product.
I'd bet a lot of musicians thought it was a strange effect just in
the descriptions.

I watch people test the VG-8 by Roland in Guitar Center and
there are few that seem to "get it".  I see a lot of people
using it to make goofy guitar sounds, but few "get" the 
possibilities therein.

> So you should be able to track down one of the three "Big Ones" (JamMan, 
> Echoplex, or Boomerang)  at a pretty decent cost.

Way cool.  That's what I want to grab next.

> Imagining the day Boss comes out with the $250 LP-1 looping stompbox,

Don't make me drool.