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Re: Roland VG8
> Hi there,
> You're absolutely right. There is a delay, imposed by the pitch shifter
> than any tracking mechanism. It's nowhere near as bad as some rack gear
> shift settings though (the Lexicon MPX-100 & Sony HR-MP5 being cases in
> even the cheapo Zoom 1201 does a better job than either of those).
I'm not sure about this, but my theory is that the VG-8's pitch shifter
by adjusting itself to the frequency of the note you are playing. A lot of
pitch shifters (like the one on my old GP-16) have a weird warble that
continues all the way through the note. On certain notes it goes away. So I
think on the VG-8 they are tracking the pitch of the guitar string and then
adjusting the pitch shifter to match. A lot of time there is a kind of
warble on the attacks of the notes that sounds like the older pitch
Maybe this is the time when the pitch tracker has not yet figured out the
note and so has not yet adjusted the pitch shifter.
> The other thing to watch with the pitch shifting is that ISTR a
> vg-8.com of the presence of artifacts of the original sound along with
> shifted sound, even if the balance was set to 100% shifted. I've never
> noticed this myself, but I don't play altered tunings too much (although
> the obligatory Fripp NST Les Paul & acoustic patches set up :)
I've never had that exact problem, but maybe they were experiencing
another thing and misinterpreting it. Having the pitch shifter on can cause
weird effects when sympathetic vibrations happen between strings.
Like if you play a high E and the low E string starts to vibrate on the
harmonic two octaves above its fundamental. Normally this is not that
noticeable because the two notes are related. But if you have the pitch
set for drop D tuning, then this sympathetic vibration will come out of the
VG-8 shifted to the D a step below the open high E string. This can be
Also, if you are using a hollowbody guitar (I've used it with
my GK-2a-equipped Washburn J6 jazz guitar) then the acoustic string sound
very audible and annoying when you are trying to do an alternate tuning.
> tunings are your bag, you may want to check this thoroughly with a set
> headphones though. And obviously if you start with your GK attached to
> acoustic, altered tuning patches on the VG8 may lead to some ... unusual
> harmonies :)
> After all this bashing of the pitch shifter, I have to admit I did
> the automatic tuning compensation the VG8 can do, though !
> - Tony
Yeah, I've had loads of fun with the pitch shifter, especially combining it
with the hex fuzz to make closely-voiced chords that sound like Brian May
overdubs. Or using it to shift one string up and down an octave for jazz
block chords. Or shifting certain strings around in response to a pedal,
like on the preset pedal steel sounds.