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Pitch Shifter Project
JesusAstronaurt
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Posts: 3
Join Date: 11/14/2009

So I just got an idea to make a guitar effects pedal that shifts pitch down to simulate Alternate tunings. It'd be best as a standard effects box configuration, running on a 9V power supply and input and output jacks. I'm aiming for having it go to at least a fourth down, or 5 half steps. I've been trying to think of how to make a circuit that would do this and run into several questions:

1) Is it possible I can go about Modulating the pitch while keeping the general timbre and quality of the sound to stay roughly the same? Obviously some tone coloration will have to occur, but can I keep that at a minimum?

2) I'd like to be able to set the pedal to several different tunings. I could make 5 different pedals for 5 different tunings, but that's completely impractical. I'm thinking having either:

a) a potentiometer to have manual control over the pitch. The problem with that is where and how should I wire that in order for it to effect the level of Pitch modulation. (Obviously I need to have an idea of what the circuit's going to be before this question is applicable, but does anyone have ideas?)

-or-

b) having a switch that can easily change the pitch by half steps. The problem with this is how can I calibrate each setting to be exactly a half step each time, when musical pitch is logarithmic rather than linear. I'm thinking having some freakin' intense and EXACTING capacitor and/or resistor usage in there, but the math behind getting them to be exactly right seems waaaaaay too intense for me. I might be wrong on that though, it could be easy as hell, I dunno. Is this a good route to take at all?

3) Does anyone know of some other device/ effects pedal designed for this purpose I could take some hints from or rip off entirely?

Any help is greatly appreciated!

Post Date: 11/14/2009 @ 4:03 am
RE: Pitch Shifter Project
Avatar for Julia_343
Julia_343
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Join Date: 9/08/2007
http://line6.com/variax/

it's not a pedal. It does get the job done.

There is the Morpheus Droptune: http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/DropTune/

-------------------------------------
--- Soudru�ka Julia of the Vocal Assassins
--- Disclaimer: pay no attention to tonal advice from this poster if you are under 30 and play thrash.

Post Date: 11/14/2009 @ 2:43 pm

RE: Pitch Shifter Project
JesusAstronaurt
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Join Date: 11/14/2009

Oh snap, the Morpheus is pretty much exactly what I'm looking for, how did I not hear about that earlier? hmmm. initial research on it seems promising, but it's pricey. I'll still go about seeing if I can make a clone of it myself, but the digital processing is definitely not my strong point. Thanks though! Now I think I'll go schematic hunting...

Post Date: 11/14/2009 @ 7:00 pm

RE: Pitch Shifter Project
JesusAstronaurt
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Status: New Member
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Join Date: 11/14/2009

I'm actually also thinking, the problem with Digital effects processing is usually the loss of dynamics and tone and all that jazz, so what if someone were to get a pedal like this and hook it into their Amp, but after the Pre-amp stage? Wouldn't that give you more control over the tone so that not as much of the guitar's character is lost, and still achieve the same effect after the fact? Or would it just be pointless and an awful idea, and if so, for what reasons?

Post Date: 11/14/2009 @ 8:24 pm

RE: Pitch Shifter Project
Avatar for Julia_343
Julia_343
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Status: Sr. Tube Nuker
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Join Date: 9/08/2007
The Morpheus pedal is sweet. Say you're guitar is tuned in Std E. You don't start getting any artifacting until you go below Std B. Drop A is still doable. This thing is a boon to FR players. Digital has gotten a ton better over the past few years. The processor chips have really improved. I'd run this thing up front.

Yes it's pricey, but you get what you pay for. I'll bet if you took some of the better digital units and blind tested them with analog units that most people couldn't tell the difference. The key is blind test. We already know 7/10 audiophiles prefer wire coathangers to expensive audio speaker cable.

-------------------------------------
--- Soudru�ka Julia of the Vocal Assassins
--- Disclaimer: pay no attention to tonal advice from this poster if you are under 30 and play thrash.

Post Date: 11/15/2009 @ 2:47 pm

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