Posts Tagged ‘strymon’

This Week’s Preset – We Want to Hear From You!

Posted by Michael

Over the last few months, we’ve been cooking up new presets for BigSky, TimeLine, and Mobius to share with you on our blog series – This Week’s Preset.  The original idea stemmed from our desire toThis Week's Preset - BigSky Reverb connect with our friends and fans creatively – through new, exciting, often experimental sounds.

However, this time we want to hear from you!  Send us your own preset, whether it’s your go-to favorite, something you’ve been experimenting with, or one you came up with at 3AM during a Netflix binge.  It can be a preset or favorite setting from any Strymon pedal, and you can share it with us however you like – whether it be in our blog comments, on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, or by emailing strymonsocial@strymon.net.

Our favorite presets will be selected to appear in upcoming installments of This Week’s Preset!

How to share 

Feel free to get creative with how you share your preset with us.  It can be as simple as a photo of the knob positions on your El Capistan or a text description of the settings on your TimeLine.  We also encourage you to link us to a recorded sample of your preset, so that we can enjoy its auditory awesomeness.  Some folks may even save their preset with Strymon Librarian and share the file with us, so we can load it up and try it out ourselves!  Again, feel free to share with us through our blog comments, social media, or by emailing strymonsocial@strymon.net.  It’s up to you.  Get creative and have fun.

We can’t wait to hear what you come up with, and be sure to stay tuned for the next installments of This Week’s Preset.  We may be featuring one of your own!




This Week’s Preset: Mobius Filter – “Square Funk”

Posted by Michael

This Week's Preset - MobiusMobius is one of my favorite pedals to explore because of its insane versatility.  Its sounds range from beautiful to bizarre, and its many modulation machines (Flanger, Rotary, Phaser, Filter, and
Vintage Tremolo, to name some of my favorites) seem to easily open up new doors to creative expression.  It’s easy to get lost in the possibilities.  So many waveform shapes, so little time!

One of my go-to Mobius modulation machines is the Filter.  Being able to choose one of several waveforms, control modulation speed, mix dry vs. wet, and set tap division allows for some amazing sonic possibilities.

Dialing in the perfect Filter setting inspires me to approach guitar playing differently.  For this preset, I used the Wah Filter and a Square waveform shape, then pegged the Depth and Level knobs to create some funky oscillation.

Listen here:

Preset details: 

The image below shows the knob settings and parameters.  Dial it up on your Mobius and try it out.

squarefunkfinal

Download the preset:

Using the Strymon Librarian? Download the preset and load it into your Mobius.

What do you think?

Made your own tweaks to this preset? Post them below.  Have ideas for a preset you’d like to see next? Please share your suggestions with us.  Hope you enjoyed This Week’s Preset – stay tuned for more!




TimeLine Looper Revisited

Posted by Michael

While I can’t say I possess the looping skills of the guy across the office (State Shirt), I am definitely a fan of looping – whether done live or in the studio.   This week, let’s take a look at some artists who are putting TimeLine’s built-in Looper to good use.

Mikhail Medvedev builds an amazing ambient song using just TimeLine and his guitar.

Using TimeLine’s dTape delay machine, PyAdrian loops an intricate rhythm part before soloing on top of it.

We love hearing our effects coupled with less common instruments. In this video, David Gerald Sutton runs his electric violin through TimeLine and blueSky to create some beautiful, soaring textures.

Injuvik gets super creative in this live looping jam, using a combination of synth drums, live percussion, and Strymon effects.

Using TimeLine’s Looper and El Capistan‘s Sound-on-Sound mode, Dennis Kayzer builds two separate loops and creates some awesome, experimental layers.

@jorgepulido shows off his rig with a little late night looping.  Name that tune!

@daneil.h.lee gives us a tasty loop and a nice view of his rig.  Is that a BigSky lurking in the left corner?

F A L C O N & B A D C A T w/ @jhspedals @strymonengineering @this1smyne @lavacable @creationmusiccompany This rig produce some ridiculously amazing sound/tone

A video posted by ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ (@daniel.h.lee) on




Strymon’s First NAMM Show

Posted by Michael

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The Arrival

Riding the line between excited and nervous, I arrived at the Anaheim Convention Center on the eve of January 21st – less than 24 hours before Strymon’s (and my own) first NAMM show.  I was greeted by two Strymon team members standing in front of our well-manicured booth, which contained six demo stations and looked like it had been transplanted directly from our engineering office in Westlake Village, CA.

As Convention Center employees laid the finishing touches on the show floor – rolling out carpets, cleaning up trash, etc. – I dropped off some last minute items needed for NAMM 2015.  Then, I headed off to get some rest.  Tomorrow is showtime.

The Show 

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I arrived at Hall E booth 1735 a little before 9Am.  Folks had clearly been working on the show floor as well as the booths throughout the night because the massive hall looked pristine.  I polished the pedalboards at our demo stations and took a few warm up photos.  Before I knew it, the show had begun.

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The fun had started as droves of guitarists, bass players, keyboardists, fans, and new friends poured into the Strymon booth – each one of them as excited as we were to just hang out, converse, and jam.  Over the course of the four-day show, we met people from all over the world – professional musicians, aspiring artists, you name it!  Among these new friends, we also saw some familiar faces such as Joel Van Dijk from The Grand Scheme (above, top right).  It was incredible seeing so many different types of people come together through a shared love for music and creativity.

IMG_1317Chapman Stick and BigSky.

IMG_1423 croppedlightenedAlyson Montez’s electric violin meets Deco.  http://instagram.com/alysonmontez

IMG_1488Adrian Belew demoing MobiusTimeLine, and BigSky.  http://www.adrianbelew.net/

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Nick Grammaticos (@nicgrammaticos) his Flint art.

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I’d like to give a shout out to our awesome neighboring booths at NAMM 2015! Thanks to Berndt Guitars for lending us one of your custom guitars for our demo station, and thanks to Bob McNally from Strumstick for coming to jam with us!

And now, for your enjoyment – some of the weekend’s more interesting getups.

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IMG_1519NAMM can get a little crazy.  Especially when Daniel Tyack shows up.

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The Aftermath 

As much fun as we had at NAMM, it was definitely a marathon.  Everybody over here at Strymon is pretty wiped out.  So let me wrap this up with one more huge thank you to everybody who hung out at our booth and followed our NAMM show on social media.  Our mission going into NAMM 2015 was to connect with our fans, make new friends, hang out with our dealers, and inspire creativity, and we couldn’t have done it without you.  Thank you for being awesome and keep doing what you’re doing!

I’ll leave you with some lovely photos from those who visited us at NAMM 2015!

With one of the masterminds at Strymon, Pete Celi @strymonengineering

A photo posted by Anthony King (@anthonykingguitar) on

I love them all @strymonengineering

A photo posted by @annabulbrook on

Awesome time trying out these amazing @strymonengineering pedals at #NAMM 😊🎸🎧

A photo posted by Zac Tiessen (@zactiessen) on




Experimenting with Deco Tape Saturation & Doubletracker

Posted by Michael

 

Deco Tape Saturation and DoubletrackerThere is a lesser-known, more experimental side of Deco that is not featured in our Deco demos.  For this list, we rounded up our favorite Deco secrets to inspire you to push your creative limits.

1.  Deco doubles as a DJ-ing tool. 

I’ve enjoyed plugging the left and right signals from a music player into the Deco for various uses. From fattening up the signal to adding grit and distortion with the Tape Saturation and using the Doubletracker and its knobs to manually dial in smooth modulation and echo to the tracks.  Can be a great tool for DJ’s!

— Hugo Merida, Customer Support.

2.  Deco loves drums. 

Run a drum track though Deco and check out the auto-flange feature in sum mode. Also try setting Blend to full Lag deck (fully clockwise) in sum mode and play with the Lag knob to create trippy time-warps that sync back to the original beat once Lag is returned to minimum.

— Pete Celi, DSP Engineer.

3.  Turn ONE Deco into TWO with this setup. 

For additional saturation/fuzz and repeats, you can run the LEFT channel of the Deco into the RIGHT channel when the pedal is set to stereo input mode.  Using a stereo TRS insert cable, connect the LEFT OUTPUT from the Deco into it’s own RIGHT INPUT and use the RIGHT OUTPUT to send your signal to other pedals or your amplifier.  This setup is like running 2 Deco pedals in a row! (This will only work with MONO signal chains with the WIDE STEREO feature turned off.)  Turning up the SATURATION knob will provide more drive than you would get with a standard connection setup (keep in mind that this also raises the noise floor of your audio signal).  When using the Doubletracker with this setup you will get an additional repeat in SUM and INVERT modes, and, if you have the SATURATION on and turned up high enough, you’ll get infinite repeats in BOUNCE mode.

– Gregg Stock, Analog Engineer.

4.  Deco also loves bass. 

This one comes from resident bass maestro, John Brinkman.  It’s a little out there, as his specific setup is totally custom.  Still, it’s an awesome example of how Deco can be pushed to unknown creative territories:

I use a custom signal splitter to route my bass to two channels. One signal path runs through OB.1 and Flint to boost the hot signal and add some tremolo.  This hot signal is then run through Deco and out to my amp.  This hot signal drives Deco’s Tape Saturation, providing a heavy growl.

The other signal path runs straight to Deco and out to my Mark Bass Combo.  This clean, round tone is warmed up by Deco’s Tape Saturation, but does not produce the heavy growl.  This marriage between an aggressive, somewhat distorted tone and a warm, clean tone carrying the low frequencies produces my favorite bass tone ever.

In this setup, Deco’s volume control works as a master volume for both channels.  I can also engage Deco’s Doubletracker to manipulate both sides of my signal.

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(Click image to enlarge.)

— John Brinkman, Code Communicator.

5.  You can use Deco to master a recording. 

Here’s a side by side comparison of two recordings taken from my last gig with my band The Alpine Camp.  The first recording is clean; the second is run through Deco with some Tape Saturation applied.  Deco’s Tape Saturation adds light tape compression, provides a nice grittiness to the piano parts, and really rounds out the low frequencies.

 

–Charles Etienne, Mechanical Designer.

These are just some of Deco’s lesser-known features and capabilities.  We encourage you to try these out yourselves and hope that they will inspire you to push your own creative boundaries!




Congratulations #StrymonLights Winners!

Posted by Michael

contest-strymonlights

Thank you to everybody who participated in our #StrymonLights Deco giveaway contest!  We really enjoyed checking out your pedalboards as well as your photography skills.  You gave us some of the most creative entries we’ve ever seen, and we had an extremely difficult time picking just a few winners.  So, again, a big thanks to everybody who shared their #StrymonLights with us.

Grand Prize Winners 

From a long list of awesome submissions, we finally narrowed it down to three Grand Prize Winners, who will receive a Deco Tape Saturation & Doubletracker as well as a Deco T-shirt.

Joseph King – The Big Dipper

 

Jeremy Dehek – M.E.T.R.O.P.E.D.A.L.T.A.N.

 

Nathanaël Roman – Your Name in Lights

Your name in lights. @strymonengineering #strymonlights

A photo posted by Nathanaël Roman (@nathanaelroman) on

 

Honorable Mentions 

An honorable mention goes out to the following submissions, which earned each of these artists a free Strymon T-shirt!

Brent Barkley

on the moon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

James Angus

I had another lightbulb moment this afternoon. Here's my second #strymonlights entry.

A photo posted by James Angus (@ejangi) on

 

Charlie Philp

 

Jason Rahn

#StrymonLights

A photo posted by @jasonrahn on

 

The Common Loon

 

Julia Michelle

 

Matt Tyson

 

Kenny Gorham

 

Josh Hwang

Merry christmasssss with Rudolph and his bright little nose. #StrymonLights

A photo posted by Josh Hwang (@heyyjoshh) on

 

Angel Roca

My entry for the #strymonlights competition, wish me luck

A photo posted by Angel Roca (@ese_way) on

 

David Montgomery

#catpaint #strymonlights #cats #takeoverzmypedalboardz

A photo posted by David Montgomery (@davidwmontgomery) on

 

@Gabowser

Thanks again to everybody who helped make #StrymonLights a holiday celebration to remember!  We wish everybody a lovely, safe holiday season.




Best Show Ever! Submission – Eric Martin

Posted by Michael

We recently asked those of you who are passionate about live music to email us with stories of your favorite concert experiences.  To all of you who sent us your stories, we had a wonderful time reading your submissions.  Not only were they fun to read, but they were personal, insightful, and successful in translating what made these specific shows so important to each and every one of you.  Reading the submissions, it was clear how close these experiences are to your hearts and we thank you all for sharing them.  There were some stories, however, that really stood out to us.  Like this one, which comes from Eric Martin.

Lakewood Amphitheater

Atlanta, Georgia

7-4-1999

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It was the 4th of July.  The party starts early at phish shows… you’d show up to the parking lot around 3:00 PM for a show that won’t start until 8:30 PM.  You’d have some beers, sit under a shade tent, you’d either be grilling, or you’d go in search of someone else grilling (“Get your sexy grilled cheese!  One for $2, two for $3!  Two slices of bread with the butter spread, sexy grilled cheese!”).  Jam sessions in the shade with friends, or you’d just go walking.  There’s some great people watching in the Phish lot.

Phish has no openers and plays two sets.  The first set was blistering with some amazing guitar work, but it was set two where the magic happened.  Ghost > Slave to the Traffic Light.  At this point, the sun has set and Chris Kuroda’s legendary light show is in full effect.  The Ghost went into some dark, spacey improvised jam that lasted about 13 minutes until it seamlessly blended into the intro the Slave.  The Slave was played very well.  It’s the Slave jam where the memories were made.  It starts very sparse.  Trey, Mike, and Page are dancing around the A, G, D, E chord progression, without actually  landing on it.  This beautiful soft melody grows and builds until Trey starts the meat of his solo, a simple repeating pattern with fills to break up the monotony.  Eventually, they are playing the most intense progression I’ve ever heard and the crowd, all 19,000 of us, are going absolutely nuts.  It was the only time music, not the words, but just the music has made me cry.  Tears of absolute joy.

Here’s the soundboard recording of the segment, if you’re curious… you don’t have to like Phish to appreciate it:

-Eric Martin

(Waiting on that 4th big box, y’all)




“Best Show Ever!”

Posted by Michael

Last week, we touched on live music’s inherent ability to bring people together.  This week, we’re taking a more in-depth and interactive look at what makes a concert unforgettable. But first, a brief history of live music.

Back in the mid-nineteenth century, composer Richard Wagner changed the opera scene by instituting what he called Gesamtkunstwerk or “total work of art.” His philosophy was that opera, rather than remain mostly a musical vehicle, should encompass every aspect of the creative arts – poetry, music, drama, and visual art all working in complete harmony. These operas were the Woodstocks of their time, and Wagner worked to take them to the next level.

Wagner's "Parsifal" performed in Berlin, 2005.

Wagner’s “Parsifal” performed in Berlin, 2005.

The better part of two centuries later, Wagner’s vision is still being realized at every great live concert. It is my firm opinion that the most memorable and significant live performances tap into this “total art” idea. Live music, above all, is about performance, and performance is dramatic. Performance takes place in a setting that enhances its story. Performance not only pleases the eye and ear, it creates a unique experience in which the show becomes greater than the sum of its parts. Not just songs, lights, and energy, but a fully realized, artistic vision.  The best live concerts are so enveloping that they can only be described as “mind-blowing,” “epic,” or “best show ever!”  Sometimes this entails an eight-piece band, elaborate stage design, and psychedelic lights; sometimes it only requires a solo performer on a bare stage.

Photo by Dylan Thomas of Hillsong United

Photo by Dylan Thomas of Hillsong United

As every concertgoer knows, this type of magic can’t be captured every time a band steps on stage. Even some of my favorite groups, which will remain nameless, have disappointed me live. This is simply the nature of the business. And this is what makes it so special when an artist you love blows you away in person.  My all-time favorite shows – from acoustic performances to hip hop concerts –  accomplished what Wagner envisioned back in 1860.  I could gush about these incredible memories in extreme detail, but I’d rather hear from you.

Send us your own stories of your favorite concert experiences, whether you were onstage or in the crowd, to concerts@strymon.net.  We’ll read them all, and, if it’s okay with you, we’ll even post some of them on our blog.  Contributors who have their stories featured will receive a free Strymon t-shirt!

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We look forward to hearing about your all-time favorite concerts!

 

 




Get to know us!

Posted by Ethan

Strymon teamThe November 2010 issue of Premier Guitar features Strymon as one of the “5 Boutique Stompbox Builders You Should Know”. They say we’re “among the most impressive pedal builders in the world today.” Aw, thanks! We’re just five guys trying to create the best and most innovative products that we can, and we’re very proud to have been given this great accolade.

Read the entire article here and find out more about what makes our slightly crazy brains tick. Also featured are Red Witch, Mad Professor, Crowther Audio and Empress Effects. Mad props to Empress for their awesome company photo!

Read the article




Strymon Tech Corner #2 – Build your own expression pedal

Posted by Terry

Recently, I ended up with a broken crybaby wah. I was already lucky enough to own a 70’s thomas organ crybaby which I love, so sacrificing this second newer crybaby for a project seemed like a fun idea. Since the crybaby chassis is extremely rugged and I like the action of the pedal, I set out to turn it into an expression pedal for my El Capistan. This article assumes that you have experience soldering and using basic tools like wire strippers, etc. Of course, always observe proper safety precautions and wear safety goggles while working on any type of electronics.

crybaby wah sitting on green felt
Here’s my wah on the workbench.
crybaby wah pedal with back cover removed
First, opening up this box couldn’t be easier. Just remove the 4 thumb screws from the back plate and remove the plate.
crybaby wah pedal with electronics removed
Then, unscrew the two jack nuts from the input and output jacks and also remove the single screw holding the PCB (printed circuit board) to the chassis. Unplug the cable connector, remove the PCB and set aside.
crybaby potentiometer and switch with wires desoldered
Connect your treadle pot to a standard 1/4″ TRS (tip/ring/sleeve) jack according to the schematic in tech corner #1. Desolder all wires from the pot and switch and set aside.
crybaby wah pedal with original electronics removed and re-wired as an expression pedal
The “sleeve” of the jack is ground, so first connect that to the pin of the post closest to the footswitch. Then, connect a 1k resistor to the wiper (center pin) of the pot. Connect the resistor to the “tip” of the jack. Lastly, connect the pin of the pot closest to the jack to the “ring.” You’ve got an expression pedal!

Watch the youtube video for a walkthrough of the build process and an El Capistan demonstration with our completed diy project:

Happy shredding,
-terry

*All product names used in this article are trademarks of their respective owners, which are in no way associated or affiliated with Strymon or Damage Control, LLC.




Strymon and Damage Control

Posted by Ethan

Damage Control and StrymonAs some of you may already know, in 2009 we were very fortunate to be able to join forces with Damage Control Engineering, a formidable group of the best engineers in the music industry.

Since then, we’ve developed all of the new Strymon products together. We’re a tight knit team and both companies are stronger now as one.

It is our great honor and pleasure to announce that for the foreseeable future, all new Damage Control products will carry the Strymon name! This includes the new Damage Control products currently in development that you may have seen on the Damage Control blog. We’re extremely excited about these and working feverishly on them.

::: Read the Damage Control blog post for more info.

 
 




Strymon Tech Corner #1 – Anatomy of an expression pedal

Posted by Terry

Welcome to the first post of our new Strymon Tech Corner series! I will be posting technical articles on music electronics as part of our blog at least once a month. Pete, Dave and Gregg from our team may also write an article here and there when they can get time away from their PCB layout programs and DSP emulators. Hopefully you’ll find these posts helpful and informative.

In this first edition I’ll be going through the inner workings of the common expression pedal. Once we know how one works, then comes the fun stuff … tearing them apart, modding, etc, etc. But that will be left to next month’s article :)

expression pedal from moog

We knew from day 1 that we wanted some of our pedals to feature expression pedal inputs. So, the question was “what’s the standard?” That is, do all manufacturers make their expression pedals the same way? Luckily the answer is yes … mostly.

Expression pedals work by feeding a control voltage to a device, such as a guitar pedal or synthesizer. The voltage is read by the device and then used to change some type of parameter. The voltage range depends on the design of the pedal or synth. Our Strymon pedals, for example, read control voltages from 0 to 5 volts DC. Turns out that this is a fairly common voltage range, especially in music electronics where MIDI (a 5V system) is still popular and widely used after over 25 years. The expression pedal itself, however has nothing to do with the voltage range. It’s only function is to manipulate that range and control the control voltage. The way almost every expression pedal out there works is that it takes a reference voltage from the device it’s connected to, divides that voltage down by a certain amount and then feeds it back to the device. In electronic terms, this is most commonly accomplished with a TRS (tip / ring / sleeve) 1/4″ cable where the reference voltage is on the “ring,” the control voltage is fed back to the device on the “tip” and the “sleeve” is ground.

Here  is what a standard 1/4″ TRS plug looks like:

As you can see from this 1907 diagram, TRS has been around for a long long time ;)

Here is the schematic for a typical expression pedal:

As you can see, the simplest and most common method is to use a passive potentiometer. A reference voltage from the device would enter the expression pedal jack on the ring. Then that voltage gets connected across a 10k load which is the resistive element of the potentiometer. When you move the expression treadle up and down there is a mechanical mechanism that physically turns the treadle potentiometer or “pot” as it’s commonly known. You can visualize the arrow at pin 1 of the treadle pot moving from pin 3 to pin 2 as one moves his/her foot back and forth on the pedal. This is what varies the voltage at pin 1. This is the control voltage which then travels out of the pedal on the tip of the jack. R2 is only present as a current limiter and not applicable to this discussion.

The Moog EP-2, Roland EV-5, and M-Audio EX-P all work in this manner, and therefore, work with our pedals. The nice thing about this standard design is that the control voltage is very stable and the value of the potentiometer in the expression pedal doesn’t matter so much. The Line6 EX1 is the only one we’ve see that works differently, with only a simple resistor divider and a mono cable. The nice thing about their solution is that it uses a mono cable. Two disadvantages are: 1. The expression pedal input circuit is highly dependent on the value of the potentiometer in the expression pedal.  2. Their products won’t work with other manufacturer’s expression pedals and vice versa.

Watch our video for more info and audio demos with our Brigadier delay and Orbit flanger.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this first edition of the Strymon Tech Corner. Tune in next time where we’ll make our own D.I.Y. expression pedal from a broken crybaby wah!

Happy shredding!

*All product names used in this article are trademarks of their respective owners, which are in no way associated or affiliated with Strymon.




Phil from Matchless rocking a Brigadier

Posted by Terry

Ethan and I met up with Phil Jamison at the Matchless HQ in Los Angeles recently to let him play through our Brigadier delay and blueSky reverberator. He dug the pedals! Phil is the amp designer over at Matchless. He’s a very genuine, good guy and it was a treat to see the Matchless facility and production line.

Below: camera phone shot of Phil rocking a Brigadier in front of one of his C-30 heads.

phil jamison matchless amplifiers






 
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